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February 2020

The month of love is here and there’s so much to lust after in Muddy’s red-hot February guide, with a whopping 38 things to do in Glos and beyond.

Read on for all the inspiration you’ll need this month.


JAZZ: Cheltenham Jazz Festival, Tues 05 May – Sun 10 May

It’s nearly here and we’re very excited at Muddy. A whole bandwagon of global stars is rolling into Cheltenham in May – promising to make this year’s Cheltenham Jazz Festival the very best yet. We are talking global songstress Emily Sande, Greg Porter, Beverley Knight, Robert Plant and many, many more. This fantastic event takes place from 05 to 10 May and the hottest tickets are sure to go quick so get clicking. See wishlist singers or just go along and discover some amazing new talent for your Spotify list. Tickets go on sale to members from Weds 26 Feb and to the public from Weds 04 March. Click here to book your place.


TALK: In Conversation with Amelia Freer, Calcot Manor Tue 4 Feb

Calcot’s brilliant season of talks kicks off 2020 with an evening with Amelia Freer – one of the UK’s most respected nutritional therapists and healthy eating experts. An international best selling author (Eat.Nourish.Glow) the evening starts at 6.15pm when she will be talking about her new book ‘Simply Good for You’. There will be ‘Amelia-inspired’ canapes to munch and a welcome drink, followed by a Q&A session. Ticket (£40) includes a copy of her book.


SAMPLE SALE: Sarah Elizabeth Bridal Boutique, Cheltenham, 1 – 14 Feb

This multi-award-winning bridal boutique in the heart of Regency Chelt is holding a flash sample sale for the first two weeks of Feb – go, go. go! Take your pick from the dreamiest and finest gowns hand-made by the likes of Suzanne Neville, Caroline Castigliano, Sassi Holford and Savannah Miller. Will your look be crushed lace? Mounds of taffeta? Or a vision of silk sultriness. We’d just like to go and try some on.


WELLBEING: Yoga for Peri & Menopausal Women, Stroud Yoga Space, Stroud, Sun 2 Feb

This enlightening class, led by yoga trainer Lisa Taylor of Stroud Yoga Space zones in on the peri-menopausal and menopausal body. Become the boss of your own body clock at this informative workshop. Sessions include yoga techniques to balance the hormonal system, breathing techniques and herbal tea and menopause-beneficial snacks at the end – ahhh, and breathe. Early bird offer of £25.


WORKSHOP: Eva Nemeth Flat Lay Photography, Daylesford, Kingham, Fri 7 Feb
Oh we love a flat lay. But want to know what they are and how to do them? Then check out this brilliant workshop with internationally published garden and lifestyle photographer, Eva Nemeth. In short, a cool way to visually tell a story through snaps resulting in one final (and soo gram-able) graphic. Eva takes you on a step by step guide from cutting your stems in the Organic Garden to piecing together your final work. Feb’s theme is ‘white winter’ aka snowdrops. Just rock up with your own camera or smartphone. Tickets cost £75.

WEDDINGSWedding Fayre, Mercure Bowden Hall, Gloucester, Sun 2 Feb

Feel inspired for the wedding of your dreams at Mercure Gloucester Bowden Hall’s Wedding Fayre. Set in the rolling hills of the Cotswold countryside, Bowden Hall has incredible views for those photo books. Take a wander around the scores of photographers, entertainers, food, drink and more. Get in the mood with free nibbles and a glass of fizz on arrival – oh, and snap up a goody bag full of treats to take away.

MARKET: Cirencester Farmers’ Market, Cirencester, Sat 8 Feb
This popular artisan Farmers’ Market is always packed out with browsers – a sure sign it’s quite fabulous. Nestled in the magical setting of the pastel-coloured marketplace of Cirencester, find a whole array of traders selling brownies, doughnuts, cheese, fruit, wine, vintage items and crafts. One of our fave markets in Glos. Hot tip? Don’t miss the artisan olive seller with every kind of stuffed olive under the sun. Pure joy. Open from 9am to 2pm.

LIVE SCREENING: Cyrano de Bergerac: NT Live, Gloucester Guildhall & Stroud Vue Cinema, and, Forum Theatre & Odeon, Worcester, Thurs 20 Feb

Fancy spending two hours with James McAvoy? Form an orderly queue now please. X-Men and Atonement star McAvoy returns to the stage in an innovative new adaptation of this romantic French classic. With contemporary staging and not even a whiff of a nose prosthetic, will Cyrano win the heart of his true love Roxanne? Get down to one of these live screenings to find out.

