CL Good Life Theatre

At the Good life Theatre our visitors can attend free talks and listen to our expert speakers talk about everything from bee and hen keeping to tips and tricks around farming or how to make your garden look beautiful this spring. Our CL experts will offer insights into their experiences, answer visitor questions and give some top tips and advice.

The CL Good Life Theatre timetable can be found below...

Thu23 APR Fri24 APR Sat25 APR Sun26 APR
11:00Plan your gardener's timetable | David Hurrion, associate editor, BBC Gardeners’ World MagazinePlan your gardener's timetable | David Hurrion, associate editor, BBC Gardeners’ World MagazinePlan your gardener's timetable | David Hurrion, associate editor, BBC Gardeners’ World MagazinePlan your gardener's timetable | David Hurrion, associate editor, BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine
12:00Plan and grow a low maintenance cutting garden | Rachel Siegfried, Green and Gorgeous Flowers in association with Gardens IllustratedPotting up a spring container and connect with nature | Ellen Mary, horticultural broadcaster, Ellen Mary GardeningCOUNTRY LIVING EXPERT: Growing your own food - top tips from a smallholder | Sara Ward, Hen CornerCOUNTRY LIVING EXPERT: Urban hens - keeping chickens in the city | Sara Ward, Hen Corner
13:00COUNTRY LIVING EXPERT: Country Living in conversation with Melissa Hemsley | Host: Emma -Louise Pritchard, digital editor, Country LivingShed Style | Selina Lake, author and stylistCOUNTRY LIVING EXPERT: Country Living in conversation with Michael CainesCOUNTRY LIVING EXPERT: Country Living in conversation with Rahul Mandal
14:00Tell Tale Food - stories from the farm | Julius Roberts, cook, farmer, gardenerGrow your own cut flowers | David Hurrion, associate editor, BBC Gardeners’ World MagazineIndoor hedgerow foraging | Kim Walker & Vicky Chown, Handmade ApothecaryGrow your own cut flowers | David Hurrion, associate editor, BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine
15:00Jekka’s Master Class on How to Use Herbs | Alistair & Jekka McVicarCOUNTRY LIVING EXPERT: Country Living in conversation with Lisa FaulknerZero waste - using the whole vegetable | Kate Saunders, Blackberry CottageCreate a haven for wildlife in your garden | David Hurrion, associate editor, BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine
16:00COUNTRY LIVING EXPERT: Urban hens - keeping chickens in the city | Sara Ward, Hen CornerCOUNTRY LIVING EXPERT: Bees in the city | Sara Ward, Hen CornerPlan your gardener's timetable | David Hurrion, associate editor, BBC Gardeners’ World MagazineShow Closed

Rachel Siegfried - Gardens Illustrated

Session title: Choosing and preparing your site or how to work with what you have available in your garden.
Variety Selection – what to grow for all the elements of an arrangements and to achieve a continual supply of materials throughout the seasons.
How to maintain your plants – when and how to prune and cut back, feeding and watering, supporting and staking.
Picking and conditioning your stems to prolong vase life.
Floral demonstration – arranging with Spring flowering shrubs and perennials.

David Hurrion

Session title: Plan to grow your own – getting the season off to a good start

A calendar of what to grow and when to start sowing and planting for summer crops.
How to choose what to grow for a summer of harvest (attendees will be able to select what is worthwhile for them).
The pros and cons of growing from seed or buying young plants (this will give an understanding of easy crops to grow from seed and which are better to buy as plants).
What to start off indoors from seed (audience will appreciate that some crops need to be started earlier than others and need a longer growing season).
Getting the soil in good condition for bumper crops (a basic understanding that to grow worthwhile crops you need good soil).
Growing in pots and containers (discover what can be grown in containers)
How soon can you expect to pick and use your produce (understand that different crops take different lengths of time to mature).
The benefits of growing your own fresh produce (discover why it is worth growing your own, even in the smallest space).

