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This month

January 2019

EXHIBITION: Tattoo: British Tattoo Art Revealed, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, until Sun 6 Jan

Portsmouth Tattoo ExhibitionFor many people, tattoos are pieces of art that you carry around with you permanently. However, did you know that they have a long and detailed history dating back millennia? If you’ve ever been a little bit curious, then make sure to check out the last couple of days of this fantastic exhibition on the art of tattooing in Portsmouth’s Dockyard. From the significance of a swallow to the backstory of all those 90s tribal tatts, fascinating even if you’ve never gone under the needle.

FAMILY: Four Seasons Hampshire Ice Rink, Fri 4 Jan – 28 Feb

Pull a double Axel and then swing by for a spot of fine dining lunch, because the Four Seasons Hotel in Hampshire has rolled out its very own rink for the winter season. And while many of the others around Hampshire are shutting down after the “official” Christmas period, here you can don your skates right up until the end of winter.

EVENT: Portsmouth Guildhall Ice Rink, Sat 17 Nov – 7 Jan 19

Portsmouth Guildhall Get your skates on, the Guildhall Ice Rink is back for 2018. Portsmouth’s Guildhall square is transformed into a fabulous winter wonderland as they roll out the faux-ice for you to slip, slither and slide over. With skate hire and some fantastic foodie pop-ups, it’s a fab place to visit and even comes with its own Alpine Lodge, complete with Apres-ski favourites and a VIP section. You’ll find me over there with some glühwein in hand. PROST!

THEATRE: Birth, The Point, Eastleigh, Sat 5 Jan

The Point is pretty well known for its more unusual productions and often showcases performances you wouldn’t expect to see out of London. Theatre Re’s production, Birth, is one such show, and explores some of the “big” questions regarding life, death and everything in the middle. Follow expectant Emily as she discovers her grandmother’s journal and discovers more about her roots than she could imagine.

FAMILY: Billionaire Boy – The Musical, Nuffield Southampton Theatre City, Tue 20 Nov – Sun 6 Jan

Billionaire Boy Southampton Christmas Show copyBased upon the bestselling book of David Waillams, the stage show of Billionaire Boy is getting its world premiere for the Christmas season in Southampton. Expect it to be packed with laughs and Waillam’s trademark humour.

COMEDY: Paul Tonkinson, Jan Jack’s Laughter House, Apollo Hotel, Basingstoke, Thurs 10 Jan

January is often a bit of a boring month – diets, resolutions and behaving ourselves (boo!) However, if you fancy a cheeky little jolt of giggles to liven up your January, then check out Paul Tonkinson as he visits Basingstoke for one night. If you think may look a little familiar then you’re absolutely correct, he’s been on the circuit for a long time and once was a presenter on the 90s staple The Big Breakfast.

THEATRE: Calendar Girls, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, Tue 8 – Sat 19 Jan

Production image2 l-r Rebecca Storm, Fern Britton, Anna-Jane Casey, Sara Crowe, Ruth Madoc, Karen Dunbar & Denise Welch in CALENDAR GIRLS THE MUSICAL landscapeIt’s kits off at the Mayflower this week as the West End smash, Calendar Girls, visits Southampton’s Mayflower Theatre this month. With a score from someone called Gary Barlow (hmmm, that name sounds a bit familiar) and starring Fern Britton, Anna-Jane Casey, Sara Crowe, Karen Dunbar, Ruth Madoc, Rebecca Storm and Denise Welch, it’s a wonderful mix of uplifting comedy, musical fun and a dose of daytime television all in one show.

FOOD & DRINK: Gin & Tonic Pairing Workshop, Southampton, Fri 11 Jan

gin and tonic pairing workshopLike peas in a pod, gin and tonic are a match made in heaven. However, due to the increase in popularity for Mother’s Ruin, this once simple formula has become inundated with so many options. Elderflower, aromatic, flavoured gins and more, where do you start? If that sounds like you, then be sure to check out The Hampshire Wine School workshop that will have you pairing your drinks like a seasoned mixologist

EAT OUT: Taste of Japan, Thompson’s Restaurant, Newport, IoW, Fri 11 Jan

japanese foodOften tipped as one of the best eateries in the Isle of Wight, Thompsons brings another of their exotic tasting menus to diners this month. January is all about Japan and will treat diners for an array of flavours and dishes from the other side of the world. For £70 you’ll be treated to a delectable taster menu, including vegetarian options if needed.

