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This month


EVENT: DarkFest, Portsmouth, Tue 22 Oct – Sun 11 Nov

Portsmouth DarkfestBringing the spooky Halloween season into November and beyond is Portsmouth’s annual DarkFest. Investigating, and celebrating, the creepy and the macabre history of the seafaring city, there’s a programme of theatre productions, panels and discussions about the supernatural allowing you to keep the fear going for a little bit longer.


FESTIVAL: New Forest Food and Drink Week, Mon 29 Oct – Sun 4 Nov

Food drink new forest weekFresh locally produced food? Organic hand-reared meat? Lots and lots of gin? Errr, sign me up, please! The New Forest Food and Drink comes to a crescendo on the first weekend of November and we couldn’t be happier. With events such as Sway’s Sausage Week and the chance to take afternoon tea in an adorable little-thatched cottage, there’s plenty of gourmet exploring to be done.


FOOD: Glenfiddich Dinner, The Brasserie, Farnborough, Fri 2 Nov

This is one for those who are fond of an unusual tipple. For £100 per person, you’ll be treated to a carefully curated, sumptuous three-course dinner at Aviator’s The Brasserie. With each dish, you will be able to pair it with a glass of a special limited edition Glenfiddich single malt. Each one has been carefully crafted and, after this evening, will no longer be available to buy. Very exclusive.


CULTURE: Live art with Sian Storey, THAT Gallery, Basingstoke, Sat 3 Nov

Sian Storey Art live paintingAs much as we love art and beautiful paintings, it can be so easy to forget how much work and talent can go into them. This weekend, remind yourself about just how ruddy talented artists can be as Sian Storey does a live painting event in Basingstoke’s Festival Place gallery. Sian’s well-known for her beautiful nature scenes (just look at those colours!) and you can see exactly how much work goes into the things that hang on your walls.


FILM: Winchester Short Film Festival, Sat 3 Nov – Sat 10 Nov

Cannes? Sundance? Nahhhh, if you’re a fan of film it’s got to be Winchester. With auteurs descending from across the world to present and discuss short features, this is definitely the spot for you culture vultures this week. There are screenings in various locations and include titles such as Meat Juice, Lady (including The Crown’s Amy Doyle) and the fascinating-sounding, Excuse me, I’m looking for the ping-pong table and my girlfriend. You grab the popcorn!


THEATRE: Joanna Lumley – It’s All About Me, Portsmouth Guildhall, Sun 4 Nov

She’s a national treasure, Girl Friday and, of course, the legendary Patsy Stone. Joanna Lumley is heading to Portsmouth this weekend to tell an enthralled audience that it’s all about her on her 30-day tour around the country. As well as getting a chance to glimpse the pragmatic diva, she’s bound to provide some witty insight and fun tales of her years in the biz in her one-woman show.


THEATRE: War Horse at Winchester Cathedral, Wed 7 Nov

War Horse is a moving and heartbreaking tale of a horse (from the Isle of Wight, no less) and his experiences in the Great War. The film, directed by Steven Spielberg and based on the 1982 novel of the same name, is receiving a special screening at Winchester Cathedral to commemorate the centenary since the end of the First World War.


EVENT: Autumn Colour Walk, Furzey Gardens, Minstead, Thu 8 Nov

Autumn walk bench leaves fallingAhhh autumn! With its bright colours and changing foliage, there really isn’t anything better than a good autumnal stroll. In fact, Furzey Gardens have a made a whole event out of it. Take this guided tour, led by the head gardener, around the grounds and enjoy all the sights, sounds and smells of this time of year.


THEATRE: Nik Bärtsch’s Ronin, Turner Sims Concert Hall, Fri 9 Nov

You may not have heard of Nik Bärtsch, but along with his ‘zen-funk quartet” Ronin, he’s heading to Southampton this November to share his latest release. So, if you like “dynamic precision, tessellated grooves and balletic minimalism” (yeah, we’re not quite sure either but it sounds pretty fancy and probably well paired with a glass or two of vino) then this is the concert for you.


