What’s on this month – June
My Dad Wrote A Porno: Live, Hexagon Reading, Wed 6 Jun
With nearly 100 million podcast downloads, and fans worldwide, My Dad Wrote A Porno is a cultural phenomenon. And you can see the team live at The Hexagon. What’s it about? Well Jamie Morton discovered his dad wrote a dirty book – and decided to read it to the world. Along with his best mates James Cooper and Radio 1 DJ Alice Levine. There’s not enough time to read the whole ting, so enjoy ‘Lost Chapter’ from his dad’s notoriously brilliant Belinda Blinked saga.
Frogmore House & Gardens, Charity Days, Tue 5 – Thu 7 Jun
No doubt the empties have made into the recycling boxes after Prince Harry and Meghan’s evening shindig at Frogmore House, because it’s now your turn to have a hang out at this stunning royal retreat. Waft in wearing Stella McCartney, *ahem* perfume and nose around the gardens (press your face against the windows) and imagine you partied with the A list. Advance tickets can be obtained from the charities – National Garden Scheme, the Armed Forces charity SSAFA, and Prisoners’ Education Trust – or pay cash on the gate.
EAT OUT: Back to the Vine, The Vineyard, Stockcross, nr Newbury, Mon 25 June – Sun 1 July
With a constellation of Michelin stars to their names, chefs Nathan Law, John Campbell, Matt Gillan, Shay Cooper, Daniel Galmiche, Richard Davies and Billy Reid have all worked at The Vineyard Hotel and Spa near Newbury. To celebrate the hotel’s 20th birthday, these stars of the culinary scene are returning from their current restaurants (those local to us include Calcot Manor near Tetbury, Danesfield House near Marlow and The Woodspeen in Newbury) to weave their magic at their alma mater. The Vineyard is renowned for its passion for wine (join the club) and amazing food so this really is a no brainer for a fine dining fix.
The Vineyard, Stockcross, Newbury, Berkshire RG20 8JU. Tel: 01635 528 770
Water Fest & Abbey Ruins Revealed, Forbury Gardens Reading, Sat 16 Jun
Following a £3.5million refurbishment, Reading’s Abbey Ruins are back their beautiful best. Well we all need a little bit of help in our old age. To make the whole thing a bit spesh, you can enjoy the Reading Abbey Revealed Festival so expect a party atmosphere in Reading that day with entertainment, fun for the kids, waters activities, boats and more more more. The watch this space because the Abbey Ruins will be the backdrop for outdoor theatre and pop up cinema in the summer months.
Pepper & Ink Homeware Pop Up, Jax Jeans Hungerford, Thu 7 Jun
Jax Jeans in Hungerford is a boutique full of designer denim and beautiful things that you would happily a sell a kidney to pay for a blow out, but unusually they’re hosting a homeware pop up for Hampshire based homeware brand Pepper & Ink. And the collection is so beautiful, Iwant it all. Sisters Caroline and Tors will bring their beautiful cushions, tableware, and decorations to Hungerford for us Berkshire peeps to snap up.
Stonor Park Food Festival, Stonor, Henley, Sat 16 – Sun 17 June
The beautiful grounds at Stonor will be groaning with food and drink stalls over the Father’s Day weekend (dads go free before midday on the Saturday) for the first ever Stonor Food Festival. Keep dad happy with the crafts beers and BBQ plus there’s talks, tastings and demos along with the large selection of local and specialist produce. Guests include the doyen of cookery, Mary Berry, and the Bake Off finalist Steven Carter-Bailey. Tickets are £10 for adults and £6.50 for kids (under 2s go free) and include entrance to the house, gardens and Wonder Woods Adventure playground. stonor.com
Jerusalem, Watermill Theatre Newbury, 21 Jun
The Watermill is staging the first major revival of Jez Butterworth’s multi-award-winning play, Jerusalem. A contemporary classic which originally starred Mark Rylance as the anarchic Johnny ‘Rooster’ Byron in 2011. Big shoes to fill for Jasper Britton. Expect fruity language in this wild and defiant rekindling of our national identity. One of the show’s of the summer.
