Kids, eh? Where would we be without them? Probably enjoying more evenings out and much better holidays, but that’s beside the point. Isn’t it?? Half term is upon us and when the weather’s as crap as it’s been recently, the prospect of having to entertain young children FOR A WHOLE WEEK can be quite scary. As you know, we don’t do listings on this site for reasons mostly connected with sheer laziness; however, the nice ladies at award winning local website For Sanity’s Sake aren’t lazy. Far from it. In fact, they’ve only gone and produced a handy list of ideas for children’s half term fun, haven’t they? Bad luck! Now you’ve absolutely no excuse for sticking the kids in front of the TV while you while away the hours in front of Facebook. Here it is. Right here…
Have you got activities planned for the children in half term, or still looking for some inspiration? We’ve looked around the local area and further afield to bring you a few ideas….
1. Feast on Chocolate
Chocoholics will love the Chocolate Kitchen at Hampton Court, the only surviving royal chocolate kitchen in the country, where you can take part in live chocolate demonstrations in the actual spaces where drinking chocolate was prepared for George I and II. Or join the Chocolate Tour of London, tasting seven different chocolates around Mayfair – including a visit to Fortnum and Mason’s. This runs until the end of the year.
2. Children’s Theatre
In case the weather is atrocious and you need indoor entertainment, try the local theatres. Polka Theatre, Wimbledon is hosting Ugly Duckling from Wednesday 19th – Saturday 22nd in a show that combines puppetry, music and storytelling to give a new flavour to a well-known tale. From Thursday 2oth, the Olivier award-winning writer Mike Kenny’s brand new adaptation of Red Riding Hood comes to Polka, with original songs. Continue reading
Be warned. We’ve fired up the plagiarise-o-meter machine, topped up the tank with highest grade liquid rip-off and set the controls for the heart of Twickenham. That’s right, it’s heading for the beating heart of our town and it’s set to explode in a ball of festive fury, tinsel and overcooked sprouts on Christmas Day itself! Here’s some stuff to keep you occupied in the meantime. Whether it’s Christmas lights, festive fairs, a pantomime or rugby at Twickenham Stadium that you want, we’ve got it all below. Or at least some of it…
OK, we’re going make this real easy for you. You want categories? You got categories. Just click n go.
Other Christmas events (err, like the ice rink)
Panto & Theatre
Music & Comedy
Other Useful Links
Want to see the place you love light up, like Terry’s All Gold? Here’s how…
Twickenham Town Centre – Friday 22nd November
Expect big crowds in Church Street for Twickenham’s Christmas lights. Events kick off in the afternoon. There’ll be craft stalls, Punch & Judy shows, a band from the Royal Military School of Music. Mayor Meena Bond and the vicar from St Mary the Virgin, Rev Jeff Hopkin-Williams will be pushing the illuminations plunger at 6.30pm. Expect plenty of mulled wine, mince pies, festive music and a whole lot of milling. Worth a visit.
More info: TTBA
Twickenham Green – Saturday 14th December
Rumours of another Chrimble do on Twickenham Green on 1st December turned about to be false. Last year’s inaugural event all got a bit wet and muddy, the snow machine was vetoed by greater powers (apparently) and the official light turner-oner Rob Brydon got rather hidden by crowds of (mostly taller) people. For whatever reason, it just didn’t happen again in 2013. However there will be a small local event on Saturday 14th December at 5.00pm on Twickenham Green. More details pending but we’re reckoning on some carols, mince pies and a glass or two of mulled wine.
BOO! That scared you didn’t it? Halloween seems to be the UK’s fastest growing thing. A celebration of all things something-or-other that dates back to the time when Charlie Brown and Snoopy became the first characters to trick or treat their way across our television screens. Yes, it really does go back that far. And further! In fact, if you were to delve into the history of Halloween you’d find that its origins pre-date not just the bite-sized Milky Way but Haribo sweets as well. Incredible stuff!
