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This weekend

FRI 13 – SUN 15 SEP


EVENTS: Uncorked, The Vineyard Stockcross, Sun 15 Sep

The Vineyard Hotel Newbury Berkshire Wine Vault

Kids are back to school, routine is restored and the wine consumption is stable… it’s something  worth celebrating. Uncorked is a new festival, hosted by The Vineyard Hotel Stockcross, to mark the end of summer. A bit like the Ibizan closing party but for  grown ups – knock back fine wines, sensational spirits, live music and feast on a Californian BBQ. See you there!


THEATRE:The Exorcist, Theatre Royal Windsor, now – Sat 14 Sep

The Exorcist theatre play girl in bed writting oon flock wallpaper walls with man

The first horror film to be nominated for an Oscar for Best Picture (one of 10 noms) and has racked up $441million at the box office to date. The Exorcist a cultural phenomenon that is about to come to life on stage and coming to Windsor after its West End run finished last year. Inspired by true events, this devilishly thrilling tale, directed by Sean Mathias (Waiting for Godot), featuring the voice of Ian McKellen as the Demon. Would you like to play a game Regan?


DRINK: Beer Tasting Evening, Donnington Valley Hotel Newbury, Fri 13 Sep

WestBerkshire Brewery x Donnington Valley Hotel newbury beer Tasting BOttles of West Berkshire Brewery craft beers on wooden shelves

Indulge in a beer tasting with a difference. West Berkshire Brewery and Donnington Valley head chef, Darren Booker-Wilson will be tickling your tastebuds with craft bees r(or gin) paired with food. Goggles on, belt loosened and book up.


HERITAGE: Heritage Days Out, various locations, Fri 13 – Sun 22 Sep

Inside Reading Prison cells

Now in its 25th year, Heritage Days Out is a cultural fest of events, tours and open days of the best of the National Trust’s gems across the country, including Reading Gaol where Killing Eve was  filmed and  Oscar Wilde was imprisoned. A special art exhibition is being held here for the event. Find a full list of Heritage Open Days in Berkshire here.


EXHIBITION: Anthony Caro, Cliveden House, Berks, now – 10 Nov

If you’re heading over Cliveden, this sculpture trail at National Trust site Cliveden is well worth a peek. Around the Grade I listed grounds you’ll find 16 of the iconic ’60s sculptural artist’s famous steel structures.


DRINKIES: Wine Club, Norden Farm Maidenhead, Fri 13 Sep

If you’ve been enjoying a world tour of wines this summer, then perhaps it’s time to find out a bit more about your liquid diet rather than simply knocking back with gay abandon (OK, so that bit’s non negotiable), but The Wine Women are popping corks and unscrewing tops on wines that you love – so that you can know more about it than what colour it is.


FAMILY FUN: Queen Victoria’s Circus, Windsor Castle, Sat 14 Sep

puppet of an elephant and woman in hat and uniform Queen Victoria's circus Windsor Castle

Roll up, roll up, for a right royal circus. In the year that marks the 200th anniversary of Queen Victoria’s birth, disappear down a rabbit hole to a time of bonnets and top hats at a fun-filled family festival. Enjoy falconry and horse-riding displays, storytelling from the team at the Shakespeare Globe, musical performances, and the chance to play dress up, as well a Victorian circus troupe (courtesy of the Lost In Translation Circus), inspired by the travelling menagerie that visited Windsor Castle in 1847.


DRINKIES: Gin & Rum Festival, Great Hall Reading, Fri 13 – Sat 14 Sep

Has gin had its day? (Not judging by Muddy consumption) Is rum the next big thing? Hedge  your bets and head for the UK’s largest Gin and Rum Festival, making its Reading debut this month. With over 60 gins and 60 rums to sample in an amazing venue, plus DJ, boozy masterclasses and a goodie bag, a taxi is essential and a hangover almost certainly guaranteed. Hic.


