10 nuggets of local news on festivals, retreats, escapes and family days out! So much hot goss, you'll need a lashing of SPF.
Summer is well and truly here and Whiting and Hammond pubs are gearing up to celebrate all that’s brilliant about our beloved Great British Pubs. Visit one of the series of FREE Beer, Gin, Cider and Music Festivals across July – all family-fun weekends of beer, music and food.
Don’t miss: The Cricketers Inn on Fri 5 – Sun 7 July and The Mark Cross Inn, Fri 19 – Sun 21 July. facebook.com
ARTS FESTIVAL: ArtsBox Festival, Trinity Theatre, Sat 10 – Sat 17 Aug
Sorry, Edinburgh, who? Moooove aside oh famous Fringe – a new Arts Festival is coming to town. Our Kent town of Tunbridge Wells to be precise. And while it’s on a much smaller ’boutique’ scale its got all the hallmarks of an exciting new cultural and community event – which are the things we like most here on Muddy.
Launching for the first time this summer, in August, ArtsBox Festival 2019, will celebrate local talent and put emerging artists firmly in the spotlight. Founded by Jocelyn Cheek, in collaboration with Trinity Theatre, it will be Tunbridge Well’s first fringe festival featuring art, comedy, music, and theatre. With events and workshops on everything from travel talks by Award-winning adventurers to Mindfulness Life Drawing, free stuff for the kids and some great comedy acts. Keep updated here: trinitytheatre.net
DRINK UP: Local Liquor Night, Curious Eatery, 29 Aug
Join The Curious Eatery as they celebrate some of Kent’s brilliant local spirit producers. (Oh you’re all-ears now aren’t you?) Muddy loves this fab restaurant, set up in what was a disused pub in Boughton Monchelsea, so south of Maidstone and just north of Sutton Valence. The immediate surrounds are quite suburban – basically it’s off the beaten track and the kind of place that you’d never stumble across unless you’d heard about it from word-of-mouth. But inside is an outstanding restaurant (Finalist in Best Restaurant in Kent in 2019 Muddy Awards) and they also organise much-sought after Secret Supper Clubs. This event promises to be just as successful. *Hic*.
Tickets are £15 and include food and live music by The Borrowers. Tickets available at the Eatery. thecuriouseatery.co.uk
SECRET ESCAPE: Kingshill Farmhouse, Elmley Nature Reserve
Who needs to leave the country for a safari holiday when you have Elmley Nature Reserve waiting in Kent for you? The only National Nature Reserve in England where you can spend the night… Ok so we are not talking lions and tigers and bears (oh my) but since 1991, Elmley Nature Reserve has been deemed a National Nature Reserve and is an internationally recognized site for the the conservation of rare birds, plants, animals and insects.
And now Kingshill Farmhouse is Elmley’s Nature Reserve newest addition. This 18th Century house, was also the site King James II was locked up at in 1688! Lovingly and extensively renovated to a luxury but homely house. Sleeps up to 14 in 6 bedrroms, 4 ensuite. With plenty of reception rooms and high spec kitchen. Available for group and family stays for special occasions and get togethers, weddings, private events and company away days. elmleynaturereserve.co.uk
OPEN NOW: Kingshed, pizzeria in the award-winning Wye gastropub
After two years of planning, Kings Head owners Scott Richardson and Mark Lightford are delighted to launch Kingshed Pizza. They have transformed an empty outbuilding next to the pub’s outdoor courtyard seating into an authentic pizzeria, complete with bespoke Italian pizza oven and vinyl turntable.
Marco Fuso, renowned pizza expert and World Pizza Champion 2017/18, ran training workshops with the entire team in the art of dough making, pizza throwing and baking. Using locally sourced ingredients for classic toppings, each pizza will be made to order to either eat in with a cold beer or glass of wine, or to take home and enjoy al fresco. We can’t wait to try it!
FAMILY-FUN: Carnival of History, Leeds Castle, 27 & 28 July
We’re so lucky to have some of the UK’s most incredible landmarks right on our doorstep here in Kent. Including the very gorgeous Leeds Castle – that is celebrating a phenomenal 900 years since the castle was first constructed all those centuries ago.
That’s a mind-blowing amount of Kings and Queens carrying on, battles, celebrations, changing landscapes, changing lifestyles – and all that time this building has stood strong soaking it all up and saturated in history (yes, alliteration).
And out of the Castle’s year-long celebrations to mark 900 years one of the highlights is this spectacular two day Carnival of History this July. Visitors will be treated to a whole weekend of family friendly activities including authentic re-enactment shows, pop-up music performances, large-scale costumes and a dazzling riot of colour and celebration. Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime party.
BOUTIQUE THEATRE: Small Hythe, Barn Theatre Events
There is theatre for everyone this season at brilliant boutique venue, Smallhythe Place. From open-air productions of Alice In Wonderland, Sense and Sensibility and The Winter’s Tale, to comedy, opera, new writings and award-winning shows – all performed in the Barn Theatre. A great opportunity to do something different with the family. nationaltrust.org.uk
BOOK NOW: The Longevity Retreat, Day 1 Wellness, KINGDOM, 8 Sept
Book now for DayOne Wellness’ Longevity Retreat, taking place in the beautiful surroundings of KINGDOM in Penshurst. This one-day retreat is for leaders, whether your lead a team, lead a family or lead a ‘tribe’. Prevent and reverse lifestyle diseases and learn how to sustainably burn body fat and enhance your mental health WITHOUT taking time away from your business or family. The retreat starts with a wellbeing age assessment and its packed full of empowering workshops, energising outdoor activities and delicious whole food meals, from 9am – 4pm. For all the info and for the day’s agenda: dayonewellness.co.uk
NEW OPENING: Macknade Fine foods, Ashford’s Elwick Place
What better way to mark their 40th birthday than with opening Macknade number two? At Elwick Place in Ashford, this new food & drink hub will open later this year offering an all-day dining experience that takes you through from breakfast and brunch to supper and cocktails in the evening. Seating will be a mixture of individual & communal tables, located centrally amongst service counters, creating an informal & friendly space for everyone to enjoy. Dishes & drinks will feature plenty of what you know & love from their flagship Faversham food hall, including meat from their award-winning butchers, seasonal Kentish produce and freshly ground Manaresi coffee. Ashford will be an opportunity for more of Kent to experience what makes Macknade so special – bringing people & communities together over a shared love of food & drink. macknade.com