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What’s on this weekend


National BBQ Week, Crown at Bray, until Sat 3 Jun

barbecue lamb on wooden board

Setting grills alight across the nation once again, National BBQ Week is back for the 22nd year running! If a burnt raw sausage is not your bag, The Crown at Bray will for firing up the barbies in the garden to show us how it should be done. From our Slow Cooked BBQ Ribs & Yuzu Coleslaw to Caramelised Pineapple & Popcorn Sundae, it beats my charred remains any day of the week.


Bentley Caldwell, Norden Farm, Maidenhead, Fri 1 Jun

Nashville singer songwriter Bentley Caldwell wearing denim jacket and hat with guitar

I am slightly obsessed with the TV series Nashville – a hotbed of musical talent, sex, drugs, blues soul and rock ‘n’ roll.  So when a real life Nashville star – tipped to rule in 2018 – makes the trip to Berkshire, I’m all in. Bentley’s known for his crisp, soulful music and with a sincere tone much like John Legend. Worth a listen.


Alice in Wonderland, South Hill Park Bracknell, Fri 1 – Sun 3 Jun

Illustration of alice in Wonderland read ver blonde hair blue dress and drink me potion

Make mine a double gin and I’ll happily disappear down a rabbit hole into the trippy world of Alice in Wonderland. Your kids will love it for entirely different reasons. South Hill Park always put on a damn fine school holiday musical with spectacular starting. They’re a talented bunch. Book in or the Red Queen will be “frumious”.


Dinosaur World Live, Hexagon Reading, Sat 2 – Sun 3 Jun

giant dinosaur puppet of a t rex stage show Dinosaur World Live

Why can pre-schoolers reel off the names of flesh eating giants like T rex, Triceratops, Styracasaurus and Baryonyx but can’t say the word gloves? It’s a mystery, but there is no doubt they’ll LOVE the jaw dropping puppetry of these pre-historic superstars as they thud, stomp and roaaaaar onto the Reading stage.


Open Air Sculpture Exhibition, Shaw House Newbury, Sun 3 Jun

Sculpture of cat jumping down from a tree branch Shaw House Newbury

I’ve always fancied a sculpture in my garden. Ideas of grandeur I think. The West Berkshire Open Studios has been running all month and this is your last chance to enjoy the sculpture trail in The Orangery at Shaw House – including this pouncing pussy cat. Have a nose and be inspired to fill your patch of lawn with some al fresco art.

Lynn Chadwick, Cliveden National Trust Taplow, Wed 1 May – Oct 2018

Lynn Chadwick metal work sculptures of human form at Cliveden House

If you loved the Benar Venet sculptures at Cliveden last year, then the new installation of English sculpture and artist Lynn Chadwick’s awesome abstract metal works inspired by the human form and natural world. His big, bold sculptural pieces are doted around the grounds. Take a stroll, admire and then pop into Cliveden House for afternoon tea or lunch at the Astor Grill.


Funny Cow (15), Norden Farm Maidenhead. Fri 1 – Sun 3 Jun

Funny Cow British movie back of comedian in red sequin dress with mic and cigarette

Fancy a night at the flicks, but don’t want to see a Hollywood blockbuster. Funny Cow could be just the ticket. Set against the backdrop of working men’s clubs and the stand-up comedy circuit in the 1970s and 80s. From her troubled childhood to her turbulent adult relationships, a female comedienne uses the raw material of her life experiences to bring her unique style of comedy to the stage. Starring Maxine Peake.


Festival of Food & Music, South Hill Park Bracknell, Sat 2 – Sun 3 Jun

families and people in the grounds and formal garden of South Hill Park Bracknell Festival of food and music

Festival season is about to swing into action. Any excuse to squeeze into your Daisy Dukes and stagger around with a pear cider. South Hill Park is hosting a family-friendly Food and Music Festival this weekend and –it’s totally freee to enter. So there’s no excuse not to go and sample the international street food, kids entertainment and chilled atmosphere in the beautiful grounds of South Hill Park. Sunshine’s been ordered, but I’d slap on the fake tan and your waterproofs just in case.


Concertini, Norden Farm Maidenhead, Fri 1 Jun

kids playing piano at children's musical concert Concertini Norden Farm Maidenhead

You know your kids arena for a treat when a Muddy Award-winning biz is putting on a show. Concertini puts on the most amazing musical concerts with your little people in mind. They can dance, sing and mov around, so you don’ have to pin them down for 45 painful minutes. Special guest Rob Castell – a local musician and CBBC songwriting superstar – will be performing to his toughest crowd.