ART: Hope in Hell by Dan Baldwin, Paragon Gallery, Cheltenham, Fri 14 Feb – Sat 29 Feb

Head to the swanky Paragon Gallery in Cheltenham for this stunning exhibition. British artist Dan Baldwin is an art innovator and mixed media genius and his collection of original silkscreen prints is a fascinating exhibition. If you like your art 3D and brimming with skeletons, crucifixes, story book illustrations and goodness knows what else, you’re in for a treat.

LAMBS: Live Lambing, Cotswold Farm Park, Sat 8 Feb to 19 Apr
Pack the hankies and prepare for cute overload, it’s live lambing time at Cotswold Farm Park. Grab a pew in the large barn to witness one of nature’s most life-affirming spectacles as the ewes give birth. As well as seeing the main event, kids will adore the lambing talks, bottle feeding and Q&A sessions with the keepers. Have a cuddle with a fluffy baby chick and see eggs hatching (if you have any emotional  bandwidth left).
THEATRE: Shirley Valentine, Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham, 13 Feb – 22 Feb

greece claire theatre

Grab your girl gang and head to Shirley Valentine at the Everyman for a night that will warm your cockles. Claire Sweeney (BrooksideChicago and Guys and Dolls) plays the title role of Shirley who’s feeling stagnant and stuck in a rut in her empty nest, preparing egg and chips for her emotionally distant husband. When the opportunity arises to leave Merseyside behind for a holiday in Greece, Shirley leaves a note and heads for the sun where she starts to see the world and herself very differently.

TECHWhat’s Your Game 2020, Blackfriars, Gloucester, Sat 1 Feb – Sun 2 Feb

One for the techies, or the (long suffering) mothers of techies. Back for 2020 is the UK’s largest LARP Fair (err, that’s live action role playing my son wearily informs me). At this destination event for mad gamers there are more than 60 stalls covering everything from Cosplay to board games. There’s a cafe on site and a display of Kings Lifeguard fighting techniques. Almost 1,000 people attended in 2019 so it promises to be popular, entry is £3 with kids under 13 going free.


EVENT: Tap Room Launch Night, Dowdeswell, Cheltenham, Sat 8 Feb

All these juicy apples have got us dreaming of the summer. Until then, get yourself down to this swanky night out – with free taxis provided outside No.131 in the centre of Cheltenham too. The launch of the new Tap Room for Cheltenham’s hippest Organic Cider Brewery takes place from 4pm – 8pm and cider and perry will now will be available there on draft. The Woozy Pig will be serving up their delicious street food (line those stomachs ladies) including fully loaded hotdogs (vege and non) and DJ Lisa Unique will be spinning the decks.


CABARET: Valentine’s A Drag, The Subscriptions Rooms, Stroud, Fri 14 Feb

This is one hot grrrl-friend of a night out, not only is it highly saucy but slightly bonkers and what’s not to love about that. Featuring the fabulous LBGTQ+ DJs Sink the Pink (fresh from their Notting Hill set)  – prepare for one of the most ‘out there’ and quirky nights in the UK. With sold out shows at Brixton Academy and The Roundhouse they are now into their 10th anniversary. Expect high octane pop, higher octane hair, circus performers, light shows and some very special surprises. Tickets start at £16.50.


VALENTINES: Galentine’s Day, Cosy Club, Thu 13 Feb

Get your gal pals together on Thursday 13 February and enjoy any six tapas dishes and four cocktails for £48 at Cosy Club Cheltenham – we LOVE that the month of love can be all about girl-mates. A great excuse to round up those errant friends you’ve not seek for yonks and celebrate your fabulous friendships, with a Passionfruit Mojito or Vanilla Espresso in hand, of course.


TOUR: Valentine’s Tower Tour, Gloucester Cathedral, Fri 14 Feb

Take a romantic trip to the top of Gloucester Cathedral, where you can enjoy breathtaking views for miles across this historic city. There’s ‘only’ 269 steps, and 225 feet to ascend. Once you’ve conquered any minor vertigo niggles (ah the things that bring us together) and staggered – I mean skipped merrily – to the top, you’ll get a glass of prosecco, or a non-alcoholic alternative, whilst you take in the stunning views. Tickets cost £16.76 per person and can be purchased from the Cathedral gift shop or online.


EXPERIENCE: Stargazing Evening Cotswolds, Daylesford, Kingham, Thu 6 Feb

This one sounds so dreamy, join the team at the Cotswold Farm in Daylesford for an evening of stargazing. Just what the doctor ordered we think, and the perfect digital life detox for a night. The experience includes a talk from the Chipping Norton Amateur Astronomy Group followed by 90 minutes of chilled out stargazing with a chance to see more through the telescopes as the CNAAG guide us through the night sky. Fling on that fleece and get gazing! From 6pm to 8pm and costs just £5.


