Category Archives: Feature

Win Guide to December

winchester-christmas-marketIt’s beginning to feel a lot like December, and you can’t fail to notice the lights in the city or the selection boxes and crackers that are lining the supermarket aisles.  ‘Tis certainly the season, so let’s see what our fine city has to offer in the lead up to Christmas:

Start off the month with a ho, ho, ho! at the Pin Drop Comedy ‘Christmas Special’ standup comedy night, 1 December 8pm at the Wintonian Bar, Winchester Guildhall.  It is hosted by James Ross & Andrew Johnston.  Entry is free and you can enjoy your christmassy chuckles with some food and drink from the bar.

12-days-of-christmas-1000x500We’re getting excited about the Woolly Hat Fair Twelve Days of Christmas. Throughout December, in all sorts of surprising places, 12 free events will take place inspired by the cherished carol. Events will be free to attend and will take place at 5pm every Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday between 3 – 22 December. Keep an eye on the Hat Fair website for details of locations. Day 1 is A Partridge in a Pear Tree at the Winchester School of Art Gallery, with work from Live Canon, a collaboration between fashion and textiles students from Winchester School of Art and with budding poets from Winchester’s local community.

cinderellaThe Theatre Royal panto will be Cinderella this year and it’s opening 6 December until 2 January.  Oh no it isn’t, oh yes it is! There are relaxed performances, family performances and this year the Theatre Royal is offering a Touch Tour at 10am on Sunday 11 December, one hour prior to the 11am performance offering an opportunity for those who are visually impaired to experience the stage, and feel the set and costumes to enhance their enjoyment of the show. For more details and to book tickets, visit the theatre website here.

santa-runChristmas is a time for giving and there are some worthwhile charitable events taking place this month.  The annual Naomi House and Jacksplace Santa Run will be held on 3 December. Starting at the Winchester Guildhall, the 5k will run through the city from 9.30am with details available here. There’s a Charity Christmas Concert at the Discovery Centre, 9 December at 7.30pm. Winchester Fusion Choir will be singing in aid of Winchester Fusion Choir presents a concert in aid of Winchester Homestart , Winchester Youth Counselling and Winchester Friends of the Family. Tickets are available to book online here.

twilight-tower-tour-2015Winchester Cathedral will be offering their Twilight Tower Tours from 3.30pm lasting 90 minutes on various dates until 17 December.  There will be mulled wine and mince pies after the tour and it’s a fantastic way to see views across the city, Christmas market and ice-rink.  It is a climb, so the Cathedral advise sensible clothing and footwear and the event is not suitable for young children or those with walking or breathing difficulties. For dates and booking details, visit the website here. Details of the Christmas services at the Cathedral are available here including the Carol services and Midnight Eucharist.

city-museum-christmas-quizzes-robinWinchester City Museum will be hosting a festive family quiz for super sleuths.  Entry is free and there will be a tasty prize at the end (donations are welcome).  Why not follow this up with a trip to Santa’s Grotto at the Tourist Information Centre.  As this is his busy period, he’ll only be in on Saturday’s and booking is recommended. For more details, visit the website here.

Cornflowers window displayThere are some fabulous opportunities for Christmas shopping in Winchester.  The Cathedral Christmas Market cabins and ice-rink are celebrating their 10th anniversary this year, a seasonal staple for a sensory trip into the spirit.  Don’t forget to stroll to Kingsgate Village for Kingsgate Books & Prints, Cornflowers Gift Shop, P&G Wells Booksellers or Kingsgate Wine and Provisions. And there are many more hidden boutiques or purveyors of luxury items so get some walking boots and knitwear on. The Square has been described by the Telegraph as “the beating heart of chic Winchester”. Cadogan & Co has certainly earned this reputation. Featured in Vogue’s 100 best shopping destinations outside London, it’s a treasure trove of couture, sumptuous service and the perfect spot for those wanting to enjoy the act of trying and buying clothes.  If you linger in the Square you could find some specialist kitchenware at Dinghams. Chococo is a must for edible gifts, and we urge you to stop off for a hot chocolate whilst there. If you want pure vintage, climb up the hill to Stardust Years for authentic ladies fashion and accessories.

