The Ultimate Guide to What's On This Summer
Lockdown is over, and we are all rediscovering our social skills and wardrobes.
I’m happy to report that there is no shortage of things to do this summer in Hampshire, both indoors and outdoors.
So, even if you are still a little nervous about venturing out, you need not miss out.
For the Food (& Drink) Lovers
Newton Manor Farm supper clubs
I was lucky enough to bag a table at one of the famous supper clubs at Newton Manor Farm on the May bank holiday weekend, and even pre-planned a forgiving outfit in anticipation of overindulging (which I did with fervour).
Set outdoors at Newton Manor Farm, food is freshly prepared and locally sourced (the beef burger from the farm itself) by chefs Jess and Josh.
Drinks flow freely, and music sets a relaxed scene. Vegetarian options are also available.
Hampshire Food Festival
Yet to be confirmed, but pencilled in for July, the Hampshire Food Festival will be celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, and I imagine it’ll be better than ever as a result.
This is a month-long celebration of food, and you can sign-up for their newsletter to keep in the loop.
16-18 July – Winchester
With free entry for kids under 12, and set over 3 days, the Foodies Festival is the perfect start to the summer holidays.
There are workshops and masterclasses for the more ardent chefs amongst us, plus street food, music and market stalls for those who prefer to take on more of a sampling role.
Spritz Social – May to September – Southampton
I had the pleasure of spending an evening at The Spritz Social pop-up bar on one of the rare Friday evenings when it did not rain in May (although fear not, they have covered tables).
Set amongst the old Southampton castle walls in the “new part” of West Quay, this is a pop-up bar with tables, deck chairs and beach huts available for booking. You can then order food to your table from the surrounding restaurants.
A great, social, and relaxed way to spend a summer evening.
West End Festival – 3 July – Alton
This 1-day festival at the West End Flower Farm in Alton is set to be a bunch of fun (sorry, had to do it).
There are options for day tickets, or you can attend for the full day, including the evening (although this is for over 18’s only).
There’ll be live music, food and drink, workshops and, most importantly, flowers!
The West End Flower Farm also has a variety of other events on throughout the summer, so if you can’t make this festival, there are plenty of alternatives.
For the Music Lovers
Boom Village – 12-15 August – Matterley Estate, Ovington
The organisers of the annual festival, Boomtown, have downscaled this year due to Covid, and are arranging for a smaller ‘festival’, aimed at locals.
There will still be DJs, performers, and workshops, and the only criterion for a ticket is to have an ‘SO’ postcode, or to live in the South Downs.
Park Proms – 27-28 August – Romsey
Set amongst the beautiful Broadlands Estate in Romsey, Park Proms is set to be the perfect start to the August bank holiday.
Friday night’s line-up will be the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, playing a variety of music, including James Bond and Star Wars tracks, plus an air show.
Saturday is set to be equally spectacular, with James Morrison and Pixie Lott (to name a few) performing.
The festival is also partnered with Jude’s Ice Cream and the Hampshire Fare, so the food and drink options will also not disappoint!
Park Proms (ticketsrv.co.uk)
Summer’s End Picnic & Fireworks
28 August – Sir Harold Hillier’s Gardens – Romsey
Another family-friendly August bank holiday option is Summer’s End Picnic & Fireworks at Sir Hold Hillier’s Gardens.
This is an open-air concert performed by Pops Incorporated UK, playing a range of family favourite music, with children’s entertainment, and ending with a firework display.
Family Summer’s End Picnic with Fireworks | Hampshire County Council (hants.gov.uk)
The Grange Festival – A Day at the Opera
June & July – Alresford
With its beautiful pillared façade and rich history, The Grange, is the perfect venue this is for an opera festival.
Performing King Lear, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, My Fair Lady, and more – it’s time to polish off your candelabras and iron your Sunday best in readiness for this festival.
The grounds open 2 hours ahead of the performance’s start time for you to have a wander and enjoy the Portico Bar. During the 100-minute interval, there are various dining options available.
What’s On | The Grange Festival | Opera 2021
Hampshire Country & Garden Festival
Hampshire’s famous chalk streams and lush green landscapes really come together at Bere Mill, making it the picture-perfect location for this year’s Hampshire Country & Garden Festival.
With an incredible line-up of local producers from across the south coast, market stalls, live music, and workshops, this is set to be a special 2-day festival celebrating everything Hampshire has to offer.
Buy Tickets – Hampshire Country & Garden Festival (hampshiregardenfestival.co.uk)
For the Theatre Lovers
2-4 July – Winchester
Winchester’s famous Hat Fair will look a little different this year as, due to Covid, it will be ticketed.
Don’t let this deter you though, as the Hat Fair is always great fun! Tickets will be on sale for non-members of Play to the Crowd from 2 June at 10am, and the festival itself will take place at North Walls Recreation Ground and Winchester School of Art Car Park.
Get tickets | Hat Fair
June/July – Various
British summertime wouldn’t be the same without a picnic and outdoor Shakespeare play in the diary.
Like them or not, The Bard’s plays always make for an atmospheric summer evening.
There are lots of options across Hampshire this summer, so whether you like a tragedy, a comedy, or a romance, there’ll be something for you to enjoy.….
Here’s a list of some of the venues hosting an outdoor Shakespeare play this summer:
Beaulieu Motor Museum Alice in Wonderland – (ok, not Shakespeare, but an open-air performance in a beautiful setting!)
May-September – Various
Hosted at Basing House, Avington Park and Royal Victoria Country Park, Summer Screens is back this year across Hampshire with an excellent variety of films (as always).
So, dust off your deck chairs, pack up your picnic baskets (and blankets for the evening), and prepare to be immersed in some of cinemas greatest films amongst the beautiful settings that these venues each offer.
Portsmouth’s Film Society is also hosting Sunset Open Air Cinema evenings throughout summer, so if this is closer for you, then definitely check them out.
Best Outdoor Cinema UK – Charming Locations | Summer Screens
Beauty & The Beast
4 August – Southsea
After their previous success, Ian Kennedy Productions are back this year at a number of venues, including Hampshire’s Southsea Castle, for their adaptation of Beauty and the Beast.
Set outside amongst the walls of this military fortress, the production is set to be fun and family-friendly.
Tickets | Everyman Theatre
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