All Events


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FOD: From £370.00



Join us for the FIRST EVER Friends of Denman weekend! This exclusive event is only available to current Friends of Denman!

On Friday night, you'll have a chance to meet the Denman team, with a glass of prosecco, before a fantastic dinner and evening talk by Katherine Bradley on 19th Century Women Travellers and Explorers. 

On Saturday morning, you'll kick off the first of three, three-hour workshops! (More on this below!) We've selected some of our newest tutors and newest subjects - just for you!

On Saturday night, after a delicious and special dinner - you'll be treated to even more entertainment! 

We’re proud to announce that the Oxford Soap Company will be demonstrating on Saturday night how to make your own creams and lotions, as well as showcasing the melt and pour process soap! During your 90 minute demonstration, some lucky audience members will have a chance to even have a go at making some soaps and lotions, and there’s plenty of time to ask founder Ervin, lots of questions. Based in the iconic Covered Market in central Oxford, The Oxford Soap Company is a local, family run business that designs and creates handmade soaps and cosmetics. The products include ranges with English sourced essential oils such as English Lavender and the rare English Melissa Oil.

We'll even be giving you a little present to take home to say thanks for being our Friend. 

As a Friend of Denman, we want you to feel that you are important to us, so we hope you're able to join us! 

As you know, there are only so many bedrooms at Denman so we do hope you book asap to avoid any disappointment!

*Please note that the price says £370 to allow for your automatic Friends of Denman discount, therefore the total payable for this weekend event will be £333.

Selection of Workshops

Ashley Keen: Everyday Vegan Cookery
Don't be afraid - vegan cuisine isn't what you think it is! Join Ashley to create some delicious, seasonal balanced meals. You'll leave inspired and able to create dishes that aren't just made with Quorn!

Gary Mills: Inchies'
Inchies’ are small, creative squares, and are a new and growing trend in the world of mixed media art. In this workshop, you will be presented with a different range of techniques and designs working in shades of white only that will excite and inspire you to create your own versions of these miniature pieces of art. Build up your own collection, transform them into a contemporary pin squares for your quilting pins, or join 9 together to make an interesting centre for a cushion or a book cover or use them to decorate bags, purses and keyrings. The possibilities are endless!

Karen Jones: Stained Glass Mosaic Coasters
Learn how to cut stained glass to a template pattern, and then glue it into place. You will fill in the remainder of your mosaic with small glass pieces, incorporating a few of your own design elements. Additional cost of £10 per person for materials.

Janine Kilroe: Lino Cut Printing
Explore the creative fun and enjoyment of lino cut printmaking. Create your very own greeting cards, prints and more. Plenty of opportunity to explore a variety of techniques, tools and styles.  

Tony Padman: How to Write and Sell News and Feature Articles
There are 20,000 different publications covering every profession, hobby and lifestyle, and they need writers either on a permanent or freelance basis. This workshop includes guidance on everything from generating ideas and what makes a great story to asking the right questions, writing and editing. We will discuss journalistic skills, good and bad taste, and the newspaper and magazine industry. You will be given feedback on your writing at every stage and also the confidence to approach editors with your stories. 

Tony Kirwood: Funny Women
Come and enjoy the work of the funniest women who have worked in comedy. From Hylda Baker to Victoria Wood, women have taken control and created laughs on their own terms. This appreciation course will look at the great women who have made us laugh, whether in front of the cameras, from their typewriters or in the director’s chair. We will watch classic videos and recordings, look at archive material and discuss the changing and growing role of women in comedy. And we will laugh a lot.

WI Member: From £57.00


Non Member: From £62.00



Simon King OBE 'Naturalist, Conservationist, Author, Artist and Broadcaster is an aficionado of capturing the natural world (receiving an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Photographic Society in 2011). As a passionate conservationist Simon specialises in wildlife documentaries. His extensive knowledge and expertise behind a camera has seen his work included in many programmes including the BBC’s Planet Earth, Blue Planet, Springwatch and Autumnwatch to name but a few.

 The naturalist and author will be presenting at Denman from an expert angle in what promises to be a truly inspiring talk. With a Q&A session and the opportunity to talk with Simon, purchase his book and have it signed; gain an insight into the world of a wildlife film-maker.

 Outline of the Event:

2.00pm Arrival

2.30 - 3.30pm Talk with Simon

3.30 - 3.45pm Q&A

3.45pm Denman Premium Afternoon tea

Did you know that you can extend your visit to Denman? Have a buffet breakfast, lunch, dinner or even stay the night with us! The cost for breakfast is £12, lunch is £13.50 and dinner is £24 including multiple courses. We offer a B&B rate at £75 for a single room and £100 for a shared double. Bookings can be made through our guest services team* - please telephone 01865 391991 or email info@denman.org.uk. 

*Please note that these extras are offered where available.

