Events and things to do in Berkshire - July 2016

PUBLISHED: 14:46 04 July 2016 | UPDATED: 14:46 04 July 2016

Lee Nelson at the launch night

Lee Nelson at the launch night


Your summer feast of fun starts right here with our entertainment guide for Berkshire

The British Food Festival

Head to Royal Windsor Racecourse on the 9 and 10 July for a superb feast of a day out as The British Food Festival celebrates our country’s produce and products. The flag will be flying for cheeses and wine, fruit and vegetables, tasty ice creams and craft beers, delicious chocolates and refreshing ciders, freshly baked breads and jams, pickles and biscuits for every occasion, sweets and crisps, speciality gins and vodka and so much more. There will be plenty of chances to taste before you buy, so be prepared to go home with some fantastic treats.

There’s much more to enjoy before you leave though, starting with top kitchen tips from Michelin star chef Adam Simmonds of Danesfield House, Marlow. And leading pastry chef and chocolatier Will Torrent promises some irresistible offerings at the free cookery and baking schools.

Wine tasting includes an intriguing test to see if you can spot the difference between Champagne and English sparkling wine and specialists will run a ‘wine tasting school’ at the event.

Cook book authors will offer signing sessions, and if you fancy a little rest after all this head for a formal sit-down afternoon tea, while a garden party enclosure will serve freshly made cocktails and canapés (tickets for these available on site).

For tickets and more information see and

Reading Fringe Festival

Running until 24 July, the festival features talented local dancers, drama and comedy. And for the fourth year running a short film festival for new and upcoming filmmakers will be included, hosted by Workbench Productions and supported by Reading Fringe, with 10 short films selected for screening during the festival, see

Laughter all the way

Reading’s new comedy club, The Comedy Loft, has seen a great start at Sub89 in Friar Street and the fun is set to continue with Saturday night shows throughout July and the summer. There’s also a special treat coming up – Lee Nelson, who headlined the opening night in May, will back for a ‘Just The Tonic’ special on Sunday, 24 July, see

Ben McLaughlin who runs The Comedy Loft, said: “We’re really excited about some of the amazing acts we already have lined up for the coming months. With top-class comedians playing at our weekend comedy nights, as well as the potential we have to become a home for weeknight comedy and touring shows, we’re set to put Reading on the map for comedy.”

The Royal Windsor Rose Show

This year the show at St Georges School, Windsor Castle is on 16 July, with gates opening at 11am. The day will celebrate the 90th birthday of the show’s Patron, Her Majesty The Queen.

As well as the beautiful blooms, visitors will find Morris dancers, the Elite Strollers jazz band, birds of prey displays, face painters, pony rides and other children’s activities. Enjoy local home made ice cream, don’t miss a trip to the Pimms tent or the beer tent sponsored by The Windsor and Eton Brewery, see

Gardens to visit

There are some superb choices opening under the NGS this month, such as the magnificent Littlecote House, Hungerford (17 and 31 July). Others include West Mills Allotments & Island Cottage in Newbury (3 July), Wickham House near Newbury (12 July), Jannaways at Bagnor near Newbury (16 July) Farley Hill Place Gardens near Reading (17 July), Deepwood Stud Farm near Maidenhead (31 July and 1 August). For something a little different try the Sustainable Roof Garden at Reading International Solidarity Centre on 2 July.

Head to Compton

It’s the season of fetes and this month we highlight the one at Compton, near Newbury from 12.30pm on Saturday, 2 July. It’s held at the recreation ground and offers great family entertainment with stalls, a children’s funfair, dog show and vintage cars and motorcycles.

More family fun

• 26 July – 4 September, The Maidenhead Beach at Norden Farm Centre for the Arts, Altwood Road, tel: 01183 788660

• Until 12 July, The Great Ball Run, Basildon Park, Lower Basildon, RG8 9NR

• 2 July, The Coombes CE Primary School Fete, Arborfield Cross, Reading, tel: 01189 760751

• 2 July, Winnersh Primary School Vintage Summer Fayre, Greenwood Grove, , tel: 07539 688097

• 9 July, Family Treasure Hunt, Pinewood Leisure Centre, Old Wokingham Road, Wokingham

• 16 July, Padworth & Aldermaston Wharf Show and Family Fun Afternoon, Padworth Village Hall, tel: 01189 713513

• 16-17 July, Bastilleday Festival, Forbury Garden, Berkshire, tel: 07581 074016

Other events

• 3 July, Newbury Race for Life, 5&10K, Newbury Showground, Priors Court Road, Hermitage, Newbury, tel: 03001 230770

• 6 July, Bell Tower Open Evening, St Lawrences Church, Hungerford, tel: 01488 684038

• 12 July, Fizz & Fiction in the Bookshop with Nicola Cornick, High Street, Hungerford, tel: 01488 683480


South Hill Park, Ringmead, tel: 01344 484123

7 July, Shifty Little Sister; 10 July, Mission Improvable; 17 July, West Forest Sinfonia; 19-23 July, The Tempest; 22 July, The Magic of A Thousand Strings; 22 July, The Birthday Girls: Party in Progress; 27 July, Andromeda; 30 July, Bracknell Festival 2016


The Croft Hall, Hungerford, tel: 01488 684861

1 July, Hank Wangford Trio; 2 July, The Second Best Bed; 4 July, Jessica Wise & Guy Murgatroyd; 5 July, Sarah Kendall; 7 July, Black Legend; 8 July, The Fossil Lady of Lyme; 9 July, HADFEST featuring Haize; 9 July, Songs for Summer; 10 July, Villiers Quartet; 11 July, My Family’s Crazy Gap Year; 12 July, The ‘Phantastica’; 13 July, Just So Kipling: An exceedingly Good Story; 14 July, The Fairy; 15 July, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde; 17 July, Moscow Drug Club 


Norden Farm Centre for the Arts, Altwood Road, tel: 01183 788660

5-6 July, Al Murray: The Pub Landlord; 15 July, Danny Buckler’s Magic Salon; 20 July, Megan Henwood and Jackie Oates; 22 July, Limehouse Lizzy; 23 July, Laurie Holloway and his Trio


The Watermill Theatre, Bagnor, tel: 01635 46044

Until 23 July, Watership Down; 28 July – 17 September, Crazy For You

Corn Exchange Market Place, tel: 0845 5218218

9 July, Magnificat; 10 July, Nancy Kerr & James Fagan; 14 July, Leonardo Da Vinci: The Genius in Milan; 15 July, Mark Thomas; 20 July, Susan Calman; 23 July, Comedy Fundraiser – Edinburgh Preview: Clare Plested and Alison Thea-Skot


The Mill at Sonning, Sonning Eye, tel: 01189 698000

Until 2 July, It Runs in The Family; 7 July – 3 September, Agatha Christie’s The Hollow; 15 July – 12 August, Glyn & Elaine; 17 July, The Johnny Cash Road Show; 24 July, The Swinging Big Band; 31 July, The Bourne Again Shadows


Theatre Royal Windsor, Thames Street, tel: 01753 853888

Until 2 July, My Cousin Rachel; 5-9 July, The Ladykillers; 12-16 July, Pygmalion; 17 July, A Night on Broadway; 18-23 July, Tap Factory; 26 July, The Elvis Years; 27 July, Johnny Cash – Revisited; 28 July, Swing ‘N’ Sinatra; 28 July, The Dolly Parton Show; 29 July, Motown Hits Show; 30 July, Talon, The Best of The Eagles; 30 July, The Wit and Songs of Noel Coward

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