Sara Ward

Session title 1: Growing your own food - top tips from a smallholder

Session title 2: Urban hens - keeping chickens in the city

Session title 3: Bees in the city

Sara writes a monthly column in The Country Living Magazine called The Good Life in the City where she shares her tips and tricks about everything smallholding, sustainability and delicious recipes. Sara and her family have transformed her London home into an Urban Smallholding. Whilst trying to live more sustainability, they encourage others to do the same through a range of courses and schools programmes . Their weekly micro bakery produces hand made organic bread, buns and treats for the local community along with eggs, honey and preserves.

Melissa Hemsley 

Session title: Country Living in conversation with Melissa Hemlsey

Country living experts and hosts will sit down with Melissa Hemsley to discuss her new cook book 'Eat Green', chat about her career and answer questions from the audience.

Melissa Hemsley is one-half of the Hemsleys, the bestselling authors of The Art of Eating Well and Good + Simple with
a London café HEMSLEY + HEMSLEY at Selfridges in London. Her first solo bestseller, Eat Happy, focused
on fast, delicious 30-minute recipes for busy nights in 2018. Melissa champions fuss-free, big-flavoured food
and shows how anyone can enjoying cooking affordable, healthy recipes.

Michael Caines

Session title: Country Living in conversation with Michael Caines

Country living experts and hosts will sit down with Michael to discuss his career, future plans, recipes and answer questions from the audience.

Michael Caines MBE is one of the UK’s most celebrated and acclaimed chefs. Over the past fifteen years, he has also proved himself to be a successful and imaginative hotelier.The holder of two Michelin stars for 18 consecutive years, Michael has built his reputation on a highly personal and distinctive modern cuisine that celebrates the finest local and seasonal produce and ingredients from Devon and the South West and draws on influences from his travels around the world.

Amongst his many accolades, Michael cooked in 10 Downing Street for the Prime Minister, was awarded AA Chef’s Chef of the Year in 2007, and received and MBE in 2006 for services to the hospitality industry. In 2015 he was made freeman of the City of Exeter “in recognition of his outstanding services to the field of cookery which has led to Exeter’s name being known around the world as one which supports cookery''. Michael appears regularly on Saturday Kitchen, and has made numerous appearances on MasterChef, The Great British Menu, Sunday Brunch and other broadcasts.

Rahul Mandal

Session title: Country Living in conversation with Rahul Mandal

Country living experts and hosts will sit down with Rahul to talk about hsi time at the Great British Bake Off, how is life has changed, whats in stall for the future and answer questions from the audience.

Rahul is winner of The Great British Bake Off 2018. Throughout the series he received three Hollywood Handshakes, and was awarded Star Baker twice, and even though it was sometimes a rocky road towards the end, he was crowned winner!

Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith judged 12 Bakers with 30 Challenges over 10 weeks for the ninth series of The Great British Bake Off 2018.  From those Selfie Portrait Biscuits in Week 1 to a Tiered Korovai in Bread Week - to Melting Chocolate Desserts in the heat of the summer, and then onto the infamous Spiced Biscuit Chandelier - the Finalists kept going through to a Vegan and Danish week and finally rose to the challenge of the Parisian Window Showstopper as they battled it out in the iconic white tent.

Julius Roberts

Session title: Tell tale food - Stories from the farm.

Julius Roberts is a first-generation farmer and restaurant trained cook, telling the tale of a life in the British countryside, his experience and expert advice.

Having previously trained at noble rot in London, he decided to channel his culinary skills into a journey towards self-sufficiency, transforming his garden in Suffolk into a productive farm. At the heart of Julius’ food lies his passion for sustainability. He is a great advocate of cooking with local ingredients whenever possible. He often works with produce he has grown on his farm, or foraged in the surrounding woods, using his creativity to bring field to plate.

David Hurrion

Session title: Grow your own cut flowers

Choosing different types of plants for flowers and foliage - shrubs, climbers, perennials, bulbs, biennials and annuals (audience will be able to make use of their existing plants and understand that some plants will come back year after year, while others will need replanting or sowing to provide blooms).
Easy flowers to grow from seeds and bulbs (this will give an understanding of easy crops that don’t require too much specialist equipment or knowledge to grow them).
Cut and come again flowers for summer and seasonal flowers (discover the sorts of flowers that produce lots of blooms to cut over a long season and which are strictly seasonal).
What to plant for foliage (audience will understand the benefits of having plenty of greenery to cut both for homegrown flowers as well as to augment shop-bought bunches).
Selecting the best part of your garden for a cutting plot (give audience a basic understanding that to grow worthwhile cut flowers a well-lit situatiion).
Growing in pots and containers (discover what can be grown in containers)
The benefits of having flowers and foliage for cutting from your garden (discover why it is worth growing your own, even in the smallest space).
Easy, simple arrangements and what to display them in (understanding that just a few flowers will brighten your home and learning the basics of arranging to make sure they look their best every time).

