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This week

Mon 19 - Sun 25 August 2019

FOOD & DRINK: Peterborough and Thrapston Beer Festivals, 20 – 24 August and 23 Aug 

Beer your tipple of choice? If so, you’ll say cheers to the news that there are not one, but two beer festivals in the county this month. First up is, Peterborough Beer Festival (wow, the Peterborough folk really do love a good knees-up!) from 20 -24 Aug at The Embankment. Next up, is  Thrapston Beer and Cider Festival at Thrapston Sports Club on 23 Aug – so you can stumble your way from one to the other!


FOOD & DRINK: Bury St Edmunds Food and Drink Festival, 25 -26 August

Time to wash all that booze down with some good food and… oh a bit more drink at the Bury St Edmunds Food and Drink Festival on 25 and 26 Aug. The whole town because a foodie fantasy land with celebrity chef talks, cooking demos, and more food and drink stalls than even the greatest gourmand could work their way around. Mini muddies won’t be bored either, as there’s a mini farm, a beach, a punch and judy show and fairground rides.

ART: Artist Unknown: Art and Artefacts from the University of Cambridge Museums and Collections, Kettle’s Yard, until 22 September 2019 

Now this is a cool concept for an art exhibition… the creative types at Kettle’s Yard have collected together all the amazing pieces of art from the University of Cambridge’s collection that are unattributed and have displayed them in the Sackler Gallery in Artist Unknown: Art and Artefacts from the University of Cambridge Museums and Collections until 22 September 2019. The pieces span centuries and come from all over the world – a stunningly decorated bark cloth from the Pacific Islands, a delicate engraving of a ship on a whale’s tooth and botanical watercolours. The good news for the artistically challenged like me… there’s no artist’s name that I need to pretend to have heard before!


MUSIC: Tilbrook Festival, The White Horse, 23 August 2019 

Tilbrook Festival on 23 Aug at The White Horse (one this year’s awards finalists!) raises funds for Huntingdon MS Society so you can eat and drink and spend your cash feeling no guilt at all. This year there’s four days of food, live music, limited edition gins and local beers to enjoy.


THEATRE: Shakespeare Festival, various Cambridge colleges, until 24 August 

Something wicked this way comes… and I mean ‘wicked’ in the used-to-mean-awesome-circa-1998 way – it’s Cambridge’s Shakespeare Festival from the 8 July – 24 August at various university college gardens throughout the city (how posh is that sentence!). There’s a Shakespeare play every night this week!

SPORT: CamcycleQuest, throughout August, Cambridge 

This is Cambridgeshire, so of course there’s a festival of cycling! Get your bike out, pump up those tyres and join   CamcycleQuest, a brand new bike-based treasure hunt around the city. You can get hold of CamcycleQuest clue booklet from the beginning of August and all answers have to be submitted by 19 September ready for the Camcycle Cargo Carnival on 21 Sept on Lammas Land. Prizes for those who crack the code include a £900 cargo bike e-conversion and cycling accessories. A fun way to get fit.


ART: Cambridge District Art Circle’s Summer Exhibition, Grantchester, 23 – 25 Aug 

There aren’t many things that could possibly make a summer stroll through Grantchester Meadows followed by lunch at one of the incredible pubs much more pleasant, except for a beautiful art exhibition to feast your eyes on en route. The Cambridge District Art Circle’s Summer Exhibition takes place from 23 – 25 Aug in Grantchester Village Hall, with tea and homemade cakes to enjoy while you admire the local talent.


DAYS OUT: Fenland Country Fair, Stow cum Quy Park, 25 August

Burghley Country Show

It’s not a British summer if you haven’t grabbed your wellies and trudged round a field full of animal pens and bought a load of random country wares (that you’re never going to need FYI). If you still need your country fair fix, head to the Fenland Country Fair on 25 Aug at Stow cum Quy Park where you can watch pigs being herded and admire vintage tractors to your heart’s content. There’s all the quintessential British madness you’d expect from falconry displays to ferret racing and fab food stalls and family attractions. Go on, you know you want to!


EVENT: Cambridge Comic Con, The Junction, 25 August

Ok, you’ll have to forgive me in advance for this one – I might as well be writing this in another language… on 24 – 25 Aug it’s the Cambridge Comic Con at the Junction. Get your geek on as famous faces from TV and film descend on the city as well as autos, photo ops, gaming, cosplay and much more.


SPORT: Soapbox Derby, Newmarket, 25 August

Tis the season of the soapbox derby and racing into our diaries this month is the Newmarket version on 25 Aug down Warren Hill with obstacles no less (let’s hope they add brakes to their designs). It’s the first derby to run in Newmarket since 1943, so anything could happen. Well worth it for a good old belly laugh!


