Category Archives: Events

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Great Missenden Food Festival

Unfortunately, due to the weather, Great Missenden Food Festival has been cancelled.
Please contact the organisers, Love Food Live, with any queries.

Friday 30th March – Monday 2nd April at Chiltern Open Air Museum

This Easter weekend Chiltern Open Air Museum will be hosting the Great Missenden Food Festival. This popular food festival is usually held in Great Missenden, hence the name, but the site usually used for the event has been temporarily commandeered by HS2. Here at Chiltern Open Air Museum we’re quite excited to be the host site for the food festival and we hope it will bring a whole new audience to the Museum.

The food festival, now in its 15th year, is organised by Love Food Live and is a quality food festival featuring celebrity chefs, masterclasses, artisan food producers and general foodie fun for the whole family. Ticketing to this event is separate to the Museum and can be purchased at admission to the rest of the Museum for the entire Easter weekend, and Eggciting Easter event will be by a small donation only.

Here is what you can expect to see at the event:

Celebrity Chefs and Experts

The Baker Brothers
Saturday and Easter Monday – Henry Herbert
When Tom and Henry Herbert aren’t at the frontline of the bakery you may see them on the television or at events performing as their double act The Fabulous Baker Brothers. These brothers have been bringing the ultimate bread and meat combinations to you since 2012, with a series on Channel 4 and More4. When they were growing up Henry decided that Tom had the bread thing covered and that he wouldn’t follow his path but would become a chef. Little did he know that, after a few successful years in London, that the two brothers would end up working next door to each other, Henry as the Butcher and Tom as the Baker.

Paul Jagger

Paul Jagger – Winner of the Christmas Great British Bake Off 2017
All Weekend
Paul Jagger won the Christmas Great British Bake Off in 2017 and was a quarter finalist on The Great British Bake Off 2015. He has earnt himself the nickname as ‘ The Baking Governor’ as he is a serving Prison Governor. Princess Anne has asked Paul to bake her brownies as she visited his place of work. Paul is totally self –taught baker, has years of experience in public speaking, and has a real passion for baking and cake decorating. He was also a Queen’s, Coldstream Guard and believes Real Men Cook, and wants to show that any age can start baking. Paul feels that if you love Baking you should have a go, and with practice it gets better. Baking, and bread making has become something he really loves to teach others to do. He has been asked to do special commissions of bread Sculptures for the Cake and Bake Shows London and Manchester 2016, and has some exciting projects with bread sculptures in 2017. Paul received the only Special Commendation for his Bread Lion on Bake Off, which had huge media coverage.

Stephanie Moon
Friday / Saturday / Sunday
Yorkshire award winning star, Stephanie Moon is a professional Chef Consultant and creator of The Wild Cooks’ Blog. Stephanie is a recognised figure on the Yorkshire food scene and has many accolades to her name including Yorkshire Life Magazine ‘Chef of the Year’, Deliciously Yorkshire Champion, and a Bronze medal in the National 2010 British Culinary Federation ‘Chef of the Year’ competition. As well as being a regular demonstrator at food shows, Stephanie has made appearances on both radio and television including Channel 5 ‘Street Market Chefs 2010’ and represented the North East on BBC2’s ‘Great British Menu 2011, 2012 and 2013.”

Clover Hutson
One of the country’s top cookery masterclass chefs and presenter. Delivering culinary demonstrations nationwide, she brings her flair with food and recipe expertise to budding chefs time and again. Experience her unique and entertaining demonstrations and your cooking genius will be well and truly inspired. Also a food stylist she works on many large TV adverts, branding, cookery books and is the food stylist to the food porn awards. Specialising in accessible, easy and healthy “try at home” recipes that she designs around the whole family being involved and enjoying. As a mum of two, she believes passionately in home cooked family eating and get-togethers. some of the best times can be spent round the table. She is also the owner of Thomas Kitten Cookery, the hugely popular children’s cookery classes and party company based in Harrogate. Inspiring little budding chefs!