DANCE: Blues & Burlesques, South Hill Park Bracknell, Sat 14 Sep

Lady Beau Peep Blues and Burlesque South Hill Park Bracknell

Following sell-out shows in in Edinburgh, Blues & Burlesque is back at South Hill Park this weekeend with all the feistiness and fun you’d expect. Call the fire brigade, this is going to hot – no, seriously, those hands are a fire hazard. Lady Beau Peep will taking class at the very saucy School For Scanda,. Full of bare bottoms and flirty dancing, detention could get interesting.


ARTS: Cookham and Maidenhead Arts Trail, various locations, Sat 14 – Sun 15 Sep

Black and white photogrpah Will I Fly Again by Robert

Always wondered what artist’s do all day? Now’s your chance to find out. Join the Cookham and Maidenhead Arts Trail and have a nose around the studios of the talented creatives working in the area and even buy, it you like. I’m loving the work of photographer Robert Barker, textiles of Helen Jenkins and the amazing figurative artist, Harriet Brittain. While you’re in the hood, have a mooch around Cookham –the Stanley Spencer Gallery, check out The Little Bookshop, Sweet Marie’s and The Old Butcher’s Wine Shop, before grabbing a bite at the Bel & The Dragon.


COMEDY: Russell Howard & Friends, Theatre Royal Windsor, Sun 15 Sep

Fresh from Edinburgh Fringe, Russell Howard – a man never too far from a TV camera – is returning to the Theatre Royal Windsor to test out new material in this work-in-progress show. Some jokes will last to his tour or TV shows, some will survive just one night. Regardless, it’ll be fun. Tickets selling fast.


CULTURE: Windsor Festival, various locations, Sun 15 – Sun 29 Sep

Great British Bake Off Prue Leith cup cake checked table cloth

Let them eat cake – GBBO judge Prue Leith

For its 50th anniversary, Windsor Festival is pulling out all the stops. The doyenne of the Great British Bake Off (and romance novelist) Prue Leith will be hosting a literary tea; the brilliant Lucy Worsley will be talking about Queen Victoria, alongside AN Wilson, Simon Heffer, Anna Pasternak and Robert Hardman. Not strictly a literary festival, there’s also a programme of music, exhibitions and tours.


THEATRE: Kiss Me Kate, The Watermill Newbury, now – Sat 21 Sep

Programme Name: The Greatest Dancer – TX: 05/01/2019 – Episode: The Greatest Dancer – Generics (No. n/a) – Picture Shows: Oti Mabuse – (C) Syco/Thames/David Ellis – Photographer: David Ellis

From the BBC ballroom to the Watermill rehearsal studio, the talented Oti Mabuse is shaking her sequinned dance skills as choreographer of The Watermill’s latest production, Kiss Me Kate. Expect this Cole Porter classic to have all the razzle dazzle when its stars Olivier award-winner Rebecca Trehearn and David Ricardo take to stage this week.


TOUR: Conquer the Tower, Windsor Castle, until 30 Sep

Windsor Castle blue skies and stunning gardens Royal Collection Picture Peter Packer

Windsor Castle Royal Collection Trust © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2018. Photographer Peter Packer

To the tower! On this occasion you’ll keep your head. The iconic Round Tower dominates the Windsor skyline, and now you can take the 200 steps (wheeze… one too many ice creams this summer) to check out the epic view from the top. While the Queen’s holidaying in Balmoral,  poke around her gaff and see St George’s Chapel, Long Walk, Windsor Great Park and the London skyline.


EXHIBITION: En Vogue, Basildon Park Lower Basildon, now – Mon 18 Nov

Christian Dior label Basildon Park En Vogue exhibition

Strike a pose there’s nothing to it and saunter up to Basildon Park for a fabulous fashion exhibition. Lady Iliffe graced the glossy pages of Vogue in 1966, with the mansion as the backdrop to Henry Clarke’s stylish portraits. Bringing that shoot to life, you can rifle through her wardrobe and drool over the Dior, Valentino and Chanel. If you missed out on the V&A’s Dior exhibition, this will scratch that fashion itch.


