BLENHEIM PALACE FOOD FESTIVAL

Blenheim Palace Food Festival

SATURDAY 25TH MAY – MONDAY 27TH MAY 2024

A taste of what’s to come…

May 2024 at Blenheim Palace offers a gastronomic celebration with an exceptional 3-day line-up of celebrity cooks, world-renowned chefs, artisan food and drink producers, wine tasting and much loved culinary institutions, showcasing their skills and sharing their passion for food with a mix of live demos, workshops and Q&As. Discover new ingredients, learn tasty recipes, get fired up with our cooking tips and be inspired by our panel of experts.

One of the best family days out, kids can enjoy learning circus skills while adults relax to live music among the carefully selected stalls, friends and families can shop among the myriad of kitchen and homeware gifts. In addition, come and sip wines with our fantastic sommelier team. Your epicurean adventure starts here!

Tickets on sale priced at £22.50, available online at blenheimpalace.com

What’s on in Oxfordshire this March

whats on in oxfordshire this march

March in Oxfordshire brings a delightful blend of intellectual exploration and entertainment. The city of Oxford hosts the 27th Oxford Literary Festival, a vibrant platform for voices from various domains to engage in discussions on pressing global issues. Meanwhile, rock legends 10cc are set to take the stage on their “Ultimate Ultimate Greatest Hits Tour,” promising a night of timeless music. For Pink Floyd enthusiasts, Atom Heart Floyd will perform their tribute show at Witney Corn Exchange. Fashion aficionados can indulge in “Icons of British Fashion” at Blenheim Palace, showcasing bespoke designs and creations from renowned names.

Here’s a glimpse of what’s in store across Oxfordshire this March:

Sterosonics

Saturday 09 March 2024
Fat Lils, 64 Corn Street, Witney, OX28 6BS

On Saturday, 9 March, music lovers in Witney are in for an electrifying treat as Sterosonics, the UK’s number one tribute to Stereophonics, takes the stage at Fat Lils. Prepare to be blown away by their uncanny soundalike qualities and an unforgettable performance that pays homage to the brilliant Welsh rock band.

For fans of Stereophonics, this is a night not to be missed. Sterosonics will be belting out all the hits and classics that have made Stereophonics a household name. From anthems that have rocked stadiums to soulful ballads that have tugged at our heartstrings, Sterosonics will capture the essence of Stereophonics’ music with remarkable precision.

So, mark your calendars for 9 March and head down to Fat Lils for a night of rock ‘n’ roll that will transport you back to the heyday of Stereophonics. Get ready to sing along, dance, and relive the music that has left an indelible mark on the British rock scene.

For information and tickets, please click here

Caroline Quentin – The Plot So Far

Saturday 09 March 2024
Oxford Playhouse, Beaumont Street, Oxford

The Oxford Playhouse welcomes the beloved British comedy icon, Caroline Quentin, for an evening of horticultural hilarity and heart-warming tales of tending the soil. In an event inspired by her delightful new book, “Drawn To The Garden,” Caroline invites you to join her on a journey celebrating the therapeutic power of gardening and the simple joys of connecting with the earth.

Caroline Quentin’s illustrious career in British comedy has seen her take on lead roles in iconic shows like the award-winning sitcom “Men Behaving Badly” and the enigmatic crime drama “Jonathan Creek.” She’s also known for her sparkling performance in series 18 of the BBC’s “Strictly Come Dancing.” However, on this special evening, Caroline will share her passion for plants, vegetables, and the wonderful world of gardening.

In her unmistakable style, Caroline will regale the audience with hilarious anecdotes of her gardening adventures, from baffling failures to unplanned successes and the delightful accidents that often occur when nurturing a garden. Her stories, shared with presenter Maria McErlane, promise to entertain and inspire.

Expect an evening filled with laughter, possibly some dancing, and a whole lot of showing off—of the green, blooming variety! Caroline Quentin’s engaging tales will remind us all of the joys and quirks of gardening, proving that, much like life, it’s a beautiful journey filled with surprises.

For information and tickets, please click here

Titanic The Musical

Sunday 10 March 2024
The Theatre Chipping Norton, 2 Spring St, Chipping Norton OX7 5NL

“Titanic The Musical” graces the stage of The Theatre Chipping Norton on Sunday, 10 March 2024. Winner of five prestigious Tony Awards, including Best Musical, this remarkable production invites you to delve into the hopes and dreams of the diverse passengers who boarded the Titanic.

As the curtain rises, you’ll be transported back to an era of opulence, where passengers from all walks of life, each carrying their own unique stories and personal ambitions, come together. Unbeknownst to them, their lives are on a collision course with destiny, and the fate of the Titanic hangs in the balance.

Among the passengers are Third Class immigrants, dreaming of a brighter future in America, and Second Class passengers, envisioning lives of luxury and prestige. Meanwhile, the millionaire Barons of the First Class anticipate legacies that will endure for generations to come.

This captivating production, with its poignant storytelling and unforgettable musical score, pays tribute to the triumphs and tragedies of one of history’s most iconic events. It offers a glimpse into the hearts and minds of those aboard the ill-fated ship, where dreams, love, and aspirations meet the unforgiving iceberg that would forever alter their course.

“Titanic The Musical” promises to be an unforgettable theatrical masterpiece, reminding us all of the indomitable human spirit in the face of adversity.

For information and tickets, please click here

The Hound of The Baskervilles

Thursday 14 March 2024
The Mill Arts Centre, Spiceball Park Road, Banbury, OX16 5QE

Honalee Media Ltd present “The Hound of the Baskervilles.” Live on stage and in person, two renowned stars of stage and screen, COLIN BAKER (known for his role as Doctor Who and The Brothers) and TERRY MOLLOY (famous as Mike Tucker in The Archers for 40 years), join forces this spring to bring to life the iconic detectives SHERLOCK HOLMES & DOCTOR WATSON.

This thrilling stage adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s masterwork celebrates the 120th anniversary of the most famous Holmes tale and has been extended by popular demand. The legend of the Hound of the Baskervilles has plagued the Baskerville family for generations, particularly the ill-fated Sir Charles Baskerville, who met a mysterious and ominous end. Dr. Mortimer turns to the brilliant Sherlock Holmes and his loyal companion, Dr. Watson, in a desperate bid to save the last of the Baskerville line, Sir Henry, from a similar fate.

However, the supernatural appears to be far from 221B Baker Street once Holmes and Watson set foot in the isolated Baskerville Hall. Reality and myth blur as they confront death, doom, and the malevolent force that haunts Dartmoor. Who is the enigmatic butler lurking in the shadows? Whose mysterious lantern pierces the darkness? And what diabolical apparition prowls Dartmoor with murderous intent?

With Colin Baker’s masterful portrayal of Sherlock Holmes, Terry Molloy’s impeccable rendition of Dr. Watson, and Dee Sadler’s remarkable performance, “The Hound of the Baskervilles” promises a riveting and immersive theatre experience. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to witness these esteemed actors live at your local theatre. The play has garnered acclaim, with reviewers praising the electrifying interplay between Baker and Molloy, making it an unmissable theatrical event.

For information and tickets, please click here

10cc Live

Friday 22 March 2024
New Theatre Oxford, 24-26 George St, Oxford

Prepare for a night of pure musical magic as the iconic art pop and soft rock legends 10cc, grace the stage of the New Theatre Oxford on Friday, 22 March 2024. Celebrating 50 years since their debut album, 10cc embarks on “The Ultimate Ultimate Greatest Hits Tour,” promising a memorable evening filled with timeless classics and new surprises. Renowned for their impeccable songcraft and innovative sound, 10cc has remained a beloved fixture in the music world. Critics and fans alike continue to sing their praises, with the Daily Telegraph declaring them “note perfect” and the Arts Desk emphasising that their songbook, filled with fun, love, and social commentary, remains as relevant as ever.

With over 15 million albums sold in the UK and an impressive roster of hits, including chart-toppers like “Rubber Bullets,” “Dreadlock Holiday,” and the iconic “I’m Not In Love,” 10cc’s music has left an indelible mark on the music landscape. From the enchanting melodies of “Donna” to the satirical brilliance of “The Wall Street Shuffle,” their catalogue is a testament to their musical genius. Joining them on this extraordinary journey is special guest Paul Canning, adding even more excitement to what promises to be an unforgettable night of live music. Don’t miss your chance to witness legends in action and relive the soundtrack of an era at the New Theatre Oxford with 10cc!

For information and tickets, please click here

TESS – Ockham’s Razor

Tuesday 26 March 2024
Oxford Playhouse, Beaumont Street, Oxford

The Oxford Playhouse is set to host a ground-breaking adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s timeless novel, “Tess of the d’Urbervilles.” This innovative performance, titled “TESS,” brings together the eloquence of Hardy’s words and the breath-taking physicality of circus arts to deliver a powerful narrative of power, loss, and endurance.

The stage is transformed into a canvas where an ensemble of performers masterfully wields wooden planks, scales shifting walls, and navigates ropes and swathes of linen. Against a backdrop of projections, they conjure the vast landscapes and inner worlds of Hardy’s Wessex. It’s a visual and narrative spectacle that blurs the lines between traditional storytelling and the immersive world of contemporary circus.

Beyond its visual splendour, “TESS” delves into themes that continue to resonate in our times, including the complexities of female relationships, sexual desire, consent, privilege, and poverty. This adaptation captures the beauty, heartbreak, and yearning of Hardy’s novel while highlighting the indomitable spirit of its heroine, Tess, in a way that aligns with the author’s original intent.

Produced by Ockham’s Razor in collaboration with Turtle Key Arts, “TESS” has already garnered critical acclaim for its physically thrilling and beautifully human performances. As described by The Sunday Times and The Times, it promises to be a blend of storytelling, acrobatics, and theatre that will leave audiences both moved and spellbound.

For information and tickets, please click here

Icons of British Fashion

Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire OX20 1UL
Saturday 23rd March – Sunday 30th June 2024

From Saturday, 23 March to Sunday 30 June 2024, the iconic Blenheim Palace in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, will transform into a vibrant tapestry of style, as it proudly presents its most ambitious exhibition to date: “Icons of British Fashion.” This exclusive event promises a journey through the world of British fashion, from its illustrious past to the cutting-edge designs of today.

Prepare to be captivated as you traverse the magnificent Blenheim Palace, where each room along your visitor route pays homage to a British fashion icon. Your fashion odyssey begins in the resplendent Great Hall, setting the stage for the sartorial wonders to come. As you journey through this historic setting, you’ll be treated to a visually stunning fashion exhibition unlike any other.

“Icons of British Fashion” boasts a stellar line-up of world-class designers, fashion houses, and labels, showcasing bespoke designs and loans from some of the biggest names in the fashion world. Confirmed luminaries include legendary names like Barbour, Jean Muir, Stella McCartney, and Vivienne Westwood, among others. This exhibition seamlessly weaves together clothing, accessories, archival materials, drawings, photography, and patterns, all harmoniously integrated with Blenheim’s priceless collections.

For Blenheim Palace, this exhibition is a tribute to its rich history in British fashion. Over the years, the palace has been a stage for fashion shows, glamorous photoshoots, and high-society catwalks, often attended by royalty. Against this backdrop of elegance and opulence, “Icons of British Fashion” celebrates the enduring impact of British fashion on the global stage. It’s a reminder of the UK’s incredible creativity and innovation within the fashion industry.

For information and tickets, please click here

Soundbite UK Presents: Atom Heart Floyd

Saturday 23 March 2024
Witney Corn Exchange, Market Square, Witney OX28 6AB

On Saturday, 23 March 2024, prepare for a sonic journey through the ages as Atom Heart Floyd, the UK’s premier Pink Floyd tribute band, takes centre stage at the Witney Corn Exchange.

