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FOODIES: Jay Rayner, The Ten (Food) Commandments, Strode Theatre, Street, Thurs 1 Nov

Observer food critic, Masterchef judge and host of the Kitchen Cabinet Jay Rayner, nearly caused an international crisis with his review of the Michelin 3-star Le Cinq at the George V Hotel in Paris (a dish of gratinated onions were ‘mostly black, like nightmares’ and canapes compared to a Barbie-sized silicone breast implant). No such furore this time, surely, when he talks about the new foodie rules we should live by.


FILM: FilmBath Festival, locations around Bath, Thurs 1 – Sun 11 Nov

film clapperboard movie popcorn

Feast your eyes on the best new and upcoming films from around the world, with films, workshops and film events. F-rated films directed by, written by and starring women; the IMDb awards; and the FilmScore comp for composers aged 14-19 year olds. See the complete programme here.


CARNIVAL: Bridgwater Guy Fawkes Carnival Weekend, around Bridgwater, Sat 3 Nov

The biggest and best of the famous illuminated Somerset carnivals with samba, marching bands, choirs street performers and those spectacular illuminated floats. Festivities start 10.30am with squibbing at 10.45pm. See the website for full info, including where to park.


FOOD & DRINK: Bath Vegan Festival, The Pavilion, Bath, Sat 3 Nov

60 stalls, world food caterers, cookery demos, talks, workshops and yoga (if you’re a vegan you’re obviously into yoga, right?) and kids’ activities.


MARKET: The Frome Independent, all over Frome, Sun 4 Nov

Photo Alice Whitby

First Sunday of the month, it must be the market that’s more than a market: designer-makers, vintage, food, drink, live music and more. Also on today: Clevedon Sunday Market, Bath Flea Market.


CULTURE: Afrika Eye Festival, Bristol, Sun 4 – Mon 12 Nov

The South West’s biggest celebration of cinema and culture from Africa and the African diaspora.


ART: Daniel Sequeira, Andelli Art, nr Wells, Mon 5 – Sat 10 Nov

Last week’s pop up in Bristol comes to Wells (well, just outside, in the small and perfectly formed gallery in the village of South Horrington), with stunning artworks – for sale – by figurative artist Daniel Sequeira.


MUSIC: Eric Lu, 2018 winner of the Leeds International Piano Competition, St George’s Bristol, Tues 6 Nov

In his only UK recital this year, the nimble fingered one plays Schubert and Mozart. Part of the first Bristol Keyboard Festival.


FILM: They shall not grow old, Curzon Cinema & Arts, Clevedon, Tues 6 & Fri 9 Nov

Seen this in the news? Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson uses state-of-the-art technology to bring alive 100-year-old footage from WW1. Incredible.


COMEDY: Jan Ravens & Rory Bremner, Cheese & Grain, Frome, Thurs 8 Nov

Making a good impression in Frome.


MUSIC: MozartFest, various venues around Bath, Fri 9 – Sat 17 Nov

Despite the name, not just Amadeus, played by some of the world’s most renowned musicians over nine days.


FOOD& DRINK: Prosecco Festival, Bath Pavilion, Bath, Fri 9 – Sat 10 Nov

Sample over 40 different types of prosecco and fizz.


CHRISTMAS: Christmas artisan market, Bishop’s Palace, Wells, Fri 9 – Sun 11 Nov

Handmade jewellery, stained glass, lampshades, skin care and more from over 4o designer makers from around the West Country.


KIDS: The Young King, the egg, Bath Fri 9 – Sat 10 Nov

Oscar Wilde’s tale of the goatherd who becomes a king. After some bad dreams he realises that others may have suffered so that he can enjoy his riches, raising the question, what sort of king would you be?


FOOD & DRINK: Averys’ Celebration of wine, Bristol Grammar School, Bristol, Sat 10 Nov

Super-sized wine tasting (over 100 wines) with the city’s oldest wine merchant. Have you entered our prize giveaway to win six bottles of Averys NV Cava Brut? Oh but you should!