TALK: How To Be Human: Ruby Wax, Portsmouth Cathedral, Sat 12 Jan

In what could be the most unusual dinner party set-up of a lifetime, Ruby Wax heads to Portsmouth along with a neuroscientist and a monk. Discussing her new book How To Be Human, Wax and her guests will discuss the evolution of humanity, how the mind works (both scientifically and spiritually) and generally give you a good dose of things to think about as you move forward.


MUSIC: The Circus of Horrors, O2 Guildhall, Southampton, Sat 12 Jan

For a total assault on your senses (in a good way of course), then The Circus of Horrors will definitely fit the bill. Circus performance, heavy rock and roll and the most unusual of characters, this long-running spectacle will excite and amaze you in equal measure.

FOOD & DRINK: Meat curing and Salami Workshop, Wolverton, Sun 13 Jan

Salami Making WorkshopIt’s all about the meat this weekend, and if you’re a big fan of charcuterie then why not try your hand and making your own salami. Although this sounds like a euphemism, The Hampshire Salami Co. really will be guiding students through the process of creating their very own artisan meats. Definitely one to add to your foodie repertoire.

SHOPPING: Grandma’s Attic Vintage Fair, Lymington, Sat 19 Jan

Out with the old and in with the… old? The team at Grandma’s Attic hold excellently curated antiques and vintage markets around the south coast and this month it’s heading to Lymington. For 50p entry, you’ll be able to discover long-lost gems and glam up your home with fantastic antiques.

EXHIBITION: The South East Homebuilding and Renovating Show, Farnborough, Sat 19 – Sun 20 Jan

If you’ve got the New Year itch to reinvent your home then it’s worth checking out this homebuilding and renovation convention. With a huge range of exhibitors, including interior designers, home audio specialists and architects among others, you’ll be able to get some major inspo and contacts for creating your dream gaff.

EXHIBITION: Thelwell: Laughter and Landscapes, Mottisfont, Sat 15 Jan – Mon 22 April

If you fancy a nostalgic-filled trip down memory lane, then head over to the National Trust’s Mottisfont for an exhibition all about a little girl and her pudgy pony. The illustrations by Norman Thelwell were a snapshot into the life of Penelope and her horse Kipper, but also tell the story of the ups and downs of life in the countryside.

TALK: In Conversation with… Fern Britton, Forest Arts, Sat 15 Jan

As a daytime TV darling and now treading the boards in Calendar Girls, Fern Britton is a British household name. In this special evening event, Fern will be talking with the audience about her life, career plus the charity work she takes part in.

MUSIC: Dark Side of The Moon, Winchester Science Centre, Fri 18 & Fri 25 Jan

Bringing Pink Floyd to the biggest screen imaginable, Dark Side of the Moon is transformed by the addition of superduper lights and lasers. Lay back and enjoy the classic soundtrack with an immersive show in this often sell-out event in Winchester.

OPERA: Lucean Le Stelle, Project Opera, Quay Arts, Newport, Sat 19 Jan

The Island gets a bit highbrow this weekend with the return of Project:Opera to Newport. With a collection of arias from productions such as Tosca, Traviata, Boheme, you won’t need to head to the mainland to enjoy some beautiful culture this weekend.

HERITAGE: Evening Orchard Wassail, Chawton House, Sat 19 Jan

Chawton House WinterFancy a spot of British eccentricity in the name of booze? Yes, please! Follow the torchlit procession to the orchards of Chawton House and experience the traditional songs and incantations sung to the trees to help them produce a good harvest in the year ahead. A bit odd, yes but all in the name of cider. And there’s hot soup after the main event.

MUSIC: Basco, Forest Arts Centre, New Milton, Tue 22 Jan

Basco Forest Arts Hampshire Cultural TrustHitting the New Forest this week are Basco, bringing their original sound to the listening public of Hampshire. Not restricted to just one particular style, this Scandi/Aussie folk-string quartet bring together elements of Celtic music, mainstream music and folk. With members playing everything from accordions to violas, while simultaneously claiming to be dragon slayers and lion tamers, there’s a good dose of humour to go with their sounds.

