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So much hot goss across Warwickshire you'll need a lashing of SPF. If only it would stop raining...


Natalie Haynes

Looking for a quirky outdoorsy venue for your July book club? How does a beautiful boutique festival site in Warwickshire with pizza, a cocktail, glass of wine and talk by writer and broadcaster Natalie Haynes sound?

From 5pm  on Thurs July 4 the gates to the fabulous 50 acre landscaped lakeside parkland at Park Farm, Compton Verney near Warwick, will be thrown wide open for Also Festival’s BookClub.LIVE And there’s still time for you and your gang to register for FREE tickets! How amazing is that! BookClub.LIVE will take place in a lovely lakeside location in a canvas marquee with fully-stocked bar serving wines, craft beers, cocktails, pizza and non-alcoholic drinks, the evening before the festival opens.

This year writer and Radio 4 broadcaster Natalie Haynes will be talking about her acclaimed new work of fiction, A Thousand Ships, the retelling of a Greek epic from a woman’s point of view (Guardian review here). Natalie is the author of three more novelsAmber Fury, The Children of Jocasta and critically acclaimed The Ancient Guide to Modern Life. She has also written and presented four series of the BBC Radio 4 Show Natalie Haynes Stands Up for the Classics and was awarded the 2015 Classical Prize – we’ll let her tell you how she took on Tory party PM candidate Boris Johnson and won. Yay! If you haven’t had the pleasure of hearing Natalie speak before, her 10 years as a stand-up comedian mean she’s an extraordinarily entertaining performer.

If you’re not in a group don’t worry you can still attend individually. Tickets are completely free, and see what’s on at Also 2019 here.



Sitting down comfortably? Then I’ll begin…The Kaiser Chiefs have just announced a UK arena tour, with very special guests Razorlight, which includes a date at Arena Birmingham on Sat Jan 25 2020. You can have a cuppa now…

Tickets go on general sale 9am on June 21 2019 via



Former Bucks Fizz singer Cheryl Baker is hosting the very first Midlands Saying Goodbye Summer Ball on Saturday 22 June. Warwickshire mum Claudia Matthews founded the Midlands branch of the Saying Goodbye support group charity after the loss of her premature baby twins Archie and Hugo (you can read her moving story here).

Next week she is helping to transform the events field at Umberslade Farm at Tanworth in Arden, into a magical Midsummer Night’s Dream extravaganza for the ball. More than 200 guests are anticipated for a glittering black-tie celebration, with a 3-course dinner and live entertainment. Ex-England footballer Rio Ferdinand has made a personalised video to be shown and provided an auction prize (the opportunity to win a personal football coaching session and Q&A with the former Man United legend himself), racing TV presenter Matt Chapman is a live auctioneer and Michael Parkinson Jr is the compere.

Saying Goodbye is part of The Mariposa Trust, one of the UK’s leading national support charities, which works with people who have suffered the loss of a child at any stage of pregnancy, at birth or in infancy. Tickets are £120 each including a champagne drinks reception,3-course meal, live entertainment, goody bag and the chance to win prizes, such as a backstage VIP pass to The Ashes – England v Australia at Edgbaston for 4 people on opening day, Aug 1, hosted by Michael Vaughan.

For the final few tickets email for a booking form.



Writer and BAFTA Fellow Andrew Davies, famous for adapting such memorable TV series as Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables earlier this year1995’s Pride and Prejudice, 2005’s Bleak House and 2016’s War and Peace, has praised the artistic talent and creativity within Coventry and Warwickshire. 

As Patron of Warwickshire Open Studios (WOS), he launched Coventry and Warwickshire’s biggest free art event at a VIP party in Leamington Spa’s Pump Rooms. The award-winning 82-year-old said: “Coventry and Warwickshire are overflowing with burgeoning talent and creativity and here is a wonderful opportunity to be part of it through Warwickshire Open Studios. Study the brochure, visit as many artists and galleries as you can, talk to the artists, explore and develop your own taste – and think of it too as an ideal opportunity to acquire an original piece of work at an affordable price.” 

Running from June 15 – 30WOS helps artists to connect with art-lovers in their local communities.  Open studios range from living rooms and garden sheds to pubs, cafes and museums. There’s even been pop-up galleries on canal boats, railway carriages and allotments!  In 2018 the event attracted more than 33,000 visits and celebrated the huge range of visual art. Check out what’s on near you in the latest brochure:  



Big congratulations to Air Aesthetics in Henley in Arden, shortlisted for Clinic of the Year Award 2019 in the Safety in Beauty Awards 2019The winner will be announced at a glamorous do at the 5-star Hilton Hotel, Park Lane, Mayfair London on July 6. Here’s the lovely Dr Claire Oliver, who hails from the North-East, at their CoolScultping Open Day last weekend explaining how it works with case-studies. Known affectionately as ‘the Queen of Freeze’, she’s performed around 7,000 non-surgical, permanent fat reduction treatments using this FDA cleared treatment. But anyone who knows Dr Claire will tell you she’s exactly the opposite – warm, chatty and very down-to-earth! The Clinic is a recognised centre of excellence for CoolSculpting in both Warwickshire and West Midlands. The treatment cools unwanted fat cells and helps people lose those pockets of stubborn fat which are diet and exercise resistant. Dr Oliver (BDS) recently demonstrated a live procedure at The Tatler Magazine Beauty Decoded Event in central London and at This Morning Roadshow, NEC.



Suzanne Vega, who played at Leamington Assembly last June

It was very sad to hear the demise of yet another UK live music venue – The Leamington Assembly. The venue, where a diverse range of artists including Primal Scream, De La Soul, Joan as Police Woman and Suzanne Vega announced it was shutting down on June 4. A big loss for Leamington Spa and music fans across Coventry and Warwickshire.

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