Jekka’s Master Class on How to Use Herbs

Session title: Jekka’s Master Class on How to Use Herbs

Practical tips on which part to use and how to use herbs in the Kitchen and Home
Herbs have been used by man since records began. It is only in the last century that we, in the UK, have lost the knowledge of knowing which part of the plant to use, how much to use and which time of year it is best to sow and harvest. The combination of herbs with food is not only for flavour but also to aid digestion for as Hippocrates said ‘Let medicine be your food and food be your medicine’. You will learn not only how to turn a meal into a feast but also how to preserve herbs for use throughout the year, both for medicinal and culinary use.

Lisa Faulkner

Session title: Country Living in conversation with Lisa Faulkner

Country living experts and hosts will sit down with Lisa to discuss everything Celebrity Master Chef and her journey since she won back in 2010.

In 2010 Lisa won BBC 1′s Celebrity Master Chef and has since gone on a remarkable food journey. In the spring of 2019 Lisa’s new cookery show launched on ITV, John & Lisa’s Weekend Kitchen became an instant hit on Sunday mornings and along side her husband John Torode – they have gone to make a further 3 series with more to come in 2020.
In 2012 Lisa’s first cookery book was published, Recipes From My Mother For My Daughter and became an instant bestseller, reaching number one in The Times non-fiction list. Lisa’s second cookbook The Way I Cook was published in September 2013. Her third book, Tea and Cake was published in February 2015 also becoming a bestseller. Lisa’s latest cookery book From Mother to Mother was published in Spring 2017.

Kate Saunders

Session title: Zero Waste, Using The Whole Vegetable

Kate is very keen to inspire you to use the whole vegetable, zero waste. There is also a lot of nutrients in the other parts of the vegetables that get thrown away, come along and have a taste.
Whether it is carrot top pesto, sautéed beetroot tops, sweet potato skin chips and other great tips, you will be amazed at what you can use and how wonderful they taste.

David Hurrion

Session title: Create a haven for wildlife in your garden

Doing your bit for wildlife and they in turn will help your garden stay pest free.
Looking at the diversity of different life in a garden, balcony or even windowboxes – whatever your growing space, there is wildlife that will take up residence (audience will understand that different types of wildlife can use different elements of a plot for food or other aspects of their life cycle).
How wildlife can help the gardener by creating a natural balance to control pests and do away with the need for chemicals (discover the web of life and life cycles and understand that a pest problem only occurs when nature in not in balance).
Why chemical controls can often cause more problems that we assume they will solve (understand that chemical controls can kill benefical AND pest species and may solve the problem in the short term only for it to return with a vengeance).
How adapting garden techniques are the best way to help wildlife (audience will discover that the practical tasks and methods used in gardening can be easily adapted to help wildlife).
Which are the best plants for providing food and shelter for garden wildlife (discover that it is important to provide for garden wildlife all year round and learn about plant ranges that help the most).
Ways to provide additional shelter and habitats for garden wildlife in the garden (find out if it is worth putting up nest boxes, creating ponds, hedgehog habitats etc and if you could do ONE thing what is best – depending on your garden).

Ellen Mary

Session title: Potting up a spring container and connect with nature

It’s the perfect time of year to be adding a splash of spring colour in the garden, no matter what size space is available. I will pot up a fun, colourful container with a spring twist while talking about the garden and how understanding growing plants and vegetables can help us understand the planet in more detail, allowing us to connect with nature for well being.

Selina Lake

Session title: Selina Lake Garden Styling

Meet renowned Author & Stylist Selina Lake as she shares her styling tips for your shed and garden as well as her inspirations behind her photo-shoots for Country Living and her latest book Shed Style.