Remember, Winchester is so good at Christmas it has a website dedicated to it and you can download a handy guide here. We’ll be bringing you more seasonal tips throughout the month @Win_Guide. Enjoy, city folk, and we’ll see you next month for some new year’s resolutions!

Is everybody happy?

Donald Hutera checks out The Happiness Project, a new touring work from choreographer Didy Veldman that comes to Theatre Royal, Winchester November 10

‘Are you happy?’

It’s a key question, asked of the four dancers in Didy Veldman’s new production The Happiness Project – an approximately 70-minute show that comes to Theatre Royal, Winchester on November 10.

The Dutch-born choreographer was formerly a member of Rambert Dance, among other companies. She then went on to carve out a successful career as an international dance-maker based on the Continent. Having relocated to the UK for the past two and half years, Veldman is this month launching her company Umanoove with a piece that takes as its theme Western society’s search for fleeting pleasures and deeper fulfilment.

Speaking briefly at the opening performance of the production’s current tour, which occurred last week at the Jerwood Dance House in Ipswich, Veldman said she spent about six weeks developing the piece with a top-notch cast: Dane Hurst (winner of two Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards), Hannah Kidd (a nominee for the same awards, the current roster of which has just been announced), Mathieu Geffre and Estela Merlos. Between them this quartet has worked for and/or with Richard Alston, Phoenix Dance Theatre, National Dance Company Wales, Shobana Jeyasingh, Mark Bruce, New Movement Collective, Rambert and many other choreographers and companies in the UK and abroad.

Aural alert: the show’s score, an alternately brooding and urgent mix of live and recorded music, is by the Romanian-born violinist Alexander Balansecu. The man himself slips about among the dancers as a constant presence, instrument in hand and ready to fuel moods and actions. Balanescu’s ‘sound’ is proper contemporary-classical, so don’t attend expecting to bop along to Pharrell Williams’ popular upbeat anthem…

Working with the designer Kimie Nakano, and lighting expert Ben Ormerod, the joint pursuit of Veldman’s creative team was ultimately to devise a dance-based work that, in her words, tries to shed some light on what happiness is and how it manifests itself in human beings. Or, as she put it, ‘How do we deal with it? How do we achieve it, or crave it, or sometimes buy it?’

As a long-time dance-watcher I appreciate Veldman’s ambitions with the work – a chamber-sized series of shape-shifting vignettes that can seem by turns amusing, wondrous or, occasionally, shallow.  Perhaps inevitably, given such broad and elusive subject matter, The Happiness Project may not reveal anything definitive about what happiness is or means or the lengths we go to acquire it. There are also passages that are maybe too busy and vague, or facile and trivial, while over-all it possibly lacks some of the keen and sometimes messy complexities I associate with being alive.

But there are nevertheless felicities dotted throughout. These range from the sounds that Balanescu produces (as well as his genuinely interesting stage persona as a somewhat lumpen-looking middle-aged man in a jaunty hat), to the treasure chest-like boxes used as a main prop (along with a pretty expressively free-floating, ambiguous plastic sheet), to the confident and fresh unit formed by four truly fine movers. Each dancer has his or her moment and, in some cases, more than one. I was especially taken with Hurst’s intense, honest and self-questioning delivery of text and motion when replying to the show’s key question. Merlos, meanwhile, made virtually everything she did matter to me, whether swooping through the air while being held aloft by the two men, slinking closely round Balanescu as he plays, enjoying a delicate duet with a symbolically half-empty (or is it half-full?) glass of water or simply, and temporarily, placing a plastic bag with a smiley face on it over her head. Her sensitive intelligence continually shone through – qualities that at times glimmer in the performance as a whole.

So, did The Happiness Project make me happy? In part, yes. It might do the same for you. Catch it while you can.

Win Guide to November

The city is treating us to a display of fiery reds and golden browns so dig out your knitwear, wrap up warm and read about what Winchester has to offer this month.

wot-no-fishThere’s a chance to see some great story telling at the Theatre Royal on the 4 November in the form of Wot? No Fish! In 1926 shoemaker Ab Solomons drew a doodle on the wage-packet he gave to his wife Celie. Throughout their marriage, right up until 1982, Ab developed his art, drawing a wage-packet picture every week for Celie.  One of Lyn Gardener’s top ten shows of 2014, this is a great night at the theatre. We saw it a the BAC and can thoroughly recommend!

