Country Life rounds up the best things to see, do and book over the next few weeks.

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A royal afternoon tea

May 1-May 31 –  Transatlantic Royal Wedding Afternoon Tea, Royal Horseguards Hotel, London

The hotel’s latest afternoon tea takes inspiration from both sides of the pond to celebrate the upcoming wedding of HRH Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. The sweet treats include red velvet cupcakes and Victoria sponge alongside  mini pecan pies and blueberry cheesecake, variously decorated with golden crowns and stars and stripes  – you get the idea. £39.50 per person, including a glass of Taittinger.

www.guoman.com/RoyalHorseguardsRoyalAfternoonTea

Royal afternoon tea at the Royal Horseguards Hotel in London

 

Theatre

April 25–May 5 – ‘Sherlock Holmes: The Final Curtain’, Theatre Royal, Bath

World premiere of the thriller that sees the retired detective with a new mystery to solve, with Robert Powell as the sleuth. Tickets from £21.50.

www.theatreroyal.org.uk/event/sherlock-holmes-the-final-curtain

Cinema

July 13, 14, 20 and 21 – Withnail and I at Sleddale Hall, Shap, Cumbria

This screening of the cult film at ‘Uncle Monty’s cottage’ is the ultimate outdoor-cinema experience, with food, an onsite bar, games, dancing and compulsory camping. Entry from 5.30pm, tickets £45 including evening meal. Luxury furnished bell tents available at extra cost.

picniccinema.co.uk

April 25-May 25 – Akram Khan’s Giselle, various venues, nationwide

This reimagining of the classic story of love, betrayal and redemption from English National Ballet is now being shown at cinemas around the UK for the first time.

www.ballet.org.uk

Game Fair

July 27–29 – The Game Fair, Ragley Hall, Warwickshire

The 60th-anniversary year will see gundog scurries, falconry and fishing demonstrations plus live music from Ronnie Scott’s and food by TV chef James Martin. Adult tickets from £27.

www.thegamefair.org

Literature

April 22–29 – Stratford Literary Festival, Stratford Arts House, Stratford-upon-Avon

Discussion of topics such as the #MeToo movement and the threat to Nature in the UK, a celebration of Mary Shelley and the words and music that emerged from the First World War plus events for children including a Tiger Who Came to Tea party.

www.stratfordliteraryfestival.co.uk

April 24-27 – Women’s Prize for Fiction celebrations, Gower Street, London

A programme of events in the wake of the announcement of the 2018 shortlist for best fiction writing by women, hosted by Kate Mosse at Waterstones in Gower Street. Events will include readings, a discussion of Emily Brontë’s work on her bicentenary, comedy and cocktail making with event sponsor Baileys.

www.womensprizeforfiction.co.uk

June 16–24 – Jane Austen Regency Week: Various venues, Hampshire

Jane Austen fans

Nine-day festival celebrating the author, with events in and around Alton and Chawton. Highlights include Regency Day in Alton – with carriage rides, costumes, market stalls, a period-dancing workshop and a Regency ball – and a curated tour of Chawton House followed by a cream tea.

www.janeaustenregencyweek.co.uk

Bats

April 26 – Bat Walk, Knoll Gardens, Hampreston, Dorset

A special evening stroll using the latest technology and Jan Freeborn’s expertise to identify the bats you see and hear. From 7.45pm, standard garden admission applies.

www.knollgardens.co.uk

Guns

April 21 – The Antique Arms Fair, Olympia London, Hammersmith

Event for collectors of antique arms, armour and militaria with more than 40 dealers from around the world. General admission £10, 9am–3pm.

www.antiquearmsfair.com

Dog kennels

April 26 – Auction of bespoke dog kennels, BowWow Haus, London

Seventy one-off kennels, designed and built by architects, artists, designers and builders and currently on display around the capital, are being sold in aid of the Blue Cross. Online bids are currently open and will merge with the live auction at St Pancras Renaissance Hotel London on April 26.