Pop up cinema nights, Lillibroooke Manor, Maidenhead, Wed 20 – Thu 21 Jun
Your glass of Pimms may have to be replaced with a something a little less alchoholic (dammit) for this after school screening of the family fave Paddington 2, but an afternoon spent in the stunning Great Barn at Lillibrooke Manor, kids’ tea and entertainment sorted. You’ll be winning at life, right there. Doors open at 4pm, film starts at 4.30pm, then straight to bed. *Pours wine at 7.17pm*. Tickets: adults £8.80; kids, £5.50; family tickets from £16.50. Not your bag? It’s only freaking 40 years since it was released (dear god!) Grease Sing A Long, Wed 20 June, 8pm; Victoria & Abdul, Thu 21 June, 12.30pm and The Greatest Showman, Thu 21 June, 8pm.
Dan Snow: An Evening With The History guy, Corn Exchange Newbury, Wed 13 Jun
When history got an injection of handsome. It was a good day. No disrepect Tony Robinson, but Dan is a much easier on the eye– he also brought the average age of TV history buffs down A LOT! Well the lovely Dan Snow is rocking up in Newbury this month to recount anecdotes of memorable experiences from his career and explore Newbury’s past. If you love historical facts, legends, myths or Dan. Book in.
The Gap Festival, Goring & Streatley, Thu 14 – Sun 17 Jun
This fab festival punches well above its weight covering live music, comedy, art workshops, talks and family activities and more. Check out well-know celebs like Joe Swift on how to make a Chelsea Gold garden on Fri 14 (tickets £20) and soul queen Mica Paris on Sat 15 (tickets £33) both in the Festival Marquee. Or you could trot along to see talented 2016 Funny Women Award winner Harriet Braine giving her comic history of art lesson in song, amble round the open gardens or try a drumming workshop. If you can’t wait till then, check out the fringe festival from Sat Jun 9 to Wed Jun 13 – think live music in local pubs, art workshops, kids’ drama club and a Wind in the Willows day at Withymead Nature Reserve. Lots of these are free or a snip at £5.
Open Air Cinema, Wellington Country Park Riseley, Fri 27 – Sat 28 Jun
I think I am the only person on the planet not to have seen The Greatest Showman. If you want a soundtrack free zone, head to my house. But if you and your kids want to see this all singing all dancing Hugh Jackman-Zac Efron musical fest just one more time, then head to Wellington Country Park, near Reading. Feel the need for speed? Top Gun is being shown on the Saturday night. Did someone say Pimms and popcorn?
Lisa Knapp, South Street Arts Reading, Fri 15 Jun
The highly acclaimed, award-winning Lisa Knapp returns to South Street with her band in support of her latest album, Till April is Dead – A Garland of Ritual & Love songs in the Month of May. Blimey that was a mouthful. Her folk songs are a celebration of *coughs* summer. We can only hope her beautiful voice encourages the sun to shine.
RB Live: Swan Lake, Tue 12 Jun
Let’s be honest, it’s the costumes and general ethereal elegance that attracts us to ballet. This is how I wanted to look as a child. I was a little more Dawn French in her French & Saunders sketch with Darcey Bussell in the style and grace department. So I think it’s best to leave it to the pros. I’ve seen the Royal Ballet perform Swan Lake in Covent Garden and it really is a sight to behold. Dodge the rain, eye-watering ticket prices and head to the cinema for RB Live.
All Star Comedy Show, Corn Exchange Newbury, Fri 29 Jun
Need a laugh? Anything to distract us from our diabolical British summer. How about a bit of comedy night with four of the UK’s best acts, performing cutting edge stand up? Oh go on then. Andrew Lawrence, one of Britain’s most subversive and intelligent comedians; Gareth Richards providing silly jokes and gorgeously low-key comedy songs; Pat Monahan, the hilarious Teesider who won ITV’s Show Me the Funny; all brought together by the exceptionally funny Tony Vinoas MC.
Open Air Cinema, Newbury Racecourse Thu 7 – Sat 9 Jun
PVC thigh high boots never looked so good. Ah the romance of prostitution and the mega rich. It’s Cinderella, if she’d spent a few months in a crack house. But you can’t beat Julia Robert and Richard Gere in this classic rom-com. Embrace the nostalgia fest at Newbury Racecourse. You can also see Christopher Nolan’s Oscar winning Dunkirk, Thu 7 June and book in for this year’s hit flick with the kids and you can hear THAT soundtrack again and again at the screening of, The Greatest Showman, Sat 9 June.
