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Talisman Butterflies by Brink Contemporary Arts

Arty & Crafty

A day exploring the artistic and cultural side of Kenilworth, from contemporary to some more classical elements, its still a day packed with ideas and inspiration, perfect for sharing together!

Kenilworth may appear as just your average small historic town, but scratch the surface and you’ll discover a vibrant, eclectic and passionate arts scene as well as some great ideas and options for those of an arty and crafty bent.

So, lets kick things off and plan your day over a steaming coffee! We’re big fans of the Forrest Coffee House opposite the Clocktower, not only do they make a top notch brew, but you’ll also find a very cool interior and the option to but locally sourced gifts, products and artwork. Of course, there are plenty of other options and you won’t go wrong with the eclectic vibe at Coffee on the Corner or for something more traditional (but no less great) swing by Ardens in Talisman Square.

Speaking of which, Talisman Square is ground zero for your next stop. Kenilworth Arts Festival has been coordinating volunteers to improve the square, encourage biodiversity and make it a place to linger. Look out for the new butterfly murals (perfect for an Instagram selfie), the wonderful colours in the plants and garden they maintain and you might even have a tinkle on the pink piano outside Kenilworth Books. Check out their FB page to keep up to date with new installations, plans they have for the square and upcoming events. Just across Warwick Road you’ll also find their Pop-up Gallery with rotating monthly exhibitions featuring some amazing work by local photographers and artists of all kinds.

You’ll find quite a few other shops to peruse on Warwick Road, but when you are done take a wander through Abbey Fields to the High Street in Old Kenilworth and make sure to stop by the Farthing Gallery. Owned and run by an artist, this is THE spot in Kenilworth for finding your own piece of local and UK based craft and artwork. Afterwards you might need a refuel, happily there is plenty of choice locally (all housed in suitably historic buildings), Alexa Lauren Patisserie and The Old Bakery are just opposite.

After lunch take you could follow in the footsteps of many artists and photographers and capture you take of the view of Kenilworth Castle from the Mere (JMW Turner created his version in 1832) or for something more contemporary, get inspiration in Abbey Fields and enter your own images in the Friends of Abbey Fields annual photo competition (you’ll find all the past entries on their website). Alternatively, you could get more hands on and dive into a course or class. In the Woolshed, based at East Chase Farm, not only sell natural, hand dyed yarn, they also run workshops to teach you everything from block printing to spinning, weaving, knitting and natural dyeing. You could also get a textile masterclass at the Karen Delahunty Sewing Centre, who offer classes for hand sewing, machine sewing, dress making and knitting.

Perhaps not creative in quite the same vein, but we are big fans of the Cocktail Masterclass run at The Kenilworth, its great fun and you do get to sample your creations too! Its also a funky spot for food with their sharing tapas boards, but there’s so much choice on Warwick Road you’ll be hard pushed to go hungry.

If you still have energy left, why not catch a performance at one of Kenilworth’s TWO theatres? Both the Talisman Theatre and the Priory Theatre host regular plays, exhibitions and performances. You’ll also find plenty of live music options around town although special mention goes to Treehouse Books for their monthly open mic nights and poetry evenings as well as live music, films and other events.