Feel the pulse of Pink Floyd’s iconic sound as it’s brought back to life by the incredible musicianship of Atom Heart Floyd. From the soul-stirring “Comfortably Numb” to the evocative strains of “Wish You Were Here,” this talented ensemble will transport you back to the heyday of one of the greatest rock bands in history.

Atom Heart Floyd isn’t just a tribute band; they’re a true spectacle. With every note, they recreate the magic and capture the atmosphere of Pink Floyd’s legendary live performances. Whether you’re a dedicated Pink Floyd fan or new to their legendary sound, Atom Heart Floyd promises to deliver an evening of musical excellence and pure entertainment. Join your fellow fans and sing along to your favourite hits, experiencing the nostalgia of Pink Floyd’s timeless classics.

For information and tickets, please click here

The 27th Oxford Literary Festival 2024

16 to 24 March 2024
Sheldonian Theatre, Broad Street, Oxford

This renowned festival once again brings together authoritative voices, both locally and globally, to engage in passionate debates, discuss current issues, and delve into the realms of literature and culture. With an unwavering commitment to freedom of speech, the festival welcomes speakers from all corners of the opinion spectrum, inviting them to boldly address controversial subjects and well-trodden paths of discussion.

Visitors from far and wide make the pilgrimage to Oxford to be part of this celebration of literature, culture, and intellectual discourse. The festival, in partnership with the University of Oxford, the Bodleian Libraries, and Netflix, is unique in that it offers its engaging talks within the confines of stunning historical buildings that are often off-limits to the general public.

Highlights of the Festival:

  1. The Planet: NHS GP, writer, and TV personality Dr. Amir Khan will deliver the Compassion in World Farming Lecture, sharing his deep-rooted passion for wildlife conservation and advocating for wildlife-friendly and sustainable farming practices. Meanwhile, animal rights campaigner Gary Francione will lead a series of panel discussions, exploring the future of our food and probing whether there is an appetite for cultivated meats.
  2. A New Sponsor: Oxford United Football Club sponsors a talk by former Manchester City footballer Nedum Onuoha. He reflects on the myriad challenges he faced in football, from dealing with racism to knowing when to retire from the game. This promises to be an interactive session, with questions welcomed from football enthusiasts of all ages.
  3. Scandals: Andy Verity makes a compelling argument for the innocence of the 19 financial traders convicted of rate rigging, while Caroline Wheeler unveils the heart-wrenching stories of individuals and families entangled in the NHS contaminated blood scandal.
  4. Debates: A ‘You Ask the Question’ panel, chaired by Yasmin Alibai-Brown and featuring panellists such as Dr. Liam Fox MP and Hardeep Matharu, will field questions from the audience on pressing issues of the day. Renowned swimmer and sports presenter Sharron Davies will be interviewed by Andrew Billen about her book, “Unfair Play: The Battle for Women’s Sport.”
  5. Health: Teun Toebes, a 24-year-old Dutch student, shares the enlightening experiences from renting a room in a nursing home and the profound lessons it taught him about dementia. In the digital realm, neuroscientist and practising neurologist Dr. Faye Begeti provides insights into building healthy digital habits while shedding light on how to break the bad ones.
  6. Faith: Professor Avi Shlaim, a distinguished historian of the Arab-Israeli conflict, narrates the gripping tale of Iraqi Jews caught in the crossfire of Zionism and Nationalism. Historian Dr. Ambrogio Caini delves into the complex history of the Catholic Church, and former Bishop of Oxford Richard Harries shares captivating stories from his memoir.
  7. Nature: Derek Gow, the ‘maverick rewilder,’ paints a vivid picture of his dream—a return of wolves to the British Isles. Young birder and environmentalist Mya-Rose Craig sheds light on her initiative, Black-to-Nature, aimed at engaging minority ethnic teenagers with the wonders of nature.
  8. Fiction: Bestselling authors Val McDermid and Ann Cleeves engage in a discussion about the art of evoking place in their writing. On the 25th anniversary of her book “Chocolat,” acclaimed writer Joanne Harris sits down with Nick Higham to delve into her life as a writer.
  9. Feminism: Science journalist Angela Saini presents her latest book, “The Patriarchs: How Men Came to Rule,” dissecting the historical roots of male domination. Professor Athene Donald makes a compelling case for the need for more women in science, and Hilary Bradt engages in a lively conversation with Kate Humble about her adventures hitchhiking around the world, as chronicled in her book “Unfair Play.”
  10. LGBTQ+: Amin Ghaziani discusses his new book, “Queer Nightlife – How the Closing of Gay Bars Sparked a Revolution.” Novelists CA Castle and Lex Croucher delve into their contemporary takes on period dramas, featuring gender-fluid protagonists and characters with diverse queer identities.
  11. Economy: Economist Stephen King unravels the mystery of why inflation has made a surprising return after we thought it was laid to rest. Linda Yueh reflects on the lessons learned from previous global economic meltdowns, and Will Hutton outlines what the Right did to Britain and proposes ways to mend it.
  12. Politics: The festival will conclude with Lord William Hague delivering the Magdalen President’s Lecture. Anthony Seldon provides insight into Boris Johnson’s premiership, and Simon McDonald shares his vision for reshaping UK foreign policy.

For further information, please click here

Sing-a-Long-a Matilda – Film

Sunday 31 March 2024
New Theatre Oxford, 24-26 George St, Oxford

Calling all fans of the mischievous Matilda, it’s time to unleash your inner ‘revolting child’ and join the ultimate sing-along extravaganza!

On Sunday, 31 March 2024, the New Theatre Oxford will transform into a hub of infectious energy and musical merriment as “Sing-a-Long-a Matilda” takes centre stage. Brought to you by the same creative minds behind the hugely popular Singalonga Sound of Music and Singalonga Frozen, this event promises a thrilling experience for kids and adults alike. Based on Roald Dahl’s beloved novel, Matilda the Musical is a Tony and Olivier Award-winning masterpiece that has captured hearts around the world.

Now, you have the chance to step into Matilda’s world, belt out those catchy tunes, and enjoy yourself in a story of wit, courage, and the magic of childhood. Grab your free prop bags, don your best fancy dress, and prepare to boo the villains and cheer for the heroes – because at Sing-a-Long-a Matilda, the audience is the star of the show! Please note, this is a screening of the movie, not a live stage production, but it promises to be an interactive and unforgettable cinematic experience for the whole family.

For information and tickets, please click here

What’s on in Oxfordshire this February

What's on in oxfordshire this February

As the winter chill slowly gives way to the promise of spring, Oxfordshire is buzzing with excitement this February. While the days may still be short, the county is long on opportunities for culture, entertainment, and family fun. From spectacular musical performances that will transport you back in time to captivating workshops that invite you to explore new talents, there’s something for everyone. This is just a small selection of the remarkable events happening across the county.

The Budapest Café Orchestra

Thursday 1st February 2024
The Mill Arts Centre Banbury

The Budapest Café Orchestra is anything but ordinary. This boutique orchestra, known for its unconventional approach to music, will transport you to a world of gypsy and folk-inspired melodies like you’ve never experienced before. From traditional Balkan and Russian pieces to creative interpretations of masterworks by Romantic composers and Gaelic folk anthems, their music is infectious, captivating, and unforgettable.

A Symphony of Surprises – The Budapest Café Orchestra promises an evening filled with surprises, immense skill, and profound musicianship. It’s a musical journey that will leave an indelible mark on your soul and make you dream of a Danube adventure.

Four Remarkable Musicians – Despite their modest number, the Budapest Café Orchestra’s talent knows no bounds. With just four players—Christian Garrick on violin and darbuka, Eddie Hession on accordion, Kelly Cantlon on double bass, and Adrian Zolotuhin on guitar, saz, balalaika, and domra—they create a musical alchemy that rivals much larger ensembles. Their synergy is awe-inspiring and promises a night of musical brilliance.

Whether you’re a seasoned music enthusiast or just looking for a unique and delightful evening out, this is an experience you won’t want to miss.

For further information and tickets, please click here

Witney Jazz Club : Tim Whitehead in Concert

Friday 2nd February 2024
Witney Corn Exchange, Market Square, Witney OX28 6AB

On 2nd February 2024, the Witney Corn Exchange are hosting an enchanting evening of jazz as they proudly present Tim Whitehead in Concert. Doors open at 19:30, with the performance commencing at 20:00. Tim Whitehead’s musical journey began as a gifted classical clarinettist in his youth. While pursuing a law degree at university, his passion for music, especially jazz, beckoned irresistibly. He made the bold choice to follow his musical calling, and it has led him to remarkable heights.

Tim has graced stages across the USA alongside the renowned American pianist Phil de Greg. He was an integral part of the ground-breaking ’80s jazz ensemble ‘Loose Tubes,’ and in 2009, he received an esteemed nomination as Artist In Residence at Tate Britain. These are just a few of the highlights from his illustrious career.

The Corn Exchange are thrilled to have Tim Whitehead perform at Witney Jazz, accompanied by a hand-picked ensemble of exceptional musicians. Joining him on stage are the talented pianist Jonathan Taylor, the skilled bassist Paul Jefferies, and the dynamic drummer Alex Goodyear.

For further information and tickets, please click here

That Take & Motown Tribute Night!

Friday 2nd February 2024
The Spread Eagle Hotel, Thame

The Spread Eagle Hotel are hosting an unforgettable evening of music and entertainment that will chase away those mid-winter blues. Get ready to dance the night away with a Take That Tribute Trio and world of Motown.

Tickets for this event include a three-course dinner, two sets of 45 minutes each from the Tribute Act, bringing the magic of Take That and the soul of Motown to life.
Dance the night away until 1:00 am with DJ Smokey Haze, who will keep the party vibes going strong.

For further information and tickets, please click here

Life Drawing Workshop

Saturday 3rd February 2024
The Mill Arts Centre, Spiceball Park Road, Banbury, OX16 5QE

Join tutor Chrissie Borland at The Mill Arts Centre in Banbury on Saturday, February 3, 2024, for a popular one-day event that’s perfect for art enthusiasts. The Life Drawing Workshop offers a unique opportunity to hone your artistic skills by drawing from a live model. Whether you’re a seasoned artist looking to refine your technique or a beginner eager to explore the world of life drawing, this workshop caters to all skill levels.
Led by the talented tutor Chrissie Borland, this workshop provides a supportive and creative environment for artists of all backgrounds. All materials needed for the workshop are thoughtfully provided, so you can focus on your craft without any hassle.

Don’t miss this fantastic opportunity to immerse yourself in the captivating world of life drawing and explore your artistic potential. Whether you’re seeking to improve your skills or simply enjoy a day of artistic expression, this Life Drawing Workshop is the perfect choice.

For further information and tickets, please click here

Ultimate Floyd

Saturday 3rd February 2024
The Theatre Chipping Norton, 2 Spring St, Chipping Norton OX7 5NL

Experience the Magic of Pink Floyd with Ultimate Floyd at The Theatre Chipping Norton. Journey through the timeless classics of Pink Floyd as Ultimate Floyd takes the stage at The Theatre Chipping Norton. If you’re a Pink Floyd fan, this is an event you simply can’t miss.

From the haunting melodies of “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” to the anthemic “Another Brick in the Wall,” and the soul-stirring “Comfortably Numb,” Ultimate Floyd promises to deliver the greatest hits that have defined Pink Floyd’s legacy.

An authentic tribute, this show is more than just a concert; it’s a full-fledged Pink Floyd experience. Featuring top-flight musicians who have mastered the nuances of the band’s music, you can expect a performance that stays true to the original, capturing the very essence of Pink Floyd.

With over two hours of incredible music, this show promises an unforgettable evening for Pink Floyd enthusiasts and music lovers alike. It’s not just a tribute; it’s a celebration of the band’s enduring legacy.

For further information and tickets, please click here

Pink Mac

Saturday 3rd February 2024
Fat Lils, 64 Corn Street, Witney, OX28 6BS

The brilliant Pink Mac will be performing at Fat Lil’s on Saturday 3rd February. Get ready for a remarkable celebration of the iconic sounds of Pink Floyd and Fleetwood Mac, all brought to life by one phenomenal live band.