FOOD & DRINK: Dining Club – Sicily and its Flavours, The Myers Touch, Winchester, Thurs 24 Jan

Skip out on the cold and dreary British January and head to the warmer, brighter climes of Sicily – via Winchester of course. An evening of Mediterranean sun and foodie fun is courtesy of Italian chef, Sergio Mitrano as he cooks up a Sicilian storm, complete with Champagne cocktails and wine, at The Myers Touch Dining Club. Tickets are £75pp.

THEATRE: American Idiot, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, Tue 22 – Sat 26 Jan

American Idiot mayflower theatreAmerican Idiot is the Tony Award, Grammy Award-winning stage-show filled with music from 90s/00s punk-poppers, Green Day. With three friends hunting for meaning in a post-9/11 America, you’ll be tapping your feet to the sounds of Wake Me Up When September Ends and Boulevard of Broken Dreams.

MUSIC: Dark Side of The Moon, Winchester Science Centre, Fri 18 & Fri 25 Jan

Bringing Pink Floyd to the biggest screen imaginable, Dark Side of the Moon is transformed by the addition of superduper lights and lasers. Lay back and enjoy the classic soundtrack with an immersive show in this often sell-out event in Winchester.

FOOD & DRINK: Burns’ Night Supper, The Garlic Farm, Isle of Wight, Fri 25 Jan

garlic farm

Photo: Peter Trimming

It may be as far from Scotland as you could possibly get but that doesn’t stop The Garlic Farm from celebrating Robbie Burns’ birthday in style. Join them to dine on traditional Haggis, Neeps & Tatties and Scottish Whisky, all while being serenaded by a Scottish Piper.

MUSIC: Los Pacminos ft Paul Young, Guildhall Studio, Portsmouth, Fri 25 Jan

Paul Young Los Pacaminos

This is Paul Young as you’ve never seen him before. Accompanying the Tex Mex stylings of Los Pacminos, listeners will be treated to a Stetson-wearing, tequila-swigging ho-down – with a side-swoon of 80s nostalgia.

OUTDOORS: Adults day at Miller’s Ark, Basingstoke, Fri 25 – Sat 26 Jan

donkeyIf you’re a big animal lover but always have to make do with watching kids pet and fuss over the animals, then make sure you head to Miller’s Ark this weekend. At this adults-only weekend, you can groom the baby donkeys, tickle piglets’ tummies and just generally love and cuddle all the animals without having to make way for any kids.

THEATRE: Avenue Q, Kings Theatre, Portsmouth, Fri 25 Jan – Sat 2 Feb

Avenue Q Kings TheatreWho said puppets were just for kids? The celebrated and award-winning show Avenue Q is coming to the Kings Theatre this month and is rammed to the rafters with super naughty jokes and plenty of puppet fun.

MUSIC: May Erlewine, Anvil Arts, Basingstoke, Sat 26 Jan

May Erlewine anvil artsYou may not have heard of May Erlewine, but her reputation as ‘Michigan’s Songbird’ has won her critical acclaim for her folksy music. With a voice reminiscent of Janis Joplin mixed with Zooey from She & Him, May’s music is heavily influenced by her unorthodox upbringing which involved hitchhiking across America as a teenager.

FAMILY: Build a Sandman Snowman, Science Beach, Sandown, Sat 26 Jan

Snow is a bit rare in these parts, so if the big freeze skips us again and the kids are feeling a tad jealous of everybody else having wintery fun head to Sandown where you can build your very own sand ‘snow’man. Not only are they providing all the carrots and coals to build the perfect specimen but there’s also lots of hot chocolate on offer. The event starts at 10:30am till lunchtime.

THEATRE: Out of The Loop, The Point, Eastleigh, Wed 30 Jan

Did you know you could get a degree in circus? Circomedia is the Centre for Contemporary Circus and Physical Theatre, and their graduates are performing their very own show Out of the Loop, this month at The Point. Expect nail-biting stunts and death-defying acts, all honed while they earned their BA.

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Hampshire & Isle of Wight