Milton Keynes Flexes its Cultural Muscles

Milton Keynes, in Buckinghamshire, UK, has been expanding its horizons and hosting a number of cultural events and activities this summer, continuing over the coming weeks.

A town that has seen continuous growth since being classified by the government as a ‘New Town’ in the 1960’s, to help cater for the population overspill from London, Milton Keynes has been chosen as the headquarters for a number of major businesses and organisations, including the Open University.

The Milton Keynes Summer of Culture 2012 Exhibition is currently open until September 21 at the town’s Central Library. Celebrating the major events and organisations that are unique to Milton Keynes, the exhibition looks at the past, present and future heritage, arts, sports and wider cultural stories. The exhibition is free, although there may be charges for some activities, and it promises an engaging look at Milton Keynes with family fun activities along the way.

Also free of charge is the open-air cinema in Campbell Park on August 18 and 19. No booking is necessary, with those attending recommended to bring their own chair. Details of the family films to be screened are available at www.theparkstrust.com.

The Stony Paint Jam also takes place on August 18 and 19 at Stony Stratford. The free to attend event will see artists gathering en masse to create joint murals in public spaces.

Milton Keynes multicultural diversity will be on show at the EF Festival, which take place in Campbell Park on August 25 and 26. The EF festival will showcase the best Islamic artists in the UK in calligraphy, geometric art design and fashion. Audiences will engage in workshops, performances, shows and exhibitions. Once again, the event is free to attend.

Adhering to the multicultural theme, Milton Keynes offers an eclectic range of restaurants that draw their culinary inspiration from across the globe. Southern and Eastern European, Asian and American kitchens are all represented in the town, with one restaurant, the Red Hot World Buffet, offering buffet-style choices from several cultural destinations all under one roof.

Situated on Savoy Crescent in the town’s Theatre District, the Red Hot World Buffet includes dishes on its menu from China, Japan, Thailand, India, Mexico and Italy. The restaurant also has live counters, including a made to order Chinese stir-fry bar where diners can choose their own fresh meats and vegetables, which are then prepared by the chef.

Whether it is portraying its culture or providing fine-dining opportunities, Milton Keynes is upping its game this Olympic summer. Just 50 miles from the bustle of London, it is ready to offer visitors its own alternative take on the British way of life.