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The cool things to do this week

The daffs are out and the sun is shining (well it was earlier) and I’m luurving this spring lark. There’s loads of cool stuff to do too – is it possible to have more fun with your clothes on?! Don’t forget the book ahead section that I keep banging on about, especially if you’re after some Summer Son – got it already?

Mylands Colour Consultation Day, Providence, Burwash Manor, Sat 1 April

Providence, Burnish

Whether it’s a serious overhaul or a lick of paint to update, Victoria Millington, Mylands colour specialist & interior designer will be on hand at Providence to help you choose colour schemes for your decorating project. Come armed with questions, ideas, fabric, photos, kitchen sink – anything that you are using as part of your design scheme. There’ll also be a paint talk and demonstration if, like me, you get more paint on yourself rather than the wall. Booking is essential.

Providence, Burwash Manor, New Road, Barton, Cambridgeshire CB23 7EY, providenceuk.com

Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt, Wimpole Hall, Sat 1 – Mon 17 April

Wimpole Hall

You’ve got to love the National Trust in the holidays and if you haven’t explored Wimpole what are you waiting for? I wouldn’t bother with the house if you have kids in tow, thought it is definitely worth a visit when you’ve got the time. There are beautiful walks, a working farm to explore (lambing will start soon) and a great outdoor play area – oh and did I mention cake? This Easter Wimpole Hall have created a trail around the gardens – let the kids run amok as they try and crack the secret word and collect their chocolate treat.

Wimpole Hall, Arrington, Cambridgeshire, SG8 0BW, nationaltrust.org.uk

foodPark Pop Up, Cambridge Wine Merchants’, Cambridge Sat 1 April

foodPark Cambridge

The street food collective foodPark are collaborating with Cambridge Wine Merchants’ this April – each Sat between 5-9m there will be a rotating selection of Cambridge’s top notch traders. Find them pitched up outside the wine bar at the University Centre – a fab location in the city centre overlooking the Mill Pond, just off Mill Lane. It’s the perfect warm up for long, lazy summer evenings with tasty food and superb wine and beer.

Cambridge Wine Merchants’ Cambridge Uni Centre Wine Bar, Granta Place, Cambridge CB2 1RU foodparkcam.com

Story Pocket Theatre: Storyteller, Storyteller, Quarry Theatre, Bedford, Sat 1 April

Story teller Quarry Theatre

What happens when two children’s storytellers arrive at the same place at the same time to tell their stories? And what happens if both of them think they are THE Storyteller? A head to head that leads to a feast of clowning, physical silliness and some magical non-verbal storytelling, that’s what! An afternoon of family fun from the winners of the Primary Times Children’s Choice Award, 2014 and the Three Weeks Editors’ Choice Award at Edinburgh Fringe 2015.

Quarry Theatre, 26 St Peter’s Street, Bedford, MK40 2NN quarrytheatre.org.uk

Plant Tie-Tying and an Easter Bunny Hunt, Cambridge University Botanic Gardens, Sat 1 April

Cambridge University Botanic Garden

There’s a double whammy for families at the Botanic Gardens this weekend. As part of their creative sessions, kids can learn the basics of creating tie-dye patterns and have a go at dyeing using colours created from plants. This is a drop-in session from 11am – 3pm. Combine this with the Easter Lindt Gold Bunny Hunt around the beautiful gardens – complete the trail and your prize is a delicious chocolate treat. The Easter hunt is on every day until Mon 17 April.

Cambridge University Botanic Gardens, 1 Brookside, Cambridge CB2 1JE, botanic.cam.ac.uk

A Fine Line, Cambridge Contemporary Art, Sun 2 Apr

Cambridge Contemporary Arts

Cambridge Contemporary Art are hosting an exhibition featuring some of the very best of contemporary British ceramics. The exhibition focuses on the theme of lines and includes work by both established and up and coming ceramicists.This Sunday there is a chance to meet the artists: Rhian Malin, Tracey Ashman, Jane Cairns, Joanna Howells and Sue Jones. Rhian Malin continues the long historic tradition of hand-painting porcelain with cobalt-blue decoration and she will be giving a demonstration on handpainting her pots and Joanna Howells will be giving a gallery talk about her technique of creating fossil-like reliefs.

