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Things to do during the November lockdown

The calendar for November is looking a little bare but there's there's still plenty to keep us entertained this month from comedy to culture, Diwali and macaron cookery classes and where to order your locktails (lockdown cocktails of course).


Itching for a cocktail during lockdown? Well, the lovely people at Bond Street Distillery, Hinckley are pulling out the big guns and delivering ‘Crisis Cocktails’ this month. They’ve got 13 cocktails to choose from including Vespa Martini, Sex on the Beach, Negroni and The Hinckley Lady but and I think the After Dinner Mint with Creme de Cacao, chocolate liqueur, cream and a dash of mint bitters is what I need for my Friday night zoom party. Each cocktail is a double portion. Pre order by calling, 01455 459181. Prices start from £10.50.

You can still have your fave tipple delivered to your door thanks to Duncan Murray Wines, Market Harborough. The off-license is brimming with everything from wine to beer and other spirits. Delivery available up to 15 miles from the shop.

Don’t go without your morning coffee either as Bom Bom Patisserie, Loughborough are still offering a coffee and cookie collection for those who just can’t live without their caffeine fix plus, they’ve just released their Gingerbread Latte and Mint Hot Chocolate for those who are feeling festive. Takeaway only – open Tues- Sat.


Stuck indoors and even though the kids are still at school, they may end up driving you up the wall over the weekend. If this is something you’re not looking forward to, join in with a yoga class from Yoga House based in Stoneygate. Owner and yoga instructor, Stephanie is taking everything from her yoga to meditation classes online – handy if find yourself reaching for the gin more often that you want to. Classes are being run on a  donation basis so pay what you feel. Follow her on IG for more info.


Stratford Literary Festival’s Winter Weekend online, Nov 20-22. Stream a stunning line-up of literary heavy weights from your sofa including twice-Booker prize winner, Dame Hilary Mantel. Broadcaster and best-selling author, Andrew Marr chats about what made Britain the country it is today. Times columnist and Radio 4’s Great Lives presenter, Matthew Parris, looks at how trauma shapes great leaders and innovators and acclaimed modern historian and Reith lecturer, Margaret MacMillan and more, more more.

RSC: Talking Shakespeare returns with Ian McKellen, Helen Mirren & David Oyelowo from Mon Nov 16. Hosted by RSC Artistic Director, Gregory Doran, guests confirmed for the exclusive new series of Talking Shakespeare on Zoom include Ian McKellen, Helen Mirren, Roger Allam, David Oyelowo and Jane Lapotaire with further dates and names to be announced. The live, online event series runs weekly on a Monday from 6-7pm until Dec 14. The new series starts this month with Ian McKellen on Mon Nov 16, Helen Mirren on Nov 23 and Roger Allam on Nov 30. The free events are open to subscribers, members and RSC patrons of the Royal Shakespeare Company. Those interested can become subscribers for as little as £20 per year. Find details of how to support here


Leicester’s first Zero Waste Store, Nada remains open throughout lockdown 2 for all your zero waste open Tues- Sat 10 am – 5pm. A click and collect service is available. Delivery to LE1, LE2 (Tuesdays and Fridays) and LE3 (Wednesdays).


If the ban on big family gatherings means you’ll be in charge of cooking your own Diwali feast, now is probably a good time to get a hand from these online cookery classes. Diaspo will be streaming free workshops from 10 Nov for anyone who wants to create tasty dishes from home to celebrate the festival of lights. The hour-long workshops will show you how to put together everything from Thalis, pakoras, samosas and more plus, they’ve even got workshops in rangoli.

Plus, local business SugahLab – run by Sylvie – has made Diwali Busy Boxes (from £8-£18). Each box comes filled with biscuits which the kids can decorate at home and the painting palette is also edible. All sets are freshly baked to order and available in vanilla, chocolate and vanilla (vegan). She’s also got Diwali Gift Boxes filled with jewel-coloured biscuits, from £14 and a giant Diwali cookie, £18. Use code COLLECT2020 for free postage.