In honour of the occasion, Twickenham’s Church Street will be getting all spooked up for the day. There’s a children’s treasure hunt from midday – find the goodie bags hidden in some of the shops in the road. There’s a “Creepy Cupcake Decorating Class” at Sweetie Pies Boutique Bakery from 4.30pm to 5.30pm (£10 each for ages 4-10) and also a fancy dress competition in the Square at 5.00pm. Later on The Fox will be hosting an ‘Undead Disco’ with prizes for the best & worst dressed punters, apple bobbing and punch. And we’re sure the Halloween theme will be gripping many of the town’s other boozers too – by the neck, perhaps. You have been warned! *Cue evil laugh*
* More from TTBA
BOOM! The other great celebration at this time of year commemorates the explosive impact of something that didn’t actually happen. That’s right, we’re talking about Guy Fawkes not blowing up the Houses of Parliament back in the days before he opted to become a successful right-wing blogger. There are always lots of firework displays going on around south-west London so we’re sure you’ll find one to suit. Or you can just stay at home and turn the up TV if you prefer. Perhaps the biggest and best of the regular fixtures is at Richmond Athletic Ground. This year’s display is on Sunday 3rd. At £25 in advance for a family ticket (£30 on the night) it’s not the cheapest but it always delivers an impressive show to a musical theme – this year it’s the sounds of The Beatles. We’ve not tried to list out other shows here as Totally Richmond have already done a great job doing that just for you covering school, pub and leisure club displays. Now then, give us an “oooohhh”.
* Richmond Athletic Ground tickets
* Totally Richmond – firework display page
And we leave you with the award for the lamest Halloween cash-in piece of advertising… Please step forward Greggs on King Street!
If you’ve ever wondered what it might be like to see the likes of the Blue Baron in a speed skating duel with the Yellow Knight, or Councillors Marlow and Head dancing on ice to Ravel’s Bolero or maybe even Scott Naylor and Gareth Roberts in a ‘Blades of Glory’ style grudge match then you won’t have long to wait. Well, to be honest, you will have a very long time to wait because these things will never happen, but at least El Brute HQ will soon have the capability to host such scenarios should the need arise. Do what? We’re talking about this winter’s ice rink in the grounds of York House, of course.
It almost happened last year but it’s definitely going ahead this winter. It’s on the internet so it must be true. In fact it opens on November 30th. OK, so a rink over the York House tennis courts might not have quite the same pulling power as gracefully gliding around in front of Hampton Court Palace or Somerset House but a temporary Twickenham rink could do well. It also gives a brief nod to local history and the days when Twickenham had its own rink. In fact, this Twickenham Alive organised event seems to be following that bygone tradition by emphasising the Richmond angle just as the old Richmond Ice Rink in East Twickenham did. The new “Richmond Rink” will operate in the grounds of York House, Twickenham from Saturday November 30th to Sunday January 12th. There’s more detail on the link below.
Ice rink here?
Stories of Councillors skating on thin ice or making embarrassing slips will, no doubt, be added to this website as appropriate. And who knows, with his penchant for a spot of ballroom dancing we might even see St Vincent de Cable turning up to have a go. In the meantime you can ponder on which of our Borough councillors might be awarded top marks from a panel of independent local judges. Hey, perhaps our very own Twickenham Advisory Panel could be enlisted to do the judging. They’d just have to hope that El Brute were prepared to go along with their recommendations. Or perhaps a skate-focused consultation could be run, just to break the ice so to speak.
Tickets are now on sale. Happy skating.
* Twickenham Alive Richmond Rink
* Previously on twickerati (Oct 2012)
Whether you’re already into cycling or running, looking to get into either or both, or simply want to avoid the lycra clad loons who are, here are four events (and a family focused mini-festival) that may interest you, even if it’s only so you know where not to go. And yes, folks, the first of them is upon us now.
Now then, we’re all aware that Eel Pie Island has something of a legendary status in the history of British music, aren’t we? When it comes to the detail of those heady days by the river, those who didn’t get to experience them first time around have to rely on those who did but, as they say about the 60s, if you can remember them, you weren’t really there. Problem? Not at all. A new exhibition is opening in Twickenham in August to celebrate Eel Pie Island’s musical heritage. David Birkett, Marketing Director of the Eel Pie Island Music Project explains…
A Fresh Serving of Eel Pie
The Rolling Stones at Eel Pie Island Hotel
Copyright Mike Peters
You may have seen Rod Stewart on the BBC’s Imagine programme recently, waxing nostalgic about how Twickenham’s Eel Pie Island set him on the road to global stardom. To many outside Twickenham and the music biz, the glorious history and true significance of The Island is not well-known.