Pink Mac is not your typical tribute act; they’re the UK’s first Pink Floyd and Fleetwood Mac tribute ensemble. This promises a unique musical experience as they flawlessly blend the legendary repertoires of these two iconic bands into one unforgettable performance.

Prepare to be transported back in time as Pink Mac takes you on a musical journey through the timeless hits of Pink Floyd and Fleetwood Mac. From the melodies of Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb” to the enchanting rhythms of Fleetwood Mac’s “Go Your Own Way,” the evening of nostalgia and musical brilliance is not to be missed!

Grab your tickets and get ready for a night of unforgettable rock ‘n’ roll!

For further information and tickets, please click here

Romesh Ranganathan: Hustle

Wednesday 14 February & Thursday 15 February 2024
New Theatre Oxford, 24-26 George St, Oxford

Prepare for a night of laughter and contemplation as Romesh Ranganathan returns to the stage at New Theatre Oxford with his brand-new show, “Hustle.” Following his sell-out tour in 2022, Romesh is back to delve into the intricacies of the human condition.

In “Hustle,” Romesh navigates a maze of questions. Are people inherently good? Does charity always bring positivity, or is it a complex web of intentions? Is hustling the ultimate path to success, or is it just a societal construct that keeps us tirelessly striving without a clear purpose?

Why should you attend this thought-provoking comedy event? Romesh Ranganathan, renowned for his appearances in “The Misadventures of Romesh Ranganathan,” “The Ranganation,” “Rob & Romesh Vs,” “A League of Their Own,” and more, brings his trademark wit and incisive humour to dissect these profound questions. Yet, be prepared – Romesh provides no definitive answers, leaving you to ponder life’s complexities long after the laughter subsides.

Critics hail Romesh’s vivacious comedy as a “masterclass in spinning life’s frustrations into comedy gold” (EVENING STANDARD) and describe him as “deceptively sharp and utterly disarming” (THE TIMES).

For further information and tickets, please click here

Jo Whiley’s 90s Anthems

Friday 16 February 2024
O2 Academy Oxford,190 Cowley Road, Oxford

A Nostalgic Journey Through the Decade of Dance.

The Ultimate 90s Party – Join Jo Whiley, the queen of the 90s, for an unforgettable night of music and memories. From the anthemic sounds of Oasis to the Britpop brilliance of Blur, from the mind-bending beats of The Chemical Brothers to the explosive energy of The Prodigy, Jo Whiley’s 90s Anthems promises to be a thrilling journey through the musical landscape of the 90s.

Relive the magic of the era when superstar DJs ruled the airwaves, and dancefloor classics became anthems of a generation. Whether you were a raver, rocker, or simply a music lover, this event will transport you back to the heart of the 90s music scene.

Hey Girl, Hey Boy: It’s time to dust off those neon outfits, embrace the nostalgia, and dance like it’s 1999. Whether you’re reliving your youth or discovering the 90s for the first time, this event promises an electric atmosphere, incredible tunes, and a night of non-stop dancing.

It’s going to be a night to remember, so mark your calendar and get ready to relive the decade that defined a generation!

For further information and tickets, please click here

Family Workshop – Bollywood Dancing

Saturday 17th February 2024
The Mill Arts Centre Banbury

If you’ve ever wanted to dive into the colourful world of Bollywood dancing, here’s your chance! Join ‘The Mill Arts Centre Banbury’ for an exhilarating Family Bollywood Dance Workshop that promises to get the whole family moving to the vibrant beats of India.

Dance Like a Bollywood Star – Led by the talented Ranjini Mohan, a trained Kathak dancer with a passion for Bollywood rhythms, this workshop is designed for all abilities. From classic to contemporary moves, you’ll learn the art of Bollywood dance in a fun and engaging way.

Bollywood dance is all about embracing the joy, vibrancy, and light-heartedness of Indian cinema. Families are encouraged to participate together, making it a fantastic bonding experience. It’s a perfect opportunity for parents, grandparents, and children to come together, have fun and learn the move….how to ‘change lightbulbs’!

Groove, Move, and Perform: The workshop will conclude with a thrilling performance where you can showcase your newfound Bollywood dance skills to friends and family. Get ready to shine on stage and experience the thrill of a live performance.

For further information and tickets, please click here

Glitterball 2024: An Enchanted Forest

Friday 23rd February 2024
Oxford Town Hall, Oxford

Prepare for a night of enchantment and celebration as Glitterball, Oxford’s only LGBTQ+ ball, makes its grand return! This event is open to everyone in the Oxford community who’s ready to dance, mingle, and have a fantastic time. On February 23rd, Oxford Town Hall will be transformed into an Enchanted Forest, setting the stage for an unforgettable evening filled with music, captivating performances, delectable food, free-flowing drinks, and unabashed queer joy.

For those who’ve had the pleasure of attending Glitterball before, you already know it’s a party unlike any other, and this on promises to take the excitement to even greater heights. It’s an evening where you can be your authentic self, celebrate diversity, and create cherished memories with friends old and new.

For further information and tickets, please visit click here

Ivo Graham – Organised Fun

Tuesday 27 February 2024
Oxford Playhouse, Beaumont Street, Oxford

Get ready for a night of motormouthed finesse and uproarious laughter as Ivo Graham, the comedy virtuoso known for his appearances on Taskmaster, Off Menu, and University Challenge, takes the stage at Oxford Playhouse.

Ivo’s comedic prowess is undeniable, and he’s no stranger to chaos, having dismantled a barge and even doxxed himself in the infamous Doubletree incident. Now, with his unique brand of humour, Ivo invites you to join him for a whirlwind of hilarity against the clock.

“Is humiliation your thing?” his brother once asked him, and with that existential question in mind, Ivo is crafting a show that promises more risks and even bigger laughs (previous shows, as low-risk as they were, have left audiences in stitches).

Prepare for quizzes, delightful tangents, and some good-natured flustering as Ivo Graham explores the world with his witty perspective. In 2019, he was nominated for both the Edinburgh Festival Best Show and Best Joke, and he’s been hailed as “confident, exquisitely crafted, and satisfyingly funny” by the Evening Standard.

As The Times aptly describes him, Ivo Graham possesses “motormouthed finesse.” The Telegraph adds, “I could watch him natter all day.” Don’t miss your chance to witness this comedic genius live at Oxford Playhouse.

For further information and tickets, please click here

Varna International Ballet – The Nutcracker

Wednesday 28th February 2024
Oxford New Theatre, 24-26 George St, Oxford

Varna International Ballet presents the timeless classic, “The Nutcracker,” at the Oxford New Theatre.

A Magical Christmas Eve – The story unfolds on a Christmas Eve bathed in the soft glow of an open fire, casting dancing shadows on the beautifully adorned Christmas tree and the gifts nestled beneath it. As the snowflakes gently fall outside, the stage is set for a night of wonder and imagination.

A Midnight Adventure – When the clock strikes midnight, the audience is transported to a world of fantasy where reality blurs with dreams. Toy dolls come to life, the Mouse King and his army engage in an epic battle with the valiant Nutcracker Prince, and the journey takes us through the mystical Land of Snow.

A Dance Extravaganza – Founded in 1947, Varna International Ballet is renowned for its exceptional soloists and amazing corps de ballet. With a history of delivering performances of unparalleled quality, this company promises to bring “The Nutcracker” to life in a way that will leave you spellbound.

A Breath-taking Debut – After a remarkable debut tour, Varna International Ballet returns to the UK, ready to captivate audiences once again. Prepare to be transported to a world where the boundaries between reality and fantasy blur, and where the magic of dance and storytelling unite to create an unforgettable experience.

For an evening of timeless beauty, captivating storytelling, and the artistry of ballet at its finest, join the Oxford New Theatre and be part of the magic that has delighted audiences for generations. “The Nutcracker” by Varna International Ballet is a celebration of wonder, imagination, and the enduring power of the holiday season.

For further information and tickets, please click here

Green Spaces and Parks in Oxford & Oxfordshire

Green Spaces and Parks Oxford and Oxfordshire

Nestled amidst the historic spires and bustling streets of Oxford and the rolling countryside of Oxfordshire lie a collection of parks and green spaces that offer a tranquil escape from the city’s scholarly hum. From the sprawling, wildlife-rich wetlands of Otmoor to the serene and meticulously maintained University Parks, each green oasis offers a slice of tranquillity and a breath of fresh air. These verdant retreats are not just lungs for the city and surrounding towns but are also woven into the fabric of local history and community life, offering residents and visitors alike a chance to connect with nature, engage in recreation, and enjoy the timeless beauty of the English landscape.

Below is a selection of the green spaces and parks:

South Park, Oxford

South Park is a sweeping 50-acre expanse of greenery offering stunning panoramic views of Oxford’s historic skyline. Just a short five-minute walk from the lively Cowley Road in East Oxford, it’s a scenic haven that’s open to the public every day. The park has several access points, including entrances on Morrell Avenue, Headington Road, Cheney Lane, and Warneford Lane.

As the largest park within Oxford’s city bounds, South Park is a cherished location at Headington Hill. It’s a favourite among photographers, especially at the park’s summit, where Oxford University’s iconic spires and towers rise into view. This lush landscape was once the private property of the Morrell family of Headington Hill Hall until the Oxford Preservation Trust acquired it in 1932, ensuring its continuity as a public space. The park was later entrusted to Oxford City Council in 1951, secured by a covenant to maintain it as a recreational area for the community.

A stone sculpture by Eric Gill at the park’s base commemorates the generosity of the Pilgrim Trust and benefactors David and Joanna Randall-McIver for their role in the park’s preservation. The park’s crowning feature is a delightfully equipped gated children’s play area at the top of the hill. It’s a playground paradise, complete with a climbing frame, slide, swings, roundabout, a quaint wooden house, a zip wire, and adventure equipment for the older children, offering endless entertainment for young visitors.

Port Meadow, Oxford

Port Meadow stands as a vast expanse of open space in the northern reaches of Oxford, covering an impressive 136.9 hectares (338 acres). This historic area, where the River Thames gently meanders, has served as a grazing common since prehistoric times. Today, its fertile floodplains are a pastoral home to herds of cattle and horses, as well as a diverse array of wildfowl.

Recognised for its ecological and historical significance, Port Meadow, alongside Wolvercote Common, is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a Scheduled Ancient Monument. In addition, this area, together with the adjacent Yarnton and Pixey Meads, is acknowledged as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) under the European Habitats Directive, highlighting its importance within the natural heritage of the region.

Visitors can access Port Meadow via Walton Well Road or Aristotle Lane to the south, or from the northern points near Godstow and Wolvercote, enjoying unrestricted access to explore its natural beauty. A stroll along the meadow’s western edge leads to the inviting Perch pub, while a riverside walk directs to the charming Trout Inn. Guests are reminded to be respectful of the meadow’s animal residents by keeping a safe distance and maintaining control of their dogs. Caution is advised during the winter months when the meadow is prone to flooding. Continuing a centuries-old tradition, the meadow remains a vibrant hub of nature, where grazing ungulates roam and flocks of wildfowl, including geese, plovers, shelducks, and teals, flourish amidst the tranquil landscape.

University Parks, Oxford

University Parks in Oxford stands as a verdant retreat amidst the city’s vibrancy, offering a welcome respite without straying far from the urban pulse. Acquired from Merton College in the 1850s and established for leisure and sports in 1864, this expanse of greenery has long been a communal cornerstone.

The park is an idyllic spot for everyone, from university members to local residents and visitors, open almost every day until dusk, with the sole exception of Christmas Eve. It presents an array of walks amidst a diverse collection of trees and plants, alongside ample space for casual sports and picnicking. For sports enthusiasts, the park provides seasonal spectacles of cricket, lacrosse, tennis, football, and rugby—and perhaps you might even spot a whimsical round of Quidditch, much to the delight of Harry Potter fans.

