FOOD & DRINK
It’s a whopper month for food and drink festivals in Cambridgeshire (quite literally a whopper if you go to all of them!). First up? One of Cambridge’s coolest holiday lets, Kingston Barns, opens its beautiful grounds at the beginning of the month for a food and drink festival to celebrate the start of summer (let’s hope the weather agrees that it’s time to be summer too!). Tickets include a welcome glass of Cava, Mediterranean-inspired cuisine, live music from the Kingston Blues Band and games including boules and badminton. Buy your tickets here. Now onto the drink – one of our 2019 Awards Finalists in the Newcomer Category, 2 Boozy Birds, are holding a Secret Gin Festival at The Secret Garden Touring Park in Wisbech on 7 and 8 June (that’s world gin day – nice timing!). The secret’s out I’m afraid, but that’s good news for gin-loving Muddy readers as that means you can head along and try the “ridiculous amount of craft gin” on offer and enjoy the live music before pitching your tent (actually might be best if you do this before the gin drinking part) and camping overnight.
Hop across the border into Suffolk for your next gourmet offering – the Taste of Sudbury Food and Drink Festival on 9 June in Market Hill. Some of Suffolk’s best foodie talents are giving cookery demos and the entire picturesque town will be jam-packed with artisan producers’ stalls and food vans. Delish! Back across the other border and into Rutland and it’s Oundle’s turn with their Food Festival Street Market takes over the Market Place and New Street on 22 June. There are over 75 stallholders’ produce to get your teeth into as well as events, special menus and offers in the week before.
Round off the month nicely and dash any hopes of getting into that itsy bitsy bikini, with a visit to the UK’s biggest food festival – Foodies Festival on 28-30 June on Parkers Piece. There’s live music from Scouting for Girls as well as 50 emerging bands from Cambridgeshire, workshops and masterclasses from top chefs including our very own Daniel Clifford from Midsummer House. And yes there’s plenty of free samples – don’t pretend that’s not why you’re interested, as well as a new Kids Zone and Dog Arena.
If you haven’t had enough of your kid’s favourite characters blaring out of your TV then you can enjoy them in real life (lucky you!) at Milkshake Live at the Cambridge Corn Exchange on 1 June. This musical extravaganza is delivered in two halves – 32 minutes each with lots of audience participation and standing up involved – so even restless members of the audience will love it. All your kids’ favourite characters from Milkshake TV (come on, you know…Fireman Sam, Noddy, Shimmer & Shine, Digby Dragon, Wissper, Nella the Princess Knight and the Floogals) come together in a riot of colour, noise and dancing, that’ll delight little ones. Next up, it’s another one for the children (don’t worry parents there’s something for you coming later in the month, keep reading…) as Elmer the Patchwork Elephant stomps onto the stage at Burgess Hall in St Ives on 2 June. Everyone loves Elmer the book so just imagine how little faces will light up when they see the lovable elephant come to life with all his animal friends on the stage in this colourful show that even adults can’t fail to enjoy. There are two shows, at 11am and 2pm.
O Romeo, Romeo wherefore art thou Romeo? Well, actually I can help you with that – he’s at the Key Theatre in Peterborough on 11 June, as the Royal Ballet rolls out a live screening of Romeo & Juliet from the Royal Opera House across 500 UK theatres. The star-crossed lovers are danced by Matthew Ball and Yasmine Naghdi (we saw her in a gala last month and can assure you you don’t want to miss this).
Micheal Palin is going on tour – around the UK in 80 days. OK, so I might be exaggerating, the tour is actually only 13 dates, which might be unlucky for some, but is really rather fortunate for us, as the Cambridge Corn Exchange on 9 June is one of his chosen destinations. The show is called Michael Palin – Live on Stage. Erebus, Python and Other Stories, and touches on everything from his new book to his time in Monty Python. Ballet-lovers are spoiled this month as Ballet Theatre UK leap onto Peterborough’s Key Theatre stage on 15 June in a Celebration of Margot Fonteyn. It’s the centenary of this legendary dancer, and to mark the occasion there’ll be performances of all her iconic moments – Swan Lake, Giselle, the Sleeping Beauty and more. There’s another famous Michael heading Cambs-wards this month too, Sir Michael Parkinson, who’s at the Arts Theatre on 26 June in the rather says what is does on the tin title: An Evening with Sir Michael Parkinson. Allow me to elaborate – it’s a conversation with his son Mike about his journey from a pit village to the top of those famous stairs, with highlights from the Parkinson archive throughout.
The Peppa Pig Festival of Fun comes to the Key Theatre in Peterborough on 1 June and Peppa fans, (what child isn’t?) will be very excited to hear that there are 10 brand new episodes including the two-part festival special screening at 11am as part of Peppa Pig: My First Cinema Experience.
All aboard the Pirate ship, or actually make that train, because the Pirate and Mermaid Festival at Audley End Miniature Railway (until 2 June) has landed in Audley End making the much-loved miniature railway even more fun for little ones. Expect frequent cries of ‘Ahoy there!’, story telling and singalongs at the stage area, plus face painting a games area and crafts. Fancy dress very much encouraged (for the kids that is!). A swashbuckling adventure for the whole family! Finally little bookworms will love the launch event of Monty Mouse of Cambridge Town at Heffers Bookshop on 28 June. this beautifully illustrated book is all about our gorgeous county town of Cambridge and kids will love picking out the places they recognise as they follow the adventures of Monty with author Kate and illustrator Angela.
