Country Life rounds up the best things to see, do and book this week: go racing in Surrey, enjoy Christmas shopping in Hertfordshire or book tickets to a wreath-making event with the Queen's florist.


December 3 Betfair Tingle Creek Chase Day, Sandown Park, Esher, Surrey. Grade-1 racing plus festive family entertainment including horse-drawn carriage rides, a pantomime and carol singing. Tickets from £25
(01372 477747;


December 6 Pop-up shop at AVW Antiques, Lillie Road, London SW6. An evening of English antiques and taxidermy combined with luxury eiderdowns and cushions from Counting Lambs and Stella Cushions. 6pm–9pm
(020–7386 1888;

Until December 18 St Albans Christmas Market, Hertfordshire. European-style market with some 60 stalls located in and around the beautiful, walled Vintry Garden. On December 17, there will be carols every hour, on the hour, from 11am to 4pm, in the cathedral


December 9 and 10 A Christmas Magic Show!, The British Library, Euston Road, London NW1. Tricks and illusions perfected by the Victorians and still just as awe-inspiring today, plus a spot of ventriloquism. Various times, tickets from £5
(; 01937 546 546)


Until December 4, ‘The Horse in Art’, National Heritage Centre for Horseracing & Sporting Art, Newmarket, Suffolk. The Society of Equestrian Artists’ annual open exhibition, including paintings, drawings, sculptures and original prints, finds a new home this year at the former National Horseracing Museum. Free entry
(; 0300 0110 185)

Until December 11 Royal Institute of Oil Painters Annual Exhibition, Mall Galleries, London SW1. Works by exciting young artists such as Daisy Sims Hilditch are shown alongside much-admired and established members. All works will be for sale. Admission £3
(020–7930 6844;


December 1 Kids for Kids Candlelit Christmas Concert, St Peter’s Church, Eaton Square, London SW1. The Thames Fanfare Brass and the choirs of Queen’s Gate School perform in aid of children in Darfur. Hosted by news presenter Julie Etchingham and featuring patron Joanna Lumley. Concert at 7pm,
followed by mulled wine and mince pies. Donations from £15.50

Book now

December 12 Christmas wreath-making evening with The Queen’s florist aboard HMY Britannia, Leith, Edinburgh. Enjoy a red-carpet welcome followed by a 1½ hour workshop with Royal Warrant holder Judy Reid—florist to Holyrood House and Balmoral—plus a ‘behind-the-ropes’ tour and refreshments. 6pm–9pm, £65pp
(; 0131–555 5566)