WI Member: From £67.00


Non member: From £72.00



It’s the lavender season and we’ve got a right treat for you! Join us at Denman for an insightful talk and demonstration by Cath from My Scented Home who will tell you all about the wonderful world of lavender and how best to use it in your craft projects!

After lunch, we’ll be whisking you away to Cotswold Lavender for a tour of their field and distillery. Learn all about how mass lavender is harvested and how best to care for the plant. You’ll also go away with great ideas of what to do with lavender once you’ve picked it!

Outline of the event:

11 am – Arrival at Denman

11:30 am – 12:30 pm – Talk & Demo from Cath

12:30 – 1:30 pm – Lunch

1:45 pm – Coach

2:30 pm  – Tour of the Lavender fields

3:30/3:45 pm  – Return to Denman

 Did you know that you can extend your visit to Denman? Have a buffet breakfast, lunch, dinner or even stay the night with us! The cost for breakfast is £12, lunch is £13.50 and dinner is £24 including multiple courses. We offer a B&B rate at £75 for a single room and £100 for a shared double. Bookings can be made through our guest services team* - please telephone 01865 391991 or email info@denman.org.uk. 

Places required: From £10.00



Slimy snakes? No such thing! What does a crocodile feel like? What are tortoise shells made of? Come along and see a snake, lizard, tortoise and a crocodile or alligator! Join us for an up close and hands-on encounter with the world of reptiles. Crocodiles of the World will be bringing along some of their amazing animals, including a croc of course. You’ll learn loads about each animal, and have the chance to stroke some of them (and that includes the alligator). It’s fun, friendly and safe. We love our animals, and want to inspire the respect they deserve.

This event is aimed and both children and adults alike!

Outline of the event:

13.30- Arrival

14.00- 15.30- talk, touch and Q&A with the handler

15.30 departure

All children under 14 to be accompanied by a paying adult.

WI Member: From £42.00


Non member: From £47.00



Its back! We’re proud to present to you the return of The Great Denman Bake-Off 2020 – your chance to shine with your baking knowledge and complete a wonderful technical challenge!

In teams of two in Denman’s very own cookery school, you be given a fun challenge, the chance to make something magical, have it judged by our experts and potentially win the Denman Bake Off crown! Naturally, be prepared for plenty of giggles, cuppas and treats to keep you going.

Outline of the Event:

1pm arrival for tea/coffee

1.30 intro and demonstration of the challenge ahead

2pm- challenge commences

3.30 challenge ends

3.30-3.45- judging takes place

3.45- feedback given and the winner announced

Did you know that you can extend your visit to Denman? Have a buffet breakfast, lunch, dinner or even stay the night with us! The cost for breakfast is £12, lunch is £13.50 and dinner is £24 including multiple courses. We offer a B&B rate at £75 for a single room and £100 for a shared double. Bookings can be made through our guest services team* - please telephone 01865 391991 or email info@denman.org.uk. 

*Please note that these extras are offered where available.

WI Member: From £67.00


Non Member: From £72.00



Join us for a special event with Patience Broad, lead trainer of the NFWI Training Team, as she guides you through how easy public speaking really is! During this one day event, you’ll learn all about relaxation and breathing, how to give an effective announcement, leading a discussion and more! The event will be filled with exercises to increase your confidence and develop your voice.

Programme for the day:

9.30am – arrival with tea, coffee and biscuits
10am -12.30pm – first session

12.30-1pm – light lunch

1-4pm – second session
4pm – afternoon tea, end of event and evaluations

WI Member: From £42.00


Non Member: From £47.00



People come to Denman to have a jolly good time! Curious how this was done a century or so ago? Hop back in time with Oxfordshire historian Liz Woolley as she gives a fascinating talk on the leisure and entertainment habits of those in Victorian and Edwardian Oxford. In the mid-nineteenth century, the world was once again changing: With a little more time and money to spend, recreational activities arose to meet the demand for something to do. For a descriptive tour of period’s entertainment scene and discover why “habitual drunkards” were “induced to spend their evenings in the library”…!

Outline of the Event:

2.00pm Arrival for tea/coffee

2.30pm Talk and Q&A

3.45pm Afternoon tea

4.30pm Departure

Did you know that you can extend your visit to Denman? Have a buffet breakfast, lunch, dinner or even stay the night with us! The cost for breakfast is £12, lunch is £13.50 and dinner is £24 including multiple courses. We offer a B&B rate at £75 for a single room and £100 for a shared double. Bookings can be made through our guest services team* - please telephone 01865 391991 or email info@denman.org.uk. 

*Please note that these extras are offered where available.

WI Member: From £67.00


Non Member: From £72.00



Come and join us for a fascinating day exploring what happens when Blenheim Palace becomes a film location. The day starts at Denman with Antonia Keaney from Blenheim Palace giving an illustrated talk on how the Palace has been used as a filming location in a huge variety of TV adverts and programmes, and has appeared in both Hollywood and Bollywood blockbusters. 

