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FILM: The Favourite (15), from Tues Jan 1

Olivia Coleman, Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone star in this love-triangle / power battle that looks wonderfully bitchy. Olivia Coleman is Queen Anne, dominated by her scheming courtier Rachel Weisz. When Emma Stone appears at court she is determined to win the Queen’s favour. What ensues is a jaw-dropping power struggle, played out against the backdrop of England during the Restoration.

SPACE: Space Lates Deep Space, National Space Centre Leicester, Sat 12 Jan

Dream of being an astronaut or fascinated by all things space? Celebrate deep space and explore some of the big mysteries of the universe, including a tour of the night sky, search for aliens , enjoy stargazing and more this month.

National Space Centre, Exploration Dr, Leicester LE4 5NS

GARDENS: Barnsdale the TV Years: a talk by Nick Hamilton, Exton, Oakham, 25 Jan

Come and join Nick Hamilton for coffee and cake, and an entertaining and informative illustrated talk that spans the years when Geoff Hamilton presented the Gardeners’ World TV programme from Barnsdale. Packed full of personal gems.

Barnsdale Gardens, Barnsdale Ave, Exton, Oakham LE15 8AH

VEGANUARY: Kavanagh’s Tea Room, Oakham. January  

Ever considered going vegan? Well you’ve got the entire month of Jan to try it out – it’s not that hard – promise! Start at the lush Kavanagh’s Tea Room where they’re putting on an entire vegan menu including breakfast, lunch and desserts – think homemade gnocchi served with broccoli and toasted almonds, Shepherdless pie, Irish stew, Botanist burger. As for sweet treats everything from vegan cakes, vegan scones and vegan afternoon tea. Book now or regret later! 

2 Church Passage, Oakham, Rutland, LE15 6DR

YOGA: The Yoga Social, Loughborough, Sun Jan 13

Make socialising more meaningful as you take part in the first ever Yoga Social. Set up by a local teacher, the is aim is to make yoga and mindfulness accessible to all. The pop up style event will include the three elements – an all levels yoga session – mindfulness and breathwork and the opportunity to enjoy good food with great people. Tickets are £35 and available online here.

SWEET: The Chocolate Festival, Leicester, Sat 12 Jan

If you’ve not quite got sick of the taste of chocolate, head to this city event for a sweet treat featuring a deliciously dynamic range of chocolate, speak with suppliers, purchase tasty treats for yourself or gifts for others, drop into one of our demo’s or talks from industry insiders and enjoy a chocolate cocktail or two. Tickets available here.

Athena Conference & Banqueting, Queen Street, Leicester, LE1 1QD

THEATRE: Grease, Loughborough Town Hall, 29 Jan – 2 Feb

With a talented local cast, fantastic live band, original choreography and colourful scenery and costumes, this show promises to be ‘electrifying!’ Dust off your leather jackets, pull on your bobby-socks and take a trip to a simpler time as Danny and Sandy fall in love all over again.

Loughborough Town Hall, Market Place, Loughborough, Leicestershire, LE11 3EB

COMEDY: Sandi Toksvig, De Montfort Hall, Leicester 22 Jan

Following a misunderstanding with a friend Sandi has decided instead to become a National Trevor (rather than a National Treasure)  half misprint, half Danish comedian, novelist, actor and broadcaster. This one woman comedy show brings tall stories, fascinatingly funny facts, really silly jokes, a quick fire Q&A and a quiz.

De Montfort Hall, Granville Rd, Leicester LE1 7RU

FILM: Mary Poppins Returns (U), out now in cinemas

We’re looking forward to this live action musical reboot following the story of the now grown-up Michael Banks, who needs a nanny when a personal loss leaves him looking after his three children alone. An all-star cast includes Emily Blunt taking over from Julie Andrews as Mary Poppins, Angela Lansbury, Ben Whishaw, Colin Firth, Emily Mortimer, Julie Walters, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Meryl Streep and the return of Dick Van Dyke, the only original cast member. 




MUSIC: Ella Mai, O2 Institute Birmingham, Tues Jan 8

Image courtesy of 10 Summers/Interscope Records

Quick-rising R&B star Ella Mai had an amazing 2018, working with John Legend and Chris Brown on her critically acclaimed debut album, alongside breaking a chart record in the US. Not bad for an X Factor reject. But the south London singer feels Britain doesn’t quite get her style. She is now living in LA signed to hip-hop heavyweight DJ Mustard’s 10 Summer’s label. Now on The Debut Tour this is your last chance to see her in smaller venues. academymusicgroup

MUSIC: Wolf & Moon, Hare and Hounds,  Kings Heath, Birmingham, Wed Jan 9

The Dutch folk duo, who also happen to be a couple, filmed their wedding and turned it into a video for 2017’s loved-up single Home to Me. Their latest album Before it Gets Dark is out on January 25, http://hareandhoundskingsheath

**NEW YEAR, NEW SPA** Ardencote, Claverdon, nr Warwick

Photo by Soft Focus Productions

Massage, mani or sauna anyone? This month the 110 room 4* Ardencote hotel opens its £1.1m refurbished new thermal facilities. They include a Himalayan Salt Sauna, Aromatherapy Steam Room, Tepidarium, Tyrolean Kilo Sauna, Foot Spas, Ice Fountain, Monsoon Shower, Relaxation and Tranquillity Lounges. There’s also the existing Outdoor Hot Tub and Outdoor Heated Swimming Pool. It all looks very inviting. Ardencote is surrounded by 83 acres of stunning countryside and a 3-acre lake. It also has an 18-Hole Golf Course, 18 conference rooms, state-of-the-art leisure facilities and a Brasserie Bar and Restaurant. ardencote, Tel: 01926 843111.

MUSIC: The Streets, O2 Academy, Birmingham, Thurs Jan 17 (extra date)

After their sell-out comeback tour earlier this year, The Streets are back to do it all again. With a new album (and film) in the works, plus a catalogue of iconic records, these shows will see Mike Skinner and co take things to a whole new level. Resale tickets currently available. https://academymusicgroup

COMEDY: Nish Kumar – It’s in Your Nature To Destroy Yourselves, Butterworth Hall, Warwick Arts Centre, Fri Jan 25

Double Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee Nish Kumar brings his brand new show to Cov. The host of BBC topical comedy show The Mash Report will be telling jokes about politics, mankind’s capacity for self- destruction and whether it will lead to the end of days. Good fun stuff, 8pm. Tickets: £24.50, warwickartscentre, Box Office: 024 7652 4524.


MUSIC: Ruby Turner, Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry, Sat Jan 19 

Fresh from Jools Holland’s 25th annual Hootenanny on NYE Jamaican-born, Birmingham-based singer Ruby will be performing solo at her Coventry gig. Described as truly the genuine article and blessed with a voice that has been likened to Aretha Franklin and Janis Joplin, Ruby continues to win the hearts and minds of an ever growing and diverse fan base, 8pm. Tickets: £23.50, warwickartscentre, Box Office: 024 7652 4524.


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