FILM:  The Lord of the Rings Trilogy Marathon, Curzon Cinema & Arts, Clevedon, Sat 10 Nov

Are you up to this? Back-to-back screenings of The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of the King (extended versions), from midday to midnight. Dress up if you will.


MUSIC: Frigg, Strode Theatre, Street, Sat 10 Nov

What the … ?! A leading act on the Nordic music scene,  this Finnish fiddle septet play Nordgrass.


BALLET: La Bayadere, Live screening from the Royal Opera House, venues around Somerset, Tues 13 Nov

Vadim Muntagirov as Solor and Marianela Nuñez as Nikiya. ©ROH, 2018. Photographed by Bill Cooper.

19th century classic ballet, with noble warriors and exotic temple dancers en pointe.

Find a screening near you.


SHOP: Treasure, Waller & Wood, Bath, Thurs Nov 15 – 23 Dec

Escape Bath’s frenetic Christmas market and step into this tranquil gallery and shop in Bath’s prettiest square close. Hand painted scarves and clothes, silk ties, hand painted notebooks, purses from internationally acclaimed textile artist Carole Waller and ceramics by husband Gary Wood.  Contemporary jewellery by UK designer-makers.


DANCE: Ghost Dances & Triple Bill, Rambert, Theatre Royal Bath, Thurs 15 – Sat 17 Nov

Photo Anthony Crickmay

The last ever performance of the national dance company’s most famous piece, Christopher Bruce’s Ghost Dances, danced by its newest ensemble. Plus E2 7SD, Killer Pig and a new creation.


MUSIC: Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers, The Brewhouse, Taunton, Fri 16 Nov

The only professional European touring company of this very, very loud Japanese performing art.


CHRISTMAS: Christmas market, Hestercombe House, nr Taunton, Fri 16 – Sun 18 Nov

Some 60 stalls selling festive wares from across the West Country, with choirs, hot choc and sparkling Christmas tree to get you into the mood.


CLUBBING: Craig Charles – Funk & Soul,  Cheese & Grain, Frome, Fri 16 Nov

Throw some shapes as the BBC radio host, actor and TV personalitee spins the decks.


ICE SKATING:  Millennium Square, Bristol, Sat 17 Nov – Sat 6 Jan

Not just an ice rink but a SkyView big wheel, kids’ rides, disco on ice and a Christmas market. Only £5 a ticket during the first week.


FOOD & DRINK: Christmas Cheese & Wine Tasting, Harrington’s Hotel, Bath, Sun 18 Nov

In the guise of learning more about wine, join the experts from Novel Wines to sample six fine wines for Christmas partnered with six artisan cheeses. From 3pm–5pm, a nice way to spend a Sunday afternoon.


FOOD & DRINK: Frome Chocolate Festival, Cheese & Grain, Frome, Sun 18 Nov

Chocolatiers, artisan cake makers, raw chocolate experts, confectioners and sweet makers. Choc, bars, truffles, unusual chocolate gifts. Remember to brush your teeth afterwards.


WOMEN: Ladies’ Indulgence Evening, Castle Hotel,  Taunton, Tues 20 Nov

Super sparkly party make up with Charlotte Crouch, Christmas cocktails with Brazz bar’s mixologist, Christmas wreaths with Eden Flowers, and food demos by award-winning Castle hotel chef Liam Finnegan. Plus over 35 craft, gift, foodie, beauty and fashion stalls and live music.


THEATRE: NT Live: The Madness of George III, The Brewhouse, Taunton, Tues 20 Nov

mark gatiss

Mark Gatiss (Sherlock, League of Gentleman) plays the king in Alan Bennett’s epic play, beamed in live from the National Theatre Live’s first broadcast from the Nottingham Playhouse.


FOOD & DRINK: Apres-ski bar, The Abbey Hotel, Bath from Weds 21 Nov

Take off your skis and enjoy a Christmas cocktail – essential after a hard day on the Milsom Street black run. The Abbey Hotel’s famous Alpine lodge is back. 10am – 11pm daily.