 The talk will show what actually happens at the Palace when Hollywood descends - and what happens behind the scenes!

 After Antonia’s talk and a wonderful 2 course lunch, we will take a coach across to Blenheim where you can spend the afternoon exploring the wonderful house and gardens at your leisure before arriving back at Denman for around 5pm.

Outline of the Event:

11am- attendees arrive for tea/Coffee pastries

11.30-12.30- Talk and Q&A

12.30-13.30- 2 course Denman lunch

13.45 coach to leave Denman to travel to Blenheim

16.30- depart Blenheim

17.00- arrive back at Denman

About Antonia:

Antonia Keaney joined Blenheim Palace in 2008 as a member of the Education Team, then later took on the role of Social History Researcher for the Palace.  She has curated a number of exhibitions at Blenheim including ‘Lights, Camera, Action!’ in 2013 and the hugely successful ‘Passion for Fashion – 300 years of Style at Blenheim Palace’ in 2017.


Researching and delivering talks has always been a favourite part of her role and in addition to speaking at varied venues, Antonia has delivered a ‘Conversation’ at Cumberland Lodge, Windsor Great Park, been in Conversation with fashion editor, Caroline Issa at a Bicester Village Brunch, hosted an event at Soho Farmhouse, made a guest appearance on Radio 4’s Saturday Live Show with the Reverend Richard Coles and Aasmah Mir and, most recently appeared, with John Craven on BBC’s Countryfile and Phil Spencer in his Stately Homes series for Channel 4.

In her spare time, Antonia enjoys the company of her family and her dogs – particularly Percy, the wire-haired Dachshund, who has inspired her to write and illustrate her first children’s book – Percy at the Palace (a Dog’s Eye View of Blenheim).  She is currently working on her second children’s book, Percy and the Pug (Chatting with Churchill) as well as her first non-fiction book, A Passion for Fashion – Putting on a Show at Blenheim Palace – due for publication in Spring 2019

WI Member: From £42.00


Non Member: From £47.00



Shackleton led three expeditions to the Antarctic and was a crew member on a fourth. He is famous for escaping with all his crew, from the icy grip of the Weddell Sea during his momentous expedition of 1914-1916 and for his incredible 800 mile sail from Elephant Island to South Georgia. But he achieved more than this. In 1909 he got to within 100 miles of the South Pole - the first expedition to get so far on the Antarctic plateau. Join Denman and special guest, author Isobel Wilson, in an afternoon discovering the life of this incredible explorer and his journey through the Antarctic.

Outline of the Event:

2.00pm Arrival

2.30 - 3.30pm Talk

3.30 - 3.45pm Q&A

3.45pm Denman Premium Afternoon tea

 

About Isobel Wilson:

I qualified in medicine at St George’s Hospital, University of London. Here Edward Wilson, Scott’s friend and confidant had trained some sixty-five years previously. As a junior doctor in the hospital I saw many of Wilson’s iconic pictures of Antarctica and became fascinated by the continent and the explorers of the early 1900s. My interest did not lessen throughout my years working in the National Health Service as a Consultant in Respiratory Medicine and after retirement I wrote the biography of Wilson, a truly great hero. I subsequently wrote the biography of P.O. Edgar Evans, a competent, practical Welshman who accompanied Scott to the South Pole and was the first to die on the ill-fated return. Edgar was blamed, in some circles, for the deaths of the entire party. I felt this slur was outrageous.

To complete my biographies of Antarctic Polar Heroes of the early 1900s I have now written the biography of of William Speirs Bruce. For the last year of the work I have been joined as co-author by John Dudeney, OBE. Bruce was a man who struggled for recognition from the British Government, but who made remarkable contributions to knowledge about the Polar Regions. He charted 4,000 miles of previously unsurveyed Southern Ocean, he found new land, which changed our understanding of the southern continent, he set up a meteorological station on the South Orkneys which continues to-day under the auspices of Argentina. Indeed he can be thought of as the father of oceanography in the Southern Seas. In addition he charted and explored many of the Arctic Islands and was convinced of their economic potential, particularly in relation to minerals. In this he has been proved right.

Because of this total fascination with Antarctica, I now speak regularly on Antarctic subjects and Antarctic heroes and have done so for over ten years. I really enjoy doing this and have met a huge variety of interesting people. I speak to: specialized societies, history societies, clubs, women’s groups, the University of The Third Age, medical societies and Women’s Institutes. I spoke on Queen Mary 2 on the NY – Southampton sail and have made presentations in The States and Switzerland, The talks are Power Point presentations and are fully illustrated.

I have published in specialized journals.

Antarctica has become an overwhelming interest!

