MUDDY’S PICK OF THE MONTH
Smoked & Uncut, Lime Wood, Sat 27 Jul
We love festivals here at Muddy but we also like the finer things at life, so the fantastic Smoked & Uncut held at the prestigious Lime Wood is the perfect option for us. The festival has some cracking music acts including Sister Sledge, The Wailers and Nick Grimshaw, as well as a whole area dedicated to finer dining with super chefs extraordinaire Angela Hartnett and Mark Hix serving up amazing dishes at their pop-ups. Tickets cost £42 for over 16s (inc booking fee) and we have two tickets to giveaway in our latest Reader Treat. We’ll see you there!
If you didn’t make it to Glasto then don’t fret as Hampshire and the Isle of Wight have some AMAZING festivals over the coming weeks. Starting off with the wonderfully bonkers Hat Fair in Winchester (5-7 Jul), this free festival of music, arts and obscurity is a firm MUST for the calendar with plenty of acts to astound and amazed. Some highlights are bboyillwill aka Will Sanchez, a New Yorker who mixes the art of breakdance and comedy in his performances (performing 5-7) and the carnival on Friday to start the whole thing off.
Also in the family-friendly sphere is the Island’s Rhythm Tree Festival in Calbourne on the Island. This three-day festival (12-14 Jul) has some great local acts but also headliners such as The Orb (90s fans rejoice!) and Alabama 3 (yep, those guys who did The Sopranos theme tune). Definitely check out the Healing Area for a spot of Laughter Yoga as well. Tickets cost £100 for adult weekend camping or £35 for a day ticket.
The New Forest Folk Festival also returns this month (3-7 July) for a spot of lo-fi entertainment in beautiful surroundings. Located in Plaitford, Romsey, acts include 3 Daft Monkeys, Ralph McTell and the amusingly named The Devils Damned String Band. Not only is this a family-friendly event but you can take your dog as well. Adult tickets for all 5 days are £105 (with an additional £7 per night for tent/campervan pitching) or day tickets are £40.
If you’re looking for something a little higher brow in the sunshine then the Winchester Festival might tick those boxes. This festival (running from 5-13 Jul) is a mixture of talks, workshops and classical music with a distinctly Winchester-y theme. We love the sound of a special tour conducted by none other than John Keats and Jane Austen themselves (Ok, so maybe not actually themselves). Tickets range in price.
Also on the upper end of the cultural scale is the Isle of Wight’s Summer Opera Fest (18-21 Jul) split over three venues on the Island – Holy Trinity Church, Cowes, St Catherine’s Church, Ventnor and Ryde Methodist Church. With top soprano Clarice Williams and Project Opera’s very own Annalisa Vaughan, this is a great alternative celebration of music on the Island.
Following this, the Ventnor Fringe returns on the 23-28 Jul. Ventnor is such a fab place and has so many hidden spots, and the range of acts and venues you get to check out at this festival is brilliant. Things to definitely check out are the 1930s Parisian bus turned library, 80s tunes from local band Bobby I Can Fly (Tues 23) and a Pub Quiz led by puppets (Tues 23).
MUSIC & THEATRE
July is full to the brim with fab music and theatre this month. The Point over in Eastleigh has a jam-packed calendar with its Summer Social programme encompassing 6 weeks of theatre, wellbeing and outdoor events and activities (Sat 22 Jun – Sun 4 Aug). On the 12 Jul there’s the Eastleigh Mela takeover and the 19 Jul sees Jonny Moody Official performing in their Garden Sessions calendar.
If you’re a fan of vocab and a self-proclaimed Scrabble Ace, then you need to grab tickets for an evening with Countdown Queen Susie Dent at The Haymarket in Basingstoke on Wed 3. Susie’s show: The Secret Life of Words, will dissect and astound the audience with the meaning of particular words with plenty of funny anecdotes thrown in for good measure. She’ll also be popping in some Hampshire specific words as well.
At the Kings Theatre in Portsmouth on Sat 6, travelling star and Monty Python Royalty, Michael Palin will be hosting an evening of tales and stories from his exploits around the world. With previously unseen footage and untold stories, this is tipped to be a brilliant night with a comedy legend.
Don Pasquale gets a thoroughly modern makeover in a production at The Theatre Royal Winchester on Sat 13 Jul. Presented by the Welsh National Opera, the story is told from Pasquale’s doner kebab van and brings in a truly comic contemporary element to this Donizetti classic.