DANCE: Hofesh Shechter SHOW, Nuffield Southampton Theatre City, Fri 9 – Sat 10 Nov

Internationally acclaimed choreograph Hofesh Shechter brings SHOW to Southampton this weekend. This dance spectacular is a macabre circus act that incorporates wild, tribalesque dance with elements of a rock concert, which sounds like a pretty good night out to us!


THEATRE: Audience with Gazza, Kings Theatre, Fri 9 Nov

Thinking a bit outside the box here, but we quite like the sound of this evening with the infamous Paul Gascgoine. Discussing everything from his football glory days, his personal demons and maybe a bit about *that* particular fishing rod and chicken incident. Even if you’re not a football fan this bound to be an eye-opening evening.


FILM: Southampton Film Week, Fri 9 – 19 Nov

Nine days celebrating cinematographer prowess? It can only mean the 11th annual Southampton Film Week. The programme is filled with screenings, live shows and workshops. One definite highlight is the screening of 1927’s dystopian masterpiece, Metropolis, complete with a live score.


MUSIC: Red Hot Chilli Pipers, The Harlington, Fleet, Sat 10 Nov

Red Hot Chilli Pipers Band FleetAnd now for something COMPLETELY different. Forget every cover band you’ve seen because The Red Hot Chilli Pipers bring their own blend of …well, bagpipe action to some of our favourite musical classics. Expect bagpipe-jacked renditions of songs by Prodigy, Snow Patrol and, yes, The Red Hot Chilli Peppers. It may not be to everybody’s tastes (or sound levels) but I bet it’ll be something that will leave a lasting impression. Fun fact, apparently Sir Paul McCartney is a big fan.


MUSIC: City of Southampton Orchestra, Sat 10 Nov

To celebrate the centenary of the end of World War I, the City of Southampton Orchestra is hosting a special evening of music that features scores by Elgar, Ravel, Elkington and Vaughan Williams. Each piece has been selected for its relevance to the era (Ravel’s piece was composed specifically for a war-wounded friend) and will provide a thought-provoking evening for reflection, as well as a chance to enjoy the orchestra’s great talent.


COMEDY: Chris Ramsey, Kings Theatre, Sat 10 Nov

Chris Ramsey kings theatre portsmouthThis cheeky Sandancer (that’s the term for someone from South Shields, doncha know) is bringing his routine down to Portsmouth for a side-splitting evening. Expect hilarity about Geordie accents, family life and the world around in a rather adorable accent on his “Just Happy To Get Out of the House” tour.


FESTIVAL: Isle of Wight Ukelele Festival, Fri 9 – Sun 11 Nov

Ready to get strumming? You’d better be, because the Isle of Wight is going to be rammed (rammed I tell you!) with ukelele plucking maestros this weekend. As well as some southern-styled bluegrass feels, there are workshops on songwriting, vocals and a host of amazing acts to check out if you pop to the Island this weekend.


SHOPPING: Emsworth Antiques Fair, Sun 11 Nov

antiques fayre crockery ceramicsIf you’re in the vicinity, then swing by Emsworth for their monthly antique fair this weekend. This is the place for a good rummage to find a gem, and who knows you might even get lucky and pick up a previously lost Picasso sketch. Next stop, Sotheby’s!


MUSIC: Seasick Steve, O2 Guildhall Southampton, Mon 12 Nov

Bringing his one-string diddley bow all the way to the south coast of England, Seasick Steve will be entertaining the folks of Southampton for one night only and we’ll be thigh-slapping our way throughout.


THEATRE: Gordon Buchanan – Animal Families and Me, Theatre Royal Winchester, Mon 12 Nov

Gordon 2017 tour photo (Graham macfarlane)Presenter Gordon Buchanan is known for his amazing wildlife videography and for presenting BBC’s Animal Family, and is bringing his tales of adorable (and sometimes a bit scary) animals to the stage in Winchester this week. Come listen to him chat about his experiences and globetrotting life.


THEATRE: SIX, Nuffield Southampton Theatre Campus, Tue 13 – Sat 17 Nov

Six nuffield theatreI’ve always been a big fan of the Tudor period and SIX is a cracking retelling of Henry VIII’s marital exploits. Bringing the drama and soap-operaesque tales of Henners’ wives firmly into the 21st century, the cast is heading to Southampton to give you the lowdown on the fickle king – complete with a rocking beat.