WI Member: From £57.00


Non Member: From £62.00



We are going to the National Needlework Archive! Denman are excited to announce that we have arranged a trip to the NNA based in Newbury, Berkshire. The day will start at Denman for tea and coffee and then a talk with a member of the NNA. Following a Q&A and lunch, we will head across to the NNA for the afternoon which includes a visit to the conservation studio, a talk and viewing of 'The Country Wife' textile mural, a tour of the current exhibition, and of course, tea and lovely cake.  The afternoon will be introduced by Linda Connell, Director of the NNA and author of 'Textile Treasures of the WI'.

Outline of the Event:

 10.30- arrival/tea & Coffee

11am- Talk and Q&A

12.30pm- Lunch in the Denman Restaurant

13.30pm- Coach departs for Newbury

2pm- Arrival and Tour NNA

4pm- Depart NNA

4.30pm Arrival back at Denman

WI Member: From £164.00


Non member: From £174.00



Denman are delighted to present a wonderful one off event hosted by our Denman Tutor, Peter Lawrence. The event will start after a superb Denman evening meal with a talk from Peter entitled This Policeman’s Lot – From the Krays to the Crown’.

After a restful night at Denman, and after breakfast, we will depart to Bletchley Park, the home of British codebreaking and a birthplace of modern information technology where we will spend the day exploring the site.  This is an event not to be missed.

Outline of the Event:

23rd April 2020

4pm- Arrival for Tea and Cake

6.30- 7.30pm- Dinner in the restaurant

8pm- Talk with Peter Lawrence

24th April 2020

7.30-8.30am- Breakfast

9.15am- Depart Denman for Bletchley

3pm- Depart Bletchley

4.pm 0nwards -Arrival and depart

*Please note a packed lunch will be provided for the trip to Bletchley Park

WI Member: From £42.00


Non Member: From £47.00



Gorgeous gowns with fantastic frills, dramatic decoration and luscious lace abound in this talk celebrating the skill of the Victorian dressmaker.  Celebrate the sumptuous styles of the era whilst also considering the cost of the gowns on the women who made them. See what the dressmaker wears to dress the debutante in her new fabulous frock with original examples on display for you to study and admire.  A talk by Meridith Towne: Costume Historian & Dressmaker. 

Outline of the Event:

2.00pm Arrival for tea/coffee

2.30pm Talk and Q&A

3.45pm Afternoon tea

4.30pm Departure

Did you know that you can extend your visit to Denman? Have a buffet breakfast, lunch, dinner or even stay the night with us! The cost for breakfast is £12, lunch is £13.50 and dinner is £24 including multiple courses. We offer a B&B rate at £75 for a single room and £100 for a shared double. Bookings can be made through our guest services team* - please telephone 01865 391991 or email info@denman.org.uk. 

*Please note that these extras are offered where available.

WI Member: From £42.00


Non Member: From £47.00



Come and join us for a great afternoon with the wonderful Jo Pratt who will be demonstrating some fabulous recipes from her new book- The Flexible Pescatarian. For anyone looking to eat less meat, trying to balance their diet, a lover of seafood, or even a dedicated pescatarian looking for inspiration, then this will be right up your street!. Jo’s global recipes are suitable for any occasion, with many providing creative vegetarian alternatives for fish-free days.

 Jo’s latest book The Flexible Pescatarian is packed with tempting recipes that make cooking with fish accessible and easy for anyone. Whether catering for a large group or just for one, Jo’s simple dishes help you get to grips with everything from choosing, buying, storing, preparing and cooking fish and seafood.

Outline of the Event:

 2pm arrival

2.30pm- Cookery Demonstration and Q&A

3.45pm- Premium Afternoon Tea

WI Member: From £57.00


Non member: From £62.00



Like Gin? Then you will love this event! Denman are delighted to offer this fantastic opportunity to visit the Bombay Sapphire Gin Distillery.

Denman tutor, Peter Lawrence, will start the day off at Denman with a light hearted look at the history of brewing and gin distilling in London.....By tapping into the artesian wells beneath London’s clay, brewing has been part of life in the East End of London for centuries.

After a late morning lunch, we will depart and head to the historic Bombay Sapphire Distillery,in rural Hampshire, where you will see the care, skill and artistry behind every drop of Bombay Sapphire. The tour concludes with a complementary drink in the Mill bar.  

On return to Denman you will be greeted with tea and cake before you travel home. Should you wish to stay the evening at Denman, there is an opportunity to book Bed and Breakfast. For more information regarding booking the B&B, please call 01865 391 991.  

 

Outline of the Event:

10am- Arrival

10- 10.30am- Refreshments

10.30-11.45am- Talk by Peter Lawrence

11.45- 12.30pm- Late morning lunch

12.30-13.30- travel by coach to Distillery

2pm- 3.30pm- Tour

3.30-m- 4.30pm Return to Denman

4.30-5pm- Tea, coffee and cake and depart