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What’s On: May

The guide is BACK baby! With two bank holidays in May there's more time for FUN! Shall we get plotting and planning? Here's 15 things to do in Kent and further afield.

They’re the words we’ve been dreaming of for what feels like aeons. Yearning for them, burning for them, tossing and turning at night… and here they are: What’s on this month? 

MUDDY’S PICK OF THE MONTH

The Alfresco Theatre, The Hop Farm, until Mon 3 May

The creators of Pub in the Park and Drive & Dine Theatre, have come together to make mega baby The Alfresco Theatre. 6 days of chefs, movies, music and comedy! The tour will be at The Hop Farm in Paddock Wood until 3 May. Enjoy live comedy gigs, exciting music acts, big-screen movies and food from superstar chefs; Tom Kerridge, Rick Stein, Jason Atherton, Atul Kochhar and Paul Ainsworth! They’ve all made one-off dishes for The Alfresco Diner and better still, it will be the only place in the UK where you’ll be able to taste these incredible dishes this summer! Bring on the cocktails please… Book your tickets now.

The Bluebell Festival, Riverhill Himalayan Garden, until Mon 3 May

Riverhill‘s super popular Bluebell Festival is now on until Mon 3 May which involves a fabulous bluebell-inspired craft fair with a wonderful selection of handmade cards, quilting, jewellery, original art works and much more. Visit this fab family-friendly garden to admire the bluebells, stretch your legs with a scenic walk and sample one of the delicious treats and coffees available at the cafe (now run by the fabulous team at Ottos). A great place to hang out with the family – and dogs are welcome too!

Want more? Here’s where to find the best bluebell walks near you, plus our pick of nearby pubs for a cheeky pitstop.

Blossom Picnic, Brogdale Collections, until 31 May

The most perfect spring day out alert! Why not have a picnic beneath over 400 flowering cherry varieties? Sit beneath the beautiful blooming trees at Brogdale Collections in Faversham. Bring your own picnic or pick up a very delicious Blossom Picnic Hamper from award-winning foodhall Macknade just 5mins away. Finish off the day with a guided tour through the orchards! The perfect opportunity to learn more and get the best photos. Tickets are going fast so get yours now.

Live Music at The Quay, Faversham, Sun 2, Sat 15 & Sun 30 May

Enjoy live music in the Courtyard at The Quay, new boutique hotel, bar and restaurant which is a real foodie favourite within the Faversham area. The perfect spot for lunch, dinner or drinks! You can make a beautiful day trip of it as there’s fantastic Kent countryside around you – as well as the coastal scene with beach side destinations such as Whitstable only a ten minute drive away! See the music line up here and don’t forget to call them on: 01795 530388 to book!

Drive-in Cinema, Betteshanger Park, Until 9 May

Kent Drive-In Cinema has returned to Betteshangar Park in Deal with more cinematic gems! So sit back, (popcorn in hand) relax and enjoy an alternative cinema experience from the comfort of your own car. Catch A Star Is Born, Pretty Women, Coco, Pete’s Dragon and Jumanji: The Next Level and lots more! Book your tickets here.

Virtual Cook Along with Rukmini Iyer, 10 May

Sevenoaks Bookshop is bringing you a night like no other! Join in with this virtual cook-along with best-selling author of The Roasting Tin series, Rukmini Iyer. Follow live at home as Rukmini leads you through one of her wildly popular recipes – with step-by-step instructions and expert tips, it’s the next best thing to having her in your kitchen! You’ll be cooking a recipe from her Sunday Times bestseller ‘The Green Roasting Tin‘ a collection of 75 vegetarian and vegan recipes and you’ll receive an ingredients list a week before the event so you can stock up and get ready! You can. expect Rukmini’s trademark style of fuss-free, flavour-focused food. Book your tickets here.

Virtual Cooking Along: Provence, Thurs 13 May

Think sun-soaked terracotta tiles, beautiful food markets and chilled glasses of wine – or if you were addicted to Call My Agent on Netflix, you will love this! Join Pip from The Cooking Apple and learn how to cook a quintessential summer dish from Provence – grilled filet of sea bass with a vibrant, Mediterranean ratatouille and a fruit tart to finish. If sea bass isn’t your thing, Pip can show you how it would work with a supreme of chicken or tuna steak. Join this fun, laidback class on 13 May at 1pm – 2:15pm. Book your tickets here.

Stay here! Elmley Nature Reserve, from 17 May

Kingshill Farmhouse

Elmley Nature Reserve is one of our favourite destinations in Kent to completely switch off from life. Picked by The Guardian as one of their ’10 best remote hotels in the UK’, they have a wealth of luxurious sleeping options to do just that – and they’re open from 17 May for stays!

Book an individual room in their Kingshill Farmhouse – a stunning 18th century house (pictured). Or why not try one of their uber-Instagrammable Shepherd’s Huts? They have a range of them sleeping from 2-4 people with epic marsh views and depending which one you book you’ll either have a hot outdoors bath tub or an open air shower with a view!

You could even experience the magic of Elmley from a beautiful, roomy Bell Tent! With 3 to choose from, they’re all provided with electricity, a BBQ, a gas stove and beautiful Bramley products. Sleep in comfort in a double bed and wake up to the wilderness in their luxury tents, perfect for families, friends or couples.