University Parks serves as the perfect setting for varied activities—whether it’s lounging under a shady tree with a book in the summer or wandering the pathways in the autumn, surrounded by a mosaic of colourful foliage. The park also offers picturesque strolls along the River Cherwell, where the beauty of the water is complemented by the charm of its elegant bridges.

Blackbird Leys Park, Oxford

Blackbird Leys Park serves as a 9-hectare sanctuary of tranquillity in Southeast Oxford, adjacent to the Leys Pools and Leisure Centre. This verdant oasis boasts a charming brook, embraced by trees and expansive grassy areas for leisure and relaxation. Celebrated for its exceptional quality and the invaluable green space it provides to the community, Blackbird Leys Park has been honoured with the prestigious Green Flag Award by the Keep Britain Tidy campaign, a testament to its status as a premier park and a testament to the dedication invested in its upkeep and environmental standards.

Bury Knowle Park, Oxford

Bury Knowle Park stands as a jewel among Oxford’s scenic green spaces, offering a blend of natural beauty and historical elegance. The park is home to the stately Bury Knowle House, whose classic parkland ambiance sets the stage for serene picnics and community events. Adding a touch of enchantment to the park’s appeal are the whimsical Narnia-themed sculptures and a delightful play area that captivates the imaginations of children and adults alike.

Recognised for its excellence with the esteemed Green Flag Award, a symbol of distinction provided by Keep Britain Tidy, Bury Knowle Park is not only a testament to the city’s commitment to preserving splendid green spaces but also a cherished retreat for all who visit.

Cutteslowe and Sunnymead Park, Oxford

Cutteslowe and Sunnymead Park holds the title as Oxford’s largest expanse of greenery, nestled in the city’s far north. This sprawling park, spanning a majestic 42 acres, is a certified recipient of the prestigious Green Flag Award. This accolade, bestowed by Keep Britain Tidy, signifies its excellence as one of the finest green spaces across England and Wales.

The park beckons those in search of both leisure and adventure. For the explorers at heart, an orienteering journey awaits, with a map from the kiosk guiding you through an 18-control course. Those seeking a more laid-back experience can enjoy the sun-drenched paddling pool, where children’s laughter fills the air amidst splashes and play. With two expansive play areas, children have ample space to unleash their energy, while the whole family can engage in a friendly round of miniature golf, practice kickflips at the skate park, or take a whimsical ride on the miniature railway. Sporting enthusiasts have the option to engage in a match of football, tennis, or basketball on the well-maintained pitches and courts. Visitors are advised to call ahead to confirm the availability of these attractions, as schedules may vary.

In addition to the myriad of activities, you can find your very own peaceful corner to unwind or grab a bite at the convenient on-site café and kiosk. Cutteslowe and Sunnymead Park is not just a park; it’s a vibrant community hub offering a slice of nature’s bliss in the heart of Oxford.

Garth Park, Bicester

Garth Park, the central green space in Bicester, Oxfordshire, offers a serene environment and public amenities amidst its historic setting. Opened in the early 1950s, this park envelopes the stately Garth House, home to the Bicester Town Council, and serves as a cherished green leisure space for residents.

Spanning 3.6 hectares, Garth Park is bordered by a mix of lush deciduous and coniferous trees and can be accessed through several points along Launton Road and from the properties lining London Road. The main entrance on Launton Road is marked by elegant wrought iron gates, beside which stands a plaque honouring the park’s donation to the town in 1946. Not far from the gates, visitors can find the old gardener’s lodge and the entrance to historical red brick stables.

The park is a horticultural delight with expansive lawns, a variety of flower beds that won regional accolades, and an impressive collection of trees, including the Giant Redwood and Cedar of Lebanon. These botanical wonders surround the park’s numerous facilities, which include a children’s playground, a skate park, an outdoor gym, picnic areas, the “Savoir Fare” café, and a small car park. It also provides courts for bowling and tennis, managed by local Bicester clubs.

Garth Park is dotted with unique features, including an 18th-century bell from the Bicester Foundry, a sunken pond with a fountain from the Bicester Rotary Club, and a gift from its twin town—a German telephone box. Artistic highlights include a bronze sculpture representing Bicester’s craft history and a medieval-style stone font. The park also pays tribute to local heritage with military memorials and a small pet cemetery, adding layers of history and remembrance to this green haven in Bicester.

Florence Park, Oxford

Florence Park in East Oxford is a charming oasis of natural beauty, renowned for its meticulously curated flowerbeds and picturesque avenue of trees. Located just a five-minute stroll from the bustling Cowley Road and Templars Square, this park is an accessible retreat for those seeking a tranquil escape. Esteemed with the Green Flag Award, a prestigious honour granted by Keep Britain Tidy, Florence Park is celebrated as one of the most exemplary green spaces in England and Wales. This award is a testament to the park’s outstanding maintenance, community value, and the environmental standards it upholds, inviting visitors to enjoy theserenity of this well-loved urban haven.

Hinksey Park, Oxford

Just a brief 15-minute stroll or cycle from Oxford’s heart, Hinksey Park emerges as a lush retreat off Abingdon Road. This park offers a tranquil escape with its rich greenery and tranquil water features, providing a natural sanctuary for both people and wildlife.

The towering avenues of Giant Redwood and Pine trees at Hinksey Park offer a striking and unique landscape, creating the perfect setting for picnics, sports, or simply a peaceful day out. The park’s commitment to excellence is demonstrated by the Green Flag Award it proudly flies, a symbol of the highest environmental standards and park management in England and Wales, as recognized by Keep Britain Tidy.

Developed in the 1930s on the grounds of the old Oxford Waterworks, Hinksey Park boasts an array of amenities including a free water play area and an outdoor swimming pool, open from May through September, alongside a dedicated children’s play area. For those keen on sports, the park is equipped with tennis courts, table tennis facilities, and offers fishing opportunities at Hinksey Lake. It serves as an ideal launchpad for scenic walks to the quaint South Hinksey Village or towards the bustling areas of Osney Mead, Oxford, and Botley.

Shotover Country Park, Oxfordshire

Shotover Country Park presents a picturesque slice of nature’s beauty and historical richness, perched on the outskirts of Oxford. Spanning 117 hectares along the southern flanks of Shotover Hill, visitors are rewarded with stunning views over the rolling landscapes of south Oxfordshire from the summit.

This park is a patchwork of secret valleys, diverse terrains, and varied ecosystems, forming a sanctuary for an array of wildlife and a tranquil environment for countryside recreation. Shotover’s ecological significance is recognised at a national level, with much of the area being protected as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

Open year-round and free of charge, Shotover Country Park is a perfect spot for summer picnics, leisurely walks, dog walking, jogging, horseback riding, and orienteering. It’s a call to explore and enjoy the rich, natural tapestry that lies just a stone’s throw from city life. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, discover the wealth of experiences that Shotover Country Park has to offer.

The Kine Croft and The Bull Croft, Wallingford

The Kine Croft and The Bull Croft in Wallingford are two cherished green spaces that serve as the heart of community life. The Kine Croft, an expansive area of open grassland, regularly transforms into a vibrant venue for local events, including Bunkfest, cycling festivals, classic car rallies, and the eagerly anticipated Bonfire Night. It’s a perfect spot for energetic play, with a generous green for children to romp freely and a small, enchanting wooded area for exploration.

Historically, the Kine Croft was used for grazing livestock, and in 2008, archaeological excavations uncovered remnants of 12th-century structures, extending the ancient lineage of Church Lane. The Bull Croft, once the site of the Holy Trinity Priory dissolved in the 16th century, was graciously gifted to the public in 1914. Both parks are recognized as Scheduled Monuments, highlighting their significant historic and archaeological value.

Framed by lush Saxon embankments, the parks feature well-maintained footpaths, including those atop the embankments offering leisurely strolls with views. The Kine Croft and Bull Croft are maintained with the care befitting urban parks—regularly mown and manicured. The Bull Croft has evolved into a recreational hub, complete with tennis courts, a children’s playground, a bowling green, and facilities including a pavilion and community center, all clad in warm timber.

These verdant spaces are pockets of tranquility where the melody of birdsong often rises above the distant hum of traffic, providing residents and visitors with a peaceful urban retreat.

Otmoor, Beckley

Escape the hustle of Oxford and immerse yourself in the serene embrace of RSPB Otmoor, a lush wetland sanctuary nestled in Oxfordshire. Here, the symphony of nature reigns as wading birds and wildfowl populate the marshes, and the air is alive with the melodies of warblers and songbirds flitting through the hedgerows.

Spanning 485 hectares, Otmoor is a meticulously maintained reserve, serving as a vital habitat for a host of bird species such as lapwings, redshanks, and snipes. Recognised as one of the premier inland wetland complexes, this reserve is a treasure trove of biodiversity, offering refuge to rare species and providing guests with spellbinding natural displays.

The reserve features two distinct trails, weaving through a tapestry of landscapes—from the flat expanses to gentle undulations. While the trails can be uneven and occasionally muddy, strategically placed benches offer rest and reflection points for visitors. The main visitor trail, stretching 1.5 miles, guides you into Otmoor’s heart, past the Wetland Watch lookout and several viewing screens, while the Oxfordshire Way traces the reserve’s southern border, affording panoramic views across this remarkable wetland haven.

Enjoy the green spaces in Oxford – parks, gardens and meadows

What’s on in Oxfordshire this January

whats on in oxfordshire this january

This January, Oxfordshire bursts into the new year with a vibrant tapestry of events and performances to dispel the winter chill. From the soul-stirring melodies of Apphia Campbell’s “Black is the Colour of My Voice” at Oxford Playhouse to the nostalgic echoes of Depeche Mode brought to life by tribute band Enjoy The Silence UK at Fat Lils, there’s a cultural feast awaiting. Whether you’re drawn to the poignant operatic tale of “Madama Butterfly,” the laughter-laden reminiscences with “The Inbetweeners” star Joe Thomas, or the captivating dance extravaganza with Giovanni Pernice, Oxfordshire’s January calendar is rich with experiences that promise to entertain, inspire, and awe.

15 Years Of The Inbetweeners: In Conversation with Joe Thomas

Thursday 18th January 2024
The Mill Arts Centre, Spiceball Park Road, Banbury, OX16 5QE

Celebrate “15 Years of The Inbetweeners” with a unique evening featuring Joe Thomas at The Mill Arts Centre in Banbury on Thursday, 18th January 2024. This special event, held at Spiceball Park Road, OX16 5QE, offers fans a rare opportunity to engage with one of the pivotal figures of this iconic British sitcom.

Flashback to 2007: Joe Thomas, then an emerging actor and writer, took the Edinburgh Festival Fringe by storm with his writing partner Simon Bird. Their show “The Meeting” caught the eye of television producers Iain Morris and Damon Beesley, who were in the midst of creating a then-unnamed E4 sitcom. This chance encounter led to the birth of “The Inbetweeners,” which would soar to unprecedented heights as Channel 4’s most-watched series, earning prestigious accolades and breaking box office records with its film adaptations.

In an intimate and candid session, Joe Thomas will delve into his journey with “The Inbetweeners,” engage in a Q&A with fans, and share anecdotes from his varied career, including roles in “White Gold,” appearances on “Taskmaster,” and his stint on “The Great Celebrity Bake Off.”

Don’t miss out on this laughter-filled evening where you can reminisce and learn more about Britain’s much-loved teen comedy from Joe himself. It’s a perfect night out for friends—after all, what’s better than sharing a laugh with your own circle of ‘friends’. Secure your spot and be part of this one-of-a-kind trip down memory lane!

For more information and tickets, please click here.

Ellen Kent: Madama Butterfly

Thursday 18 January 2024
New Theatre Oxford, 24-26 George St, Oxford

Embark on an operatic journey with Ellen Kent’s “Madama Butterfly,” presented by Senbla and Opera International, returning by popular demand on Thursday, 18 January 2024.This critically acclaimed production, brought to life by the talented Ukrainian Opera & Ballet Theatre Kyiv, features a cast of international soloists, a celebrated chorus, and a complete orchestra.