Winchester Bonfire and FireworksRemember, remember, the fifth of November.  This year, the 58th annual Winchester Round Table Bonfire & Fireworks event takes place on Saturday 5 November.  Around 20,000 people will take to the streets for the torchlight procession around the city, culminating in an impressive fireworks display at the River Park Leisure Centre recreation ground.  Tickets are available to buy online now and money raised will go to charities and good causes in Winchester.

Winchester Short Film Festival

Now in its fifth year, the Winchester Short Film festival runs 4 – 12 November. Promoting emerging and seasoned talent in film-making, the festival will present a selection of films from the WSFF 2016 competition in a range of venues across the city including the Railway Inn and the Hampshire Records Office. For a full programme, or to book tickets, visit the festival website here. Our wonderful site sponsors Dutton Gregory have also kindly sponsored the WSFF festival too, a really supportive business in this fine city.

happiness-project-270x270For more culture, visit the Theatre Royal on the 10 November for the chance to see the Happiness Project. Best known in the UK for her productions for Rambert, Northern Ballet and HeadSpaceDance, international dance artist Didy Veldman launches her own company Umanoove with a choreographic investigation of western society’s endless search for fulfilment. For more details or to book tickets, visit the Theatre Royal website here.

Here’s the trailer:

Winchester Wine FestivalWhat better way to warm up the season with the Winchester Wine Festival.  It’s a chance to sample a selection of wines, curated by Winchester’s own BBC1 masters of wine, Susie Barrie and Peter Richards. There’s also the chance to stock up for Christmas or attend specialist masterclasses.  Tickets are £30 per person and can be bought online here.

Winchester Christmas Market

And finally, the crisper weather can mean only one thing – it’s time to get festive.  The Christmas lights will be switched on at the Broadway on 17 November.  Events will start at 4pm.  Winchester really knows how to do Christmas.  There’s a website dedicated to it wth a handy guide to dates and events available here. The famous Winchester Christmas market in Cathedral Close opens 18 November – 20 December boasts its open-air ice rink, which is a suitably festive family trip out (20 November 2014 to 4 January). For those who are less Torvill and Dean, more mulled wine and stollen, there are plenty of other festive distractions on offer in the beautifully lit Germanic fairytale cabins, including holiday food and Christmas gifts.

Enjoy, Wintonians, and we’ll bring you updates throughout the month @Win_Guide.

Win Guide to October

Autumn has arrived in Winchester. Crisp mornings, chilly evenings and vibrant colour contrasts.  Once more our fine city has a lot to offer this October. Here’s our Win Guide:

Winchester Cathedral Harvest FestivalThe tractors are twitching, the pumpkins are plump – it’s harvest time.  Winchester Cathedral will be holding their annual free weekend of Harvest celebrations, 1-2 October from 10am – 5pm. Expect vintage tractors, falconry displays, farm animals, horse-drawn wagon rides, Hampshire Fare market and, new for this year, a grape and grain tent featuring local breweries and English wines. The whole event is supported by a number of partnerships, notably The New Forest Show, NFU, Country Landowners’ Association, Hampshire Council, and Hampshire Fare. Don’t forget to bring a brolly!

Pin Drop ComedyFancy a bit of standup?  Pin Drop Comedy in partnership with the Winchester Guildhall will be celebrating the first year anniversary of their monthly standup on 6 October, so expect a bumper night of it.  Running on the first Thursday of the month at the Wintonian Bar, Winchester Guildhall, entry is free and the Doors open at 8pm. The bar is open throughout and food is also available. The event is hosted by James Ross & Andrew Johnston.

