BOOK AHEAD FOR THIS: Dreamgirls The Musical, UK-Wide
Hit musical Dreamgirls will embark on its first ever UK tour, opening in Bristol in September 2020 before hitting Milton Keynes, Blackpool, Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Birmingham. Featuring the classic songs ‘And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going’, ‘Listen’ and ‘One Night Only’, this multi-award-winning new production focuses on The Dreams – three talented young singers in the turbulent 1960s, a revolutionary time in American music history. Join the three friends as they embark on a musical rollercoaster ride through a world of fame, fortune and ruthless show business, testing their friendships to the very limit.
Various venues around the UK; from September 2020 to January 2021
FEEL FESTIVE HERE: Bingham Riverhouse, Surrey
As the Christmas decorations go up, Bingham Riverhouse in Richmond has revealed its new menus for the festive season. Lunch throughout December features warming, winter favourites including: guinea fowl breast with parsnips, honey spiced prunes and bread sauce; and custard crème brûlée with shortbread and nutmeg ice cream. The festive à la carte menu includes: venison saddle with potato terrine and roasted pears; chestnut dumplings with cauliflower and wild mushrooms; and a seasonal gingerbread parfait with Christmas pudding, torched meringue and a bitter chocolate sorbet. The Riverhouse has also launched a festive Sunday roast and a seasonal afternoon tea.
Petersham Road, Richmond, TW10 6UT; until 31st December
GET DECORATING HERE: Narcissus Flowers, Edinburgh
Leading Edinburgh florist Narcissus Flowers has opened a Christmas shop. Open until Christmas Eve, the store sells everything you need for the festive season, including beautiful floral decorations and installations for the home and hand-tied bouquets to give to loved ones. The shop will sell everything from show-stopping garlands for staircases or mantelpieces to elegant table decorations and a variety of wreaths for your front door. We love the look of the on-trend ‘Rose Gold Asymmetric Wreath’ set on a copper ring and artfully arranged with modern metallic accents of gold and rose gold. And then there’s the brand’s delicate collection of bud vases and candelabras filled with ranunculus, anemones, clematis and eucalyptus.
Broughton Street, Edinburgh, EH1 3RJ; until 24th December
FEEL COSY HERE: University Arms, Cambridge
The historic University Arms is offering those who book a suite over Christmas a bedroom makeover complete with festive wreaths, stockings and a fir tree decorated with traditional ornaments and lights. In further celebration of the season, its quintessentially English destination restaurant, Parker’s Tavern, has created the ultimate festive afternoon tea, served in the hotel’s wood-panelled library next to a roaring open fire. Treats include orange and cardamom cake, snowman-shaped macarons and homemade ‘Ferrero Rochers’. Those staying on Christmas Day itself will be treated to a full festive feast and a screening of the Queen’s speech in the library.
Regent Street, Cambridge, CB2 1AD; until 25th December
GET IMMERSIVE HERE: Grand Central, Birmingham
Experiential event specialist Bompas & Parr has launched ‘Once Upon A Time In Birmingham’, a festive tea parlour and party bar. The Christmas installation features 88,000 fairy lights, over 9km of illuminations and a host of mirrors to create a grand, sparkling interior. After venturing down a pulsating electric cable, guests will emerge into a tea parlour and cocktail bar, decked out like the imagined interior of a fairy light. This immersive space will feature: a menu of glowing dishes; views of St Martin in the Bullring, a neo-gothic church seen through jewel-like iridescent film; plus ‘iLOOminated’ bathrooms where even the toilets will glow. Elsewhere, guests can expect ‘Carol-oke’ and sporadic Christmas games hosted by Mr Sprinkles.
Middle Mall, Birmingham, B5 4BE; until 23rd December
BOOK INTO A NEW HOTEL HERE: The Mayson, Dublin
Central Dublin’s newest hangout is right on the banks of the river Liffey. The independent Mayson hotel is home to 94 bedrooms and suites, The Bottle Boy pub, The Green Dolphin barber, The Mayson bar, Dime Coffee and Ryleigh’s rooftop restaurant. The whole place has a design focus, so expect to see over 300 pieces of art from emerging Irish talent, plus luxury bedroom amenities such as rainfall power showers, Netflix-enabled Samsung Smart TVs, record players with Marshall amps, mini Smeg fridges and Dyson hair dryers. The Power Gym features a great fitness class schedule, pool, sauna and steam room, while the bar will serve top-notch cocktails and an all-day menu of comfort food. We like the look of the outdoor original truss-roofed courtyard with a three-storey living wall.
North Wall Quay, North Dock, Dublin, D01 XR83; opens December 2019
GET INSPIRED HERE: Words Weekend, Gateshead
Words Weekend is a dynamic new festival series celebrating the power of words and stories. The first edition will be hosted by Sage Gateshead and features an international line-up that champions diversity, accessibility and the rich culture of the North East. Authors who’ll be speaking at the event include Bernardine Evaristo, Nadiya Hussain, Grayson Perry, Stacey Dooley, Jay Rayner, Elizabeth Day, Candice Carty-Williams, Norman Jay and Philippa Perry. Across the event, there’ll be a range of live podcasts and creative writing workshops, plus games and storytelling classes for kids. Further WW festivals taking place across the UK in 2020 include events at The Lowry in Salford and Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre in London.
Gateshead Quays, Gateshead, NE8 2JR; 6th-8th December
GET INTO THE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT HERE: Thursford Christmas Spectacular, Norfolk
Thursford Christmas Spectacular variety show has returned to the tiny Norfolk village. Its 43rd year is its most ambitious and extravagant show to date: expect 120 cast members – including singers, dancers, specialist acts and a full orchestra – performing over 65 acts, all the while draped in 1.5m rhinestones, 100 metres of feathers and 2,000 pompoms. Britain’s Got Talent finalist Steve Hewlett will introduce the acts this year, which include one of the world’s top acrobatic Cyr wheel specialists, Billy George, and international roller-skating double-act Royer & Emelie. Also impressing audiences will be the Mighty Wurlitzer, one of the largest remaining theatre organs in Europe, which comprises 1,339 pipes.
Thursford, Fakenham, Norfolk, NR21 0AS; 6th-23rd December
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