This latest staging of the timeless opera comes with new and resplendent set designs, including a stunningly realised Japanese garden, and showcases authentic costumes, such as traditional wedding kimonos sourced from Japan, adding to the visual feast of the performance.

Praised for its emotional depth by THE INDEPENDENT—so much so that they advise bringing a box of handkerchiefs rather than just one—this production captures the poignant essence of Puccini’s masterpiece. “Madama Butterfly” is a profoundly moving tale that follows the tragic romance of a young, naive Japanese girl and an American naval officer, unfolding with lyrical beauty and a climactic intensity.

The opera is renowned for its powerful and evocative score, featuring the ethereal Humming Chorus, the soaring aria “Un bel dì vedremo” (One Fine Day), and the passionate Love Duet. Performed in its original Italian with English subtitles, this presentation of “Madama Butterfly” offers an accessible and profoundly touching experience for both seasoned opera enthusiasts and newcomers alike.

For more information and tickets, please click here.

Enjoy the Silence – Depeche Mode

Friday 19th January, 2024
Fat Lils, 64 Corn Street, Witney

Enjoy yourself in the synth-pop sounds of Depeche Mode with the tribute performance by Enjoy The Silence UK. Join them on Friday, 19th January 2024, at Fat Lils, located at 64 Corn Street, Witney, with doors opening at 8:30pm.

Enjoy The Silence UK is composed of seasoned performers from top tribute bands, including “Speak & Spell” (Depeche Mode), “Love Distraction” (The Human League), and “Retro Electro.” This ensemble is dedicated to recreating the electrifying atmosphere of a Depeche Mode concert from the golden age of the 80s and 90s.

The set list promises a journey through Depeche Mode’s most celebrated tracks. Fans can expect to hear masterfully replicated hits such as “Just Can’t Get Enough,” “Personal Jesus,” and “Behind The Wheel,” along with other classics like “People Are People.” Get ready for a night of nostalgia and pulsing beats that will take you back to the heyday of one of the most influential electronic music bands of all time.

For more information and tickets, please click here.

Giovanni Pernice – Let Me Entertain You

Sunday 21 January 2024
New Theatre Oxford, 24-26 George St, Oxford

Experience the thrill of live dance and entertainment with Giovanni Pernice’s newest tour, “Let Me Entertain You,” hitting the New Theatre Oxford stage on Sunday, January 21, 2024. Located at the heart of the city on 24-26 George St, this show promises an evening of dazzling performances.

As a champion of “Strictly Come Dancing” and a BAFTA award recipient, Giovanni Pernice exemplifies the pinnacle of performing arts. This 2024 tour brings him together with a stellar line-up of professional dancers and acclaimed West End talents to create a show that’s bound to leave audiences spellbound.

Giovanni Pernice is not just a dancer; he’s a performer and showman par excellence, ready to captivate you with every step and turn. Prepare for an immersive experience, as the show includes atmospheric effects like haze and smoke, stunning pyrotechnics, and vibrant flashing lights that add to the spectacle.

Critics are raving about Giovanni’s magnetic stage presence and expert showmanship. Aberdeen Press & Journal hails it as “A Masterclass in Entertainment,” while the Northampton Chronicle praises Giovanni as “the Perfect Entertainer.” His widespread popularity, bolstered by his time on “Strictly Come Dancing,” is highlighted by The Mancunian, which proclaims him as “Probably the most popular dancer on the show… EVER.” Don’t miss out on this electrifying event that combines the best of dance, performance, and theatrical flair.

For more information and tickets, please click here.

BLACK IS THE COLOR OF MY VOICE

Monday 29th January 2024
Oxford Playhouse, Beaumont Street, Oxford

“Black is the Color of My Voice,” a poignant and stirring play both created and performed by the talented Apphia Campbell, will be showcased on Monday, 29th January 2024, at the Oxford Playhouse on Beaumont Street, Oxford.

This one-woman show is a deeply moving tribute inspired by the life of the legendary Nina Simone. Apphia Campbell breathes life into this narrative, interwoven with live renditions of Simone’s most memorable songs, capturing the essence of a singer whose voice defined a movement.

The play tracks the story of a passionate singer and civil rights activist who, in the wake of her father’s tragic death, undergoes a period of introspection. It beautifully encapsulates her evolution from a child piano virtuoso, once on a path to dedicate her life to the church, to a celebrated jazz musician and a voice of the Civil Rights Movement.

“Black is the Colour of My Voice” has received widespread acclaim, with a history of national tours across the UK, sold-out shows in international locations including Shanghai, New York, Edinburgh, and London’s West End, and audiences often rising in standing ovations.

The power and impact of Campbell’s performance have been recognised by leading publications, with The Times describing it as a “moving portrayal of determination and survival” and the Edinburgh Festival Magazine highlighting it as “A compelling and heart-breaking story, punctuated with bursts of song.” This production promises an evening of theatre that is as educational as it is emotional, leaving audiences both enlightened and deeply touched.

For more information and tickets, please click here.

Discovering Oxford’s Unique Traditions & Interesting Facts!

Oxford's Unique Traditions & Interesting Facts!

Oxford, a city steeped in history and intellectual prowess, has more to offer than meets the eye!

Beyond its renowned university and stunning architecture, Oxford conceals a tapestry of intriguing anecdotes and delightful oddities. With a treasure trove of captivating facts and unique traditions. Below are just a few fascinating facets of this venerable city, where literary legends walked, tortoises race, and time itself takes on a distinctive cadence.

1. Oxford – More Published Writers Per Square Mile Than Anywhere Else In The World!

Nestled amid the picturesque spires and cobbled streets, Oxford reportedly houses more published writers per square mile than anywhere else on Earth. This enchanting city is a haven for bibliophiles, offering a treasure trove of literary events and bookish locations that cater to every reader’s whim. Renowned authors, from Lewis Carroll to Philip Pullman, have called Oxford home, infusing the city’s very essence into their works. It’s a place where imagination knows no bounds, and the legacy of its literary luminaries continues to inspire generations of writers and readers alike, creating a unique haven for wordsmiths from across the globe.

2. The First Ever Coffee House In England!

Where England’s Coffee Obsession Began – Oxford holds the distinction of hosting England’s inaugural coffee house, a pioneering establishment that would forever alter the country’s caffeine culture. The Grand Café, now an Oxford institution, stands on the hallowed grounds where, in 1650, the first-ever cups of coffee in England were served. This historic venue, adorned with opulent marble pillars and gilded charm, continues to embrace its illustrious legacy by offering an array of culinary delights, from lunches to cream teas, and high teas. As you enjoy the rich brews within these storied walls, you’re partaking in a tradition that has brewed for centuries, marking Oxford as the birthplace of England’s enduring love affair with coffee.

3. Four Minute Mile – Roger Bannister’s Milestone: Defying the Limit

The date was May 6, 1954, a pivotal moment in the world of sports. As the clock ticked to 6:03 pm at Oxford University’s Iffley Road track, history was about to be made. Six determined runners, including Roger Bannister, braved the challenge. Little did the spectators know that a little over seven minutes later, they would bear witness to a monumental feat.

Roger Bannister, a medical student at Oxford, would etch his name in the annals of athletic history by becoming the first man to conquer the elusive sub-four-minute mile. As the announcer, Norris McWhirter, of Guinness Book of Records fame, declared amidst the euphoric roar of the crowd, Bannister had achieved not just a new English record, but a track record, a new British Empire Commonwealth record, a European record, and a world record – all in the astonishing time of three minutes, 59.4 seconds.

4. Oxford’s Quirky Tortoise Race

Among the array of eccentric traditions in Oxford lies a truly unique sporting spectacle: the annual Tortoise Race held each May, pitting rival Oxford colleges against one another. This charming and bizarre event, dating back approximately four decades, has become a beloved part of the university’s culture. Some Oxford colleges proudly keep tortoises as their mascots, with students assuming the responsibility of their care.

The Tortoise Fair, hosted by Corpus Christi College, serves as the stage for this hotly contested race, a highlight of the university’s calendar. Notably, the rationale behind tortoises as the chosen competitors is due to their popularity as pets among Oxford colleges, with Christ Church, Corpus Christi, St Peter’s College, and Wadham all having their own tortoises. Yet, in the spirit of modern times, Magdalen College, concerned with animal welfare, appointed a human tortoise, Oscar d’Tortoise, to participate in the races, and even legislatively mandated his consumption of lettuce at general meetings. Oxford’s Tortoise Race is a testament to the city’s tradition of blending history and eccentricity.

5. Oxford Time: A Historical Quirk

In the heart of Oxford, time dances to its own unique rhythm. The city’s clock stands apart, ticking 5 minutes and 2 seconds behind Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) due to Oxford’s location, precisely 1 degree west of the prime meridian. Every evening at 9.05 pm, a revered tradition unfolds as Great Tom, the iconic bell at Christ Church College, chimes 101 times.

This ritual harks back to the college’s inception when each bell toll symbolised one of its original 101 students, signalling them to return before the gates closed. Following this enchanting nightly serenade, the bell gracefully resumes its silence until the following morning, harmoniously aligning itself with GMT once more, marking the hours with hourly strikes. Oxford’s time, a charming deviation from the ordinary, holds echoes of its rich history and academic heritage.

6. Breaking Academic Barriers – Oxford’s Triumph For Women’s Education

The University of Oxford, steeped in tradition, underwent a significant transformation in the late 19th and 20th centuries regarding gender inclusivity. Until 1878, women were, remarkably, forbidden from pursuing higher education here. It wasn’t until 1920 that they were permitted to earn degrees, marking a pivotal step toward gender equality. The journey continued as, in 1974, all colleges finally opened their doors to women, culminating in a more balanced student population today, where both male and female undergraduates contribute to the vibrant tapestry of Oxford’s academic landscape. This remarkable evolution underscores the university’s commitment to inclusivity and the invaluable role of women in academia.

7. Oxford’s Olympic Legacy – 170 Medals!

Oxford University boasts a rich and enduring legacy at the Olympic Games, a tradition that traces its origins to the inaugural Games of the I Olympiad in 1896. The university takes immense pride in the remarkable achievements of its students, who have collectively garnered an impressive tally of 170 Olympic medals, representing numerous nations worldwide. These medals stand as a testament to the unwavering commitment, dedication, and sporting excellence that have long been synonymous with Oxford’s esteemed institution. They continue to inspire athletes and enthusiasts alike, reinforcing the university’s enduring connection with the global Olympic movement.

8. The Oxford Botanical Garden – The Oldest Botanic Garden in Great Britain

Nestled within the historic confines of Oxford, the Oxford Botanic Garden proudly holds the distinction of being Great Britain’s oldest botanic garden and a revered presence among the world’s earliest scientific gardens. Beyond its hallowed history, the garden plays a vital role in safeguarding the global flora, a mission of unprecedented significance as we face the looming threat of extinction for two out of every five plant species worldwide.

With a diverse living collection of approximately 5,000 distinct plant varieties, the Oxford Botanical Garden and Arboretum (OBGA) carries profound conservation value. As staunch adherents to the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation, OBGA collaborates with local and international partners to protect and preserve rare plant species, some of which exist nowhere else on Earth.

9. Blackwell’s – The World’s Largest Room Dedicated To The Sale Of Books

While the Blackwell family’s first bookshop made its debut in Oxford in 1846, the year 1879 is etched in history as the official founding date. It was on January 1st of that year when the iconic Blackwell’s bookshop, nestled on the bustling Broad Street in Oxford, opened its doors. Since that momentous day, it has been a continuous haven for book lovers.

