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This weekend

FRI 18 – SUN 20 OCT


EVENTS: Qipco British Champions, Ascot Racecourse, Sat 19 Oct

Basement Jaxx stood against floral wallpaper wall

It’s the flat season finale! That’s all well and good but, let’s be honest we’re only in it for the cute hats, fashion and the endless supply of bubbles. Race you to the winner’s enclosure and we can trot around the parade ring on race day. Basement Jaxx (above) will be cranking up the choons like it’s an Ibiza closing party.


THEATRE: Ten Times Table, Theatre Royal Windsor, now – Sat 19 Oct

Ten Times Table Rehearsals Theatre Royal Windsor

The agenda is the Pendon Folk Festival, but it might as well be Brexit. Alan Ayckbourn’s classic comedy sounds eerily familiar. The Chairman is a divisive man, his wife has a bone to pick, throw in a Marxist a military dog breeder and a bunch of dusty oldies and you it sounds like your average PMQs. Ten Times Table is a tumultuous comedy by committee, not to be missed.


FAMILY FUN: Brick Or Treat, Legoland Windsor, now – Sat 2 Nov 

Lifesize Lego Halloween figures dracula orange lego brick with lashes and witches hat and frankenstein

I’ve run out of jokes about Brick or Treat – that’s how long this Legoland event has been running! Over 55 ‘spooktacular’ rides, live shows and attractions, plus firework displays on 19, 20, 25 and 26 Oct, 1 and 2 Nov. New for 2019 the Creepy Cobweb Castle, Monster Rocker’s Dance Party and Lord Vampyre’s Haunted House Monster Party Ride.


COMEDY: Al Murray – Landlord of Hope & Glory, The Hexagon Reading, Fri 18 Oct

Al Murray pub landlord comedian burgundy blazer shirt stripy tie bald head

Time… ladies and gentlemen, please. Al Murray’s pub landlord is back for a lock in to help a nation in crisis with a couple of pints of lager, a packet of crisps and an evening bants.


SHOPPING: Smart Works Sustainable Fashion Sale, Reading Church Minster, Sat 19 Oct

Fashion rail of clothes in boutique

Sharpen your elbows and bring your fashion game. A monumental sale, raising money for the brilliant Smart Works charity in Reading will be selling designer, vintage, high street and sample clothes for an absolute steal. Sizes 8-30 will be on sale and proceeds will be helping support women back into work – so all the feel good fashion vibes. Doors open 10am-3pm. Bag early bird tickets for £5 and you’ll get first dibs on all the best stuff from 9am and a goody bag.


SPORT: British Beer Run, Alexandra Gardens Windsor, Sat 19 Oct

Brown glass bottle of beer being poured into a pint glass

If you need to burn the calories before your go on a beery bender, then this one is for you. The British Beer Run (5k, 10k, 13,1miles) kicks off in Alexandra Gardens and finishes at Windsor & Eton Brewery where there’s all the beers and an after party for you to swap your trainers for drinking boots. Brings a whole new meaning to going in a beer run.


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


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.


THEATRE: Assassins, The Watermill Theatre, now – Sat 26 Oct

One of the most controversial musicals ever written, Assassins is a twisted celebration of America, “a land where any boy can grow up to kill a president” –  and anyone can BE president (*cue Trump eyeroll*). This show explores the motives of nine individuals who attempt to assassinate US presidents, exposing a sinister underside to the American Dream. Compelling, innovative and yet disturbingly funny.


KIDS: The Big Draw, Windsor Castle, Sat 19 Oct

The Big Draw Leonardo Windsor castle

Leonardo De Vinci was a man who was comfortable with an HB pencil, to mark the 500th anniversary of his death Windsor Castle is hosting a series of events to celebrate his extraordinary talent. The Queen owns more than 200 of the Renaissance master’s drawings, and while they’re on display at Buckingham Palace, you and your kids can create your own at Windsor as part in The Big Draw Festival – the world’s biggest celebration of drawing.


KIDS: Vintage Concertini with the Polka Dots, Corn Exchange Newbury, Sun 20 Oct

Concertini-Vintage women in cintage floral dresses pin rolls and cats eye sunglasses

Party like it’s 19… oh god, it’s so far back we don’t know the number. But it’s all those vintage toe-tapping choons, that’s heavy on the brass and get you up on your feet. Take your mini movers to enjoy swing songs, high energy dance routines with a cheeky retro twist!


EXHIBITION: The Wonderful World of the Ladybird Book Artists, The Base Greenham Common, now – Sun 15 Dec


Fancy a literary trip down memory lane? Immerse yourself in the nostalgic world of Ladybird Books told through original artwork, books and objects. We all had them, and bring back the same childhood fuzzies as Space Invader crisps and Willow The Wisp. Explore an unparalleled collection of books, original artwork and artefacts, dating back to the WW2, at The Base.


