Mon 7 - Sun 13 Jan
OUTDOORS: Guided walk of Bembridge Fort and Downs, Bembridge, Wed 9 Jan
Set out for a bracing winter stroll, complete with a savvy tour guide and a history lesson to boot. This is your opportunity to have a nose around the sporadically open Bembridge Fort and also explore the gorgeous Wight coastline at the same time.
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.
FOOD & DRINK: Gin & Tonic Pairing Workshop, Southampton, Fri 11 Jan
Like 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
Often 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.
CULTURE: The Sunday Times Watercolour Competition Exhibition, Willis Museum and Sainsbury Gallery, Basingstoke, Sat 12 Jan – Wed 20 Mar
Art has many shapes and forms in this day in age – video, sculpture to the more obscure mediums. However there’s something utterly magical about the traditional forms and this exhibition, showcasing the best in the form of watercolour, is worth having a nose at. With over 80 works that have been hand-selected by a prestigious panel of arty-types will have you “Ooohing” and “Ahhhing” while you add Bob Ross to your Netflix queue.
THEATRE: Antony & Cleopatra at National Theatre Live, NST City, Southampton, Sun 13 Jan
A romance story for the ages, the cast of National Theatre Live’s version of Shakespeare’s Antony & Cleopatra are returning for an encore screening at Southampton’s NST City theatre. Featuring the rather dashing Ralph Fiennes as General Mark Antony and Sophie Okonedo as the original diva, Cleopatra, this is a cultural gem to watch on a sleepy Sunday.
FOOD & DRINK: Meat curing and Salami Workshop, Wolverton, Sun 13 Jan
It’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.