CHRISTMAS: Bath Christmas Market, Thurs 22 Nov – Sun 9 Dec

180 twinkling chalets filled with stuff to buy, and stuff to stuff yourself. If this is the kind of thing you like, you’ll love it.


BALLET: A Child’s Christmas, Poems and Tiger Eggs by Dylan Thomas, Ballet Cymru, The Brewhouse, Taunton, Fri 23 Nov

Award-winning ballet company’s interpretation of the Dylan Thomas classic A Child’s Christmas in Wales, narrated by Cerys Matthews (Catatonia). Expect snow, cats and melancholy and some ffantastig dancing (you didn’t know I spoke Welsh?).


SHOPPING: Spruce up, At The Chapel, Bruton, Fri 23 Nov

Winter fashion and homewares from the likes of Pearl Lowe, Forage Somerset and vintage goodies from Jane Wrixon. If you want lunch (and who wouldn’t?) – you must book.


FILM: Cary Grant Comes Home Festival, assorted venues around Bristol, Fri 23 – Sun 25 Nov

Films and talks celebrating Bristol boy Archibald Leach turned Hollyood icon. Nice selection of merchandise too.


CHRISTMAS: Christmas Gifts & Farmers’ Market, The Red Lion, Babcary, Sat 24 Nov

Does what is says on the tin – with hot mulled wine. 10am– 3pm. All local stuff, including Longman’s Cheeses, Asrawas Chocolate, Mary Temperley’s Make organic skincare and Somerset Feathers.  There’s always the excellent pub to slope into, too.


MARKET: Giant flea market, Bath & West Showground, Shepton Mallet, Sun 25 Nov

Massive junk market with 250+ stalls.


FILM: Dog-friendly screening of Fantastic Beasts 2, The Little Theatre Cinema, Bath, Sun 25 Nov

Dog rugs on the seats and floors, bowls of water by the screen. You can come too.


BALLET: Swan Lake, Bristol Hippodrome, Tues 27 Nov – Sat 1 Dec

The iconic ballet about a prince who falls in love with a swan.


CHRISTMAS: Glass Christmas decorations, Newton Farm, Newton St Looe, nr Bath, Thurs 29 Nov

Want to make something like this out of fused glass? Jo Eddlestone will teach you how or help you with your own project.  10am – 1pm, £45 includes everything you need including refreshments.


POP UP SUPPER: A Winter Feast at Sparkford Hall, Sparkford, Fri 30 Nov

candlelight dinner dining

Chef and food writer Lucas Hollweg is cooking up the grub – pumpkin, chard and Westcombe ricotta, braised ox cheek, prunes and polenta and a quince and frangipane tart. Booze by The Somerset Wine Company. Atmos by party people extraordinaire, Wonky Dog Productions. £55 per head, includes a pre-dinner drink and all tasting wines.  Stay over at the Hall if you wish (and why not?). You must book your table by Fri 23 Nov: ; accommodation




Icescape at the Tropicana, Weston-super-Mare, until Sun 6 Jan

Send the kids off onto the ice at the UK’s largest covered ice rink. There’s a giant snow slide too.  Food for all from the Bare Grills Smokehouse and booze for you in The Lodge. Sessions start on the hour.


MUSICAL: The Jersey Boys, Bristol Hippodrome, until Sat 17 Nov

Photo Brinkhoff & Mögenbur

How four blokes from the wrong side of the tracks sang their their way to become Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, selling 175 million records worldwide before they turned 30.  The smash hit show on tour. Oh what a night.


DRAMA: The Nightingales, Theatre Royal Bath, until Sat 10 Nov

The brilliant Ruth Jones (Stella, Gavin & Stacey) stars in a world premiere by William Gaminara (Leo Dalton in Silent Witness and award-winning author of This Life). A small acapella group have been chugging along quite nicely until newcomer Maggie turns up and enters them for TalentFest competition.

Find more ideas here

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