What’s on: The Weekend
Fri 27 – Mon 29 May 2017
Monochrome Exhibition, 3 Forbury Place Reading, Sat 27 May
Everything and everyone looks better in black and white. Simple, dramatic and classic, it hides a multitude of sins and is less distracting (particularly if you’re wearing something eclectic because everything’s in the wash). Joking aside, Monochrome – an exhibition curated by The Photographic Angle – looks beyond colour to reveal mood and raw beauty in black and white photographs. If you love photography or want some Insta inspo, take a peek at this free exhibition.
Ring Out, Corn Exchange Newbury, Mon 29 May
Ring Out is a sound installation that will take over Market Place in Newbury on Bank Holiday Monday. A series of giant towers hold suspended bell-like speaker cones, as they gradually swing higher and higher until each arm soars up over the heads of the audience. It’s the work of multi-award-winning composer and artist Ray lee, whose combination of sound and kinetic sculpture has blown the minds of audiences worldwide.
Reading Children’s Festival 2017, various Reading locations until Sun 4 June
What would we do without the brilliant Children’s Festival in Reading? Week two and I’m loving the Eton Mess Classes at the Bel and the Dragon (Mon 29 –Wed 31 May). You need to book, so give them a call on 0118 951 5790, and it’s fancy FREEEE! But with the weather being so fine, it would be rude not to potter about on the river courtesy of Thames River Cruises. Pootle about on the river (Sat 27 May – Sun 4 June) on selected trips and kids go FREE! Click here for the full programme of events and have a blast.
The Big Inflatable Takeover, Wellington Country Park, Sat 27 – Mon 29 May
It’s A Knockout, Total Wipeout – the use of giant inflatables, water and general clowning around is the making of TV gold (*ahem, just don’t mention Stuart Hall… EEK just did). Take your kids (or borrow someone else) and head straight for Wellington Country Park’s Big Inflatable Takeover. Get into teams, make it competitive and see who comes out with their dignity in tact and incident free. Too much? OK, alternatively, grab a cuppa, enjoy the rays and let the kids go wild. Spoil sports.
We’re Going On A Bear Hunt, Corn Exchange Newbury, Wed 24 – Sun 28 May
I reckon I’ve read Michael Rosen’s We’re Going On A Bear Hunt a gazillion times. And I challenge you to recite it word perfect after three large glasses of wine. Go on, you know you can! The kids are in for a treat now they you can see it live, direct from its smash hit run in the West End, on stage at the Corn Exchange Newbury. Join the intrepid family and their musical dog (bit of artistic license there) on their quest to find a bear. Expect a lot of noise, catchy songs and loads of audience interaction. There is a bar if you need a medicinal gin during afterwards. Tickets £12.
RISC Roof Garden, Reading RG8, Sat 27 May – Sat 1 July
We’re used to seeing gardens worthy of Chelsea Flower Show while we’re poking around in the country’s private outdoor spaces, but this weekend you can see something a bit more urban, sustainable and, well, useful. The Reading International Solidarity Centre created its rooftop edible forest garden in 2002. You’ll discover 185 species of plants form all over the world, in this low maintenance, eco paradise. It’s a mini Eden Project right on the doorstep.
Hungerford Antiques and Flea Market, Hungerford Town Hall, Sun 28 May
Let’s get ready to rummage! Antiques, collectables, vintage, clothing – it’s all here in the village of Hungerford which boasts more antiques shops than Kirsty Allsopp has shoes. Bundle into the Town Hall and you’ll find 30 to 40 dealers touting their wares. Nothing you fancy there? Pop over the road and have a mooch around Hungerford Arcade, or make a pitstop at Eliane for a coffee or a light lunch. The market is free and is open from 10am-4pm
Hungerford Town Hall, High Street, Hungerford RG17 0NF
Berkshire Country Fair, Englefield Estate, Sun 28 May
The media circus has moved on, Pippa and James are honeymooning in paradise and Carole will be deep cleaning her house after 300 guests partied until 4am. But back at Englefield Estate they’ll be preparing for the annual Country Fayre – a fun, family day out with best show animals, crafty bits and bobs, local produce and a gaggle of young farmers looking for a wife. Wear white, poke around in the church, see the flowers and trundle up the aisle.
Yattendon & Frilsham Village Fete, Yattendon village square, Monday 29 May
Ahhhh a good old-fashioned country fete. This Vicar of Dibley style extravaganza will take over Yattendon on the Bank Holiday Monday with a dog show, steel band, vintage cars, Maypole dancing provided by the local primary school, Morris dancers, stalls and loads of great food and drink from local producers. To add a slightly eccentric local twist you can also try your hand at Christmas Tree throwing. It’s a thing, don’t question it. I’ll be manning the Toy Stall at 1pm some pop along and say hi.
If you fancy spending most of your weekend stuffing your face, having your face painted and enjoying a dog show or three, Mapledurham Spring Fete is on Saturday May 27, 10-3pm. With the weather forecast looking hot, tootle along for a hog roast roll and cold beer.