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This weekend


 Misty Monique’s Fabulous Quiz, AquaVitae, Cheltenham, Fri 20 April, 7.30-10pm

man in drag red and black check shirt stars skirt

A quiz but not as you know it, drag queen Misty Monique’s rounds will include Coc or Bull, Balloon Thrust and Misty Lip Sync to name just a few. From 7-8pm there’ll be two-for-one cocktails to get you in the mood and the winning team will bag a cash prize of £50 and a bottle of fizz. Dress up, down or inside out – anything goes!


Arabian Nights Spring Banquet, Crown & Sceptre, Stroud, Fri 20 & Sat 21 April, from 7pm

The fab Natural Cookery School is taking over the Gert Yurt at Stroud’s Crown & Sceptre to put on one humdinger of a Middle-Eastern feast. There’ll be four British veg, Syrian flavour courses – including delectable such as spring fattoush, cauliflower shawarma and pistachio rosewater meringues – a botanical cocktail bar and Egyptian dancing by the Haziz dance troupe. And it’s all for a good cause with money being raised for Humans 4 Humanity Refugee


The Drystones, The Prince Albert, Rodborough, Stroud, Fri 20 April, 8-10.30pm

two folk musicians guitar

An up-and-coming young duo who were nominated in the Radio 2 Young Folk Awards this year, expect an exhilarating performance that will round the week off nicely. And it’s Jamaica Inn Kitchen pop-up night, so you can fill your boots with Jamaican patties, plantain, jerk chicken and goat curry.


The Winslow Boy, Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham, Fri 20 & Sat 21 April

Terence Rattigan’s classic family drama based on a real-life event involving a Gloucestershire boy will tug at your heart strings and moral compass. From the producers of The King’s Speech and Single Spies, Tessa Peake-Jones (of Only Fools and Horses and Grantchester fame) and Aden Gillet (Jack in The House of Elliot) play the mother and father to a boy who’s been expelled from naval college for theft. Gripping stuff.



Gin Festival at Methuen Arms, Corsham, Sat 21 April

A day-long celebration of all things gin, with tasty tipples, expert talks from artisan suppliers and gin-flavoured food. Yep, that’s the one for me.


Coastal Perspectives, Chapel Arts, Cheltenham, until Sat 21 April

oil painting chalk cliff and sea

Former fishing boat skipper turned artist Robert Jones and Gloucestershire-based artist Chris Hardman both bring Cornish inspiration to their stunning seascape oil painting, with work by Gloucestershire Guild of Craftsmen members Graham Ikin, Derek Elliott and Colin Chetwood among others. thechapelarts-com


Cheltenham Beauty Week, various locations, Cheltenham, Sat 21 to Sat 28 April

OK ladies, time to get serious about grooming. The week will see loads of free talks and lectures about all sorts of topics from non-surgical facelifts (yes please) to makeup masterclasses (could do with that too, as well as skin analysis with Iiaa at Martin & Phelps, Laura Leigh’s pop-up hair and make-up bar at Topshop and Cowley Manor’s C-Side spa popping up at Laura Leigh! Be prepared to be dazzling by the end of the week.


Bex Jazz, Stroud Brewery, Thrupp, near Stroud, Sat 21 April, 7.30-10pm

London’s 100 Club is just one of the venues Bex has belted out her Brazilian Portuguese sounds. Her voice is amazing and she moves effortlessly from big and powerful to soft and subtle, shape shifting through jazz, Latin and pop.


Jazz Sunday with The Jazzy Pixels, Whatley Manor Hotel & Spa, Easton Grey, near Malmesbury, Sun 22 April


Playing a wide repertoire of blues, jazz, swing and funk plus its own original material The Jazzy Pixels are sure to entertain while you enjoy a three-course meal in Whatley’s revamped Grey’s Brasserie. Nice.


Kim Wilde – Here Come The Aliens Tour, Salisbury, Sun 22 April

Platinum Selling Kim Wilde is back with her “Here Come The Aliens” Tour 2018. The Kid’s In America star brings  a show packed full of brand new music and some good ‘ole oldies too. cityhallsalisbury


Spring Farm Open Day, Winsley, Bradford on Avon, Sun 22 April

Spend a day on the farm, and see a different side to Hartley Farm. Get up close and personal in an interactive, fun and educational way. hartleyfarm


Foraging Trip, Tudor Farmhouse, Clearwell, Forest of Dean, Sun 22 April

wild mushrooms

Raoul van Den Broucke is one expert forager – dubbed “the Carluccio of the Wye Valley” by The Guardian no less, he knows the Forest’s foraging spots like the back of his hand and will show guests to all the best edible mushrooms, pennywort, wimberries, march samphire, sea beat and wild strawberries depending on the season.