Fiona Sciolti
With hundreds of demos under her belt, Fiona has a relaxed and informal style, exuding warmth and a passion for delicious food inspired by her Anglo-Italian heritage. Her demos are always lively and informative and she welcomes audience participation with wit and charm. Although focusing on confectionery, bakes and desserts, she is versatile with all types of food. She has demonstrated at festivals nationwide and has also featured on Channel 4’s Secret Supper Club, ITV’s Alan Titchmarsh Show and was the face of a national TV campaign for the Potato Council. Fiona specializes in demonstrating easy to prepare, thrifty recipes, using natural ingredients. Fiona is always passing on handy hints and tips for the home cook and judging by the feedback she receives, frequently inspires her audience to go home and have a go themselves.

Mark Lloyd
Foraging Walks
Cook, wild food expert, stockman, hunter, fisherman, author, presenter…… renowned for his British wild food knowledge and true farm to fork ethos, he honed his skills in top establishments both in the UK and Europe. Mark has a passion for shooting, fishing and foraging, also rearing his own livestock and an amazing understanding of kitchen gardens and animal husbandry. His talents don’t end there, writing features on wild food for some of the top food publications, including BBC Good Food Magazine, Harrods, Elle and Countryside Alliance. Appearing on TV shows such as River Cottage during his tenure as Head Chef, but also on Great British Waste Menu, Market Kitchen, Hairy Bikers and live slots on BBC Breakfast as a food expert. Mark also runs a training consultancy, wild food and foraging classes, teaches bespoke cookery classes and runs dining events.

David Willis
Bushcraft Workshops
Bushcraft with David Willis provides fun, informative and educational courses that teach outdoor and wilderness living skills, natural history and woodland crafts: Bushcraft 101, Fire and Feast, Whittling and Woodcraft, The Art of Fire, Campfire Bread Baking, Woodland Walks, scheduled courses and private group. David also does campfire bread baking, now who doesn’t like freshly baked bread? There can’t be many folks who don’t love the smell of bread as it comes out of the oven and the comforting warmth and yumminess of fresh bread. How can bread baking get any better? Well it can – we all know how great food tastes when cooked outdoors – so baking bread outdoors over a campfire is probably about as good as it gets!

Interactive Features

Fisher & Paykel Social Kitchen
A chefs table experience. Enjoy tastings of restaurant quality dishes created by our resident chef. Plus celebrity chef meet and greet. Experience is free of charge and reservations can be booked online.

11.30am – Clover Hutson – Squid and Chorizo Risotto – Chilli Lime Chicken Lettuce Cups
12.30pm – Clover Hutson – Grilled peach and panzanella salad – chickpea curry with flatbread
1.30pm – Chocolate Tasting – Fiona Sciolti
2.15pm – Meet: Paul Jagger (GBBO) Fri/Sun – Henry (Baker Brothers) Sat/Mon
3.30pm – Clover Hutson – Cod with parsley sauce – pan fried mackerel with pear and pomegranate slaw

Master Class Theatre
Get hands on and cook along with our resident chefs. Experience is free of charge and reservations can be booked online.

11.30pm – Stephanie Moon – Fri/Sat – Henry Herbert (Baker Brothers) Sun/Mon
1.15pm – Bake with Paul Jagger (GBBO)
2.15pm – How to Cook Fish with Clover Hutson
3.15pm – Confectionery Master Class with Fiona Sciolti
4.15pm – Vegan Baking with Fiona Sciolti – Fri / Sun Bake with Paul Jagger (GBBO) – Saturday/Monday

Broil King BBQ Theatre
Get hands on and cook along with our resident chefs. Experience is free of charge and reservations can be booked online.

11.00am – Vegan BBQ – Stuffed courgette wrapped mushrooms
12.30pm – BBQ Master – Steamed hake
2.00pm – BBQ Master Class – Fiery chicken parcels
3.30pm – BBQ Master Class – Homemade flatbread & salsa

Foraging Walks
Experience is free of charge and reservations can be booked online.
Mark Lloyd – 11.00am, 2.00pm, 3.30pm

Children’s Cookery School & Food Lab
Experience is free of charge and reservations can be booked online.

10.30am – Pizza
12.00pm – Lava Lamps – NEW
12.45pm – Chocolate Egg Nests
2.15pm – Slime – NEW
3.00pm – Biscuits
4.00pm – Bicarb Rockets

New Health & Wellbeing Theatre
Experience is free of charge and reservations can be booked online.
10.45am – Cook Yourself Healthy – Fri / Sat / Sun
11.30am – Introduction to Yoga – Join in Class – Sat/Sun/Mon
12.30pm – Eating Healthy – Cookery Demo
1.30pm – Kids Yoga – Join in Class – Sat/Sun/Mon
2.30pm – GF Pasta/Banana Flour Cookies with Nomad Health
3.30pm – Cook Yourself Healthy – Fri / Sat / Sun

Bushcraft Workshops
Experience is free of charge and reservations can be booked online.