MUSIC: The Derek Paravicini Quartet, The Subscription Rooms, Stroud, Thu 20 Feb

The Derek Paravicini Quartet is one of UK’s new must-hear groups, currently touring the UK following a recent BBC debut. Expect a unique sound, created by the four highly talented musicians, with  breathtaking new takes on classic songs and jazz numbers from Ragtime to Radiohead. Tickets are £20 and the curtain’s up at 7.30pm.


VEGAN: Cheltenham Vegan Fair, University of Gloucestershire Park Campus, Sat 22 Feb

Get your plant-based inspo for all things foodie and plant-based fabulous at the Cheltenham Vegan Fair . It is the ultimate place to try out new food and pick up cruelty-free products. Find it at the University of Gloucestershire’s Park Campus on Sat 22 Feb. Entry is just £2 and there will be everything from delicious vegan eats to beauty products and talks on veganism. There will also be a Vegan Human Book Library, where visitors can drop in to discuss veganism and get plenty of tips.


CRAFT: Pottery classes, The Clay Loft, Stroud, throughout Feb

Pottery is so hot at the moment, it’s the craft du jour, so get your hands thoroughly filthy at the brilliant Clay Loft in Amberley, Stroud. Classes are led by master potter Adrian Bates and cover all the techniques you’ll need for throwing your own pots on the wheel as well as hand-building. Classes are limited to 12 people for a fabulously intimate experience.


WELLBEING: De-stress with Mindfulness: Amy West, Stroud Yoga Space, Sun 9 Feb

Take some well-earned time out for yourself at this calming mindfulness class at the brilliant Stroud Yoga Space. Things to make you go ahhhh include breathing meditation, mindful movement and walking techniques. A super class for anyone new to the whole shebang or just a bit curious. You’ll be under expert tuition here with Amy – one of the UK’s best mindfulness teachers. Classes cost £20 and take place from 10am – 12pm.


WEDDING: The Gloucestershire Wedding Show, Cheltenham Racecourse, Sun 23 Feb

You’re in for a treat at the annual Glos wedding fair. Not only is it free entry and parking, there are free bridal hair and makeup makeovers, mini manicures, an Inspiration Zone and a live band to boogie to. Meet Glos’s top wedding bods, get loads of great idea, and even be in with the chance of getting a goody bag on the day. Show time is 11am to 4pm.


FASHION: Fashion’s Night Out SS20, Hotel du Vin, Cheltenham, Weds 26 Feb, 6.30 – 9.30pm

Meet you in the FROW ladies … this super cool fashion showcase by John Lewis in collab with Cotswold milliners Lisa Von Hallwyl and Jessica Anstey shimmies down the catwalk on 26 Feb. It’s your chance to get first peek at the SS20 styles before anyone else. Tick off those outfits for the Races, a summer wedding, Ascot and beyond. There’s a live DJ set, tickets are £22, including a G&T and nibbles on arrival. Stilettos highly recommended.


CHARITY: An Evening with Tusk at Thyme, Fri 28 Feb

This much lauded Cotswold-chic restaurant is the setting for the worthy Evening With Tusk on 28 Feb. Book a stay or book dinner only, and you’ll be greeted with garden nibbles and English sparkling wines in the Tithe Barn followed by a talk from wildlife filmmaker Alistair Fothergill. Dinner in the Ox Barn and raffle in aid of Tusk’s Elephant Conservation projects top off the evening. Fun in a jolly good cause – hurrar.


SNOWDROPS: Colesbourne Gardens, From 1 Feb to 1 Mar

Dubbed England’s greatest snowdrop garden (Country Life), if you like flowers, you’ll adore Colesbourne. Now with a collection of 350 varieties, visitors can enjoy the snowdrops throughout the ten acre garden with its woodland and lakeside paths, the Spring Garden and Formal Garden, alongside drifts of cyclamen, hellebores and other winter plants. Also don’t miss a stroll around the pretty arboretum and nearby church.


VEGAN: Cheltenham Vegan Fair, Park Campus, Cheltenham. Sat 22 Feb, 10am – 3pm

Vegan evangelist? Or just vegan-curious?  Whichever camp you fall into you won’t want to miss this fair. It’s an epic celebration of all things vegan from delicious food, treats and cruelty-free beauty bits to a full programme of talks on the subject. Check out the Vegan Human Library too, a friendly spot to ask every question you ever had about the v-word. Entry: £2 (kids go free).


