What’s On: Muddy Herts Guide 8-14 Dec 2016

Yes, things are definitely getting festive — what with Christmas fairs, carols, lights going on, all that malarkey.  There’s not much out there that isn’t Christmassy at the moment (if you’re feeling a bit Grinchy) so brace yourself, grab a mulled wine, and embrace that tinsel…

Alan Johnson MP: The Long and Winding Road, The Spirella Ballroom, 11 Dec, 3.30pm


If you’d like to escape from all things Christmas this week, check out this event – David’s Bookshop will be hosting MP Alan Johnson at the Spirella Ballroom, as he talks about the third volume of his bestselling and award-winning memoirs, The Long and Winding Road. Illustrating Westminster as you’ve never seen it before, Johnson lifts the lid on the life of a hard-working constituency MP. When Tony Blair first brought Johnson into Parliament in 1997, he famously said to him, ‘Oh, so you really are working class aren’t you?’ A bit of a culture shock at first, Johnson was soon patrolling the corridors of Parliament like he owned them!


An Evening with Andrew Gant, The Junction Christ Church, Chorleywood, 14 Dec, 7.30pm


On the other hand, you could throw yourself right into the Christmas spirit with Chorleywood Bookshop (actually, why not do both?! It’s all about finding that harmonious balance…). EVERYONE loves Christmas carols, and I won’t take no for an answer on this one. They have a special sort of magic about them, inspiring that lovely, warm Christmassy feeling that gets everyone smiling. In Christmas Carols, Andrew Gant tells the story of some twenty carols, unravelling their individual histories, with tales of great musicians and thinkers, saints and pagans, shepherd boys, choirboys, monks and drunks!


Music for Christmas, The Old Palace, Hatfield House, 11 Dec, 7pm


The Old Palace will be filled with the joyous and uplifting sound of Hertfordshire Chorus this week, with a mix of well-loved carols, old and new. Join in with some of the family favourites and get some practice in before the big day!


Pop-Up Bookshop, Chenies Manor, 13 Dec, 10am-5pm


Books, books and more books, please! The gorgeous Chenies Manor is opening their first ever Christmas shop, with a pop-up book-shop courtesy of the lovely Chorleywood Bookshop. And that’s not all – there will also be Christmas wreaths and plants for sale, along with wreath making workshops, too!


Wreath and Garland Workshops, Haresfoot Brewery, Berkhamsted, 10 & 11 Dec


The utterly delightful Helen Reeley will be running her Christmas wreath and garland workshops at the Brewery this week end. Add the personal touch and make your very own wreath this year, and then hang it with pride on your door for all to see! Helen really knows her stuff, so she’ll be the perfect teacher.  If she could manage to get me making something lovely, then she can do anything. Email her at helen@reeleylandscapes.co.uk for info and booking.


A Christmas Carol, Knebworth House, 10 & 11 Dec, 7.30pm plus 2.30pm Sunday 


As we’ve already established, everyone loves a good carol. I’ve heard tell of a little telly show called Downton Abbey – I think it was quite a success, no? How about heading to Knebworth House to a fireside reading of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, read by none other than Jeremy Swift, star of Downton and The Durrells. There will also be festive musical accompaniment and a glass of mulled wine and minced pie on arrival. Can’t say fairer than that.


Cocktails & Jewellery Evening, Nude Tin Can Gallery, St Albans, 9 Dec, 7 – 10pm


If you fancy getting dressed up for a girls’ night out, how about booking in for the complimentary Cocktails and Jewellery evening at the Nude Tin Can Gallery. Cocktails and jewellery?1 I’m so there. Meet their jewellery designers and browse the gallery whilst soaking up the entertainment from singer, Carina McGrath.


Hand Painted Baubles, Nude Tin Can Gallery, St Albans, 10 Dec, 11am5pm


Another freebie at the Nude Tin Can, this time, think hand-painted, bespoke baubles. Little ones, big ones, whatever size you fancy! All hand crafted by Jane from Pinstripped.


Belshazzar’s Feast, The Old Town Hall, Hemel Hempstead, 13 Dec, 8pm


I’m not quite sure what to make of this one, so I’ll work through in steps.  It’s a Christmas-themed show, that mixes *deep breath* traditional folk music, seasonal tunes, a touch of classical and jazz here, and a hint of pop and music hall there, all topped off with lashings of humour. Wowza! Something a bit different from your ordinary carols, eh?


Santa Spectacular, Willows Activity Farm, London Colney, St Albans, until 24 Dec


Take the littlies to see Santa in his grotto at Willows Activity Farm, where they have a whole host of festive events, entertainment and adventure going on, right through the Christmas period. Enjoy the Nativity Story with the animals, festive funfair rides, reindeer hunt, snowball shootout (bring it on!), and the magical ice rink!  (Magic? Will it stop me ending up on my bum?)



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2 comments on “What’s On: Muddy Herts Guide 8-14 Dec 2016”

  • Nina Nash December 9, 2016

    Dear Pippa
    Just wanted to say really look forward to your emails, full of interesting and unusual local events. Have just booked tickets for the reading of Christmas Carol at Knebworth House, which mum and mum in law cant wait to attend. Also was lucky enough to win a personalised print from Cuddle Punch in your recent competition. So thanks very much , Happy Christmas to you all and keep up the good work !

    • pippachappell December 12, 2016

      Thank you so much, Nina — what a lovely message to get! So pleased you enjoy Muddy — and I’m totally jealous about the Cuddle Punch print. Aren’t they brilliant? Merry Christmas! P xx


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