11.30am – Cooking with Foraged Ingredients
1.00pm – Bread Baking Workshops
2.30pm – Campfire Cooking Demonstration
4.00pm – Bread Baking Workshops

Other Features

Children’s Make n Take Craft Area – Children can decorate shapes with paint and glitter
Children’s Story Telling Corner – 11.00am, 1.00pm, 3.00pm
Children’s Easter Egg Hunt
Local Producers
Street Food Avenue
Have a Go Pottery Sessions
Live Music Stage
VIP Experience
Live Music Stage

Timetables are subject to change at the organisers discretion.

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Easter Traditions


My daughter and I love Easter time.  Alex because she gets time off school and me because I love chocolate eggs!

As it is nearly upon us, we were talking about Easter the other day and that set me thinking about what Easter actually is and how its traditions came about?

Easter is a very important time for Christians as it celebrates the death and resurrection of Jesus.  Because Jesus died during the Jewish festival of Passover, the early Christians attached Easter to Passover.

I always get confused as to when Easter actually is as the date varies from year to year.  Apparently this is because the date for Passover is based on a lunar (phases of the moon) calendar, so Easter Day can be as early as 22nd March or as late as 25th April.  That’s because Easter Day is the Sunday following the first full moon after the first day of Spring.  Easter Day is always a Sunday as this is the day when Jesus rose from the dead, giving new life to the world,

Where did the name Easter come from?  Well some people believe it comes from the ancient pagan festival of Ostara which celebrated the coming of Spring and new life after the dark of winter.  This festival, which coincided with the time Jesus died and was resurrected, was taken over by the early Christians to celebrate the new life that Jesus gave the world when he rose from the dead.

The run up to Easter is called Lent which represents the 40 days and nights when Jesus was tempted by the devil in the desert.  As Jesus did not eat or drink during this time, some people give up a favourite food or drink for Lent.  That is why people eat Pancakes on Shrove Tuesday as traditionally it was a way of using up all the fattening ingredients in the house before fasting for Lent.  Clever!  The name Shrove comes from an old English word shriven which means to confess and receive forgiveness for ones sins.  The first day of Lent is called Ash Wednesday which comes from the tradition of putting a small cross of ash on peoples forehead at Ash Wednesday church services to remind them that they rely on God for forgiveness from their sins.  Easter officially ends 49 days after Easter Day with Pentecost or Whitsun, when Christians remember that God sent his Holy Spirit to help them.

What about the eggs, I hear you say?!  Since pagan times, eggs and chickens have symbolised fertility and new life.  The early Christians took over this meaning to help them remember the new life Jesus brought after he rose from the dead.

As we all know, Easter Eggs are brought by the Easter bunny!  During pagan times, hares and rabbits were a symbol of new life as they have such big litters.  The story of the Easter Bunny really took off in the 19th century and over time has evolved into the Easter Bunny bringing chocolate and toys as well as eggs.

Finally, when tucking into my Easter Day lunch, I’ve often wondered why we eat lamb at Easter?  One reason is that many years ago people believed the devil could take the form of any animal except the lamb.  Others believe that Jesus would have eaten lamb at the last supper.

I hope that you will spend some time at the Museum over the Easter holidays as there is lots going on.  I’m off now to buy some chocolate eggs!

By Gill Whitehead
Museum Volunteer


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Culture, Crafts and Communities

culture event at COAM

Culture, Crafts and Communities

Visit Chiltern Open Air Museum on 1 April for our By Donation day and discover how our historic buildings evoke memories for different communities living in the Chilterns.

Anna Pool from the Learning Team writes about how all communities find resonance in our wonderful collection of historic buildings from the Chilterns.

Do you ever go abroad and feel like you are at home in the surroundings? It’s funny how certain environments, buildings or objects resonate with our own personal histories and often visitors to COAM experience this. Perhaps it is because we all share a common experience of everyday life as human beings, despite our age, country of origin, mother tongue, religion or any other factors which can be seen diversive.

