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This week

Mon 29 Oct - Sun 4 Nov

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.

EVENT: Halloween Guided Walking Tour of Winchester, Wed 31 Oct

WInchester Halloween Walk

Photo: Lucy Haydon

Celebrate All Hallows’ Eve with a creepy crawl around the ancient streets of Winchester. This adults-only tour starts at 8pm and will take you on a walk around the city to discover its long, and often bloody, past. Find out where ghostly figures have been spotted and those who look for vengeance are said to roam. Eeep!

FOOD: Halloween Special at The Ivy, Winchester, Wed 31 Oct

Halloween Spiced Apple Martini The Ivy WinchesterIf you prefer your spooky-themed events to be more food related than scary, then make sure to visit The Ivy in Winchester this Halloween. With spooky-themed cocktails and a delicious (if deathly) special dessert for one day only, this is definitely more my kind of Halloween celebration.

TOUR: Late Night Gothic, Chawton House, Alton, Wed 31 Oct

Chawton House Spooky Gothic LadyIf you don’t fancy the usual ghosts and ghoulies that come with this time of year and want something a tad more sophisticated for Halloween then Late Night Gothic is the one for you. Celebrating the works of Hampshire’s very own Jane Austen and other notable female wordsmiths, this candlelit tour of Chawton House will creep you out while simultaneously giving you a good dose of gothic cultural learning at the same time.

THEATRE: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Kings Theatre, Portsmouth, Thu 1 – Sat 3 Nov

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Kings TheatreArguably one of the scariest characters ever created, The Childcatcher is coming to Southsea’s Kings Theatre with the CCADS Theatre company’s version of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. The musical is a firm favourite for adults and children alike and is bound to delight

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.

FIREWORKS: Winchester Bonfire, The Broadway, Sat 3 Nov

Fireworks WinchesterWrap up warm and get thee to Winchester as it’s bonfire night (sort of). The Winchester celebrations are always grand and well organised. Proceedings start off with their annual grand parade and culminate in a fantastic firework display that’ll have you ooooh-ing and ahhhh-ing with the crowds.

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 JuiceLady (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!

TOUR: Gunpowder, Treason & Plot – Southampton Tour, Bargate, Sun 4 Nov

Southampton Bargate Zoe Toseland

Photo: Zoe Toseland

We all know the story of Guy Fawkes and his foiled plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament. Southampton Tourist Guides lead this special walk around the city telling the tale, hundreds of years on and how the city tied into the nefarious proceedings.

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 this one-woman show.

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