The Muddy Guide: What’s On Thurs 7 July – Weds 13 July
Branagh Theatre Live: Romeo and Juliet, various venues, from Mon 11 July
I ask you – how hot are Lily James and Richard Madden?! There are not enough superlatives to describe their chemistry as modern star-crossed lovers in perennial favourite Romeo and Juliet at the Garrick Theatre. Lucky for us, Branagh Theatre Live is broadcasting the production live to cinemas, and there are several screenings across Berkshire, including Bracknell, Wokingham and Newbury over the summer. With the likes of Derek Jacobi as Mercutio and Meera Syal as Nurse, seriously do whatever you need to do to clear the diary and see this asap! If you’re East Berkshire way then nip over the border to The Regal in Henley where it’s showing on Monday 11 July at 1pm. To crank up the cool factor, the production will be broadcast in super sexy black and white.
British Food Festival, Windsor Race Course, Sat 9 – Sun 10 July
Oh how I love a food festival! Any excuse to gorge on totally scrummy local produce, and this one has a fabulous line-up of all British food and drink from around the country. There’s cheeses and wine, fruit and veg, ice creams, craft beers, chocolates, cider, freshly baked bread and jam, pickles, biscuits, sweets and crisps, speciality gins and vodka… farewell Muddy waistline and any hope of getting into that itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow polka dot bikini. The cookery theatre will have demos from local chefs and foodies including Andre Garrett from Cliveden; Dominic Chapman from The Beehive; David Wilby from The Windsor Grill; and Katie Caldesi from Caldesi in Campagna. Pastry wizard Will Torrent (icing sugar running through his veins) is also doing a demo and book signing. There’s also wine tasting and an afternoon tea garden with live jazz in the afternoon. Total. Foodie. Bliss. Tickets: Adults £8; Children £4. Sat 10am to 6pm; Sunday 10am to 5pm.
Readipop Festival, Christchurch Meadows, Caversham, Fri 8 – Sun 10 July
Reading’s family friendly music and arts festival showcases both local talent and internationally loved bands such as The Blockheads, Dreadzone, The Shohawk Duo, and Radio 1 DJ Huw Stephens. Over 100 bands are taking part this year with music ranging from dnb to reggae to folk and more. There’s a world music parade featuring bhangra and samba and workshops for you to get involved. Comedy, cabaret, performance art and lots of free activities for kids including a funfair and arts and crafts. There’s all kinds of street food and bars stocked by Reading’s Purple Turtle (where I spent many a long night/early morning as a student but we’ll brush over that…). Weekend tickets: £25; Individual tickets: Fri £10; Sat £15; Sun £10.
Wickham House, NGS Open Gardens, Newbury, Tues 12 July, 11am to 4pm
If you’re willing to live with feelings of total inadequacy over your depressingly dead flower beds and sun-scorched lawn for a few weeks (no, just mine?) then this one’s for you. In a beautiful country house setting, this totally wow ½ acre walled garden was created from scratch in 2008. Designed by Robin Templar-Williams, the different garden ‘rooms’ have distinct themes and colour schemes. From an arched clematis and rose walkway to wide variety of trees, planting, pots brimming with colour and places to sit and enjoy the views AND a separate cutting and vegetable garden, this really will have you reaching for your Miracle Gro. Admission £5, Children free. Home-made teas & home cooked gammon rolls.
Wickham House, Newbury, Berkshire RG20 8HD. www.wickhamhouse.com
Mustang, Norden Farm, Weds 13 July
A winner at Cannes, and Oscar-nominated for Best Foreign Language Film, Mustang has been described as an accomplished study of what it means to be young and female in Turkey. In a rural village in the north of Turkey, five teenage sisters start to test out their sexuality with suffocating consequences in the conservative community. The family home slowly turns into a prison and marriages are arranged. But the five sisters fight back. There’s a 10.30am parent and baby screening and one at 8pm if you are child-freeeee!
Summer Series, Somerset House, 7 – 17 July
If you’re heading into London — or want an excuse to — this sounds perfect. The Summer Series at Somerset House has an impressive line-up of headline acts as well as some names you’ll want to watch in the future. And a trip to Somerset House is always worth it.
Georgia O’Keeffe Exhibition, Tate Modern, 6 Jul – 30 Oct
This week, a big new exhibition at Tate Modern brings together more than 100 paintings by Georgia O’Keeffe — including Jimson Weed/White Flower No. 1 1932, the most expensive painting by a female artist ever sold at auction. And she gets the prize for best comeback, too: ‘Men put me down as the best woman painter… I think I’m one of the best painters.’ I’m definitely heading into town for this one. Definitely.