Game of Clues: Murder Mystery, Cliveden National Trust, Sat 2 Jun – 15 Jul
Murder mystery at Cliveden, you say? I’ll be there clutching my pearls in a Miss Marple styles. Following last year’s crime caper, there’s a brand new outdoor mystery to solve. Cliveden’s head butler has turned up dead on the estate. Mr Butter, a rather unsavory character, was discovered fallen off his chair and smelling of whisky; but how did he get there…? Time to play detective.
What The Ladybird Heard, Corn Exchange Newbury, Fri 15 – Sun 17 Jun
Hot footing from the West End, What The Ladybird Heard is stopping off at Newbury on its UK tour. It’s another Julia Donaldson classic (this woman pumps out books faster than a frazzled mum can get her toddler tot bed) so you know your kids will love it. Live music, puppets, audience participation (yes, really. Brace yourself) and a load of farmyard faves.
Windsor Antiques Fair, Windsor Racecourse, Fri 8 – Sun 10 Jun
Shappi Khorsandi: More than a Misfit, South Hill Park Bracknell, Tue 5 Jun
Comedian Shappi Khorsandi will be known for her appearance in I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here last year, but her real home is the stage rather than the jungle and she brings the excellent ‘Mistress and Misfit’ tour to Bracknell’s South Hill Park Arts Centre. Here Shappi raises a glass to Emma Hamilton, a woman who occasionally tripped naked and danced on table to get ahead in life. But who hasn’t
How The Queen Entertains At Windsor Castle, Cliveden House Hotel, Thu 14 Jun
Ever wondered what happens at the Queen’s parties? Coronation chicken vol au vents and charades perhaps? Well we’re about to find out. Oliver Everett (he worked for Charles and Diana, so knows stuff) is lifting the lid on the royal knees ups at Windsor Castle. Get the goss, learn some stuff and then tuck into to an elegant Cliveden afternoon tea. Tickets £55.
Gigaclear Race Evening & Gin Festival, Newbury Racecourse, Tue 26 Jun
The beauty of lighter evenings (sunshine or not) is that the opportunities to put on a nice shoe and totter out for the night are seemingly endless – and Newbury Racecourse does not disappoint with gin and gee gees. It’s hosting its first ever Gin Festival with 30 different varieties to sample, live musicians great racing. Tuesday is the new Friday, so get your gang together and make yours a double.
The Big Comedy Bash, Hexagon Reading, Mon 4 Jun
A comedy festival celebrating the stars of screen comedy, Slapstick delivers Griff Rhys Jones, Germany’s comedy ambassador Henning Wehn and Never Mind The Buzzcocks’ team captain Phill Jupitus, BGT star Jess Robinson and Dr Phil Hammond – a comedian who still finds time to work for the NHS, write a Private Eye column and appear on TV and radio – to The Hexagon. I think we could all do with a chuckle.
Comedy In the Brewery, Windsor & Eton Brewery, Sat 9 Jun
Craft beer and comedy, it’s a match made in a brewery. Nothing like a few lagers (don’t panic, they’re serving wine too) to get the giggles at this very cool comedy club, live from the factory floor at Eton and Windsor Brewery. Crack on and organise the proverbial p*** up.
DoppelDånger, South Street Arts Reading, Tue 19 Jun
I’ve always wondered if my double is out there ? God help us all if she is. So imagine meeting your real life doppelgänger. It happened to Eugénie and Shamira and they made a show about it. DoppelDänger is an exploration of dangerous doubling that reclaims what it means to be two women on stage. You’ll be seeing double with or before you’ve finished your bottle Sauvignon. But make mine a large one anyway.
Josh Eggleton, the Pony & Trap Guest Chef Dinner, Hind’s Head Bray, Wed 6 Jun
Foodies will think they have died and gone to gastronomic heaven – the Pony & Trap’s legendary chef Josh Eggleton is making a guest appearance at the Hind’s Head Bray. The South West saucepot is a fave on the BBC’s Great British Menu, firmly placing himself in the public eye is one the country’s finest chefs (he’s held a Michelin Star since 2011). Enjoy a snack and six courses £85 pp.