Certainly when I first took my Mum on a tour around the Museum I was fascinated by how many memories it brought back for her, particularly the 1940s Prefab. We spent a lot of time in there while my Mum relayed many memories of visits to her Aunt’s Prefab home in the 1950s; of washing clothes in a copper boiler just like the one in the kitchen; of listening to the wireless and of course photographs of my mother, as a baby, being pushed in a pram just like the one in the back bedroom. Sometimes it can be a particular object in a building that holds a personal memory. For me it is the highchair in the prefab’s sitting room which evokes special memories for me, as my Mum had kept a similar one which she used for my brother and I back in the 1970s, and I later used with my eldest child who is now 16. Every time I see it I am transported back in time!

It’s not just visitors from Britain that recognise the economic design of our Prefab. While showing a visitor round recently, I was surprised to hear that she had seen many Prefabs still being used as family homes in rural Russia.

Just next to our Prefab is a Nissen Hut, a military type of building of which there are some examples still around in this area. I have been lucky enough to hear many of our visitors recall memories of their own experiences of these unique buildings.

A similar Nissen Hut was used as a synagogue by the Jewish community in Haversham, near Wolverton, Buckinghamshire during WW2 until it was closed in 1947. The South Bucks Jewish community will be joining us on our opening day at COAM and will be holding their Shabbat service between 10 am – 11 am. Visitors are more than welcome to join the service and I hope to hear one or two stories from the group later in the day!

culture round house

While running education workshops I often hear both adults and children describe how they have seen or done something very similar in their home countries. The Iron Age Roundhouse seems to be a magical place of memories where visitors describe how their grandmother in India still grinds grain using a rotary quern and bakes her bread in a clay oven just like the one they see in the roundhouse. Others have walked towards the building declaring that they are ‘back in Africa’ where round homes are still built using wattle and dorb with a thatched roof.

Even during ‘wash day’ workshops I have talked with visitors from Poland and Czechoslovakia who used to help their mother wash their clothes using a wash tub and wash board; and then there is the unmistakable smell of carbolic soap which can transport any of us over a particular age, right back to our childhood!

I am sure that as you are reading this you are thinking of a building or an object that you may have seen from our collection that has special meaning for you. Please do come along on Saturday 1st April, to see some of the stories and memories we have collected from local community groups who will be joining us to support this spectacular event. And if you have not yet visited COAM then I invite you to come along to our opening event and find out which building evokes the most memories for you! To mark the opening of the Museum for the 2017 season the 1st April will also be a ‘by donation day’ for this day only we are waiving standard admission prices and allowing visitors entry to the Museum by paying a donation only.

Look out for the West Indian Story teller performing during the day at 12 pm, 2 pm and 3 pm, as well as craft demonstrations with opportunities to join in from 11 am – 4 pm including traditional weaving, Iron Age cooking, basketry and traditional thatching demonstrations in our Medieval barn.

We look forward to welcoming you to our multi- cultural day of sharing stories on 1 April, the first day of our new 2017 season.

This special multi-cultural event is kindly funded by Arts Council England.






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Summer Nights to Brighten the Winter Gloom



Taking a look back at our 2016 wedding season there are some amazing photographs of how wonderful our site looks when it’s alive at night.

In the darkness and gloom of winter looking back at our summer season is a good reminder of how magical evenings can be….when the darkness doesn’t descend at 4.30pm.




In addition to our weddings we run several events that allow you to roam the Museum in the evening. Our Enchanted Museum Event is one of them, and we will be running this very special event again on the 13th May 2017. The event has a magical theme and gives visitors the chance to explore the Museum in the evening until 8.30pm.














The unique and different ways that the Museum’s buildings can be used and decorated is fantastic, and the addition of tents, tipis and marquees offers lots of ways to personalise the space.

I’m very excited to be joining the amazing team at COAM as their new Events and Hospitality Team Leader. It’s been a pleasure to look though all these wonderful photographs of the site and I am very much look forward to making all the events and weddings this year as successful as they have been.

tipi-coam-wedding COAM-at-night






Should you have any enquires about weddings, we are currently taking bookings for 2018 onwards. We are always delighted to host such a special occasion.



Caroline Melia
Events and Hospitality Team Leader


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40 Artefacts for 40 Years: Artefact 1 – RAF Cap

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This July the Museum will be celebrating 40 years since it was founded in 1976.

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