10 x 10 new writingThe Chesil Theatre will be celebrating the dearly missed icon David Bowie in their 10 x 10 new writing festival.  From the sublime to the ridiculous, daring and curious, heart-breaking and hilarious,  10 new Bowie inspired 10-minute plays will premiere 8-9 October, 2.30pm & 7.45pm. Tickets are available to book here.

pinocchioThe Jasmin Vardimon company are coming to the Theatre Royal, 13-14 October with their new adaptation of Pinocchio. Visit the theatre website to watch the trailer or to find out about booking ticktets.

There are two festivals to look forward to this month.  The Winchester Poetry Festival returns 7-9 October. Workshops, readings and events will be taking place at the Discovery Centre, Theatre Royal and the Art Cafe.  For full programme details, visit the festival website here.

Silent SonataWe’re rather excited about the Winchester Film Festival, a partnership between the Theatre Royal and University of Winchester.  Films are only £5 to attend and will take place in unusual venues across the city.  Here’s a full programme:

The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1965)
Fri 14 October

Silent Sonata (2010)
Sat 15 October

An Inspector Calls (1954)
Sun 16 October

Under the Skin (2013)
Fri 21 October

Nashville (1975)
Sat 22 October

Johnny Guitar (1954)
Sun 23 October

National Trust Images/John MillarAn October couldn’t pass without mentioning half-term or Halloween and there are a number of ghoulish goings on to mention. There’s a Hallowe’en witches and wizard trail at the Winchester City Mill with prizes on offer as well as pumpkin carving, apple harvest activities, baking demonstrations and spooky storytelling. For full details, visit the schedule here.

Supernatural toursThere will be a family friendly Halloween ghost walk through the city on the 29 October at 6.30pm and an adults only version on the 31 October at 8pm. Advanced booking is available here. The Westgate museum will be getting its spook on with a horror spotters quiz, and will be open throughout half-term week. Admission is free. Winchester’s Supernatural tours will also be hosting their spooky tour of the city, 31 October, 8.30 – 9.30pm with live actors and theatrical shivers.

Harvest away, Wintonians and enjoy!

Culinary Cocktails in Winchester

ginchester-forte-2016-adrienne-photography-10039Following the success of the first Kitchen Cabinet event in July, Winchester’s Forte Kitchen will be opening its doors after-hours again for two further events designed for gastronomes and cocktail enthusiasts alike. Cabinet Rooms and Forte Kitchen are working together to offer a menu of sharing plates and complementary cocktails influenced by the new seasons’ flavours.

Co-founder of Cabinet Rooms, Gary Whiter, said, “We are very much looking forward to opening up the Kitchen Cabinet again and offering new drinks menus that pair with Forte Kitchen’s delicious, seasonal dishes.”

ginchester-forte-2016-adrienne-photography-10209Olly Biggs, Co-Founder and Head Chef at Forte Kitchen, explained, “We are entering one of our favourite times of year with some incredible fruits and vegetables coming into season. With apples, pears, blackcurrants and figs, to name but a few, we have real scope to offer some great autumnal and wintry flavours at our upcoming events.”

At the Kitchen Cabinet, as well as a range of Forte Kitchen’s small plates and sharing platters, guests will have the opportunity to enjoy some of Cabinet Rooms’ signature cocktails – such as the Twisted Vesper, using local Twisted Nose Gin and Pear Vodka – as well as new drinks inspired by Forte Kitchen’s menu.

“At July’s Kitchen Cabinet,” explained Gary, “the Pancake Martini, our homage to Olly’s superb breakfasts and made with our homemade bacon vodka, was a real hit with our guests. We have a few more ideas up our sleeve for this autumn and can’t wait to bring some new, delectable drinks to the table for the discerning people of Winchester.”

ginchester-forte-2016-adrienne-photography-10288The Kitchen Cabinet will be open from 7pm to 11pm on Friday 30 September and Friday 25 November. Entrance is free. Table service only. A small number of tables can be booked for two-hour slots by calling Forte Kitchen on 01962 856 840.

For the latest news follow Cabinet Rooms and Forte Kitchen on Twitter (@CabinetRooms and @ForteKitchen) and on Facebook (/CabinetRoomsWinchester and /Forte-Kitchen).