Over the years, this bookshop has not only expanded in size but also in innovation. The introduction of the Norrington Room over five decades ago marked a remarkable milestone, securing a place in the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s largest room dedicated to the sale of books. With its legendary basement boasting an astonishing three miles of shelving housing 150,000 books, it’s a paradise for anyone seeking the company of a good book.

10. Oxford: A Stint as England’s Capital

A captivating piece of Oxford’s history reveals that, albeit briefly, it held the distinguished title of England’s capital. In a significant turn of events during the English Civil War, Oxford, with its strong Royalist leanings, assumed this pivotal role in October 1642. It maintained its status as the capital for a remarkable three and a half years until the city yielded to the Parliamentarian forces, more commonly known as the Roundheads. This intriguing chapter in Oxford’s history reflects its enduring significance on the English landscape.

11. May Morning in Oxford – A Timeless Celebration of Spring

A cherished tradition dating back to the early 16th century, May Morning in Oxford remains a joyous ode to the arrival of spring. As the clock strikes 6 am on the 1st of May, the melodious voices of Magdalen College Choir echo from the apex of the Great Tower, harmoniously welcoming the rising sun.

This timeless ritual, performed for over five centuries, draws thousands to the bustling High Street below. The city’s diverse communities converge, forming a tapestry of shared delight as they partake in dancing, singing, and merry-making. At the tower’s base, crowds are captivated by the Choir’s angelic performance, while the echoes of revelry reverberate throughout the city centre. May Morning embodies Oxford’s enduring spirit, a testament to its ability to seamlessly intertwine tradition and festivity.

12. The Boat Race: Oxford’s Grand Rowing Tradition

In the world of rowing, the annual clash between Oxford and Cambridge stands as a pinnacle of tradition and sporting prowess. These iconic races, collectively known as ‘The Boat Race,’ commenced in 1829 and have been etched into the annals of history. Notably, 1927 marked a milestone as it heralded the inclusion of women’s races, adding another layer of intensity and competition to the spectacle.

The river Thames bears witness to this fierce rivalry, with Oxford and Cambridge crews battling fiercely for supremacy. Oxford, although trailing Cambridge by just two races in the overall head-to-head, has displayed remarkable prowess in recent times, securing victory in 10 of the last 15 races.

13. The Ashmoleon Museum – Britain’s first public museum

Founded in 1683 by the generous antiquary Elias Ashmole, the Ashmolean Museum stands as an enduring testament to Oxford’s rich history. It proudly holds the distinction of being Britain’s inaugural public museum and the world’s premier university museum. Over the centuries, the collection has expanded and transformed, but its fundamental mission has remained unchanged: to illuminate the tapestry of humanity across cultures and epochs. This noble objective, however, carries with it a sombre truth – a significant portion of the collection was acquired through the dynamics of colonial power. Nevertheless, the Ashmolean Museum today boasts a globally renowned assortment, from enigmatic Egyptian mummies to contemporary artistic creations, narrating the intricate stories of humanity spanning diverse cultures and epochs. The Ashmoleon Museum is one of four Oxford University Museums

From Sunrise to Sunset: A Perfect Day in Historic Oxford

A Perfect Day in Historic Oxford

As the sun gently illuminates the dreaming spires of Oxford, start on a captivating journey through this historic city, where each cobblestone whispers tales of knowledge, tradition, and timeless beauty. Oxford, a city renowned for its prestigious university, has much more to offer than academia alone. This is a city where history and innovation harmoniously coexist, where ancient architecture and lush green spaces enchant the soul, and where the pursuit of knowledge is as palpable as the crisp morning air. Join us for a day of exploration, where we’ll guide you through the cultural treasures, culinary delights, and hidden gems that make Oxford a quintessential destination for any traveller seeking to unravel its rich tapestry.

Breakfast: A Great Start to Your Oxford Adventure

As the sun gently illuminates the dreaming spires of Oxford, start on your day of exploration with a hearty breakfast at one of the city’s charming cafes. With many great places to choose, below are a couple of suggestions to try:

The Handle Bar Café: Cycling into a Tasty Breakfast Adventure

Nestled above Oxford’s beloved oldest bike shop, The Handle Bar Café beckons breakfast enthusiasts with its unique charm and delectable morning offerings. Opening its doors at 9:00 am, this cosy gem in the city centre has become a local favourite. The café’s menu boasts an array of tempting breakfast options, from the indulgent Coconut Pancakes to Smashed Fava Toast, crowned with crispy streaky bacon and halloumi. The café’s décor is a whimsical nod to cycling culture, making it a must-visit for those intrigued by Oxford’s hipster side.

Opera Café Oxford: A Mediterranean Breakfast Oasis

Step into a world of Mediterranean flavours at Opera Café Oxford. Since opening its doors in 2015, this vibrant café has been on a mission to introduce locals and visitors alike to the rich, aromatic tastes of the Mediterranean. Opera Café’s breakfast served daily from 8am Monday to Friday and 08:30am Saturday and Sundays the menu is a symphony of flavours, featuring dishes like the indulgent Eggs Royale, the exotic Moroccan Egg Wrap & Salad, or simply a delightful pastry. What sets Opera Café apart is its commitment to quality, using locally sourced coffee beans and the freshest ingredients to craft each dish. From the comforting warmth of red lentil soup to the sweetness of Baklava and the soothing embrace of mint tea, every bite and sip here transports you to the bustling streets of a Moroccan souk.

The Vaults & Garden Café: Where history, culture, and culinary artistry harmoniously coexist

Kickstart your day of exploration with a hearty breakfast at the Vaults & Garden Café, conveniently located across from the historic Radcliffe Camera. This charming café offers a cosy ambiance where you can relish a diverse breakfast menu, catering to various tastes. Whether you opt for the classic Full Oxford Breakfast, a contemporary Avocado Toast, or the inventive Oxford Cheese Rarebit, each dish is a culinary delight. As you enjoy your meal and sip freshly brewed coffee, you’ll enjoy stunning views of the Radcliffe Camera, making your breakfast at Vaults & Garden Café a harmonious blend of Oxford’s rich history and modern gastronomy, setting the stage for an unforgettable day in this timeless city.

Morning: A Literary Journey at the Bodleian Library

After breakfast, immerse yourself in Oxford’s rich literary heritage by visiting the Bodleian Library, one of the world’s oldest libraries. Marvel at the enchanting architecture of the Bodleian’s various buildings, such as the Divinity School and Duke Humfrey’s Library. Take a guided tour to explore the exquisite interiors and learn about the library’s profound history. Don’t forget to gaze up at the enchanting Radcliffe Camera from within the Bodleian’s enchanting Old Schools Quadrangle.

Late Morning: Spiritual Serenity at St. Mary the Virgin

A short stroll from the Bodleian Library will bring you to St. Mary the Virgin, Oxford’s magnificent university church. Climb to the top of its tower the oldest part of the church for stunning views of the city, including the Radcliffe Camera and the historic skyline of Oxford. The 127 septs up to the top lead you past the Clore Old Library and the historic bell ringing chamber. Inside, admire the stunning stained-glass windows and peaceful ambiance that make this church a serene haven amidst the bustling city.

Lunch: A Culinary Interlude

Recharge with a delightful lunch at one of Oxford’s charming eateries. With a vast selection to choose from, below are just a couple of suggestions – please visit our food and drink section for a list of many fabulous and don’t forget to check out the Oxford Covered Market food stalls.

A Taste of History: Lunch at The Historic Turf Tavern, Oxford

Nestled in the heart of historic Oxford, the Turf Tavern is a time-honoured Grade II listed establishment that has welcomed England’s literary giants, politicians, world leaders, and Hollywood stars through its doors since 1381. However, the one guest who has never departed is Rosie, the enduring resident ghost, who continues to await her long-lost love’s return. The Turf Tavern offers an array of culinary delights, including a creamy Seafood Risotto brimming with king prawns, salmon, and crispy squid, as well as classic Fish & Chips featuring crispy battered Atlantic cod. Delight your taste buds with the Vintage Cheddar Mac & Cheese, prepared with 1833 Barber’s Vintage Cheddar.

As you explore the labyrinthine layout of this historic tavern, interconnected by winding passages and staircases, you can dine in the picturesque patio courtyard beer gardens that envelop the establishment on three sides. Experience the unique charm of this legendary tavern, known to viewers of the beloved Morse and Lewis TV series.

Blending Tradition and Sophistication: Lunch at The Red Lion, Oxford

Located in the heart of Oxford’s city centre, behind George Street, The Red Lion effortlessly blends the best of traditional British pub charm with contemporary sophistication, inviting you to enjoy a diverse range of British and Mediterranean-inspired dishes.

Among their tempting menu offerings, you’ll discover delights like the Nourish Bowl, a fusion of hummus, mixed grains, avocado, roasted cauliflower and squash, mooli, pomegranate seeds, watercress, all brought together with a zesty blood orange dressing. If you’re in the mood for a hearty sandwich, try the Fillet Steak Sandwich with a caramelised red onion chutney, rocket, beef dripping sauce, all served on toasted ciabatta. And for those craving something with an exotic flair, the Sweet Potato Massaman Curry with sticky jasmine rice, green beans, spring onion, and a hint of red chili is sure to tantalise your taste buds. Whether you’re in for a quick bite or a leisurely feast, The Red Lion promises an unforgettable dining experience in a great location.

Afternoon: Stroll Through Christ Church Meadow

In the afternoon, take a leisurely walk-through Christ Church Meadow. This picturesque stretch of greenery offers tranquil views of the River Thames and the famous Christ Church College. Enjoy the serenity of this natural oasis as you stroll along the tranquil riverbanks and admire the lush meadows dotted with cattle.

Late Afternoon: Exploring Christ Church College

As your stroll through Christ Church Meadow concludes, head toward Christ Church College, one of Oxford’s most renowned and captivating colleges. Explore the grandeur of its impressive Tom Quad, a magnificent square surrounded by stunning Gothic architecture. Don’t miss the stunning cathedral, which boasts a marvellous fan-vaulted ceiling and remarkable stained glass windows. Walk in the footsteps of literary greats like Lewis Carroll, who found inspiration for “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” in the college’s enchanting gardens.

Early Evening: The Iconic Bridge of Sighs

As the sun begins to set, take a leisurely walk through Oxford’s historic streets to discover iconic landmarks like the Bridge of Sighs, an enchanting covered bridge that connects two parts of Hertford College. This architectural gem is a delightful spot for photographs, especially as the sun’s warm hues cast a magical glow over the city.

Dinner: Culinary Delights to End Your Day

Complete your day in Oxford with a delectable dinner at one of the city’s fine restaurants.

Dining in Elegance: An Evening at The Old Parsonage Grill, Oxford

The Old Parsonage Restaurant, set in a charming historic building, offers a sophisticated dining experience. This charming eatery is renowned for its intimate, bohemian ambiance, complete with a picturesque outdoor dining area and an impressive collection of eclectic oil paintings featuring portraits of renowned writers and artists. Enjoy dishes prepared with locally sourced ingredients in an intimate and elegant setting. Situated in the heart of the city on the elegant St Giles Boulevard, it provides the perfect vantage point for exploring Oxford’s iconic landmarks.

The Parsonage Grill’s delectable menu boasts enticing dishes such as succulent pork belly with caramelised onions, pancetta, carrots, and apple cider sauce, a vibrant pea and broad bean risotto adorned with wild rocket and goat’s cheese, and a mouth-watering fillet of sea bream accompanied by braised fennel and brown shrimp butter. A dining experience that seamlessly blends history, culture, and culinary excellence awaits you at the Parsonage Grill.

Enjoying Excellence: An Evening at No. 1 Ship Street, Oxford

No.1 Ship Street, where Oxford’s most exciting cuisine is harmoniously paired with attentive service across two inviting floors. This Modern British brasserie takes pride in its daily fish specials, featuring a delectable array that includes fresh oysters, succulent mussels, and luxurious lobster. The menu is a testament to culinary craftsmanship, ensuring that each dish is a delightful journey for your taste buds.