Royal Ascot 2018, Ascot Racecourse, Tues 19 – Sat 23 June
So many fashion rules to remember, but one of the great highlights of the social calendar is here. Royal Ascot has come around again, so grab your hat, keep the hemlines long, the fake tan light and enjoy a day of *cough* sunshine, celeb spotting and apparently there are few horses running too. It’s the perfect place to people watch, just don’t overdo the bubbles for fear of making it on the Mail’s sidebar of shame.
Offbeat Festival, Oxford, Fri 22 June – Sun 30 Jun
Loving the look of this. Offbeat – a showcase of 61 different pieces of brand new theatrical work, from comedy, drama, dance, spoken word. 25 per cent of the shows are from Oxfordshire based artists and it’s a collaboration between Oxford Playhouse and The Old Fire Station so it’s extremely professional. Best of all , the tickets are a tenner or less, so you can see the likes of BGT smash hit Lost Voice Guy, David Baddiel and Bridget Christie without breaking the bank. Look out for Trump the Musical (pictured, 28 June)..
War of the Roses Live, Warwick Castle, Sat 9 – Sat 30 June
Pledge your allegiance in an epic battle for the English Throne! Yup, it’s time for the reenactment brigade, with stunt riders, jousting and special effects. There’s also a castle that’s quite interesting, apparently. Head to Warwick Castle, grab your kids, borrow one or two from a friend and get yourself for War of the Roses Live. Eye rolling emoji…only in Britain
The Boodles, Stoke Park, Tues 27 June – Sat 1 July
A brilliant, local, fun and cost-effective alternative to Wimbledon held at the gorgeous five star hotel and country club of Stoke Park. It’s luxury all the way here, with Perrier-Jouët Champagne on ice and a gourmet lunch. There’s also a Boodles gallery of fine jewellery to gawp at – the Muddy girls tried half of it on last year while nervous assistants watched on. I should also mention that it’s a brilliant way to see top tennis players in a stadium of just 2000, so it’s like being in the first five rows at Centre Court.
The Little Welly Goes Wild, Henley, Sat 24 – Sun 25 June
Persil at the ready? Then I’ll begin. Bigger, better and muddier than ever, the UK’s biggest children’s obstacle course returns for the fourth year to the Culden Faw Estate in Henley. We’re talking 30 obstacles over a 3km course for kids 4+ (and they’re parents – sorry about that!) braving The Big Slide, Tyre Mangle, mud and water pits, Spider’s Web and bouncing round the foam pit. Away from the race’s there’s Laser Tag, Parkour demonstrations & workshops, pony rides, den building and bungee trampolining. Seriously good fun.
Giffords Circus: My Beautiful Circus, touring now until 30 Sept
This year the inimitable Giffords Circus is celebrating the birth of circus which happened near Westminster Bridge in London in 1768. It’s all brilliantly bonkers putting on a candle-lit international gymnastic show with dancing horses, a live band and everyone’s favourite clown Tweedy. It’s in Oxfordshire throughout June, it then heads off to Chiswick House before setting up the big top in Windsor Great Park in July.
Windsor Championship Dog Show, Windsor, 28 Jun – 1 Jul
Muddy’s very own Best In Show – Benson the Viszla resplendent in his Chanel jacket (the things he’ll do for fashion). Sadly he won’t be making an appearance at the Windsor Dog Championships (I know, shame), but lots of pimped up poochs will be padding around the show ring, holding their heads and tails high in the hope of being crowned Best in Show. A fun day out if you are barking mad about dogs.
Electric Vehicle Discovery Day, Market Place Reading, Sat 16 Jun
Electric cars are the future… apparently. Given my inability to find a charger for my phone let alone achieve the golden 100% juice, I’m not sure how it would work for me. But we’re about to find out. The Octopus Electric Vehicles team is coming to Reading with some of the latest electric car models and demo charging stations for drivers looking to ditch the gas guzzler. The future’s silent and needs a docking station. Wish us luck.
Nocturne Live, Blenheim Palace, Oxford, Thurs 14 – Sun 17 June
Noel Gallagher at Blenheim Palace? What would Liam say? This well-established refined live music night has a line up including Noel in his High Flying Birds incarnation, plus Nile Rodgers and Chic and Elvis Costello (headlining on different nights).With the stunning backdrop of the Great Court, one thing is certain – the mosh pit will be very civilised.