www.bowwowhauslondon.co.uk

Fancy dog kennel - Drew Gardner

Stately home tour

May 2 – Invitation to View Bridwell Park, Uffculme, Devon

Lord Mountbatten, who has lived at the Georgian house with his family since 1997, will lead a guided tour of the main house, parkland and ancient chapel. From 2pm, tickets £35, including cream tea. Further tours will take place throughout the year.

www.invitationtoview.co.uk/properties/bridwell-park

Environmental conference

April 25 – A River Runs Through It, Ivy House Country Hotel, Oulton Broad, Suffolk

Speakers from the environmental, academic and arts worlds on the topic of rivers, with a musical interlude, lunch and an optional guided walk. Tickets £40, 10am–3.45pm.

waveneyandblytharts.com

Design workshop

May 15 – Cressida Bell Lampshade Painting Workshop, Upside Down Design, York

Create your own lampshade with the British designer’s help, develop your understanding of pattern and colour and learn to use stencils and templates. 11am–5pm, £150pp including lunch and materials.

www.priddenprandevents.com

Exhibitions

21 April-8 July 2018 – ‘Paul Feiler: One Hundred Years’, Jerwood Gallery, Hastings

A celebration of the life and work of Paul Feiler (1918-2013),  one of the foremost figures of the Modern Art movement emanating from the South West of England.

www.jerwoodgallery.org/whatson/62/one-hundred-years

April 18–June 24 – ‘Raw Materials: Textiles’, Nunnery Gallery, Bow Arts, London

Exploration of the history of textiles along the River Lea Valley, from the 17th century to today, using archive material and newly commissioned artworks.

www.bowarts.org

April 20–May 26 – ‘Norman Ackroyd: Travels with Copper and Wax’, One Paved Court, Richmond, Surrey

Early and recent works by one of our leading landscape artists working in watercolour and etching. The show coincides with Mr Ackroyd’s 80th birthday.

onepavedcourt.co.uk

Until May 20 – ‘Neo-Romantic Book Illustration in Britain 1943–1955’, Heath Robinson Museum, Pinner, north London

Works by John Minton, Keith Vaughan, Edward Bawden and many more showing the new spirit of romanticism in book and magazine illustration after the Second World War.

www.heathrobinsonmuseum.org

Until May 19 – ‘Out of Egypt’, The Gallery, Gosport Discovery Centre, Hampshire

Family-friendly display of genuine artefacts placed in the tombs of the ancient Egyptians for the afterlife, including scarabs, mummified animals, masks, wrappings and jewellery. Free admission, suggested donation of £3.

www.hampshireculturaltrust.org.uk

Until January 27, 2019 – ‘The Poppy: A Symbol of Remembrance’, National War Museum, Edinburgh Castle

Exploration of the symbolism of the poppy, from John McCrae’s In Flanders Fields to the inaugural ‘poppy day’ in 1921 and the first poppies to come out of the factory established by Lady Haig in 1926. Free admission with entry to the castle.

www.nms.ac.uk

March 24-June 17 – ‘The Art of Industry: From Joseph Wright to the 21st Century’, Derby Museum and Art Gallery, Derby

A new exhibition at Derby Museum and Art Gallery which looks back at the region’s industrial history through both historic artefacts and artistic interpretation. Highlights include photographs by Simon Mackney that recreate Joseph Wright’s portrait of Sir Richard Arkwright with modern day business people including Liz Fothergill.

www.derbymuseums.org/locations/museum-art-gallery

March 31-June 27 – ‘Gerald Scarfe: Stage and Screen’, The Gallery, Winchester Discovery Centre, Hampshire

Exploration of the The Sunday Times’ political cartoonist’s extensive work in film, opera and ballet design, from Pink Floyd’s The Wall to English National Ballet’s The Nutcracker. Free admission, suggested donation £3.

www.hampshireculturaltrust.org.uk

March 30–September 30 – Outdoor Sculpture and Indoor Art Exhibitions at The Walled Gardens, Croome Court, near High Green, Worcestershire

A series of exhibitions showcasing the works of various artists, including sculpture, landscapes, wildlife paintings, glasswork and embroidery. All pieces will be offered for sale. Standard admission applies.

www.croomewalledgardens.com

March 24-June 24 – ‘Queen Victoria in Paris’, The Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle, Co Durham

