Ascot Destination Guide
From the snow-powdered turrets of Windsor Castle and the wintry wonderland of Whitmoor Forest to a white-knuckle festive racing day at Ascot’s famous racecourse and exhibitions fit for royalty, winter is a prime time to visit this picturesque part of England. Wrap up warm and enjoy the season with a sparkling line-up of events in and around Berkshire.
Lost Treasures of Strawberry Hill
The Gothic sprawl of Strawberry Hill House & Garden is a treasure in itself, and Lost Treasures of Strawberry Hill draws together masterpieces from the collection of 18th-century art historian Horace Walpole, who founded the estate. Including works by Sir Joshua Reynolds and Rubens, as well as oddities such as a lock of Mary Tudor’s hair, this is a very popular exhibition.
Strawberry Hill House and Garden, 268 Waldegrave Road, Twickenham, TW1 4ST
Stanley Spencer: Friends and Family
While English painter Stanley Spencer may have arisen to fame on the back of his local landscapes infused with biblical references, his portfolio of portraiture is astonishingly broad and skilled. The Friends and Family exhibition at Stanley Spencer Gallery is an intimate snapshot of the artist’s private life, with beautifully wrought pieces demonstrating his immense talent at capturing the mood and character of those closest to him.
Stanley Spencer Gallery, High Street, Cookham, SL6 9SJ
Tom Stoppard’s comedy, Rough Crossing is one of his wittiest, and with BAFTA award-winner Anthony Andrews playing the lead, this production promises to be highly entertaining. The plot follows a pair of playwrights on a transatlantic liner headed for New York, where they’re due to open their latest show. They find themselves embroiled in an absurd romantic drama while aboard the ship, with hilarious consequences.
Theatre Royal Windsor, Thames Street, Windsor, SL4 1PS
European Union Chamber Orchestra
Internationally acclaimed British trumpeter Crispian Steele-Perkins is widely thought to be among the most skilled in his field. In the European Union Chamber Orchestra, he takes centre stage with Haydn’s Trumpet Concerto, magnified by the soaring acoustics of Reading’s Concert Hall. Directed by esteemed violinist Hans-Peter Hoffman, the performance includes evocative Serenades for Strings by Elgar and Tchaikovsky.
The Concert Hall, Town Hall, Blagrave Street, Reading, RG1 1QH
Duke Street Experience at the Windsor & Eton Brewery
A brewery, beer shop and bar, the Windsor & Eton Brewery is a triple threat for beer lovers. For those looking to glean a little more about the brewery, there’s now a weekly tour of the space, with a few accompanying half pints, explaining and showing how the beer is made, as well as illuminating the brewery’s ambitions to make Windsor & Eton beers more famous than any other attraction in the area.
Windsor & Eton Brewery, 1 Vansittart Estate, Windsor, SL4 1SE