Win Guide to September

A Win Guide to September in Winchester

So September has crept up on us.  And there are new beginnings on the Winchester horizon. The Autumn equinox is almost here and a new school term of course. As nature moves from green to reds and browns, it seems like no time since summer began.  But fear not, Winchester as always will provide a range of events and treats to delight and distract this September.

Littleton and Harestock ShowFirst of all, you may have spotted the yellow banners and signs announcing the Littleton & Harestock village show taking place on Saturday 3 September. It’s a gloriously traditional affair with stalls aplenty. There’s a flower show, a well stocked tombola, the Barton Stacey jazz band and the Royal Artillery marching band. Local Littleton resident Austen Hooker has written a rather delightful history of the show here. Here’s a link to the website for a full timetable of events and details about how to visit. Don’t miss the evening Barn dance and Ceilidh event, with tickets available to buy online in advance.

Winchester Heritage Open Days 2016 Programme coverThe Win Guide is getting very exciting about the Heritage Open Days, 8-11 September.  Over 40 free events will be taking place throughout Winchester, with both celebrated and unusual heritage spots opening their doors for special tours.  Ever wondered what goes on backstage at the Theatre Royal?  Well, Heritage Open Days will give you a chance to take a free tour.  Perhaps you’d like Adam Architects to tour you around Hyde House, part of the original Hyde Abbey complex? If you missed our Win Guide to the Heritage Open Days, you can read it here. Remember to book in advance to avoid disappointment.

Creative Writing Green Man PubWintonians will have the chance to get creative with their writing at the The Green Man pub on 22 September at 7.30pm.  Chris Van Shaick will lead a session of workshops, games and exercises to encourage wordsmithery, washed down with drinks and a buffet for £30. Places are limited so early booking is advised.


Winchester Jazz FestivalWhat’s that sound?  The inaugural Winchester Jazz Festival is swinging into the city 22 – 25 September with rather exciting top acts and emerging artists booked into various venues across the city for 4 days. Visit the festival website for a full schedule of events. The celebration of all things jazz is working with Winchester’s arts venues as well as independent pubs, bars and cafés to offer a diverse program of ticketed and free events.

winchester-half-logoAnd finally, if the jazz dancing doesn’t do it, why not run your way into the Autumn with the Winchester Half Marathon on Saturday 25 September. It’s a great chance to run through the beautiful city of Winchester while also being a fantastic way to get active and a chance to raise some funds for charity.  To register now and find out more details, visit the website here.

We’ll be bringing you more updates throughout the month.  Have fun, Winchester!

Hampshire Open Studios

Win Guide to Hampshire Open Studios

Saturday 20 – Monday 29 August 2016

An annual art trail which gives a unique view on the world of local artists, their studios and galleries.  Over 500 local artists will be giving talks, exhibiting their work and providing demonstrations.

Events are taking place across Winchester and the county.

Here’s a few of the Winchester landmarks on the trail:

yard_e68d7e75beb69fb5c11964992f1b00c1The Yard Studio
The Yard Studios, Matleys Yard, Wharf Hill, Winchester, SO23 9NQ

“A diverse group of over 20 artists working in everything from paint and photography to sculpture and silver jewellery”.

Kate ArnoldArt Cafe Winchester
De Lunn Buildings, Jewry St, Winchester SO23 8SA

Kate Arnold

“Kates drawings and prints are full of movement and character. The confident fluid line that creates the image works in both her prints and drawings”.

Links GalleryThe Link Gallery
West Downs Centre, Romsey Road, Winchester SO22 5HT

Encounters – 2D3D South

“Different styles and individual approaches, from painting and drawing to printmaking and sculpture”.

Keith BennettKeith Bennett
106 Colebrook Street, Winchester, SO23 9LH

“Figurative paintings and drawings in pastel, oil and watercolour. Portraits and musician studies as well as landscapes and still lifes”.

Clare GoodmanClare Goodman
West End Studio, 5 West End Close, Winchester, SO22 5EW

“The spirit of the countryside evokes an emotional response in Clare’s work, which is inspired by the effect of light over landscape”.

Cards available. Coffee and cake in support of Hants IOW Air Ambulance. Private View 6.00-8.00pm Saturday 20th.