SPORT: Polo & Picnic Day, Cambridge County Polo Club, 24 – 25 August 

If you prefer watching sport rather than doing it (*slowly raises hand*) Cambridge County Polo Club, nr Lode, is hosting several Polo & Picnic days for families this month (3 and 4 Aug and 24 and 25 Aug)- five pristine polo grounds, food trucks and, new for this year, a pitch side bar.


MUSIC: The Drifters, Cambridge Corn Exchange, 24 August

Want to hear a good bit of pub trivia? The Drifters are the longest-running singing group in pop history still performing live. They’e bringing their zimmer frames and false teeth (only joking they’ve still got the moves!) as well as their 50 plus worldwide hits to the Cambridge Corn Exchange on 24 Aug. If you love classics like Saturday Night At the Movies, Come on Over to My Place, Up On the Roof, Under the Board Walk, and Save the Last Dance for Me, book your tickets quickly before they’re all snapped up.


MUSIC: LG Live, Little Gransden, 24 August


It might be small but that doesn’t stop Little Gransden hosting it’s own music event – LG Live at Little Gransden Airfield on 24 Aug. Local bands will be performing while air acrobatics take place overhead with fireworks on the aircraft! The event is based on the successful Bourn Festivals of the last four years but this one promises to be bigger and better yet.


MUSIC: Jazz and Brass in the Parks, Jesus Green, 25 August 

The next in the series of Jazz and Brass in the Parks takes place at Jesus Green on 25 Aug. Just turn up with your picnic and a rug for a relaxing evening of jazz and blues music from Caxton Swing.


MUSIC: Water Newton’s Music Fest 2019, 25 August 

Then it’s on to Water Newton’s Music Fest 2019 on 25 Aug on the village green overlooking the beautiful River Nene. You can catch lots of local bands like the Caustic Lights, Right Said Reg, Penniless, Nick Corney & The Buzz Rats, and headliners The Houndogs. There’s also street food stalls and if you can coax a group of friends to join you, groups of 10 or more get a free bottle of wine or prosecco. Who’s with me?


OUTDOOR CINEMA: Movies on the Meadows, Grantchester, 23 – 25 August 

Emma Blunt stars as Mary Poppins in Mary Poppins Returns

Movies on the Meadows, a four-day film festival at Grantchester Meadows from 23 – 26 Aug, is organised by the Cambridge Film Festival and it’s one of the biggest and most famous outdoor film events in the UK – lucky us! Although that means you have to share the gorgeous river meadows and big screen with several thousand others, it also means the facilities are second to none with lots of local vendors selling food and drink from their vans. Each night three films are shown at the same time on separate screens, so if like me you and your other half can’t agree on a film you’ll both like, you can branch off and watch different ones from this list: Bohemian Rhapsody (yes, again – apparently you can’t have an outdoor film festival without a showing of this film!), Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Avengers: Endgame, Free Solo, Fisherman’s Friends, Mary Poppins Returns, Monterey Pop, How to Train Your Dragon – The Hidden World, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, American Graffiti, Dr Strangelove. 


CULTURE: Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Edinburgh, 2 – 26 Aug 

Edinburgh’s cultural fandango kicks off this month and is well worth the trip way (way, way) up north with the whole city buzzing with creativity, comedy and theatre, arts, crafts and street performances. Far too many shows to list in detail (over 1,200 groups perform across the city each day!) but highlights include Ian Stirling (of Love Island voiceover fame), Russell Howard, Frank Skinner, plus loads more familiar faces. Full programme here.

NEW 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.


Exhibitions still on the go this month include a collection of Manolo Blahnik‘s work curated by the iconic shoe designer himself at The Wallace Collection (until Sun 1 Sept). Also on the fashion front is the Mary Quant retrospective at the V&A (Muddy’s been, it’s really cool), featuring over 200 of the seminal ’60s designer’s pieces (until 16 Feb). Or, also at the V&A is the largest House of Dior collection ever staged in the UK, a handful of tickets for evening slots have been added so snaffle quick if you want to go as it’s super popular (until 1 Sept).

Keith Haring

Other exhibitions include the family-friendly Beasts of London, at the Museum of London, a fully immersive, digital installation exploring the role animals have played in the shaping of London with the likes of Kate Moss, Brian Blessed and Pam Ferris voicing the animals which are brought to life using video projection mapping; the major Van Gogh show at Tate Britain with over 45 of the artist’s famous works including Starry Night on the Rhône and Sunflowers; if you’re heading up north, check out the  Keith Haring exhibition at Tate Liverpool, a legend on the ’80s graffiti, pop art and underground club culture scene, the exhibit features 85 works including large-scale paintings, posters, photos and video. Very cool.


CULTURE: Muddy Stilettos Book Club Live, Phyllis Court, Henley, Sat 5 Oct 

It’s back, baby! The Muddy team are returning to Henley Lit Fest (28 Sept – 6 Oct) this year with ashings of Prosecco, plenty of pizzazz and a panel of brilliant authors: actress, 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. Get your tickets pronto, last year was a sell out!

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