Following a successful run on Broadway and the West End, Joshua Harmon’s play Admissions, starring Alex Kingston (ER, Doctor Who) and Miranda’s Sarah is coming to The Cambridge Arts Theatre from 3 to 8 June. It’s described as a ‘bold new comedy’ about the education system. Should be a laugh if you’ve got kids of school age!
ART & EXHIBITIONS
Indulge in a different sort of twitching at this charming exhibition celebrating the importance of Birds at Fen Ditton Gallery running from 8 – 23 June. The exhibition is a collection of our most loved feathered friends as encountered by the talented artists who studied them and a percentage of proceeds made by the exhibitions will go to charity Birdlife.
This exhibition, Beggarstaffs, at the Fitzwilliam Museum, displays the work of two young 19th century painters William Nicholson and James Pryde, innovators in collage techniques and graphics in Modern British art. The exhibition also displays the artists’ individual works, which will be shown alongside their joint graphics, for the first time (until Sun 4 Aug). Muddy favourite, Art Hound Gallery, found in Burwash Manor, also has a new exhibit, Neat, Neat, Neat– an immersive collection of work chronicling the art, music and attitude of the Punk movement through printmaking. Artists featured include Sex Pistols artist Jamie Reid, who originated the iconic cut up text and ripped up flags associated with UK punk; Shepard Fairley, America’s biggest street artist; Jimmy Cauty, the brains behind Art Punk Band KLF and work from the gallery’s top contemporary artists (until Sun 16 Jun) – it looks like a goodie.
Ongoing exhibitions this June include Columbian born multimedia artist Oscar Murillo’s first UK solo exhibit since his acclaimed exhibition at South London Gallery at the uber cool contemporary gallery Kettle’s Yard (until Sun 23 Jun).
June’s musical treats kick off with Sophie Ellis-Bextor performing at the Cambridge Corn Exchange on 2 June. You’ll certainly not be saying Take Me Home when you hear her awesome voice alongside a full live orchestra. Expect all the classics – Get Over You and Murder on the Dancefloor – plus a few new numbers form her recent album.
Totally Tina is Simply the Best tribute show. Don’t believe me? It’s currently in its 10th year and has a glut of awards (including a lifetime achievement award for Justine, who plays Tina) to prove it. The show has had a makeover for 2019 and it’s coming to the Bedford Corn Exchange on 6 June. Don’t worry, if you miss it, it’ll be in Peterborough in November. Expect to sing and dance along to all the greatest hits while wearing sequins and feather boas.
The next global superstar to grace our county with their presence is none other than Craig David, who’ll be performing at Peterborough’s Abax Stadium on 8 June. He’s accompanied by his full band, plus DJ Sigala, Becky Hill and DJ Nathan Dawe. For something a little more refined there are two Jazz and Brass in the Parks events taking place on Jesus Green on the 16 and 23 June. Just turn up with your picnic and a rug for a relaxing evening of music and food. It’s the Cambridge Groove Orchestra on the 16th and the Cambridgeshire Youth Jazz Orchestra on the 23rd.
And they’re off… Newmarket Nights get off to a racing start this month on the 21 June with perennial favourites Madness followed at a length and a half by The Kaiser Chiefs on the 28 June.
Head to Wimpole Home Farm on 2 June and you’ll find much more than the usual farm animals and beautiful countryside walks. The Cambridgeshire County Show pitches up for it’s 20th anniversary this coming weekend and has something to delight all ages and interests – traditional crafts, livestock, rural crafts and displays, vintage tractors, fairground ride and ring events, plus some excellent summer shopping potential and a tempting food hall area, if tractors and pigs aren’t really your bag.
From the county show, it’s straight on to The Cambridge Town and Country Show on 8 and 9 June at Parker’s Piece. There’s something for both country-lovers and townies, with a sheep shows, historical re-enactments, terrier racing, children’s entertainers, petting zoos and a crafts and food and drink marquee. There’s also a dog show on the Sunday if you think Fido has the potential to win waggiest tail!
Hold those rainbow flags high because the very first and long-awaited Cambridge Pride event will take place on 8 June on Jesus Green, having been postponed in 2018. It’s a free event and there will be a main stage, an amazing pride river parade on eight punts down the River Cam, marquees for local acts to perform, local charity and community group stalls and food vans.
If you go down to the woods on 8 June, you’re sure of a big surprise, because you’ll stumble across the Wild Wood Rumpus, a family friendly outdoor festival at Horseheath Racecourse in Linton. There’s an arts and literary entertainment line-up, as well as things to learn like wild bush skills and nature crafting workshops, live music, a Street Food Forest Feast and bars stocked with craft beers, gins and Prosecco. History buffs will love the celebration of the past at two events in the county this month. First up is Peterborough Heritage Festival on 15/16 June in Cathedral Square, where you’ll feel like you’ve taken a trip in a time machine as over 300 re-enactors saunter past dressed as anything from Vikings to medieval jesters. And then it’s on to Wimpole History Festival on 21- 23 June at Wimpole Hall, where children can go to Sword School, meet Roman soldiers and learn how to fire a bow and arrow, and adults can attend author talks and debates with famous faces from the historical world including Lucy Worsley, Antony Beevor, and Micheal Morpurgo.
Finally, if you love flowers and getting your stilettos muddy in the garden, then head to Hemingford Abbots on 29 and 30 June for the annual Flower Festival. It’s a rather picturesque riverside East Anglian village on a normal day, so just imagine what it looks like when all the chocolate box cottages have burst into colour with gorgeous blooms. There will 20 open gardens (and who doesn’t love a nosey round other’s peoples gardens), historic cars and bikes, Morris dancers (c’mon, it’s not a village festival without them) and river trips to enjoy.