One of only four UK venues – and the only one in the north of England – to stage this exhibition of watercolours commissioned to commemorate the monarch’s 1855 state visit to Paris. The works are on loan from the Royal Collection.

www.thebowesmuseum.org.uk

Until April 29 – ‘4 Artists–Four Aspects’, Boat House Gallery, Flatford, Suffolk

Works by four painters living on the Essex/Suffolk border, exploring their individual responses to the landscape.

www.nationaltrust.org.uk/flatford

Plants and gardens

April 22 – NGS opening of The Garden at Miserden, near Stroud, Gloucestershire

This garden has evolved around the atmospheric gabled house (not open) since the 18th century, with old stone walls and yew hedges, elegant gateways and views out to the surrounding countryside. Long double borders where spring bulbs decorate the young growth of perennials are a famous feature, but it’s primarily a delightful place to spend time at this time of year. 10am–5pm. Admission £7.50, children free.

www.ngs.org.uk/find-a-garden/garden/5006/

May 5 – The Lawn School, Hadlow College, Tonbridge, Kent

Lectures and hands-on demonstrations suitable for both beginners and professionals. All attendees will receive a lawn-care certificate. Tickets £65 including lunch and refreshments, 9am–5pm.

www.davidhedges-gower.com

April 10–May 23 – Fife Spring Trail, various locations

Twelve privately owned gardens will open for charity as part of Scotland’s Gardens Scheme, with bluebell and daffodil woodlands, natural plantings of rhododendrons and spring-flowering shrubs and formal plantings. Tickets £25.

scotlandsgardens.org

May 2 – Open House & Gardener’s Q&A, Fetcham Park, Fetcham, Surrey

Explore the Grade II*-listed house – with murals by Louis Laguerre – and gardens, which were the final completed work of George London and boast a 300-year-old avenue of trees. After, local historian Vivien White will talk about the garden’s history and BBC Radio Kent gardener Jean Griffin will chair a Q&A. 5.30pm–9pm, tickets £25, including a glass of wine.

www.perennial.org.uk/events

May 11 – Stylish Summer Containers, Petersham Nurseries, Church Lane, Richmond-upon-Thames

things to do

Masterclass with horticultural experts, who will demonstrate how to plant seasonal containers for spectacular summer displays and provide helpful tips and advice. 11am–12.30pm, £30pp

http://petershamnurseries.com; 020–8332 8665

May 22-26 – Jardin Blanc at RHS Chelsea Flower Show, Royal Hospital Chelsea, London SW3

Raymond Blanc’s premium hospitality experience, set in a private garden. Opt for an afternoon-tea package, an evening experience or a whole day, including entrance tickets, meals designed by M. Blanc, Champagne, cocktails and entertainment. Guests can come and go as they please throughout the day. From £225pp

0845 268 0251; www.rhs.org.uk

Music

May 12–26 – Newbury Spring Festival, various venues, Berkshire

Series of concerts in west Berkshire churches by artists including Sir John Tomlinson, Ex Cathedra, Joe Stilgoe, Ruby Hughes, Natalie Clein, Julius Drake, YolanDa Brown, the Schubert Ensemble and Llyr Williams.

www.newburyspringfestival.org.uk

May 16 – Buxton International Festival Spring Recital, Haddon Hall, Bakewell, Derbyshire

Recital by a string quintet from the Northern Chamber Orchestra, with drinks and canapés, plus an opportunity to explore the Rose Garden and grounds. Tickets £50.

www.buxtonfestival.co.uk

July 28-August 25 – Dartington International Summer School and Festival concerts and events, Dartington Hall, Totnes, Devon

Bumper celebration of the Summer School’s 70th anniversary with a different theme each week: The Heavens, Moon and Stars; Bach’s St Matthew Passion; powerful women; and the history of Dartington and Dorothy Elmhirst’s influence.

www.dartington.org

Have fun, give to charity

April 21 – The Dubarry Horn & Hound Ball, Cheltenham Racecourse

A Champagne reception, a bespoke iPad auction and a delicious three-course dinner followed by dancing and the National Horn Blowing Competition, all in aid of the Hunt Staff Benefit Society. Tickets £100 each, corporate packages also available.

