Past Worton Nights

The Oxley – Meier Guitar Project

Date: 20 May 2023
Time: 19:00 - 23:00

Pete Oxley and Nicolas Meier are well known to Worton audiences from many previous performances and are most welcome back on their 2023 UK tour. Their original compositions encompass Arabic, Eastern European, Latin American and Jazz influences that will dazzle and delight.

The Oxley – Meier Guitar Project was established ten years ago, following their tenure in the unique quartet, ‘Eclectica!’ In that decade, they have recorded 7 albums together, ranging from duet to quintet formats, and have performed literally hundreds of concerts together throughout the UK and Europe.

Their music falls into the ‘jazz’ category, as there is improvisation (as a major element) in each piece. However, the soundscapes are very much influenced from their various travels, this summarised by their strap-line: “soundscapes from Turkey to Brazil”. As a result, Oxley and Meier have performed in many of the top venues in jazz, world music and classical venues including Ronnie Scott’s, the Musicport Festival and The Wigmore Hall.

Expect an evening of joyous varied fare, performed by these two seriously established musicians which The Observer described thus:

“When it comes to empathy, the duet of guitar virtuosi comes close to perfection”

…Or if you are a fan of the ECM supergroup, Oregon, this quote from Ralph Towner will resonate:

“This album is a wonderful example of the high level of music that can be made by combining two great guitarists/composers/improvisers such as Pete and Nicolas. They have put together a feast of virtuosity, delivered wit depth, wit and joy.”

For this concert, The Oxley-Meier Guitar Project will be performing brand-new music from their latest release, ‘Mercurial Indigo’.

The evening will start with drinks in the beautiful Worton Gardens from 7pm. Pete and Nick will play two sets and a delicious one-course seasonal dinner will be served between the sets. The ticket price covers a drink with dinner whether wine, beer or a soft drink, dinner and, of course, the music.

Colin Tudge – Six Steps Back to the Land

Date: 21 May 2022
Time: 19:00 - 23:00

Colin Tudge is a biologist, science writer and author. He has been on the staff of Farmers’ Weekly, New Scientist, and BBC Radio 3. He has a passion for food and agriculture. He is closely involved in The Campaign for Real Farming and the Funding Enlightened Agriculture network which support SMEs in the sustainable food and farming sector.

Colin Tudge coined the expression “Enlightened Agriculture” to describe agriculture that is “expressly designed to provide everyone, everywhere, with food of the highest standard, nutritionally and gastronomically, without wrecking the rest of the world”. In Six Steps Back to the Land, he explains how we can achieve that, and have truly sustainable, resilient and productive farms:

  • Why we need to rethink our approach to farming
  • How we can move to low-input mixed farms
  • Tightly-integrated farms employ many skilled people
  • Dealing with the practicalities of this form of farming in today’s world
  • How we can get involved
  • Six Steps will inspire anyone to take an interest in our food chain and make a difference.

The evening will comprise a talk from Colin inspired by his book Six Steps Back to the Land followed by a 3 course dinner of seasonal foods grown at WKG. The event will take place in our heated glasshouse. Your ticket price will include the talk, the dinner and a signed copy of one of Colin’s books to take away.


Date: 30 Apr 2022
Time: 19:00 - 23:00

A mixture of discussion, demonstrations and the odd “experiment”, this interactive evening will give those of you who missed his earlier show a chance to explore the world of taste and our senses with one of the world experts in the field. Based at the Cross Modal Research laboratory in Oxford, Charles has worked frequently with chefs around the world including Heston Blumenthal, Ferran Adria and Kitchen Theory’s Jozef Youssef. Charles will be be speaking about Gastrophysics and explaining some of the myriad factors that affect the way we experience the food we eat.

The evening will begin at 7pm with drinks and a chance to chat with Charles. We will then serve a 3 course dinner interspersed with talks and experiments to make you change the way you experience tastes and flavours. Dinner itself will be the usual delicious Worton fare but will be edited to illustrate some of the ideas being discussed. The evening will finish around 11pm.

The Oxley – Meier Guitar Project

Date: 16 Apr 2022
Time: 19:00 - 23:00

The Oxley Meier Guitar Project is a unique duo, very much straddling contemporary jazz with world music. Both leaders have travelled widely, bringing various influences to their compositions from, for example, Indonesia, North and South America and Turkey. There may be 10 differing types of guitars (including fretless 11-string, sitar guitar, electric and acoustic 12 strings…), used to deliver a truly broad expanse of varied soundscapes for the listener.

This is a duo that likes to make full use of the dynamic range, from the most tender of ballads to pieces of full-on power. They have performed in all sorts of places, from Ronnie Scott’s (most recently, two months ago) to The Wigmore Hall to the Musicport World Music Festival and many other jazz festivals.

Both guitarists are prolific composers, having released at least 35 critically acclaimed CDs featuring their original works (Pete is one of only a handful of British jazz composers to have his pieces included in the ‘European Real Book’ [Sher Publishing])

This promises to be a night of scintillating fare, engaging and appealing to anybody interested in (guitar!) music.

“When it comes to empathy, this duet of guitar virtuosi comes close to perfection” ~ The Observer

“Not just a guitar album to love, a jazz album to savour, but a joyous album of music that reaches towards a goal beyond “ ~ Jazzwise

“These two resourceful maestros reach out to a wide audience” ~ The Guardian

The evening will comprise two sets with an interval for a light meal. The ticket price includes your first glass of beer or wine and a one course seasonal meal. The event will take place in our heated glasshouse.

Worton Nights – The Mad Professor Returns!

Date: 04 Dec 2021
Time: 19:00 - 23:00

At last we have a date for our first Worton Night event of the year. Saturday 4th December will mark the first dinner and talk since early 2020. It has been a long period of abstinence but we are delighted to be scheduling new talks, concerts, tastings and more for the New Year.

First up is a reprise of a much earlier talk by my brother, Professor Charles Spence, Head of the Cross-Modal Research Group at Oxford University. Charles will be talking about his most recent book., Gastrophysics: The New Science of Eating. Part education, part amusement and part experiment, the evening will be framed around a dinner designed to trick your senses and elucidate some of Charles’ theories.

Entertaing, informative and delicious, this should be a great opening talk for the new series of Worton Nights. Tickets are available on Eventrbrite.