Experiencing the Vibrant Flavours of Mowgli, Oxford

Mowgli, vibrant flavours of India is located in the heart of Westgate, Oxford. This culinary gem is all about the exhilarating burst of healthy, fragrant herbs and spices that infuse their dishes. Mowgli’s menu is a testament to simplicity, with each dish crafted fresh every morning at the restaurant, ensuring a taste that’s true to its roots.

Explore a menu filled with delights like the Mowgli House Keema, a rich lamb dish simmered for hours with aromatic spices, the enticing Monkey Wrap featuring charred tandoori chicken, pomegranate jewels, spinach, mint, and a spectrum of homemade Mowgli chutneys, and the Goan Fish Curry, a medley of boneless market fish bathed in a fragrant, fiery, and tangy mahogany sauce, offering an unforgettable journey for your taste buds.

Evening: A Night-time Stroll Through History

After dinner, enjoy a leisurely evening stroll through the enchanting streets of Oxford. The city’s historic buildings, illuminated by soft streetlights, exude a timeless charm. You can also take a guided ghost tour for a spine-tingling journey through Oxford’s haunted history, perfect for those seeking a different kind of adventure.

Late Evening: A Nightcap in Oxford’s Pubs

Wrap up your day in Oxford by visiting one of the city’s traditional pubs. The Bear Inn, one of Oxford’s oldest pubs, provides a cosy atmosphere where you can enjoy a nightcap or perhaps a pint of real ale, continuing a tradition that has lasted for centuries.

With its captivating blend of history, culture, and culinary delights, a day in Oxford promises to be a truly memorable experience. Whether you’re exploring historic landmarks or enjoying local cuisine, this city will leave an indelible mark on your heart and mind.

Charming Christmas Markets in Oxfordshire

christmas markets in oxfordshire

The festive spirit in Oxfordshire becomes an enchanting journey as Christmas markets come to life. When the air turns crisp and the streets are adorned with twinkling lights, these markets transform the county into a winter wonderland.

With their charming stalls, brimming with unique gifts, artisanal treats, and a joyful atmosphere, Oxfordshire’s Christmas markets are the perfect places to find that special something and immerse yourself in the magic of the season. Whether you’re sipping on mulled wine, browsing handcrafted treasures, or simply soaking in the Christmas holiday ambiance, these markets are great places to visit.

Travel Back in Time at the Bicester Victorian Christmas Market 2023

Dates: 2nd December to 3rd December 2023
Location: Sheep Street, Bicester, Oxfordshire OX26 6JB

Get ready to visit the Bicester Victorian Christmas Market 2023, a cherished event hosted by LSD Promotions. Taking place over the weekend of Saturday, 2nd December and Sunday 3rd December, this market offers two days of festive enchantment that transport you straight into the heart of Victorian splendour.

A Victorian Wonderland: Imagine strolling down cobbled streets adorned with festive decorations, surrounded by the charm and elegance of a bygone era. At the Bicester Victorian Christmas Market, this enchanting vision becomes a reality. As you step into this winter wonderland, you’ll find yourself immersed in the sights, sounds, and delights of Victorian Britain.

Charming Stalls: One of the highlights of this market is its 100 charming stalls, each brimming with unique treasures waiting to be discovered. Whether you’re searching for exquisite handmade crafts, vintage ornaments, or delectable seasonal treats, you’re sure to find that perfect something special here.

Live Entertainment: The Bicester Victorian Christmas Market is not just about shopping. Enjoy the heart-warming performances of street artists and entertainers who will whisk you away to the Victorian era.

Free & Ticketless: To ensure that everyone can experience the magic of a Victorian Christmas, the Bicester Victorian Christmas Market is not only a ticketless event but also absolutely free to attend. So, gather your loved ones, wrap up warm, and get ready to be transported back in time at the Bicester Victorian Christmas Market 2023.

Experience the Magic of Christmas at Cogges Manor Farm’s Christmas Market

Dates: 25th November to 26th November 2023 – Time: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Location: Cogges Manor Farm, Witney

As the Christmas holiday season approaches, Cogges Manor Farm in Witney transforms into a winter wonderland, inviting you to their enchanting Cogges Christmas Market in the Barns. Set against the picturesque backdrop of this historic farm, this festive market is a delightful opportunity to soak up the holiday spirit, enjoy Christmas shopping, and enjoy some tasty treats.

Admission:
Adults: £3
Children: £1 (FREE for Season Ticket holders)
For Cogges Season Ticket holders, entry is free

A Curated Shopping Experience: Step into a world of festive charm as you explore a carefully curated collection of local traders nestled within the rustic Barns of Cogges Manor Farm. Here, you’ll discover a diverse array of artisan arts and crafts, unique gifts, homewares, accessories, and delectable treats. Whether you’re searching for the perfect Christmas present or a little something to treat yourself, you’re bound to find it here.

Festive Delights: No Christmas market is complete without the scents and flavours of the season. Immerse yourself in the aroma of mulled wine and freshly baked mince pies. And for those who want to bring the magic of Christmas into their homes, there will be Christmas trees available for sale, ensuring your festive season is as merry and bright as can be.

No Need to Pre-Book: One of the best things about the Cogges Christmas Market is its accessibility. There’s no need to pre-book; simply turn up on the day. Be sure to take both cash and card payments to make the most of this delightful market.

Embrace the Magic of a Bygone Era: Banbury Victorian Christmas Market 2023

Dates: 24th November 24th to 26th November 2023
Location: Banbury, Oxfordshire

Get ready to step back in time at the Banbury Victorian Christmas Market 2023, hosted by LSD Promotions. From Friday, 24th November to Sunday 26th November, for three unforgettable days of festive enchantment. It’s a journey to a bygone era that you won’t want to miss.

A Victorian Wonderland: As you approach Banbury during this magical time, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into the pages of a Dickens novel. The town is transformed into a Victorian wonderland, with charming decorations, twinkling lights, and a joyful festive atmosphere.

Charming Stalls and Unique Treasures: Banbury Victorian Christmas Market boasts 120 charming stalls, each filled with unique treasures waiting to be discovered. Whether you’re seeking beautifully crafted gifts, delightful holiday decorations, or delicious seasonal treats, you’ll find an array of choices that capture the essence of the season.

Street Performers and Live Entertainment: This market is not just a shopping experience; it’s a complete immersion into the Victorian era. While you explore the stalls, you’ll encounter delightful street performers who will entertain and amaze you with their talents.

Plan Your Visit with Banbury BID: To make the most of your festive visit, be sure to check out Banbury BID. They have everything you need to know about visiting the beautiful town of Banbury during Christmas. Whether you need information about parking, details on special events, recommendations for dining at local restaurants, or insights into attractions, Banbury BID is your go-to resource for planning your visit.

Free Admission: The Banbury Victorian Christmas Market 2023 is free to attend.

Experience the Magic of a Victorian Christmas at Oxford Victorian Christmas Market 2023

Dates: Thursday 16th November to Sunday 19th November
Location: Broad Street, Oxford

Step back in time at the much-anticipated Oxford Victorian Christmas Market! From Thursday, 16th November, to Sunday, 19th November, the historic Broad Street in Oxford will be transformed into a festive wonderland like no other.

A Festive Extravaganza: This charming event invites you to relive the bygone era while enjoying the best of the Christmas holiday season. As you step onto Broad Street, you’ll be greeted by the cheerful melodies of live music, the delightful aroma of festive food and drinks, and an array of street entertainment.

Artisan Treasures: The Oxford Victorian Christmas Market is a treasure trove of artisanal delights. Explore a diverse range of stalls offering unique, handcrafted gifts, vintage-inspired decorations, and one-of-a-kind trinkets. It’s the perfect place to find that exceptional present for your loved ones.

Delicious Festive Fare: Indulge your taste buds with a wide array of delectable festive treats. From piping hot mulled wine to scrumptious mince pies and other culinary delights, there’s no shortage of options to satisfy your cravings as you wander through this magical market.

A Street of Merriment: Broad Street itself comes alive with the spirit of Christmas. Witness captivating street performances, enchanting acts, and a lively ambiance that will transport you to a world of Victorian charm.

Discover Festive Treasures at Millets Farm Centre’s Christmas Craft & Gift Market

Dates: 9th November to 10th November – Time: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Location: Lakeview Suite, Millets Farm Centre

Get into the Christmas holiday spirit early this year with a visit to Millets Farm Centre’s Christmas Craft & Gift Market. This delightful market brings together over 30 talented artisan stallholders, creating the perfect opportunity to kickstart your Christmas shopping.

Unique Festive Finds: At the Christmas Craft & Gift Market, you’ll find a treasure trove of unique and beautifully crafted items. From stunning jewellery pieces that make for memorable gifts to aromatic candles that will infuse your home with the scents of the season, there’s something to delight everyone. Explore a diverse selection of homewares and artworks that are sure to add a touch of festive charm to your living space.

Save the Date: Mark your calendar for November 9th and 10th, and make your way to the Lakeview Suite, located above the Farmhouse Kitchen Restaurant at Millets Farm Centre. The market opens its doors at 10:00 AM and continues until 4:00 PM on both days. Best of all, admission to this enchanting event is absolutely FREE!

Waterperry Christmas Market: A Festive Delight in Oxfordshire’s Countryside

Dates: 25th November to 26th November
Location: Lakeview Suite, Millets Farm Centre

Embrace the enchanting spirit of the Christmas holiday season at the Waterperry Christmas Market, a delightful event nestled within the picturesque Waterperry Gardens near Wheatley, Oxfordshire. On the weekend of Saturday, 25th November, and Sunday, 26th November 26th, from 10 am to 4 pm (with the site open till 5 pm), this market promises a great event for all.

A Seasonal Wonderland: As you step into the market’s new home, nestled under the cover of the charming plant area, you’ll be greeted by a festive wonderland. Explore a myriad of Arts and Craft Stalls adorned with gorgeous handmade gift ideas, each crafted with love and creativity. It’s the perfect opportunity to find that one-of-a-kind present.

Christmas Shopping Extravaganza: Waterperry Gardens invites you to indulge in the joy of Christmas shopping. Roam through the Gallery, Gift Barn, and Christmas Shop, where you’ll discover a treasure trove of festive delights. Whether you’re seeking decorations to adorn your home or unique gifts that will bring smiles to faces, this market has you covered.

What’s on in Oxfordshire this December

whats on in Oxfordshire this December

As the winter chill sets in, Oxfordshire comes alive with a delightful array of festive events and activities to enjoy. Below is just a small selection of some of the things to do this December.

A Jacobean Christmas

Saturday 2nd December
St Barnabas Church, Cardigan Street, Oxford, OX2 6BG

‘A Jacobean Christmas: A Joyful Celebration of Early English Music’

Prepare to be transported to the splendid era of the Jacobean period with ‘A Jacobean Christmas,’ a musical extravaganza presented by the acclaimed Marian Consort. As part of their ongoing collaboration with Music at Oxford, this festive program promises to immerse you in the enchanting world of early English composers at the height of their creativity during the Stuart court’s renowned festivities.

The performance will feature a delightful mix of exuberant compositions alongside more introspective sacred works by celebrated English composers like Byrd, Gibbons, Weelkes, and Bull. These timeless pieces not only showcase the exceptional talent of their creators but also offer glimpses into the colourful lives of these maestros.

Adding to the evening’s charm, the Jericho Youth Choir and St. Barnabas Choristers will join forces with The Marian Consort for three special pieces. This collaboration is part of the ‘With One Voice Learning and Participation’ project, a year-long initiative that brings together schoolchildren from Jericho to work alongside music leaders and members of The Marian Consort on various singing and composition projects throughout 2023-24.

Please note that this enchanting program will be performed without an interval, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the magical music of the Jacobean era. To enhance the festive atmosphere, mulled wine and mince pies will be available for purchase, making this a perfect evening to embrace the holiday spirit.

Don’t miss the chance to experience the beauty and grandeur of a Jacobean Christmas with The Marian Consort and Music at Oxford.