Cambridge Contemporary Arts, 6 Trinity St, Cambridge CB2 1SU, cambridgegallery.co.uk

‘Introduction to Wine’ tastings, The Old Bridge at Huntingdon, Mon 3 April

The Old Bridge Hotel Huntingdon

The introduction to wine tastings are informal evenings, suitable for anyone with an interest in wine who wants to learn a little more about about it. The evenings are themed around grape varieties or regions and are run by John Hoskins, Master of Wine and owner of the hotel. This week Roussanne is introduced – a key blending component in some of the best whites from the Rhône and the South of France and now it’s becoming trendy in many new world regions too. This is a tasting for those of us who love aromatic, interesting, flavourful white wines – Pinot Grigio fans beware! The tasting lasts for about an hour and a half (8+ wines from the everyday to the very best) followed by an informal supper.

The Old Bridge at Huntingdon, 1 High Street, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire PE29 3TQ, huntsbridge.com

Donna Leon, St Mary’s Church, Ely, Tues 4 April

Donna Leon Author

A possible if you’re looking for a holiday read – Donna Leon was named by The Times as one of the 50 Greatest Crime Writers for her award winning Brunetti series, and she’s coming to Ely to celebrate her latest book, Earthly Remains. In need of a break from the Questura, Brunetti is shipped off by his wife, Paola, to a villa owned by a wealthy relative on one of the largest islands in the Venetian laguna.  The recuperative stay goes according to plan until Davide Casati, the caretaker of the house, goes missing following a sudden storm. Nobody can find him – not event the woman he’d been secretly visiting, and Brunetti feels compelled to set aside his holiday and discover what happened to the man who had recently become his friend. The details and rhythms of everyday Venetian life are at the core of this thrilling novel, and of the terrible crime at its heart.

Topping and Co Booksellers, 9 High Street, Ely CB7 4LJ, toppingbooks.co.uk

Discovery Club 8-11, Grafham Water, Wed 5 – Fri 7 April

Grafham Water Activity Centre

The Discovery Club opens for 2017 next week, it’s found on the shores of Grafham Water reservoir just off the A1 at Buckden. The club is aimed at young people (aged 8 to 11) who want to try new activities, develop existing skills, meet new friends and have fun – it’s all very outdoorsy, taking place both on land and water (more likely in it). Discovery Clubs run on selected days during school holidays from 8.30am until 5.30pm and a healthy packed lunch will be provided. They are also running the club from Mon 10 – Thurs 13 April during the Easter hols.

Grafham Water Centre, Perry, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire PE28 0GW, grafham-water-centre.co.uk

Book Launch: A Wayward Spirit by Peter Harris, Hot Numbers Coffee Roasters, Wed 5 April

Hot Numbers

Peter Harris has travelled extensively on business in Asia, Africa, South America and the Middle East (visiting over 100 countries) and he relates his extraordinary experiences with page-turning descriptions. He worked for the British Tourist Authority, he established his own international education consultancy and his insightful narratives come from his continuing worldwide travel on behalf of a range of UK boarding schools, colleges and charities. His advice on education has been sought by Russian billionaires, Saudi sheikhs and members of the Thai royal family. He has been faced with life-threatening experiences in two continents and endured wrongful imprisonment in Greece. Along the way, he ventured into religious retreats, spiritual experiences in India and pilgrim walks in Spain – finding a new meaning to his life which has led him to raise over £50,000 for charitable causes including a school for ‘children from the dumps’ in Cambodia. And part of the proceeds from the sale of “A Wayward Spirit” will be used to pay for teachers at the school.