THEATRE: The Importance of Being EarnestBarn Theatre, Cirencester, Thu Jan 23 – Sat 15 Feb

This brilliant reimagining of Oscar Wilde’s timeless classic The Importance of Being Earnest is getting rave reviews already and it’s no surprise. The Barn Theatre is host to its return after a hit 2019 run. But this time there’s a twist – just two actors play all parts. Phew, exhausting. Expect hilarious tap dancing routines, fabulous frocks and enough tea to sink a ship. Spiffing fun.


LIVE SCREENING: The Cellist, Corinium Museum, Cirencester, Tues 25 Feb

The Royal Ballet sets Cirencester alight with the world premiere of Cathy Marston’s first work for the Company, with a revival of Jerome Robbin’s timeless pure dance performance. Inspired by the fascinating life of British cellist Jacqueline du Pre (OBE) who’s stellar career was cut short at the age of 28 by multiple sclerosis. And we think far better than the Kardashians Season 17 right on a Tuesday night, right?


MUSICAL: On Your Feet, Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham, Mon 3 Feb  – Sat 8 Feb

 If this doesn’t get your stilettos tapping what on earth will?! It’s time for the sell-out hit Broadway musical about Emilio and Gloria Estefan to conga its Latino derriere to the Everyman Theatre. This spicy sister to the critically acclaimed Tina Turner Musical is an evening of pure soul-lifting joy. Sambaaaaaa!


TALKWine and Dine with Umani Ronchi, Calcot Manor, Weds 13 Feb, 7pm

We’ll have a  bit of La Dolce Vita if it’s up for grabs, grazie mille. And that’s what’s awaiting you at Calcot’s fancy pants evening of wine and food with an Evening with Umani Ronchi – discover the story behind the famous vineyard (one of the top wineries in Italia) and get progressively more tipsy as you test their their wines over dinner. Needs must.



MUSIC: Handpicked Acts, The Tavern Music Box, throughout Feb, Cheltenham

One of the best places in Glos to catch emerging artists – our tip of the day. Pull up a chair at The Tavern pub which styles itself with a neighbourhood feel. Catch London-born acoustic singer/songwriter Zak White (Sat 8 Feb) or pianist/guitarist Sophie Henderson’s dreamy folk pop vibe (Thurs 20 Feb).

LIGHT SHOW: Cheltenham Festival of Light, Cheltenham, from Sat 1 – 23 Feb

Things are about to get very blue in Cheltenham (no, not like that!) when Light Up Cheltenham 2020 hits the town between 1 and 23 feb. Street theatre group Spark! will amaze crowds during the first night. And a heads up for all you rather eager romantics out there, the whole town will be going red on Valentine’s Day – it’ll be just like you planned it

WALK: Structure and form: Winter garden tour, Dyrham Park, until 29 Feb

Until the end of Feb the National Trust will be running totally free guided walks around the stunning ancient deer park and 17th century house and gardens of dreamy Dyrham Park. Experts will also be on hand to pass on advice on the best winter plants for your garden.



Pancake Race, Dursley, Tue 25 Feb

Competitive carb throwers rejoice! Yes your time of the year has come. We love any reason to get away with pancakes for breakfast, lunch and dinner and yup – NO ONE can judge you.  Dursley is the place to get some pancake race action, so head to Parsonage Street in the town centre on Tue 25 Feb at 12pm. ‘Heats’ will be held with the qualifying fastest runners reaching the grand final. There’s even a trophy for the  lucky winner. To find out more and how to enter click here.


THEATRE: Blithe Spirit, Theatre Royal Bath, Tues 4 Feb – Sat 8 Feb

Jennifer Saunders is ab fab in this latest revival of Noel Coward’s well-loved comedy Blithe Spirit. Novelist Charles Condomine and his second wife Ruth are literally haunted by a past relationship when an eccentric medium (played by Saunders) accidentally conjures up the ghost of his first wife, Elvira, at a séance. Photo: Nobby Clark.


SWIM: The Polar Plunge, Sandford Lido, Cheltenham, Sat 29 Feb

Feeling brave? Or at least a teensy bit mad? Great! We have one life-affirming event you won’t want to miss. Take the plunge at Sandford Lido’s Polar Plunge and swim 50m (or until you’re toes go numb) to raise money for Winston’s Wish. Sign up here and start waxing up! Registration is £10 and the fun starts at 10.30am. We have brain freeze just thinking about it.


