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This week

Dinner in the sky, Bristol, until Tues 12 Sept

Go up in the world, why don’t you? Guest chefs from top restaurants, a sommelier and waiting staff serve everything from breakfast to evening cocktails from a pop-up kitchen in the centre of a table 100 feet up in the sky. Gulp.

Tango Moderno, Bristol Hippodrome, Bristol, Tues 12–Sat 16 Sept

The temperature’s rising, it isn’t surprising: Latin, ballroom and Argentine tango from Strictly stars Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace are smouldering over at the ‘drome.

Carmen on the Lake,  various venues across Somerset, Thurs 14 Sept

Ace set design at this one night only, live broadcast of the famous opera from a floating stage on Lake Constance in Austria.  The habanera theme was the only tune I ever mastered on the classical guitar (it only required a finger sliding down one string).  Tra la la la!

Sky Safari, Longleat, Warminster, Fri 15-Sun 17 Sept

Over 100 balloons of all shapes and sizes will be going up, up and away – with a spectacular nightglow on Fri and Sat. Tickets to the airy fair-y event are included in the normal safari park admission price.

Toby Buckland’s Garden Festival, Forde Abbey, Chard, Sat 16 & Sun 17 Sept

Other TV gardeners Charlie Dimmock and Christine Walkden will be there too. Demos, talks, shopping, food, drink and live music in the rooms and gardens of Forde Abbey, which I imagine will moving towards gloriously Autumnal.

Bathscape Walking Festival, around Bath, Sat 16–Sun 24 Sept

From a short stroll to a 20-miler: 27 walks – all free and all with leaders – around Bath and surrounding countryside, focusing on history, wildlife, creative stuff, well-being….As well as discovering interesting stuff about the city and its environs, you could find yourself coming over all poetic and scribbling down a line or two.


Sarah and Duck’s Big Top Birthday, the egg, Bath, until Sun 17 Sept

Photo: Pamela Raith

The musical adventures of a seven-year-old girl and her best friend who just happens to be mallard. If you’ve got young kids you’ll probably know I’m talking about the BAFTA award-winning CBeebies pair. The animated characters have been transformed into puppets for their nationwide tour.

Jane Austen Festival, various venues around Bath, Fri 8–Sun 17 Sept


On the 200th anniversary of her death, the annual Jane Austen Festival kicks (every delicately) off with the Grand Regency Costumed Parade, ‘the largest gathering of people dressed in Regency costume’, according to the Guinness World Records.  The 10 days of  Austen-related fun and frolics include walks and talks, performances, workshops (dance or write a letter just like Jane) and a masked ball.  Don’t forget to sup some  the Earl Grey Red Ale beer brewed in her honour (you didn’t know she liked a pint?).

The Caretaker, Bristol Old Vic, Bristol, Fri 9–Sat 30 Sept

Photo: Idil Sukan

Patrice Naiambana, Jonathan Livingstone and David Judge in Pinter’s classic about what happens when a homeless man is taken in by two brothers.

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Somerset