Hot Numbers Roasters, 5/6 Dales Brewery, Gwydir Street, Cambridge CB1 2LJ, hotnumberscoffee.co.uk

Aru Jazz, La Raza, Cambridge, Wed 6 April

La Raza Cambridge

Talented local jazz musicians, Michael Chang and The Groove Collective, take to the stage to perform a collection of jazz and funk pieces. Michael has a long history of performance, working as a session musician he played with well known artists and performed at the BBC live lounge, Jazz Cafe, indigo 02, Glastonbury and Wireless and Reading festival. The Groove Collective are a six piece band specialising in jazz, bossa nova and funk. La Raza is a popular bar and well known music venue in the centre of Cambridge, it’s the perfect place to kick back, unwind and enjoy a cocktail.

La Raza, 4-6 Rose Crescent, Cambridge CB2 3LL, laraza.co.uk

Jane Austen: Letters and Readers, Cambridge Library, until Sat 8 April

Jane Austen

Three historic letters relating to one of Britain’s best-loved novelists have been brought together for the first time at a new Cambridge exhibition to mark the 200th anniversary of her death. The letters are all written at different times of Austen’s life: the first on her reluctant move to Bath and an additional two provide an insight into the contemporary readership of her novel Emma, including the Prince Regent, to whom the novel is (probably unwillingly) dedicated. The exhibition also includes first editions of Austen’s books, and items from the collection of her bibliographer Geoffrey Keynes.

Cambridge Library, University of Cambridge, West Rd, Cambridge CB3 9DR, cam.ac.uk

Book Ahead

It’s so annoying to miss the boat on what’s happening around Muddy Cambs so here’s your handy book ahead section so nobody gets left out.

RYA Youth Sailing, Grafham Water Centre, Mon 10 – Tue 11 April

grafham youth sailing

A great one for any teenagers permanently glued to a device this Easter. Learning to sail can be the start of something new and exciting and this beginner course will take youngsters through the basics. During the two days they will learn how to rig the boat and turn round safely. Stage 1 and 2 courses can be linked into a combined course over four days. RYA Qualifications can also be gained through membership of the RYA Grafham Flyers OnBoard Club.

Grafham Water Activity Centre

Family Garden Design, Cambridge University Botanic Garden, Tues 25 April

Cambridge University Botanic Garden

The garden design courses at the Cambridge University Botanic Garden get booked up early so you’ll need to move fast if you’re interested. This one-day course with garden designer Dawn Isaac, will give you the basic tools and inspiration to plan your own family garden.  Bring along photographs and measurements of your own gardens projects so that specific design challenges can be addressed as part of the course discussions.

Cambridge University Botanic Garden

Scott Gibson, Life after Death, Cambridge Junction, Sun 30 April

Scott Gibson

Scott Gibson hit comedy fame last year when he won the Best Newcomer gong at the Edinburgh Comedy Awards. This show tells the story of the three weeks that changed Scott’s life forever. On returning from a stag weekend in Blackpoll, Scott’s brain exploded – he had suffered a massive brain hemorrhage. So he did what any self-respecting Glaswegian man would do and went back to bed for 4 days. A darkly hysterical, inspiring show, delivered with the trademark filthy charisma that Scott is known for; Life After Death is a tale of love and pain, fear and hope. It’s about overcoming insurmountable odds, and how comedy can bring you back to life.

Cambridge Junction

Cambridge Corn Exchange

New acts have just been released for later this year and there are some great singers and bands coming to Cambridge.

Alison Moyet

Tue 12 Sept, Texas – a UK tour has been announced to coincide with the release of their UK album ‘Jump On Board’ due for release on 21 April.

Sun 12 Nov, Alison Moyet – in support of her new album ‘Other’ due for release in June.

Sat 25 Nov, Happy Mondays – Twenty Four Hour Party People – Greatest Hits Tour

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