www.hsbs.org.uk

May 19 – Annual Kids for Kids Ambassadors’ Ball, Hyatt Regency London, The Churchill, Portman Square, London W1

The theme of this year’s ball is ‘A Royal Evening’ and the event will include a Champagne reception, a gourmet three-course dinner, a charity auction, a raffle and dancing. 6pm–1am, tickets £105pp or £1,000 for a table of 10. The dress code is black tie and ballgowns.

contact@kidsforkids.org.uk; www.kidsforkids.org.uk/event

Exhibitions

Until May 20 – ‘Neo-Romantic Book Illustration in Britain 1943–1955’, Heath Robinson Museum, Pinner, north London

Works by John Minton, Keith Vaughan, Edward Bawden and many more showing the new spirit of romanticism in book and magazine illustration after the Second World War.

www.heathrobinsonmuseum.org

Until May 19 – ‘Out of Egypt’, The Gallery, Gosport Discovery Centre, Hampshire

Family-friendly display of genuine artefacts placed in the tombs of the ancient Egyptians for the afterlife, including scarabs, mummified animals, masks, wrappings and jewellery. Free admission, suggested donation of £3.

www.hampshireculturaltrust.org.uk

Until January 27, 2019 – ‘The Poppy: A Symbol of Remembrance’, National War Museum, Edinburgh Castle

Exploration of the symbolism of the poppy, from John McCrae’s In Flanders Fields to the inaugural ‘poppy day’ in 1921 and the first poppies to come out of the factory established by Lady Haig in 1926. Free admission with entry to the castle.

www.nms.ac.uk

Until July 13 – ‘Arabian Horse: From the Desert to the World’, National Heritage Centre for Horseracing & Sporting Art, Palace House, Newmarket

A celebration of the world’s oldest horse breed and the centenary of the Arab Horse Society, with the first mapped genome of an Arab, plus paintings, prints and artefacts.

www.palacehousenewmarket.co.uk

Until May 20 – ‘Inheritance: Norwich Castle Open Art Show’, Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery, Norfolk

A showcase of East Anglian talent comprising 129 works by 116 artists, all in response to the theme of ‘inheritance’.

www.museums.norfolk.gov.uk

Until May 4 – ‘The Englishness of English Painting Part III’, Crane Kalman Gallery, Brompton Road, London

Works by David Bomberg, Alan Lowndes, Mary New-

comb, John Piper, Graham Sutherland and many more.

www.cranekalman.com

Until April 21 – ‘Elisabeth Frink: sculptures, drawings, prints’, Bucks County Museum, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire

Works exploring the impact of war on humans and animals, the expression of emotions and aggression and links with mythology. The exhibition was inspired by the Lloyds Bank bronze horse sculpture in Milton Keynes and commemorates the 25th anniversary of the artist’s death.

www.buckscountymuseum.org

Until April 15 – ‘Heath Robinson: Dreams and Machines’, Mottisfont, near Romsey, Hampshire

Known as the Gadget King, the artist was known for his eccentric and detailed drawings. This exhibition features more than 60 original works, from these witty cartoons to watercolour landscapes and illustrations. Standard property admission applies.

01794 340757; www.nationaltrust.org.uk

Until April 28 – ‘Royal Women: Alexandra, Mary, Elizabeth, Margaret: public life, personal style’, Fashion Museum, Bennett Street, Bath, Somerset

This ‘family tree’ exhibition will look at successive female generations of the Royal Family—Queen Alexandra, Queen Mary, the Queen Mother and Princess Margaret – looking at
each woman’s style and role within the monarchy. Includes loaned garments from the Royal Collection.

01225 477789; www.fashionmuseum.co.uk

Until May 7 – ‘Anthony Fry: A Retrospective’, The Holburne Museum, Bath, Somerset

Includes many rarely seen works from private collections, with early works reflecting the landscape of Tuscany and paintings influenced by Fry’s travels in India, Morocco, the Sahara and Andalucia

01225 388569; www.holburne.org