What’s On: The Muddy Guide (Thurs 26 Jan – Wed 1 Feb)
Healthy Breakfast Weekend at Darts Farm, Fri 27 – Sun 29 Jan
Breakfast, brunch, brinner, brupper, whatever you want to call it, I’m a massive fan, so you might just catch me loitering at this one, taking place at the best farm shop in the UK (that’s not me bragging, it’s true, they’ve got the award!). It’s a celebration of healthy ways to kick off the day, as loads of the region’s best artisan suppliers will be coming together. There will be experts, tastings and, of course, plenty of breakfasty grub up for grabs. Expect to see Origin Coffee, Primrose’s Kitchen, Pukka Tea and Trewithen Dairy laying on a spread and expect to see me eating straight from the granola jar.
Free to attend. dartsfarm.co.uk
Craig Charles Funk & Soul Club, The Factory, Petroc, Barnstaple, Fri 27 Jan
Corrie’s loss is our gain, as actor Craig Charles has swapped the cobbles for the decks and he’s bringing his vinyl to The Factory, in Barnstaple. If his Funk N Soul Show on BBC 6 Music is anything to go by, this night promises to raise the roof of the warehouse; sounds a pretty cool way to see the back of January, to me.
Tickets £15. thefactoryvenue.co.uk
Snowdrop Valley, Wheddon Cross, Sat 28 Jan – Sun 26 Feb
Shhhh, don’t tell Muddy Somerset this, but I’ve a feeling I’ve just instigated a turf war and stepped into her manor. If I have (and I’ve given up trying to verify it on the map), it’s just a little tiptoe and for good reason. Because there is a secret spot opening up for you to get a glimpse of one of nature’s most ethereal events. Near Wheddon Cross on Exmoor, a private valley, known as Snowdrop Valley opens up for a few weeks at this time of year. This is where you can see and walk amongst a massive carpet of snowdrops. It’s become a bit of an event and is in its 19th year, with a pop-up Snowdrop cafe, manned entirely by volunteers raising money for local charities. What better place for a welly walk?
Free to attend. wheddoncross.org.uk
One Day Italian cookery course, Ashburton Cookery School, Sun 29 Jan
V-day is looming and do you really want to spend this year squeezed like cattle in a pen into a restaurant as harassed waiters churn out set menu’s? Nah, me neither. So may I suggest instead that you sign on to this fab course that’ll take you through the art of cooking the world’s most passionately produced cuisine? No cliches here, honest. Go solo, or as a couple and you’ll learn how to make classics like pasta, pizza, focaccia and risotto. Then replicate it in your own kitchen come the big day. With a great big vat of prosecco. And some Barry White.
1-day course 09.30am-4.30pm, £165. Ashburtoncookeryschool.co.uk
Film Supper at Hotel Endsleigh: Bridge of Spies, Tues 31 Jan
Is it me or is a trip to the cinema beginning to cost a small fortune these days, once you’ve added the popcorn and pick n mix? I’ve just discovered that smart people hold out for Hotel Endsleigh’s superb-sounding film suppers. A two-course dinner and a good film at a cosy and romantic hotel in the country, all for twenty-five quid? A steal. This month, it’s the Cold War thriller Bridge of Spies, starring Tom Hanks. I bet Spielberg would be happy with the tribute, since he spent so long in this neck of the woods when he was filming Warhorse a few years back. Not as thrilled as he’ll be knowing he features in this week’s Muddy Guide, mind. Oscars? Pah.
6.30pm £25 includes a two-course dinner. hotelendsleigh.com
Spillikin, Theatre Royal, Plymouth, Tues 31 Jan – Sat 4 Feb
So this sounds a bit different. A performance featuring a state-of-the-art robot as one of the main cast members? Worth a visit just for that, but actually I’m more enticed by the plot, a kind of love story from beyond the grave. This 5* Edinburgh show is supposed to make you laugh, cry and ponder some of life’s big questions. Stick around afterwards too, for a Q&A with the company and a chance to chat “robot” with the big man himself.
Exmoor Food Fest, 1 – 28 Feb
Oh gawd, I’ve gone and done it again. Actually, I’m claiming half of this trans-county event Muddy Devon’s, so nerr! The third Exmoor Food Fest kicks off and, to celebrate the taste of Exmoor, a cluster of top restaurants are going to be offering the chance to eat with them at a one-time price of £10 for two courses and £15 for three, throughout February. Flying the flag for Devon are the likes of The Coach House by Michael Caines, Kentisbury Grange, The Mason’s Arms, Knowstone and award-winning pub The Swan at Bampton. So declare the diet over and eat your way across Exmoor.
To participate, vouchers can be found at exmoorfoodfest.com