THEATRE: Evita, Kings Theatre, Tue 13 – Sat 17 Nov 

Evita Image for web 1Don’t cry for me… Southsea? Er, not quite, but the fabulous cast of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s stunning Evita is making its way down to Portsmouth this week. Bringing along with it a star-studded cast, you’ll be able to experience the tale of Eva Perón, wife of former Argentine dictator Juan Perón, with its famous score and beautiful visuals live on stage.

THEATRE: Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, Haymarket, Basingstoke, Wed 14 Nov – 24 Nov

Oooh, we love a bit of feel-good flamboyance and Priscilla is THE epitome of this. Featuring some beloved classics such as It’s Raining Men and Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, the aisles of The Haymarket will be buzzing with this uplifting story.


THEATRE: Queen Extravaganza, Portsmouth Guildhall, Thu 15 Nov

Freddie lives! With the whole world remembering this moustachioed marvel with the release of Bohemian Rhapsody, it couldn’t be a better time for Queen Extravaganza to play Portsmouth Guildhall. This official tribute act (which actually includes Brian May and Roger Taylor themselves) will be playing the greatest hits of the tour de force that is Queen. They will certainly rock you.


EVENT: Winchester Christmas Light Switch on, Thu 15 Nov 

Winchester Christmas Light Switch On wreathIt’s beginning to look a lot like…. Christmas. There, I said it. Before you start panicking about the mountain of shopping, wrapping and cooking that’s coming up, head into Winchester for the rather lovely British tradition of the Christmas switch-on in England’s unofficial ‘Christmas Capital’. You’ll be feeling festive before you know it (and I bet there’ll be some mulled wine knocking about too!)

CULTURE: Haymanot Tesfa and Arian Sadr, The Forge, Basingstoke, Fri 16 Nov
Expand your horizons this week with the sounds of Ethiopia, as celebrated musician and vocalist, Hayamanot Tesfa plays The Forge in Basingstoke. Accompanied by Arian Sadr on a range of traditional instruments, their repetoire brings grassroots culture and lifestyle from thousands of miles away to Hampshire, auditorily.

CHRISTMAS: Southampton Christmas Festival, Above Bar, Fri 16 Nov – Sun 23 Dec
 Just hear those sleigh bells jingling, ring-ting-tingling too… too soon? Southampton is getting a festive makeover in November as the yuletide season well and truly takes over. Get yourself into the Christmas spirit with seasonal pop-ups, festive food and drink and a flying Santa show.
CHRISTMAS: Winchester Christmas Market, Winchester Cathedral, Sat 17 Nov – Thu 20 Dec
Winchester Christmas market and ice rink

Photo: Anthony**

People flock from far and wide to head to Winchester for the Christmas season, and we’re lucky enough to have it right on our doorstep. For the original and, arguably, the best Christmas market in the country make sure you head to the cathedral. Mulled wine in one hand and gingerbread in the other, you can well and truly get the Christmas-feels on. We’re game.