Friday Night Pop Up Bar, Douai Pavillion Woolhampton, Fri 2 Jun

Pink cocktail in Martini glass wth strawberry and mint garnish

Fancy sitting in the sunshine with stunning views across the Berkshire countryside, while your kids safely run feral outside playing games? Sign me up, baby. I’m thinking chilled rosés and gin and tonics and bit of food. This utopia is a reality. Throughout the summer, the lovely team at Birch Associates Events will be running a pop up bar at Douai Pavillion in Woolhampton every Friday night. If you’re in the area, pop in and pop that cork.


Fizzlebert Stump: The Boy Who Ran Away From the Circus (and joined the library), South Street Arts Reading, Fri 1 Jun

Fizzlebert Stump runs away from the circus puppet wearing top hat and ring masters coat

Roll up, roll up! We’re running away to the circus for a 50 minute high flying, tightrope-walking, slightly hypnotizing adventure. Fizzlebert Stump: The Boy Who Ran Away From The Circus is a funny adaptation of AF Harrold’s much- loved book for children aged 6-10 featuring puppetry, magic and a lion with false teeth!


Viewpoint Photographic Exhibition, Thames Valley Park Reading, Fri 2 – Sat 3 Jun

black and white image of a girl gumption in a striped bikini by Liliana Donovan
Gawd, I wish I could take a good pic. I guess that’s the difference between an iPhone snap and an expensive camera used by someone who knows what they are doing. Anyhoo, see how the pros do it at the Photographic Angle’s FREE exhibition called Viewpoint. The exhibition explores how composition can play with the mood and feel of an image , including this shot by Liliana Danovaro called Jumping.

Midsummer Night’s Dream, Watermill Theatre Bagnor, until Sat 16 Jun

Midsummer Night's Dream Watermill Theatre Newbury Berkshire

The Bard is back! Following on from the huge success of Twelfth Night and Romeo + Juliet, it’s the turn of A Midsummer Night’s Dream to be performed by the Watermill ensemble. The staging’s always clever, fusing actor musicianship with one of Shakespeare’s greatest comedies.

The Design Museum, London, from Thurs 10 May to Sun 7 Oct

Fascinating exhibition of the sculptor turned couturier, Azzedine Alaïa, who found fans in Michelle Obama, Rhianna and Grace Jones, with his flair for couture and refusal to stick to fashion week deadlines.


Joan Jonas, Turbine Hall, Tate Modern, Wed 31 May

With all the talk of the pollution of our oceans , this timely four day programme sees the artist Joan Jonas preside over live drawing, readings and film projections exploring the poetic and ecological aspects of ocean life. If you don’t understand what the hell’s going, just walk purposefully around the Turbine Hall looking intelligent. It works for me every time.



Chalke Valley History Festival, Church Farm Nr Salisbury, Wilts, 25 June – 1 July

child dressed as roman soldier charging with wooden sword and shield at Chalke Valley History Festival Wiltshire

If you and your kids love Horrible Histories, dressing up and a game of spot the celeb then book up for the Chalke Valley History Festival nr Salisbury in wiltshire. It is absolutely HUUUUUUGE! This 7 day summer jaunt is dedicated entirely to history in the UK, it’s set across 70 acres with enactments, sword school, a trench experience and more more more. It’s an awesome day out – A* in History almost guaranteed.


Open Air Cinema, Douai Pavillion Woolhampton, Sat 22 July

La La Land Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone dancing

Ah Ryan Gosling, you gorgeous specimen of man. Sorry, he stars in La La Land with Emma Stone. Yes it’s a musical of the old school variety, yes it is romantic and if you haven’t seen this Oscar winning hit, now’s your chance. Go, just for Ryan. He’s, I mean it’s, magic. Birch Associates Events are hosting at the idyllic Douai Pavilion in Woolhampton – £15 ticket priceincludes a deckchair. There’s a full bar, hog roast, burgers, hot dogs, candy floss, popcorn, ice creams. Doors open at 5pm for a 7pm viewing. Fab night out with family and friends.


The Little Welly Adventure Course, Culden Faw Estate Henley, 9-10 June

Little Welly adventure course pool of foam

Give it some welly and book now for this summer’s much-loved Little Welly kids’ obstacle course (even the most iPad-obsessed nippers can’t resist). It’s 9 and 10 June just over the border in in Henley. Go, go, go! Snap up your tickets.

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