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This weekend


Wassail Meet-Up at The Prince Albert, Stroud, Fri 12 Jan, 9pm

This ancient ritual hails from Anglo Saxon times (‘waes hael’ means ‘good health’) when a brew of hot mulled cider was drunk to help ensure a good apple harvest. Any excuse, eh? Absolutely, so hats off to the Stroud wassailers who are reviving the tradition by touring pubs and hotels around the Five Valleys. Catch them at The Prince Albert on Friday at 9pm.


The Garden Café Pop-up Restaurant, Miserden Nursery, Miserden, Fri 12 & Sat 13 Jan

chef jonathan richardson cooking

The magical greenhouse setting opens its doors for another night of superlative food, this time prepared by Le Manoir-trained, Yorkshire chef Jonathan Richardson. With its cosy wood burners, table settings by The Cotswold Flower Co and convivial atmosphere, I can’t recommend this supper club enough. Go! It’s amazing!


This is the Kit live gig, The Goods Shed, Stroud, Sat 13 Jan, 7.30pm

A favourite of Lauren Laverne, Mark Riley and Cerys Matthews, This is the Kit, with frontwoman Kate Stables on vocals, banjo and guitar, will be banging out alternative rock and folk at SVA’s Grade II-listed Brunel-designed Goods Shed by the, believe it or not, station.


New Year Detox Yin Yoga, Stroud Yoga Space, Stroud, Sun 14 Jan, 10.30am-12.30pm

woman doing yin yoga shoelace pose

The Yoga Glow’s Jay has special powers I reckon. I went to her pre-Christmas de-stress workshop in December and came out feeling rejuvenated. In this workshop she’ll help get your energy flowing again with asanas to clear the liver and digestive system and get you calm, clear and balanced for the new year. Book now, spaces are running out!


Twelfth Night Afternoon Tea, Aunt Martha’s, Drybrook, Forest of Dean, Sun 14 & Sun 22 Jan

Tea at this Victorian tea rooms is always a quirky day out and its Twelfth Night offering (it’s counting from the pre-Gregorian Calender Christmas Day which was 5 Jan, so is hedging its bets between 17 Jan – yes, it likes to do things differently!) promises even more quirk than usual. Festive activities will accompany the taking down of Christmas decorations and tea of soup, sandwiches, scones, sweet treats and the special Twelfth Night Cake.


Sleeping Beauty, The Theatre Chipping Norton, until Sun 14 Jan 

I got insanely drunk on my 18th birthday but Sleeping Beauty celebrated hers by pricking her finger on a spinning wheel and falling asleep for hundreds of years. Bummer, eh! This promises to be a curveball, time-travelling rendering of the classic tale, spanning from Tudor times to the flower-powered late 1960s. The Theatre Chipping Norton, 2 Spring Street, Chipping Norton, Oxon,


The Little Matchgirl and Other Happier Stories, Bristol Old Vic, until Sun 14 Jan 

Photo: Steve Tanner

After premiering up at Shakepeare’s Globe in London, the critically acclaimed production comes to Bristol. An impoverished girl strikes a series of matches to keep warm on the icy cold streets; each time she escapes into a different Hans Christian Andersen story. Expect cockles to be warmed.


Beauty and the Beast, Tobacco Factory, Bristol, until Sun 14 Jan 

Photo Camilla Adams

As you can tell from the pic, not a another stage version of the Disney film. This is a quirky re-telling of the classic French fairy tale, reminding us that beauty (or beastliness) is only skin deep. Littlies can enjoy the story of family, feathers and fitting in, in The Ugly Duckling (Sun 10 Dec to Sun 14 Jan).


The Little Mermaid, The Egg, Bath, until Sun 14 Jan 

Mermaid in a bath tub

This is a Hans Christian Andersen and mythical Cornish Mermaid of Zennor mash up.  Morgan lives at the bottom of the ocean in a shipwrecked 1950s cruise liner and surfaces in a 1980s yacht party on the English Riviera.  A period drama-cum-rom com with a jig-along classic 1980s pop soundtrack.


January Brewer of the Month, Corinium Ales, The Strand Pub, Cheltenham, all of Jan

This Cheltenham pub is a great supporter of local brewers and this month it’s showcasing Cirencester’s micro-brewery Corinium Ales, which will be serving up its five core beers, as well as its winter 1 AD Porter. So we’ll be forgetting about dry January this year!


Ros Koch Appellation Art Exhibition, Averys, Bristol, now until Fri 2 Mar

paintings and drawings by Ros Koch

The historical cellars and family wine merchant in Bristol’s Culver Street is celebrating its 225th anniversary this year and is kicking off with a new art show by Ros Koch, a British-born artist based in South Africa who creates beautifully delicate watercolours and drawings. Free entry and the artwork is for sale so prepare to be tempted.


Hogwarts in the Snow, Harry Potter Studios, Leavesden, near London, until Sun 4 Feb

Hogwarts in the Snow – as regular as Christmas!  The festive makeover will see Christmas trees line the Great Hall, the Gryffindor common room dressed for the season and a blanket of filmmaking snow covering the majestic Hogwarts castle model. Visitors will even be able to touch samples of the different types of ‘snow’ used during production, each selected for its ability to float like falling snow, crunch under foot or glisten in the light like ice. Trust me, your kids will love it.

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Gloucestershire