Hampshire Open Studios Jill NorthJill North, Pauline Cherrett, Debbie Forsdyke & friends
3 Byron Avenue, Fulflood, Winchester, SO22 5AT

“Photography, paintings, books, cards, kumihimo jewellery, stained glass, basketry, and more. Tea and cake”.

Rhian JohnRhian John
Tegg Lea, Lanham Lane, Winchester, SO22 5JS

“Energetic and vibrant landscapes, floral and animal paintings packed with colour, which people tell me make them smile! If you like colour as much as me, this is for you. Kettles on!”

For a full programme of events in Winchester and the rest of the county, visit the Hampshire Open Studios website here.

Heritage Open Days

Winchester BinderyEvery September, an army of dedicated volunteers get together to champion local treasures through Heritage Open Days. Between 8 – 11 September, some 40,000 people across England have organised 5,000 free events to celebrate our fantastic history, architecture and culture.

Loyd GrossmanLoyd Grossman, Patron for Heritage Open Days, will be making a special visit to Winchester on the evening before the festival and will be speaking at an event in the Guildhall about his career and involvement with heritage.  To book tickets, visit the website here.

We caught up with our local representative, Nicky Gottlieb, to get a taste of just some of the many experiences Wintonians can expect to enjoy.

Abbey House on The Broadway was built in the 18th century on the site of a former nunnery and is now the official residence of the Mayor of Winchester.  On Thursday 8 September there will be an opportunity to take a guided tour of some of the city’s  rarely displayed collections of paintings and furnishings. Pre-booking is essential as places are limited, and details of how to reserve your place are available here.  On Sat 10 and Sun 11, the Mayor will be on hand to show visitors around the house and answer questions.

Chesil TheatreThe Chesil Theatre will be opening its doors on Sat 10 and Sun 11 between 10am and 4pm.  Winchester’s dramatic society is based at St Peter’s, a 13th century church which was converted into a 70 seat theatre over 40 years ago.  Visitors will have the opportunity to step behind the scenes, explore the stage lights, costumes, sets and photography from past productions.

Come and meet Binky BearThere will be a chance for 2 – 7 year olds to meet Binky Bear at P & G Wells Bookshop on College Street, Sat 10 at 10am. Visitors are welcome to bring their teddy along to meet Binky and take a picture, before picking up an Explorer’s map complete with trails, checklists and colouring sheets.  Binky’s author Liz Nankivell will be available for book signing afterwards and pre-booking is essential. Don’t miss the Winchester Bindery Open Day on Friday 9, also at P & G Wells.  For details, visit here.

Other child friendly activities include story telling from Pedlars and Petticoats at St John’s House, Sat 10 between 10.30-11am and 11.30am-12pm. Children aged 10 years and younger are welcome and fancy dress is encouraged. The education team from the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust will be hosting a fun outdoor session on the meadows by the Hospital of St Cross, exploring wetland plants, conservation and river dipping. The event is sponsored by Carter Jonas and will take place on Friday 9 between 2 – 5pm.

King Alfred Buses - by Ray Stenning IMG_9872The King Alfred Heritage Bus and Coach Display will be open Sat 10 between 10am – 3pm at the Cattle Market car park on Worthy Lane.  It’s a rare chance to see 14 buses and coaches on display together, with a free vintage bus service running between Worthy Lane and the Broadway. Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult and regrettably the event is unsuitable for wheelchair users.

The Ginchester Walking Tour will take place Sat 10 from 6 – 7pm.  Led by the Cabinet Rooms connoisseurs, the tour will start at the Buttercross and end at the Green Man Pub, taking a look at the city’s history and what makes Winchester wonderful.  Guests (18 and over) will also have the option to book a specially priced G&T package.

For a full list of events on offer and to keep an eye on any amendments to the scheduled programme, please visit the Heritage Open Days website or keep and eye on the Winchester HODs Facebook and Twitter pages. You can also download a PDF with an events programme: Winchester Heritage Open Days 2016 Programme.


