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It’s nearly the wknd, What’s On dudes?

As we gallop into Autumn have I got some sweet treats for you this week my Muddy buddies.  You might be thinking it’s time to put the heating on, curl up in front of the fire and hibernate, but I’m telling you now, if it’s glitz, glamour and chocolate you’re after – and perhaps some guilt busting outdoor pursuit – then this county has a lot on offer this week.

An Evening with Ian Waite & Camilla Dallerup, Corby, 14 October, 7.30pm


I looked, no Ed or Balls in sight.

You got it right.  At this time of year you can’t move without a glittery shimmy, a baked bun or factor X.  Even the stoic Muddy finds herself cooing over Ed’s Balls latest performance, a very gutsy effort (Muddy applauds anyone who gives it a go). As Strictly Come dancing envelops the nation, there’s also a chance for us all to get a taste of it – LIVE. The Corby Cube has such a diverse list of events these days, and on this occasion they’re asking us to join Ian Waite & Camilla Dallerup from Strictly Come Dancing plus professional singer Paul Amer & guests for a spectacular evening of dance, singing and stories from their time on the BBC hit show. This up close and personal show promises to be a night to remember. Camilla, one of the original professionals and champion in 2008 is joined by her professional partner (and Muddy favourite) Ian Waite who has appeared in nearly every series of the show. They’ll perform some amazing Latin and Ballroom routines and tell their inside stories from Strictly and there’ ll be a meet and greet with the stars after the show.  Glitter ball a go go.

Corby Cube, Corby

CELEBRATE Chocolate Week with  Chocolate Tasting Courses  @ Belflair, Brackley


Right lads, are we up for this course or not?

Oompa loompa doompety doo, I’ve got a perfect puzzle for you, Oompa loompa doompety dee, If you are wise you’ll listen to me…..

Yippee!!!!  It’s Chocolate Week which means all bets are off!!

Given that Calories are free this week, Muddy thinks a Chocolate tasting course at Belflair Chocolates in Brackley is just the golden ticket. And this is just the taster of what’s to come, as Northamptonshire’s premier Chocolatier, is also running a more in depth “Fine chocolate creation course” on 5th November 2016. More details can be found here.

The team at Belflair are obviously really passionate about their wonderful product and want to share their knowledge and also the experience of Stefaan, their Master Chocolatier.

On the taster course you’ll  explore, taste, dabble and seduce your taste buds by taking them on a magical mystery tour of the changing chocolate trends of recent times, a journey that begins with the cocoa pod and ends with a generous sampling of deliciously diverse chocolate couture.

The Belflair courses are all about chocolate immersion and appreciation, so besides learning about blended and single origin chocolate you’ll be indulging your tastebuds too.  Steady on Master Gloop.

Duration:  75 minutes
Groups: Up to 25
Price: £6 per person or minimum £90
(Minimum charge is for 15 participants).

Belfair Chocolate Atelier, Unit 1, Top Station Road, Brackley, Northamptonshire, NN13 7UG, 01295 266 886

A Tribute to Agatha Christie, Kettering, 19 October, 7.30-9.00pm  


Whodunnit? Wrote those books? I did it.

The Alfred East Gallery in Kettering is hosting a lovely Agatha Christie exhibition, from now until 7th January 2017, and unbelievably, one of our best local Museums is letting us in for FREE.  No mystery there – this is one of the best kept secrets of Northants and they need our support. In true Poirot style however, we can gather together in the room to rake over the truth and  to get to the bottom of the life and loves of Britain’s Queen of crime, when Gale Goddard gives us chapter and verse, in a really entertaining and illuminating talk –  from 7.30pm to 9pm on Wednesday Oct 19. Gale is an unashamed Christie fan, and has been since her youth and it promises to be a fun evening.  Unless of course, the lights black out, there’s a bang and…Tickets for the talk are £3 and free for friends members. They can be bought on the door.

Alfred East Art Gallery, Kettering


Spooktacular fun for the family, West Lodge Rural Centre, Desborough – 15 – 30 October


I think that’s Kettering over there. And they’ve left the lights on

The team at West Lodge Farm are well versed in keeping us parents happy, whilst our little un’s take advantage of a the brilliant farmyard attractions, and during October, they’ll be providing loads of spooky activities to keep our little Mudlets entertained. Pumpkin carving, Spooky walkway, Witch’s house tours, Spooky Tractor rides, Panto style ghost stories plus all of the usual farm activities are on offer. Of course Mummy Muddy knows whereabouts to stay warm and have a reviving hot toddy (their Cafe is great), and although my kids are perhaps a little too big for farmyard frolics these days, I remember the old days  – those pigs are adorable. An online saver ticket for 2 adults and two kids costs £26. Kids under 2 go FREE. Halloween Half Term fun at West Lodge Farm needs to be booked in advance to avoid disappointment, and full details can be found here.