Further Afield


SHOW: Magic Goes Wrong, Penn & Teller, Vaudeville Theatre, London, throughout Feb

Co-created by magic rebels Penn & Teller,  Mischief Theatre conjures up and evening of grand illusion to make your head spin. The show hinges on a hapless gang of magicians and (of course) things soon spiral out of control. From the same team who created Olivier award-winning Peter Pan Goes Wrong.  11+ age recommended. Now booking until August 2020.


MUSIC: Madonna – Madame X, London Palladium, until Feb 16

Get drawn into the universe of Madonna in all it’s high kicking, spangly-corseted weirdness. Kicking off a series of 15 special shows to mark the release of her new album Madame X before she heads to Paris. No soulless stadiums here, instead an intimate residency where you can worship at the altar of her Madgesty up close.


WELLNESS: Gut Health and Fermenting, Notting Hill, Mon 3 Feb

Led by Daylesford’s resident nutritionist and wellness expert Rhaya Jordan, this gut health and fermenting workshop at the Notting Hill Farmshop will transform your in-a-rut kitchen routine. The session will include cooking tips and recipe ideas curated by Rhaya, leaving you inspired. Delicious winter soups, pulses, ferments and seasonal superfoods are all on the menu, and you’ll be given an insight into how ferments can aid rejuvenation and gut health. Known as nature’s probiotics, you’ll also create your own gut-friendly ferments to take home. Delish.


WORKSHOP: Chocolate Making WorkshopThe Chocolate Museum, Brixton, Sat 8 and Sat 22 Feb

Learn about making the good stuff and find out about the techniques used by the cocoa-pros at London’s only chocolate museum. There will be experts on hand to show you how to make your own truffles, ganache and fudge and go wild with some newly learnt decorating tips. The class is £40 for a three hour session and extreme joy (is guaranteed.


ART: Picasso and Paper, Royal Academy of Arts, Mon 27 Jan – 12 April

Picasso didn’t just draw on paper – he tore it, burnt it, and made it three-dimensional. From studies for ‘Guernica’ to a 4.8-metre-wide collage, this simply brilliant exhibition brings together more than 300 works on paper spanning the artist’s 80-year career. Don’t forget to book ahead people, big crowds are expected at this one, give yourself enough gawp time (1 – 2 hours) and tickets start at £18.


THEATRE: Faustus: That Damned Woman, Lyric Theatre, London, 27 Jan – 22 Feb

Award-winning playwright Chris Bush has turned Faust into a young woman in a reimagined version of this story, exploring what we must sacrifice to achieve greatness  and the legacy we leave behind. This beautiful female-centered play centres on a woman living in 17th century London. A brilliant gender-swapping night out with the Birmingham Rep Company.


MUSICAL: Mama Mia! The Party, O2, London, throughout Feb

Mama Mia, how we love a bit of ABBA, and this spectacular night out at the O2 is a definite must-see. Created by the one and only beardy one Bjorn Ulvaeus, this immersive all-singing, all-dancing theatrical dining experience awaits you (booking until May 2020). Over the course of four hours (you’ll need a lot of Cosmo-fuelled endurance we reckon) you get a four course gourmet Mediterranean meal and a fabulous ABBA disco. Pure pop escapism, and we want to be there right now.

FILM: Fellini Season, Southbank Centre, London, throughout Feb

Oh, che bella, La Dolce Vita! … Is there anything more classy than a Fellini film? Really? We’d quite like to be wading sensually through a Roman fountain right now as it happens, but hey, work calls, so we’ll content ourselves with this two month retrospective of renowned film director Federico Fellini. Catch fascinating Q&As, talks and movie screenings. Relive some seminal ’60s cinema from Anita Ekberg to City of Women, his provocative, take on the battle of the sexes.


FASHION: Mary Quant, V&A, London, until 16 Feb

From miniskirts and hot pants to kerr-azy tights and makeup – discover how sartorial icon Mary Quant launched a fashion revolution on the British high street. Drool over more than 200 outfits and accessories from the designer’s personal archive.


DANCE: Message in A Bottle, Sadlers Wells, 6 Feb – 21 Mar

They were some of the songs that defined the 80s and 90s – Roxanne, Every Breath You Take, Fields Of Gold and Shape of My Heart. Iconic hits of 17-time Grammy Award-winning artist Sting. So our cool culture alarm went off big style with Message In A Bottle – a spectacular new dance-theatre show from triple-Olivier Award nominee, Kate Prince, Featuring exhilarating dance dazzling footwork and breathtaking athleticism set to the music of Sting, this uplifting show is a story of humanity and hope.




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