For more information and tickets, please click here to visit their website.

Festive Wreath Making Workshop

Sunday 3rd December
The Mill Arts Centre, Spiceball Park Road, Banbury , OX16 5QE

‘Embrace the Festive Spirit at a Wreath Making Workshop!’

The air is getting crisp, and the scent of pine and cinnamon is beginning to fill the atmosphere. The holiday season is just around the corner, and there’s no better way to embrace its magic than by creating your very own festive wreath.

Crafting a beautiful wreath is a beloved tradition that signals the arrival of the holiday season. It’s a symbol of warmth and welcome, a gesture of love and goodwill to all who enter your home. But why settle for store-bought when you can craft a wreath infused with your own style and spirit?

The workshop is led by the talented and eco-conscious florist, Melissa, who has a passion for sustainable living. She will guide you on this creative journey, helping you craft a wreath that reflects your unique personality and celebrates the beauty of the natural world.

All the materials and equipment you need for this workshop will be provided, ensuring that you can fully immerse yourself in the joy of crafting without worrying about the logistics. Whether you’re a seasoned wreath-making pro or brand new to this delightful art form, Melissa will ensure that you leave with a stunning wreath that will be the envy of your neighbours.

For more information and tickets, please click here to visit their website.

Pretty Woman The Musical

Monday 04 to Saturday 09 December
New Theatre Oxford, 24-26 George St, Oxford

‘Pretty Woman: The Musical’ Takes Centre Stage at New Theatre Oxford

Get ready for a glamorous night out because “Pretty Woman: The Musical” is coming to New Theatre Oxford, this show promises a big, huge, and unforgettable evening of entertainment.

Step back in time to the late ’80s, where the enchanting story of Vivian and Edward unfolds. Their chance encounter changes their lives forever, and you can now experience this iconic romantic tale live on stage. ‘Pretty Woman: The Musical’ is a dazzling theatrical rendition of a timeless love story, sure to sweep you off your feet. It’s a show that took London’s West End by storm and is set to do the same in Oxford, guaranteed to uplift your spirits and warm your heart.

This production introduces the talented Amber Davies as Vivian and Oliver Savile as Edward, breathing new life into these beloved characters. Joining them in the cast is Natalie Paris, renowned for her role as Kit de Luca, originally from the hit musical “SIX: the Musical.” Don’t miss the chance to see Hollywood’s ultimate rom-com come to life on stage. ‘Pretty Woman: The Musical’ is a night of theatrical magic that you won’t want to miss!

For more information and tickets, please click here to visit their website.

Craig Charles – Funk & Soul House Party

Friday 8th December
02 Academy Oxford, 190 Cowley Rd, Oxford, OX4 1UE

‘Groove the Night Away with Craig Charles – Funk & Soul Extravaganza!’

Prepare for the ultimate funk and soul house party with none other than the maestro of groove, Craig Charles. Step into Craig’s musical sanctuary as he delves deep into his expansive record collection to curate an unforgettable night of pure, unadulterated funk, soul, and house beats. This is more than just a party; it’s a journey through the soulful sounds that make you move, groove, and keep coming back for more.

Craig Charles, a name synonymous with smooth grooves and infectious beats, has been a fixture in the music scene for over three decades. He’s not just a DJ; he’s a musical tour de force. From the iconic stages of Glastonbury to the airwaves of BBC 6 Music, Craig has captivated audiences with his boundless energy and unparalleled musical prowess. Join him on the dance floor, where he’ll take you on a sonic adventure that’ll have you dancing until the early hours.

Expect straight-up groove bangers, exclusive funk and soul cuts, and a vibe that’s nothing short of electric. This is more than just a night out; it’s a musical journey that’ll leave an indelible mark on your soul. So, turn up the volume, gather your friends, and get ready for a night that you’ll be reminiscing about for years to come. With Craig Charles at the helm, it’s a night you won’t want to miss.

For more information and tickets, please click here to visit their website.

That 80s Christmas Rock Show 2023

Saturday 9th December
The Mill Arts Centre, Spiceball Park Road, Banbury , OX16 5QE

‘Get Ready to Rock This Christmas with That 80s Rock Show 2023!’

Do you have a soft spot for Bon Jovi, Queen, Bonnie Tyler, Journey, and Guns N’ Roses? Are you still livin’ on a prayer and will never stop believing in the power of rock? Do you have an insatiable thirst to fight for your right to party? Well, hold onto your air guitars because here we go again!

That 80s Christmas Rock Show is the ultimate rock tribute to the glorious 1980s. Picture over two hours of mind-blowing rock anthems and power ballads that pay homage to an era when music was larger than life. Get ready to relive the magic of legendary bands like Whitesnake, Heart, Def Leppard, Kiss, and many more, all set against a backdrop of 80s film themes and TV quotes. And because it’s Christmas, you’ll also be treated to those spectacular 80s Christmas classics that we all know and love!

This is no ordinary show; it’s a 100% live spectacle with dazzling lights, lasers, a dash of smoke, and enough animal print (faux, of course!) and spandex to make the 80s proud. The atmosphere is incredibly tongue-in-cheek and family-friendly, promising an unforgettable night of rock anthems and character-filled performances that’ll have you throwing up rock fingers and singing along.

Having toured theatres and headlined festivals across the UK for the past six years, this show brings an infectious energy and love for 80s rock that’s sure to captivate rock enthusiasts of all ages.

So whether you’re a child of the 80s or simply wish you were, grab your 80s gear (don’t forget the Christmas hats!) and get ready to rock the night away with That 80s Christmas Rock Show. Are you ready to relive the magic?

For more information and tickets, please click here to visit their website.

The Churchfitters

Monday 18th December
The Theatre Chipping Norton, Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire

‘The Churchfitters: Where Folk Meets Inventive Musical Genius’

Prepare to be thoroughly entertained by The Churchfitters, a folk band that defies convention and redefines the genre. This extraordinary trio, hailing from England and France, will grace the stage at The Theatre Chipping Norton, promising a musical experience like no other.

The Churchfitters’ line-up is as eclectic as their sound. Picture a double bass crafted from a humble saucepan, heart-rending vocals accompanied by a musical saw or a glass harp, and foot-stomping fiddle melodies interwoven with infectious funk-rock rhythms. Their repertoire seamlessly blends traditional tunes with mesmerising jazz saxophone, creating a harmonious fusion that captivates audiences.

The stage itself is a spectacle, adorned with an array of instruments, including flute, banjo, dulcimer, tin whistle, guitar, ukulele, electric hub-cap bass-bouzouki, and a cacophony of percussion instruments. One notable addition to their ensemble is the unique ‘bing-bong’ machine, ingeniously crafted from hack-saw blades. The Churchfitters’ performance is elevated by exquisite harmonies, a collection of startlingly original songs, and a sprinkling of humour that effortlessly connects with their audience.

Rosie Short, often likened to Annie Lennox in full musical flight, possesses an achingly beautiful voice that effortlessly transitions from husky blues to plaintive femme folk and ethereal original compositions. She’s not just a vocalist but a ‘one-woman orchestra,’ skilfully switching between multiple instruments, including flute, saxophone, banjo, tin whistle, dulcimer, ukulele, and an assortment of unconventional percussive elements.

Rosie’s brother, Chris, brings his feverishly fast fiddling skills to the forefront, coaxing even the most reserved of spectators onto their feet for a lively dance. His proficiency extends to the mandolin, harmonising beautifully with Rosie’s vocals. Chris also doubles as a witty raconteur, which is essential when you’re playing a musical saw.

Completing this eclectic ensemble is Boris Lebret from Lannion, France, a part bass player, part mad inventor. Boris’s passion for crafting unique instruments from scrap metal sets him apart. When four strings were insufficient for his driving bass rhythms, he didn’t hesitate to bolt on another two, demonstrating his knack for pushing boundaries.

The Churchfitters’ “Christmas Cracker” show promises a delectable mix of traditional and original festive songs that will usher in Christmas with flair. Expect surprises, novelties, and even a few wonderfully terrible jokes. Don’t miss this one-of-a-kind musical experience that celebrates the fusion of folk music and inventive genius.

For more information and tickets, please click here to visit their website.

Autumn Colours in Oxfordshire

autumn colours in oxfordshire

As autumn casts its enchanting spell over Oxfordshire, the countryside comes alive with a stunning symphony of colours. The region is graced with an array of picturesque locations where you can immerse yourself in the magic of autumn foliage.

Blenheim Palace, Woodstock: A Regal Affair

Begin your autumnal adventure at Blenheim Palace in Woodstock. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a masterpiece of English Baroque architecture set within 2,000 acres of stunning parkland. As autumn unfurls its vibrant tapestry of colours, Blenheim Palace’s parks and gardens beckon with the irresistible charm of this earthy season. Slip on your wellies and meander through the serene parkland, where winding trails and informative wildlife boards await guests of all ages, inviting everyone to become part of the autumnal spectacle. Amidst the crisp leaves underfoot, the golden-red hues of the season create a stunning backdrop, making it an ideal time to experience the natural beauty of Blenheim Palace.

Harcourt Arboretum, Nuneham Courtenay: Nature’s Kaleidoscope

Harcourt Arboretum is a hidden gem that truly comes alive in autumn. Originally commissioned in the 19th century, this 130-acre arboretum is a tapestry of colour during this season. The Acer Glade bathes in vivid reds, while Lime Wood boasts a golden canopy that gently carpets the ground with leaves. Notably, the arboretum is home to dawn redwoods, which light up like torches in autumn. These ancient giants, thought to be extinct until the 1940s, offer a unique glimpse into living history. Oaks, swamp cypresses, and hybrid larches contribute to the kaleidoscope of colours. Don’t miss Palmer’s Leys, where native plantings create a sunny yellow spectacle on bright days.

Greys Court Estate, Henley-on-Thames: A Historic Autumn Escape

For a historical and nature-infused autumn experience, head to Greys Court Estate near Henley. This National Trust-owned estate boasts a 16th-century mansion and enchanting gardens that have graced the screens in Downton Abbey and Midsomer Murders. As autumn descends, the gardens retain their charm, providing a perfect backdrop for a relaxing walk. Choose from the family-friendly Sir Felix’s Gentle Walk or the slightly longer Greys estate walk, both offering scenic views and a breath of fresh, crisp autumn air.

Badbury Woods, Near Faringdon: A Natural Retreat

Badbury Woods, situated between Coleshill and Faringdon, is a haven of autumnal wonder. Home to an Iron Age Hill fort at Badbury Hill, this wooded area, affectionately known as “Badbury Clump,” welcomes walkers, families, and nature enthusiasts. The changing leaves paint a stunning backdrop, and the National Trust provides “Spotter’s Guides” to enhance your experience. These guides help you identify native tree and bird species in the UK, making your woodland exploration all the more educational and rewarding. Badbury is not only a treat for the eyes but also a tonic for the soul.

Cowleaze Woods, Near Watlington: A Tranquil Escape

Just a short drive north of Henley-on-Thames, Cowleaze Wood in Lewknor offers a tranquil retreat amidst the Chiltern Hills. Here, you’ll find a rich mix of habitats and a variety of paths to explore. Bluebells carpet the forest floor in May, adding a splash of blue to the autumn palette. It’s also a prime spot for red kite spotting, and the valley views are simply stunning. A monument within the wood pays tribute to the crew of a Handley Page Halifax that crashed here during World War II, a poignant reminder of history amidst the natural beauty.

Autumn in Oxfordshire is an invitation to experience nature’s grand finale, where lush greens transform into a captivating symphony of reds, yellows, and oranges. Whether you’re exploring the historic grounds of Blenheim Palace, wandering the tranquil paths of Harcourt Arboretum, or embarking on woodland adventures in Greys Court, Badbury, or Cowleaze Woods, you’re sure to be captivated by the spellbinding colours of this enchanting season in Oxfordshire.