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Read on for the movers-and-shakers' guide to this week’s hottest news, openings and upcoming events (spoilers, incoming)

Grayson Perry House for Essex
Grayson Perry’s ‘A House for Essex’ overlooking the River Stour. Photo: Jack Hobhouse

Outstanding Natural Beauty

With a rich tapestry of salt marshes and mudflats, rivers and nature reserves, locals have always known that certain pockets of Essex are pretty breathtaking – but now it’s official! This week, plans to expand the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty were announced, which means that the special-status area will now incorporate swathes of Essex countryside south of the River Stour – namely the waterfront stretch from Manningtree to the edge of Parkeston, including Mistley, Bradfield and Wrabness – already famed as the home of Grayson Perry’s ambitious art project ‘A House for Essex‘. Wellies at the ready, people.

The Ongar Deli

Introducing The Ongar Deli

Brentwood-dwellers, rejoice: The Ongar Deli just opened its doors in Chipping Ongar High Street and it’s set to become a foodie favourite, fast. Run by Sophie John and Billy Webb, the deli’s focus is on locally sourced organic fare, serving up everything from artisan breads and breakfast boxes to Chai lattes and superfood smoothies. Not in the area? Check out a selection of more Essex foodie hangouts here.

Car Park Party

Car Park Party

Missing the buzz of watching comedy/theatre/musicals live? We’re with you. Luckily, so is Car Park Party, which – with the help of world-famous The Comedy Store, festival favourites Massaoke, and award-winning Birmingham Stage Company – is bringing all the live entertainment you can handle from the driving seat. So what’s the deal? From 31 July to 1 August, you’re invited to pull up American-drive-thru-style into Chelmsford City Racecourse for a summer hit of high spirits. Watch live comedy acts and theatre (hello, Horrible Histories: Barmy Britain), or crank up the volume with Car Park Karaoke (opt for A Night At The Musicals or Back To The ’80s). This is one big socially distanced dose of feel-good fun and we love it. Book your tickets here or head over to Muddy Essex on Instagram for a chance to win two parking spots. Toot toot, beep beep!

Tapp'd cocktails

Get Tapp’d

Craving cocktail o’clock but keen to swerve the crowds? Leigh-on-Sea’s Tapp’d Cocktails has you covered. Serving up the UK’s only handcrafted, mixologist-quality bottled cocktail range, Tapp’d is a stickler for only using organic fruit, ethically sourced coffee and premium aged spirits (cue one kickass Espresso Martini), which means you’re guaranteed a garden party to remember. Just add ice. Now offering Same-day delivery to all SS, RM, CM, IG and CO postcodes, see here for further details and menu options. 

Find more ideas here

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