EXHIBITION: Counterpoint, Stanley Spencer Gallery Cookham, now – Fri 28 Nov

Stanley Spencer – At the Chest of Drawers, 1936. Oil on canvas, 657 x 810 mm © Estate Stanley Spencer. Bridgeman Images, London. Courtesy of the Stanley Spencer Gallery

Stanley Spencer – At the Chest of Drawers, 1936. Oil on canvas, 657 x 810 mm © Estate Stanley Spencer. Bridgeman Images, London. Courtesy of the Stanley Spencer Gallery

A celebration of British creativity and originality, Counterpoint is a collection of works by legendary local artist Stanley Spencer and his contemporaries. Amongst those represented are: Barnett Freedman, C.R.W. Nevinson, Edward Burra, Mark Gertler, William Roberts, Jacob Epstein and Henri Gaudier-Brzeska.




EXHIBITION: Maurizio Cattelan, Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, now – Sat 27 Oct

Italian conceptual artist Maurizio Cattelan is taking residence at Blenheim Palace, Woodstock. You may want to book a three-minute slot to see his piece ‘America’ – an 18-carat gold toilet, which will be hidden inside the palace. Over 100,000 people queued at New York’s Guggenheim to see it in 2016 (12 Sept – 27 Oct). Just don’t, erm, get caught short.


NEW EXHIBITION: William Blake, Tate Britain, London, 11 Sept – 2 Feb 2020 

Poet, painter and printmaker William Blake has created some of the most iconic images in British art. This new exhibition, the largest of Blake’s work for almost 20 years, will feature over 300 original works, as well as an immersive recreation of the small domestic room in which Blake showed his art in 1809. Other pieces will be digitally recreated on an enormous scale.


POP-UP: The Modist, Bicester Village, Bicester, now – 24 Sept 

Dubai-based luxury online brand The Modest pops up in Bicester Village this summer with its first European boutique (I need that pink dress, like, immediately). The brand will have pieces from contemporary labels as well as from its own brand LAYEUR.


EXHIBITION: Sweet Harmony: Rave exhibition, Saatchi Gallery, West London, until 14 Sept 

Photo by Dave Swindells

Rave on! This new photo exhibition explores the new world that emerged from the acid house movement in the ’80s and ’90s and the beginnings of rave culture. Photographers Tom Hunter, Vinca Petersen and Dave Swindells will be on hand at the Saatchi Gallery to explain the stories behind their iconic shots.


FAMILY FUN: Zip Now London, Archbishops Park, Lambeth, until Sun 15 Sep

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Nope it’s a human torpedo whizzing down a 738ft wire, 100ft (9 double decker buses!) above Archbishop’s Park at 50mph. Beats the tube any day of the week. What we’ll do to avoid our faces been wedged in someone’s sweaty armpit. Get yourself down to South Bank, climb to the top the tower and wheeeeeeee. Suitable from 8+.



ART: Fresh:Art Fair, Ascot Racecourse, Thu 19 – Sun 22 Sep

Queen Elizabeth I crown fur teimmed white coat pearls with eyes closed Christ Levine Artist

This is MAJOR. Alongside mega-hits by Tracey Emin, Hockney, Banksy and Damien Hirst, this Chris Levine portrait of Her Maj will be on display at Fresh:Art Fair at Ascot Racecourse. Some of the best galleries (Muddy Award-winning ones among them) in the UK and Ireland, will bring more than 6,000 pieces, priced from £500 to £5,000 (19 – 22 Sept). Check out 12 artists to keep an eye out for here. Snag yourself a FREE ticket to the private view (free wine music and first dibs), plus you ticket is valid all weekend –  quote MUDDY at checkout.


CULTURE: Henley Literary Festival – featuring Muddy Stilettos Book Club Live, Phyllis Court, Henley, Sat 5 Oct 

It’s back, baby! We’re returning to Henley Lit Fest (28 Sept – 6 Oct) this year with lashings of wine, plenty of pizzazz and a panel of brilliant authors: actor, Celebrity Master Chef winner and Meant to Be author Lisa Faulkner, former deputy editor of ELLE and How to be a Gentlewoman author Lotte Jeffs, and Five Steps to Happy debut novelist Ella Dove. More info here. Get your tickets pronto, last year was a sell out.

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