EXHIBITION: Anthony Caro, Cliveden House, Berks, until 10 Nov

Anthony Caro Cliveden National Trust red industrial sculpture on woodland walk

If you’re heading over the Berks border, 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.



THEATRE: Lungs, Old Vic theatre, London, 14 Oct – 9 Nov

The Crown alumni Claire Foy and Matt Smith (aka The Queen and Prince Philip, of course) are reunited in Lungs at the Old Vic (14 Oct–9 Nov), playing a couple wrestling with life’s big issues, such as whether to have children, against the backdrop of a world teetering on the edge of environmental and political disaster.



Vogue fashion and portrait photographer Tim Walker‘s enchanting, fantastical, frankly insane work is the subject of a new V&A exhibition (until 8 March). Tilda Swinton, Björk and, er, Sir David Attenborough are among his subjects and he’s also created 10 new works for the show.

Meanwhile this autumn’s big-hitter is William Blake at Tate Britain, below, (until 2 Feb 2020). The visionary painter and poet’s work will be imaginatively displayed – some of it blown up to enormous scale using digital technology, other works in an immersive room that recreates the space in which Blake first showed his art in 1809.

Elsewhere Into the Night: Cabarets & Clubs in Modern Art at the Barbican (4 Oct – 19 Jan) is probably the nearest I’ll get to clubbing this autumn. It’s such a cool concept – a history of cabarets, clubs, dancefloors and party spaces that inspired artists from the 1880s to the 1960s, including the Berlin cabaret scene in Weimar Germany and Harlem’s jazz clubs and lifesize recreations of some of the hotspots.

Then there’s a major retrospective of 88-year-old Bridget Riley‘s life’s work at the Hayward Gallery (23 Oct – 26 Jan), taking in her famous monochrome, makes-your-eyes-go-funny Op Art paintings from the 1960s among its 70 year career span.

And finally, playing “spot the Angel Of The North” as we drive up the A1 to Newcastle is a family ritual in our house (Geordie in-laws, you see), so I’ve got a soft spot for Antony Gormley’s striking sculpture. His new show at the Royal Academy (until 3 Dec) is billed as his most ambitious in a decade and involves six tonnes of steel mesh, eight km of coiled tubing and a gallery flooded with clay and sea water. Blimey!


EVENT: Fright Nights, Thorpe Park, now – Sun 3 Nov

Thorpe Park’s Fright Night boasts more terror than ever before with new horror experiences, attractions, and even more scares. It’s the perfect event to get you in the mood for Halloween, so grab your tickets… if you dare.


FOOD: London Restaurant Festival, various London locations, all month

London’s fantastic restaurant scene is in full celebration mode this month, with great value festival menus at loads of great restaurants, plus foodie events like gastronomic weekends, tasting menus, restaurant-hopping tours, tasting menus with famous chefs, talks, films and art.



EVENT: Muddy + Bicester Village shopping & styling spectacular!, Bicester Village, 14 Nov

We hate to use the C word just yet but here at Muddy this is the year when we’re finally getting organised with our Christmas shopping and planning. No more dashing around shops on 23 Dec, no sirree! With this in mind, we’ve concocted an amazing Christmas shopping and styling event with Bicester Village for Muddy readers. A ticket will include a talk from Muddy founder Hero Brown on how to buy the perfect gifts, a guide to tablescaping and bringing festive chic to your home by renowned interior designer/florist Willow Crossley (google her gorgeous Cotswolds pubs), expert styling advice from Muddy’s Kerry Potter, brunch/ afternoon tea  provided by Soho House, 10 percent discount for all participating Bicester Village stores throughout the day and a luxury goodie bag. Because self-gifting is a valid part of Christmas, right?!  Tickets here


THEATRE: Great Expectations, South Hill Park Bracknell, Wed 23-28 Oct

Great Expectations South Hill Park Bracknell Miss Haversham in wedding gown by fire in panelled room

A inventive and atmospheric adaptation of Great Expectations takes to the stage at South Hill Park. This much-loved Dickens novel delves into the childhood hopes and fears of young Pip, as he begins his adventures in the windswept marshes of Kent, to the haunting cobwebbed lair of Miss Havisham.


ART: The Contemporary Art Fair, Windsor Racecourse, 8-9 Nov

Contemporary Art Fair Spirit of Moutnains red paper maiche sculpture of red person head in hands

How cool is this? It makes a bold statement but perhaps not one for the kids’ bedrooms. Sculptor Steve Yeates’ fabulous figurative works will be on display at The Contemporary Art Fair, alongside more than 160 artists, printmakers, photographers, ceramicists and independent galleries from all over the UK and Europe. Have a mooch, chat to artists and, if you find something you love, prices start at just 40 quid.

Find more ideas here

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