FOOD: Southampton Vegan Festival, O2 Guildhall Southampton, Sat 17 Nov
Southampton Vegan FestivalWhether you’re a plant-based purist or a fickle flexitarian, the vegan lifestyle is well and truly here to stay. If you’re interested in finding out more about food alternatives (or just generally like food, erm me?) then swing past the Southampton Vegan Festival this weekend. With vendors from across the country – and the world – peddling their animal-free wares, there’s a chance to try a few new things (and maybe snag a few free samples).
EVENT: Portsmouth Guildhall Ice Rink, Sat 17 Nov – 7 Jan 19
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!
FAMILY FUN: Christmas at Marwell, Sat 17 Nov – Fri 21 Dec
Marwell In The SnowTake the kids to get into the Christmas spirit with a trip to Marwell as they gear up for the festive season. As well as the amazing Christmassy themed activities and a visit to Father Christmas, the animals are enough of a draw for a good day out.
FOOD: Sharpen your Skills Using Chicken with Sylvain Gachot, Season Cookery School, Winchester, Sun 18 Nov
If your chicken repetoire is getting a bit samey, then get yourself booked on this fab half-day course to pimp your poulet. Sylvian is a renowned chef and school manager at the 5* Lainston House and his teaching will help you bring new life into that bird for every night dinners. Yum!
THEATRE: Oliver!, The Point, Tue 20 Nov – 24 Nov
Please, sir, we want to some more! Charles Dicken’s lovable little Oliver is brought to life in this stage show at The Point this week. From classics such as I’d Do Anything and, of course, Food, Glorious Food, this show has been delighting audiences for fifty years and is certain to keep on going – but make sure to catch it this week!
FESTIVAL: Winchester Wine Festival, Fri 23 – 24 Nov
glass wine red winchester wine festivalWe don’t really need an excuse, do we? BUT, Winchester’s annual Wine Festival certainly gives us one! Hang out with Susie and Peter, the Beeb’s wine experts while sipping, supping and quaffing a whole host of plonk. The best bit? The use the words ‘unlimited tasting samples’. We’ll see you there!
CHRISTMAS: Gunwharf Express, Gunwharf, Sat 24 Nov – Mon 24 Dec
Gunwharf Express Christmas eventsChristmas is coming to Gunwharf this week as they launch their Christmas special – The Gunwharf Express. Explore the winter wonderland with the family on foot and by train, safe in the knowledge you can nip over to L.K Bennett afterwards.
FAMILY FUN: Christmas at Paultons Park, Sat 24 Nov – Mon 24 Dec
Peppa Pig Land Paultons Park Peppa George Snow ChristmasFor a nail-biting experience in the run-up to the holidays head along to the county’s premier theme park for a Christmas bonanza. There’s a chance to meet Father Christmas, a special Christmas show and even Peppa and her pals are getting in the spirit. And if you can’t be dealing with all that nonsense, then scare yourself silly on any number of its rollercoasters.
HERITAGE: The Night Before Christmas at Mottisfont, 24 Nov – Wed 2 Jan
Mottisfont Christmas EventsMottisfont is beautiful at any time of year, but at this time of year it really ramps it up a notch. For its festive celebrations, they are recreating various scenes from the beloved The Night Before Christmas. This is a great chance to pare back to a simpler celebration of the season and spend some time as a family.
THEATREBjorn Again, Portsmouth Guildhall, Tue 27 Nov
Oooh, we love a bit of Abba schmaltz and Bjorn Again is heading to Portsmouth for you to get your Dancing Queen fix. This is the show’s 30th year and has even been performed for the Queen at Buckingham Palace (If it’s good enough for Her Maj’…). Grab your sequinned flares and buy your ticket now to prevent a Tragedy!
THEATRE: Shrek The Musical, Mayflower, Tue 27 Nov – Sat 8 Dec
Shrek Musical Mayflower Southampton
It’s an all-singing, all-dancing ogre spectacular as Shrek: The Musical visits Southampton. Filled with hilarious jokes and original songs, follow Princess Fiona (Laura Main) as she finds unexpected love with a grumpy green ogre (Steffan Harri).
CHRISTMAS: Victorian Festival of Christmas, Portsmouth Dockyard, Fri 30 Nov – Sun 2 Dec
Step back into the past as the Portsmouth Dockyard gets a Victorian-era makeover. From the traditional dress to Victorian Christmas treats (I am partial to a bag of roasted chestnuts), it’s a great way to explore the epic dockyard and get into the spirit of the season. Oh, and new for 2018? A Gin and Prosecco Parlour – hooray!
EVENT: Deeds Not Words, Talk by Dr Helen Pankhurst, Winchester Discovery Centre, Fri 30 Nov
2018 marks the centenary of women achieving the right to vote. Over the last 100 years women have gone on to become some of the strongest forces in the world and this is all thanks to the actions of those women, more than a century ago. To celebrate, Dr Helen Pankhurst (great-great-granddaughter of Emmeline and granddaughter of Sylvia) will be giving a talk about how women’s rights have changed and developed over the last century, and what is next.
MUSIC: 808 State, Portsmouth Pyramids, Fri 30 Nov
Aceeeeeed. Throwback to the early 90s this week as those Mad-chester ravers, 808 State, blow up Portsmouth Pyramids for one night only. Expect absolute choons from the last 30 years (eeek) as well as a few tracks from their latest release, Transmission Suite. Grab those glowsticks and get dancing.

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