Profiteroles & Éclairs, Harts Barn Cookery School, Longhope, Sun 22 April, 10am-1pm

chocolate profiteroles

OMG, we love profiteroles and éclairs at Muddy are salivating at the thought of this masterclass under the tutelage of Andy Robertson who knows a thing or two about how to make choux pastry. Light, crisp and twice-baked, it sounds complicated and not one you can cheat, so this will be three hours well spent – and you’ll get to eat the fruits of your labour!


Earth Day Yoga with Rachel Mellish, Stroud Yoga Space, Stroud, Sun 22 April, 5-6.30pm

woman outside downward dog yoga

A perfect way to celebrate Earth Day, this workshop will explore earthy practices to ground and connect you, strengthening your sense of self and security, led by the inspirational Rachel Mellish, who will round off the nurturing session with an earth meditation.


Miranda Carter – New Paintings, Malmesbury, until Fri 27 April

A collection of new paintings by Wiltshire artist Miranda Carter. Miranda paints intuitively creating balance and capturing atmosphere in her paintings with layers of mixed media.


Fritillaries, Cricklade, until Sat 28 April

Calling all flower lovers – now is the time to see the rare Snakes Head Fritillaries in flower in North Meadow. It’s why people come to Cricklade, dontcha know? crickladeinbloom


Springtime Discovery Trail, Mompesson House, Salisbury, until Mon 30 April


Spot the signs of spring around the house and garden. mompessonhouse

Moonfleet, Salisbury, until Sat 5 May

Haunted by the ghost of the marauding pirate, Blackbeard, Moonfleet is a village of intrigue and drama where shadowy smugglers lurk. Against this backdrop, young orphan John Trenchard dreams of Blackbeard’s treasure and the wealth and happiness it could bring.



Ed Byrne: Spoiler Alert, Salisbury, 1 May

Ed says: I originally intended to call the show, “I’ll Millennial You in a Minute”, but my promoter considered the title, “off-puttingly baffling”. That’s my own chainsaw in the photo, by the way. Is life that bad or have we good reason to complain about it? Are we filled with righteous anger at a world gone wrong or are we all just a bunch of whiny little brats? In short, are we spoiled? Come and watch as Byrne takes this question, turns it upside down and shakes it until the funny falls out. Go on, spoil yourself. cityhallsalisbury


Learn to Bake Bread, Harts Barn Cookery School, Longhope, Fri 4 May, 10am-3pm

There’s nothing like the smell and taste of freshly baked bread and if you’ve baked it yourself, how satisfying is that! But if you’re anything like me and your bread-making skills are a bit hit and miss (er, mainly miss), this day-long course will see you rising (see what I did there) to the next level as you master making a sandwich loaf, seeded rolls, soda bread, tear and share bread, pittas and pizza bases.


Giffords Circus, Fennells Farm, Stroud, Fri 4 to Mon 14 May

two women red velvet hats and jackets

Photography by Gemma Hall

The annual outing of England’s most glamorous and wonderfully quirky circus has come round again, kicking off at its Stroud home – where a spanking new big top has already gone up with Giffords in lights and sumptuous red velvet and chandelier interiors. The theme this year is My Beautiful Circus to celebrate 250 years since the very first circus near Westminster Bridge in London started the magic in 1768. After Stroud, the troupe head to Sudeley Castle from Thu 17 to Mon 21 May and Daylesford Organic Farm near Kingham from Thu 24 May to Mon 4 June. See full list of dates here.


Pretty Woman, The Lost Cinema at Westonbirt House, Sat 5 May

I never tire of this rag-to-riches love story between lonely businessman Richard Gere and LA prostitute Julia Roberts. Especially the bit when Roberts goes back to the snooty fashion boutique with all her purchases to tell them they made a big mistake snubbing her. And, if the weather holds, where better to watch it than alfresco in the stunning grounds of Westonbirt House?


Lechlade Festival, Highworth, Fri 25 to Sun 27 May

With Scouting for Girls, glam-rock band Doctor and the Medics and punk-rock outfit From the Jam headlining, this May Bank Holiday music fest is NOT TO BE MISSED! There are even more things to do for kids this year, a bigger and better comedy stage and so many amazing acts across loads of genres, I could write an essay. Which I won’t do, but will just mention that Hendrix-esque duo The Roscoes Wild Child are flying in from LA again this year and The Missy Malone and Burlesque Review will also be returning. Tickets are selling fast with live-in vehicle pitches nearly sold out, so get your tickets NOW.


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Things to doThis weekend

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