Un­miss­able events

Country Life Every Week - - Town & Country Notebook -

Ex­hi­bi­tion Fe­bru­ary 11–June 4 ‘From Rome to the Royal Cres­cent’, No 1, Royal Cres­cent, Bath, Som­er­set. A se­lec­tion of de­tailed ar­chi­tec­tural mod­els by Ti­mothy Richards, in­clud­ing Rome’s Pan­theon, Lon­don’s Som­er­set House and 1, Royal Cres­cent it­self, will be on dis­play as part of Bath Preser­va­tion Trust’s cel­e­bra­tions of the 250th an­niver­sary of the city. Ad­mis­sion in­cluded in stan­dard mu­seum en­try, adults £10 (http://no1roy­al­cres­cent.org.uk; 01225 428126)

Cook­ery class Fe­bru­ary 18 Knife Skills: Slice and Dice, Cook­ery School, Lit­tle Port­land Street, Lon­don W1. Learn how to wield a kitchen knife like an ex­pert, chop­ping, slic­ing, dic­ing and fil­let­ing. After sam­pling the re­sults, you will leave with the recipes for the dishes you have cre­ated. 4pm–7.30pm, £140 (020–7631 4590; www.cook­eryschool.co.uk)

Lit­er­ary fes­ti­val Fe­bru­ary 16–25 Purbeck Lit­er­ary Fes­ti­val, Isle of Purbeck, Dorset. A pro­gramme full of lit­er­ary magic in­cludes talks from ‘Bee­tle Boy’ au­thor M. G. Leonard, chil­dren’s writer Ni­cholas Frith and travel writer Nick Hunt, plus film, po­etry and mu­sic. Now in its fourth year, the fes­ti­val, which has a ‘wild’ theme, will be us­ing Vic­to­rian folly Durl­ston Castle as its base. Visit the web­site for event prices and to book (www. purbeck­lit­er­aryfes­ti­val.info)

Ori­en­teer­ing Fe­bru­ary 11–19 Ori­en­teer­ing Week, Wad­des­don Manor, Ayles­bury, Buck­ing­hamshire. Join the Thames Val­ley Ori­en­teer­ing Club for a muddy ad­ven­ture, with four routes to choose from. 11am–3pm, nor­mal grounds ad­mis­sion ap­plies (01296 820414; http://wad­des­don. org.uk) Air­ing a bed Put a stout stick upright un­der the bed-clothes, so form­ing a kind of minia­ture tent; then put in the hot­wa­ter bot­tles. By this method, the hot air is dis­persed all over the bed, in­stead of warm­ing only the part where the bot­tles have been placed. From ‘500 House­hold Hints by 500 Housewives’, pub­lished by

in 1926. We can­not vouch for the ac­cu­racy of any

ad­vice given The­atre Fe­bru­ary 16 Saint Joan, Na­tional The­atre Live (above), na­tion­wide. Shaw’s master­piece, star­ring Gemma Arter­ton and di­rected by Josie Rourke, will be broad­cast live to cin­e­mas around the coun­try from the Don­mar Ware­house in Lon­don’s Covent Gar­den. Visit the web­site for venues and to book tick­ets (http://ntlive. na­tion­althe­atre.org.uk)

Auc­tion Fe­bru­ary 11 Sale of an­tiques and col­lecta­bles, Swan & Turner, Jed­burgh, Roxburghshire. More than 700 lots will go un­der the ham­mer in the auc­tion room’s fi­nal sale be­fore clos­ing its doors. High­lights of the cat­a­logue in­clude a near-life-size bronze sculpture of a horse and jockey (£5,000–£7,000) and a cocode-mer shell (£300–£500). 10am start (www.swan­turner.co.uk; 01835 863445)

Book now Fe­bru­ary 25–26 Tra­di­tional Uphol­stery Week­end, Schumacher Col­lege, Dart­ing­ton, Devon. Bring along 1m of your cho­sen fabric and you will be pro­vided with the ma­te­ri­als and tools to cre­ate a deep­but­toned foot stool, with the aid of pro­fes­sional up­hol­sterer Leigh-anne Tread­well, dur­ing this two-day course. 9.30am–5pm, £250 (01803 847070; www.dart­ing­ton.org) Our Valen­tine’s Day cel­e­bra­tion, the learned among you will re­mem­ber, is thought to have its ori­gins in the Ro­man fes­ti­val of Lu­per­calia, when, ac­cord­ing to Plutarch, noble youths and mag­is­trates ran through the streets of Rome naked and women held out their hands to be struck with shaggy thongs in the hope of get­ting preg­nant. Nowa­days, you might think of it as the day when ro­mance gets into bed with com­merce.

Why you should be cel­e­brat­ing it

I al­ways imag­ined that Lon­don’s so­called ‘car­riage trade’—the se­ri­ously smart mer­chants with head­quar­ters in Sw1—would shrivel up and die rather than have any­thing to do with Valen­tine’s Day, but at least one of them, Berry Bros & Rudd of St James’s Street, seems to be ex­chang­ing the pin­stripe suit for noth­ing at all.

What to drink

Cham­pagne and Valen­tine’s Day are as hard to prise apart as Port and Stil­ton. The more flam­boy­antly ro­man­tic will also feel that the Cham­pagne needs to be pink. Berry Bros & Rudd Cham­pagne Brut Rosé (£33; www.bbr.com, be­low) is savoury, meaty stuff, not friv­o­lous at all, and would go well with the last game of the sea­son. Al­ter­na­tively, you can com­bine a bot­tle of Berry’s Cham­pagne Mailly, Grand Cru—which has lots of ripe, Pinot Noir char­ac­ter—with the ex­cel­lent, cedary and volup­tuous 2012 Berry Bros & Rudd Pauil­lac, from the cel­lars of Jean-charles Cazes, in a spe­cial Valen­tine’s Duo Gift Set (£50, in­clud­ing gift wrap­ping and de­liv­ery; www.bbr. com). How could Cupid’s ar­row miss after that?

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