West Lodge Farm, Desborough, NN14 2SH

Fiendish Footwear Workshop, Northampton Museum & Art Gallery, 10am – 4pm, 15 October


I wouldnt get these stilettos Muddy, let me tell you.

I do not need an excuse to talk shoes.  It could be Halloween themed, or for that point any type of themed.  In Northamptonshire we have the BEST shoe collections of all, all housed at Northampton Museum & Art Gallery – and we are quite rightly reminded that in years gone by, when the world wanted shoes – they came to Northamptonshire – and that includes

  • HRH Queen Elizabeth II
  • Darth Vader
  • Sid Vicious
  • Jumbo the elephant
  • Sir Ernest Shackleton
  • James Bond

Even though times have changed and Northamptonshire is no longer the powerhouse it was,  I can’t imagine these luminaries queuing at the counter at M&S for their brogues, can you? But still, ther are numerous workshops on offer to keep the shoes tradition alive, and whilst a visit to the museum is a great idea at any time of the year, October brings us the Fiendish Footwear – a halloween-themed shoe makeover workshop. We’re invited to transform a pair of our old shoes by covering them in a choice of fabulous fabrics and trims and also to learn the process of pattern cutting, covering and embellishing. If  you fancy a try at something new, without using a pair of your own,  the museum can provide a brand new pair for you to customise for a small, extra charge.  The workshop costs are listed here; £35 (if you bring your own shoes), £50 (if you need shoes supplied to you), under 16s must be accompanied by an adult. Ring 01604 837397 to book.

Northampton Museum & Art Gallery,Guildhall Rd, Northampton NN1 1DP

Rock Choir, Towcester Town hall, 86 Watling Street, Towcester, 10.30am 18/19 October.


Damn, I knew I shouldn’t have worn my black T shirt with a yellow star on it tonight

I love to see a grown man cry and Mr Muddy played the big hairy baby part perfectly well at our recent trip to the Althorp food festival, where we happened upon the amazing talents of Jessica Hunting’s Rock Choir. To be honest, he wasnt the only one. The performance of the ladies (and some gents) was amazing.  The group rehearses pop, rock and Motown tunes in Towcester and performs at a variety of events and shows. And you can join them!!! No prior singing experience is needed and your first taster is free. After the first session (as we musical types refer to it) a month rocking out with Jessica’s choir costs just £25, and to all intents and purposes, it’s a brilliant place to meet new people and forge new friendships whilst having lots of fun to boot.

Rock Choir, Towcester Town hall, 86 Watling Street, NN12 6BS

Tickled, Errol Flynn Filmhouse, Sat 15 October 8:45pm, Wed 19 October 6:15pm


Say no more

I promise you I am not making this up. New Zealand journalist David Farrier stumbles upon a mysterious series of competitive ‘tickling events’ and the many online videos of the competitions. As he delves deeper he comes up against fierce resistance from the organisation, but that doesn’t stop him getting to the bottom of a story stranger than fiction. Now I like a laugh but…The film is rated 15 and the real lovely thingd about “The Errol” are that the seats are super comfortable, you can take a drink of your choice in, and they aim to make their  tickets affordable, with prices from £6 to £8.50 for standard film screenings, and a little more for live broadcasts.

Errol Flynn Box office, off Derngate, Northampton, NN1 1UD

Feast, The Tap and kitchen, Oundle – 20 October


Moo, Er, so these tattoos are ancient chinese proverbs right?

Now then, one really big thing that struck us on our last review of  Tap & Kitchen was that it prides itself on sourcing it’s produce locally.  And true to ‘”Danny at the Taps” word Feast is the first installment of their monthly feasts where they showcase a particular food or style that they are passionate about (veggies look away now – I’m sure they’ll be a broccoli installment  in the forthcoming months). Not to put too finer point on it, an 8 year old Shorthorn Cow has met it’s maker, the beef from which is currently being hung to increase texture & flavour. On the 20th October the excellent kitchen will present a bespoke menu presenting what they believe to be the best possible way of serving such beef. Limited spaced available so booking early is a must. **Bookings only** £20 PP Deposit. 7pm arrival for 7.30pm sit down.

The Tap and kitchen, Oundle Wharf, Station Road, Oundle, PE8 4DE. Call: 01832 275 069

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Northamptonshire