Oscar & BAFTA Award-winning Films, The Gulbenkian, from 18 May

Catch the Oscar and BAFTA 2021 winners on the big screen! See what the fuss is all about and experience them in their full glory at The Gulbenkian in Canterbury. From 18 May until 10 June, watch award-winning films Judas and The Black Messiah (Best Supporting Actor, Best Original Song), Sound Of Metal (Best Sound, Best Achievement in Film Editing), Nomadland (Best Motion Picture, Best Directing, Best Leading Actress), Minari (Best Supporting Actress) and lots more! Book your tickets here.

Beaney Bingo, The Beaney, Canterbury, From Tues 18 May

Get the kids involved with Beaney Bingo! A game to get you exploring the museum in a whole new way. Collect your Beaney Bingo card on arrival and challenge yourself, family or friends to find hidden gems from the Museum’s Collection, using the clues and viewfinder to help you. Play as a team or against each other to see how many artefacts you can uncover. Plus, take a photo of your favourite artefact through your viewfinder and tag them on social media to enter their competition to win an annual Canterbury Museums and Galleries Family Membership! The trail is free, with a £1 suggested donation. More info here.

Reopening: Assembly Hall Theatre, from 20 May

Get ready, curtains up! Assembly Hall Theatre in Tunbridge Wells is opening its doors from the 20 May. You can expect all the usual brilliant music nights, comedy, Horrible Histories and lots more! See the full line up here. PLUS you’ll want to know about their brand new monthly Cabaret Nights, expect a wild night out with the girls! More information on this coming soon. Get organised and book your tickets now to see the brilliant John Bishop this November and if you want something to look forward to Katherine Ryan will be performing for one night only in Jan 2022. Is it too early to talk about Panto? Ok we’ll wait…

Luna Light Gardening Retreat, West Peckham, 26 May

Do you love gardening, Yoga and the moon? You’ll love this Luna Light Gardening Retreat with Lori founder of The Passionate Gardener. Being held every month for a small circle (up to 6 people), it’s an overnight retreat including Yoga, moonlit gardening, discussions, hot tub dips and soul-nourishing food with a restful sleep in one of Samsara‘s new Mother Earth Tipis. Get the restoration you need! The next date is 26 May. Book here now.

Dartfodians RFC, Warrior Camp, Weds 26 May

Calling all rugby fans! The Dartfodians ladies rugby team want you to join them on 26 May for their Warrior Camp. The team is made up from ladies aged 18+ and it’s a free event designed for all abilities to get ladies interested in rugby. They train from 7:30-9pm every Wednesday with games on Sundays 12:30-2:30pm. Go on! Become part of the community, gain new skills and make friends. Book your place here.

Sing-Along Movie Nights, The Festival Theatre at Hever Castle, 30 – 31 May

For your guaranteed summer of fun, you’ll want to know about The Festival Theatre which is an open air venue set in the gardens of Hever Castle. They plan music acts, operas, films, plays and family shows every year all summer long and this year will be no different! They have a whole calendar of exciting events, from sing-a-long movie nights, The Greatest Showman (30 May 2021) and Rocketman (31 May 2021), drama with Shakespeare’s Macbeth (13 June 2021) and a night of wonder with Britain’s Got Talent 2019 finalist; award-winning magician Ben Hart (23 July 2021) – and oh so much more!

TO LOOK FORWARD TO…

SIX, Marlowe Theatre, Tues 8 June – Sun 27 June

Nominated for five Olivier Awards including Best New Musical, this sell-out London smash hit SIX is the phenomenon everyone is losing their head over! From Tudor queens to pop princesses, the six wives of Henry VIII finally take to the mic to tell their tales, remixing 500 years of historical heartbreak into a 80-minute celebration of 21st century girl power. Now coming to The Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury this June, book your tickets now before they go!

Hever in Bloom, Mon 21 – Fri 25 June

The best time to visit Hever Castle is almost here! Marvel at the sights and smells of thousands of roses at the height of their beauty at Hever Castle’s annual Hever in Bloom festival this June. Revel in the scent of 4,000 roses in the Rose Garden, whilst the roses will be at their peak, you can also enjoy Perennials on Diana’s Walk, Meadow Flowers on Lake Walk, bedding plants including begonias and geraniums in the Italian Garden and around the Castle.

Black Deer Festival, 25 – 27 June 2021

For the third year running, the UK’s only Americana and country music festival is back. It promises once again to be all kinds of swing jive and Texas Two Stepping cool. Black Deer Festival will take place on this June in Eridge Park, Britain’s oldest deer park. 

This family-friendly festival celebrates the best of a bygone rural age and way of life, it has sections dedicated to music; food (think classic American smokehouse BBQ); motors (showcasing all the best mean machines from classic American trucks to custom vintage motorcycles); traders (get loads of Black Deer Mercantile offering authentic wares from quality textiles and original printed posters to handmade surfboards and banjos) and plenty of fun for the young folk! (lots of fun children’s activities here). 

Stay for the night on-site in your own tent or why not book Fancy Camping? Or just go along for the day, book your tickets here.

Find more ideas here

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