Win Guide to August

There are plenty of curated outdoor activities for summer on offer in our fine city and its surrounding areas this month.  Here’s our Win Guide to them:

wickham-festival-2016The Wickham Festival 4th to 7th August boasts an impressive music line-up and has been rated as one of ‘Britain’s best boutique and family friendly festivals’, The Guardian.   Acts include The SAS Band – Spike’s All-Stars, founded by Spike Edney and described as the “Ultimate All-Star Band” with world class musicians and Rock artists. Other highlights include The Stranglers, Tony Hadley and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. For full details, visit the website here.

Cult Screens Outdoor CinemaCult Screens present an outdoor seated cinema experience at Cathedral Inner Close showing Labyrinth (4th Aug), Star Wars: The Force Awakens (5th Aug) and Dirty Dancing (6th Aug).  Expect pitcher cocktails, craft beers, wines, fresh popcorn and different street food stalls to enhance the experience. Doors open at 7pm and tickets are available to book online in advance here.

Boom_TownNow in its eighth year, the immersive world of BoomTown Fair returns to the Matterley Estate from Thursday 11th to Sunday 14th August 2016. This independent, artistic festival affair includes ska, folk, gypsy, reggae, world, punk, pirate and disco to electro-swing, jazz, blue-grass, bass, jungle and techno. The Kidztown area provides facilities for families with a separate entrance, experiential learning, an inflatable obstacle course with foam and child friendly entertainment on the Sandcastle stage. For full details, visit the website here.

graze_grid_2-1024x1020The Graze Festival returns to Twyford, 28th August 2016. Going into its second year, the event includes live music, performing arts, pop-up restaurants and entertainment, complete with a dedicated kids’ area for families to enjoy the day. For more details, visit the website here.

If you would rather head indoors, Winchester Cathedral will be offering free lunchtime recitals 9th, 16th and 23rd August, with a retiring collection.  For programme details, visit the website here.

guys-and-dollsRicNic Hampshire return to the Theatre Royal with the musical comedy, Guys and Dolls! from 24th – 27th August. Established in 2004 to give young people between the ages of 16 – 21 years the chance to stage a musical, RicNic has opened the world of theatre to hundreds of young people.  To book tickets and support the team, visit the Theatre Royal website here.

Lots on offer to stimulate the senses and tickle the ear buds as summer gets into full swing.  Enjoy it, Wintonians!

Win Guide to July

July is here and Winchester will not fail to deliver its share of weird and wonderful events to brighten what has been a temperamental summer thus far:

Stonemasons-Festival-Have you ever experienced live stone masonry?  Winchester Cathedral will be hosting a Festival taking place in the Inner Close, 8-10 July, where stone masons from across the UK will be showing their carving prowess, culminating in a public auction of works on Sunday 10 July and a chance to meet the masons. The event is free.

hampshire-fare-Foodies will be pleased to hear that July is also the Hampshire Food Festival, with various events taking place across the county all month.  On Friday 15 July 2016, Winchester’s Forte Kitchen will be opening its doors afterhours for a unique evening of food and drink. “Kitchen Cabinet” is a collaboration between Forte Kitchen and Cabinet Rooms. For a comprehensive list of all the events on offer, visit the online programme here.

Winchester Festival of the ArtsThe Winchester Festival of the Arts runs until Saturday 9 July, a series of music, talks and drama throughout the city. Speakers include Michael Morpurgo, Robert Hardy and Sandi Toksvig. There is a lunch time recital programme at St Lawrence’s Church, a selection of visual arts exhibitions and some interesting city walks. We like the sound of Alfred’s Kingdom (a dramatised walk) described as a journey ‘back through time’ to Anglo-Saxon Winchester with a dramatic twist! Booking is recommended. For a full programme visit the Festival website here.

Wessex Dance Academy will be presenting an exciting evening of choreography and film at the Theatre Royal, 14 July at 7pm.  A new company of dancers will share their 12 week journey with  three new pieces of dance. The event is free although donations are welcome.

logoThe Winchester Science Festival takes place  22-24 July. A fantastically curated programme of speakers will take over the Discover Centre for a weekend of stimulating talks on space, nature, the future and of course, powerful lasers. Various exhibitions and other events will be taking place throughout the month, and a full programme is available on the Winchester Science Festival website.

Plenty of food and thought this month – enjoy!