Over in Southampton Strictly winner Kevin Clifton leads the pack as the 80s rock & roll musical Rock of Ages hits the Mayflower on 16-2o July. And keeping with that 80’s vibe, Joe McElderry (X Factor) will be performing alongside Neil McDermott (Ryan Malloy in EastEnders, Eugenius!), Kate Robbins (Spitting Image, ITV’s The Imitation Game, Dinnerladies), Emily Tierney (Eugenius!, Wicked, The Wizard of Oz) and Amelle Berrabah (Sugababes) in Club Tropicana which is an onslaught of cheesy 80s tunes (22-27 July).
If you’re a fan of Madness then hit musical Our House is heading to The Haymarket this month (25-27 Jul) for a night of Baggy Trousered fun. Written by Tim Firth and with music from the ska-kings themselves, this will have you humming along with the score for sure.
And it wouldn’t be Summer without some al fresco Shakespeare. On Sun 28 the New Place Hotel is putting on a production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in its breathtaking grounds. This is the perfect, family-friendly way to spend a Summer’s night and we’ve also got a fab giveaway for you and three friends to get tickets, dinner and a stay as well.
FOOD & DRINK
July is a BIG month for Hampshire food in particular as the month-long Hampshire Food Festival kicks off from Mon 1 until 31 Jul. The events calendar is packed and includes a daily Artisan Market at Lakeside North Harbour in Portsmouth, a Drip Cake Demonstration on the 3rd at Muddy fave The Myers Touch and Fizzfest (21 July) near Exton, bringing together some of the best wineries in Hampshire (definitely check out Cottonworth and Hattingley Valley for sure.
In the first week of the month Masterchef King, Gregg Wallace, slides into Stockbridge for a fabulous supper club at the newly revamped The Grosvenor. This evening on Thurs 4, is a fantastic meal and talk from the man himself. It’s also a good chance to scope out the swishy new interior. If you can’t make it though, then make sure you head along for The Grosvenor’s Cocktail Night on Fri 12 with expert mixologist Salvatore Damiano.
Hotel du Vin in Winchester is also holding a range of special Wine Dinners throughout July with canapés, four courses paired with fine wine, coffee and petit fours for £70 per person. Having visited the Bistro as a wine novice, the in-house sommelier definitely knows his stuff and this will be a fantastic exploration of the impressive wine cellar they have at the hotel.
If you’re interested in the vegan lifestyle or at least trying to cut down your animal product consumption, the Isle of Wight is holding an awesome Vegan Festival at the Ventnor Botanical Gardens on Sun 21 Jul. With food stalls, local produce, health and beauty items and live music – not to mention the fab surroundings – this is definitely worth checking out.
If you’re trying to get the kids out and busy during the Summer holidays then definitely sign the teens up for Flora’s Kitchen Asian Cooking class on the 25th of the month. Flora is a whizz in the kitchen and has some pretty impressive names on her CV. Her courses are fun and engaging, not to mention useful for getting kids cooking as well. It’s £75 per teen and they get to bring home dinner, so almost certainly cheaper than a takeaway with a hungry teen!
While Gin may be getting all the glory and Rum is the up and comer, there’s something to be said about a good whiskey. With 90+ types of whiskey on offer, masterclasses and tastings, The Whiskey Affair at the Portsmouth Guildhall on Sat 27 is a great way to dip your toe into the drink of choice of Ava Gardner.
ART & EXHIBITIONS
Don’t fancy making the trek all the way to the Vatican to see the Sistine Chapel then head to Winchester from the 5th July to see the fantastic new exhibition Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel: A Different View. Spread across three venues in the city, this is the first stop on a tour of the UK and allows visitors to get up really close to the detail in Michelangelo’s masterpiece. It’s so big that you’ll have to trek from City Space to Winchester Discovery Centre and then onto the Great Hall. Entrance is £5 for adults and well worth the ticket price.
For something a little more modern and eclectic there’s a new exhibition at the Gosport Gallery called Gizmobots. These ‘robots’ are built of all sorts of bits and pieces made from ‘found objects’ (that’ll be from a skip and car boot), and instead of resembling junk, Mark Haig’s creations have become the most endearing and quirky little characters. The exhibition starts on the 13 Jul and runs till 14 Sept.
Embrace that glorious Summer sunshine with a trip to the Ryde Steam Railway who are holding a special 1940s experience on the 6-7 July. This is an event of pure, unadulterated nostalgia with men in uniforms and a whole lotta jive dancing. The Island really lends itself to that retro vibe as well, making it a great spot to jump on and forget the modern world.
There’s also plenty of outdoor film screenings on around the counties as well and The New Place Hotel is holding a special Movie at the Manor on Fri 12 with a screening of the Oscar-winning Bohemian Rhapsody. This biopic of Freddie Mercury is poignant and heart-warming and full of the fantastic Queen tunes that are so ingrained in British culture.
