Although the dark days of winter are still lingering on, the hope of spring is just around the corner. The evenings are getting just that little bit lighter, the first signs of flowering buds are beginning to appear and the Easter eggs have started to pop up in the supermarkets. February is a busy month in the calendar – we’ll soon be flipping pancakes and showering our valentines with love – but there’s lots of other events happening up and down the country too.
RHS Early Plant Fair
The RHS Early Plant Fair, held in London, is the first of its many shows throughout the gardening year. Held 12th-14th February, it will showcase the first blooms of spring and provide you with a wealth of inspiration for your own garden. With workshops, winter walks and talks featuring a host of guests including TV presenter and author, Alys Fowler and Gardeners’ Question Time panellist, Pippa Greenwood, it’s a must for the green-fingered amongst us who can’t quite wait for the Chelsea Flower Show!
Everyone loves a good crime mystery – and whose better to enjoy than one penned by the Queen of Crime herself! Played out on stage in the rather fitting courtroom setting of London County Hall, Christie’s Witness for the Prosecution is a brilliant tale of justice, crime, passion and betrayal.
Running from Monday 12th February to Saturday 3rd March, Portsmouth’s Bookfest is now in its 8th year. With the town already boasting an impressive literary background – from Charles Dickens to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – this year’s programme of events is jam-packed with panels and talks, and even welcomes the ubiquitous crime writer, Peter James.
a romantic retreat
Whether you’re a fan of the greatly publicised St Valentine’s Day or not, we can all agree that it’s nice to get away from it all once in a while. Whatever the date may be, it’s therapeutic to say goodbye to the bustling city, the constant stream of sombre news and increasing need for technology lighting up our faces before bedtime. This beautiful former forester’s cottage – that comes without electricity and overlooks its very own meadow – is located in the beautiful Suffolk village of Saxmundham.
Stay at Hex Cottage
A beautiful representation of what’s to come – the first sign of snowdrops trailing through our forests and pathways is always a sure sign that spring is well and truly on its way (hooray!) For a truly spectacular sight, Rode Hall in Cheshire, Austwick Hall in Yorkshire and Anglesey Abbey in Cambridge, amongst others, offer a wonderful display of these delicate early bloomers during February. The beautiful gardens at East Ruston Old Vicarage in Norfolk are also holding a special snowdrop event on 4th February with specialist growers and guest speaker, Ben Potterton.
cirque du soleil
Boasting rave reviews, OVO is an immersive and vibrant show currently on at the Royal Albert Hall. Performed by Cirque Du Soleil, it showcases the biodiversity, beauty and energy of insects and the fascinating lives they lead. Filled with mesmerising stunts and vivacious displays, this really is a must-see.
From Friday 23rd to Saturday 25th February, Wakefield is celebrating the sweetness of rhubarb at its annual Festival of Food, Drink & Rhubarb. Feel inspired and make the most of this pink seasonal vegetable with live cookery masterclasses from local and national chefs over the course of the three days, together with many more family activities to get involved in.
Shrove Tuesday takes place on Tuesday 13th February this year and there are many events happening up and down the country to mark it – from the Great Spitalfields Pancake Race in London to the Olney Pancake Race in Buckinghamshire. Even if you’re not participating in a pancake race this year, gather friends and family around the kitchen table for a delicious Tuesday treat!