Celebrations may be cancelled but that’s not stopping the locals. Leicester is holding its first virtual Diwali Day this Saturday 14 Nov from 7-8pm. With restrictions in place, crowds will not be gathering on Belgrave Road this year for the traditional entertainment and fireworks instead people have been asked to send their messages online and there will be a Diwali Day programme featuring music, story-telling and dance – as well as the traditional lighting of the diva lamp. Watch it here.


The Y Theatre are live streaming comedy from Mark Thomas on 19 Nov – for those of you who remember him on Channel 4. The show challenged politicians, cost them their careers, was talked about in Parliament, appeared on the front pages of the Guardian and basically had a ball. Now Mark and the show’s producer, Geoff Atkinson look back at the programme in a series of YouTube broadcast specials. Discussing their favourite clips, Mark and Geoff will be live with guests to discuss the adventure that was bound to cancel itself before the channel got round to it. then on the 20th Nov you can enjoy some ‘speed’ theatre. 40 artists are right now producing 14 brand new plays, each written, produced and recorded in under 24 hours. Watch, 14/48: The World’s Quickest Theatre Festival streaming on Facebook and YouTube, at 8pm on Friday 20th and 8pm on Saturday 21st for free.


Phoenix is putting together a weekly recommendation list of films that are available to stream. Their selection includes recent releases, old favourites that they’ve screened at Phoenix over the years, and some lesser-known gems that you might not have seen before. This week watch new release, Luxor, coming of age drama, Perfect 10, and Shirley starring Elizabeth Moss (The Handmaid’s Tale) pic above and more.


New street food eatery, MSK Lutterworth will be opening this week, 12 Nov for takeaway. They’ve got a tasty menu featuring everything from duck spring rolls, pea arancini, to chicken yakitori, MSK burgers, sriracha spring onion and sesame fries and more. Check out and order from their take away menu here.


Banana Bread and Sourdough starters are so last lockdown. With Christmas coming and Bake Off raising the nations spirits, check out The Real Macaron Company‘s brilliant online courses. Learn to make delicate macarons, sugary doughnuts or an entire afternoon tea via Zoom.

Meanwhile, Cook Stars is offering weekly cook a long sessions for kids via Zoom. They currently run one at 10am every Tuesday for pre-schoolers and home-schooled kids and every Saturday at 10am, get stuck into their mini and juniors session. Simply sign up and they’ll send you a shopping list, a list of kitchen items you need and a zoom link. Each child will also receive their very own Recipe card and Craft activity in the post to do whilst the dish is cooking! £7.50. Booking is essential and spaces are limited. Click here to secure your child’s place.

Previous winner of The Great British Bake Off  (my fave and perhaps the most successful), Nadiya Hussain, has uploaded some of her favourite recipes via her YouTube channel. There’s a whole playlist of video recipes from her Time To Eat series with a good mix of sweet and savoury options. My favourite is obviously the giant chocolate chip smartie cookie and the rhubarb and white chocolate eclairs. Her enthusiasm for baking is really infectious. Move over Nigella!


Local creative, Anna Michalska is putting together a series of online children’s art classes. Simply order a box filled with materials for two live online classes (one hour each). Contact her via her website above for more info.


Fancy dabbling in a new hobby during lockdown? Leicestershire’s The Detective Project has launched a Cold Case Investigation pack where you can become a detective with your family and solve a crime. You can buy a home pack and work your way through a complete evidential pack to basically identify whodunnit. This investigation is written by real police detectives to bring you a realistic and fun scenario and costs £25.


Do you fancy being an alien hunter, looking for life elsewhere in the Solar System? Join in with the Space Centre’s #SciFRI as they chat to Charles Cockell, Professor of Astrobiology at The University of Edinburgh on Friday 13 Nov at 7pm about the potential sites for fantastic extraterrestrial life and where to find them. Find out more, here.

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