For a little taste of the North on the Island this month then check out the Island Highland Gathering, taking place on Sun 21 July at Braiding Roman Villa. This is a day filled with bagpipes, kilts, Highland dancing, haggis and (hopefully) a deep fried Mars Bar or two.
The following weekend its a double whammy of colour and fun on the Island with the Newport Carnival on Thurs 25 and Sandown Carnival on the 27 Jul. With a huge daytime procession in Newport on the 25th the capital of the county is going to be filled with colour and fun. If you can’t make the weekday event then the Sandown Procession is equally as impressive (it’s been running since 1889!) and has every type of fancy dress imaginable to spot.
On the last Wednesday of the month, there’s a huge Picnic at The Park at the Royal Victoria Country Park with the theme of Bubbles and Balls. Hosted on the 31st July, the kids can run free in the oodles of outdoor space in this beautiful spot with stories, activities and… of course… bubbles. A fab way to get out of the house during the long Summer break.
Add some hilarity into June with some off-beat and up and coming comics who are visiting the area.
On Fri 5 at Portsmouth Guildhall Scot Gark Meikle brings his show The iBrow Guy to Hants. The name of the show comes from his viral video sensation of ranting about his daughter’s eyebrows and other musings while driving in his car. His hilarious monologues are incredibly hilarious and totally relatable.
Also in Portsmouth this month is TV’s Gary Delaney with his new show Gagster’s Paradise on Thurs 18. The regular Mock of the Week star is known for his witty one-liners and has sold out numerous dates across the country. Must point out though, despite the name Coolio won’t be there.
In the run-up to the Edinburgh Comedy and Fringe, Josh Berry and Lois Mills will be teaming up for a night of laughs at The Point on Sat 27. Josh boasts his Edinburgh run sold out and has performed on the Michael McIntyre Big Show and the wonderfully eccentric Lois is a one-woman sketch genius – mixing puppetry, slapstick and witty jibes for the audience. Tickets are £10 per person.
KIDS & FAMILY
Anybody who is a fan of the late Judith Kerr (honestly, I still can’t get over Goodbye Mog.. *sob*) will know her classic tale The Tiger Who Came To Tea. This West End smash production is the tale of possibly the worst ever house guest and will thrill the littlies to bits. Check it out at the New Theatre Royal in Portsmouth on Sat 13-Sun 14.
For the older cohort in your life, particularly the ones who love explosions and slime then The Mayflower is hosting Ministry of Science Live on 15th. See what happens when you freeze flowers with liquid nitrogen or how batteries came about, all with a good dose of mess and slapstick that keeps the kids amused.
It’s never too early to get the kids interested in the arts and the Toddler Tour of the Kings Theatre, Southsea on Fri 19 July is a brilliant starting point. Take a look around this gorgeous Edwardian theatre, how it works and what goes on behind the scenes led by Mr Houdini and his Magic Mouse. Awww. There’s some fab coffee shops and places to grab a bite outside the theatre as well, and the seafront isn’t too far for a post-theatre splash about.
Just on the border of Hants/Berkshire Wellington Country Park are starting the Summer holidays off with a ROAR with its special Dinosaur Weekend. If the fantastic outdoor adventure park wasn’t enough this weekend (27-28 Jul) will give the littlies the chance to meet T-Rex, raptors, a dinosaur egg hunt and more inflatables than you can shake a stick out.
Meanwhile, over on the Island the Summer holidays brings Jungle Fever to Robin Hill from Fri 23 – 31 Aug. Here you’ll find life-size animal puppets, live performances of circus skills and acrobatics dotted around the park and woodland and a special Jungle Fever AFTER DARK in the evenings.
DATES FOR YOUR DIARY
If that’s not enough then make sure to grab tickets for some fantastic upcoming events. August sees two major festivals hitting Hampshire with Boomtown Fair blowing up from the 7-11 August. The line-up is IMMENSE and includes some amazing exclusive acts, whatever your taste – The Streets, Ms Lauryn Hill, DJ Yoda and many more.
And on the Bank Holiday (23-25 Aug) is Victorious Festival in Portsmouth. Not only one of the best up and coming major festivals, but one of the cheapest as well. Sit by the sunny Solent and catch acts such as New Order, The Specials, Ocean Colour Scene, Two Door Cinema Club, All Saints, The Vaccines, Plan B.. *phew*.. plus LOADS more.
And if you don’t fancy a full-on music festival, head to Muddy Award-winning restaurant The Cliff House in Barton on Sea for their annual Gin and Beer Festival between Thurs 22 and Mon 26 Aug. Not only will it showcase the best of local booze and food, but you’ll be able to check out its very own Flip Flop Gin and Barton Lager, crafted for them by the Ringwood Brewery.