Party planner 2008
Guidebook gurus Mr & Mrs Smith highlight 12 of the biggest events coming up next year
01 ST MORITZ
24-27 Jan: Cartier Polo World Cup on Snow. Around 20,000 people attend. Fly to Zurich and drive to St Moritz (three hours) - or go by train and enjoy the scenery properly. Avoid the chintzy hotels: stay in a luxury chalet at The Chesa Albertini (www.descent.co.uk).
02 CANARY ISLANDS
1-10 Feb: Tenerife Carnival. BA (www.ba.com) and Monarch (www.flymonarch.com) have direct flights. Stay at the lovely Hotel San Roque (www.hotelsanroque.com) in Garachico.
12-19 March: Las Fallas. One of Europe's biggest street parties. Las Fallas is a pyromaniacs paradise. Valencia becomes a whirl of flaming effigies, fireworks and torchlit parades. Iberia (www.iberia.com) and easyjet (www.easyjet.com) fly direct. Brave the all night revelry and book into the Palau de la Mar.
30 April: Queen's Day. The head of the state's birthday is a 24-hour party. Book into the canalside Dylan Amsterdam if you want a haven from the crowds.
22-25 May: Monaco Grand Prix. The route, around which the fast and the furious speed 78 times, hugs the water's edge before leading the drivers past the principality's key landmarks. Co-owned by David Coulthard, Columbus Monaco is a hip designer den with a chi-chi bar open into the small hours.
4-8 June: Art Basel. This huge exhibition and trade fair is a must for art lovers. The Swissotel Le Plaza (www.basel.swissotel.com) is the best in town.
2 July: Palio Di Siena. The city's vast Piazza Del Campo becomes a dangerously competitive racetrack as professional jockeys ride bareback across its treacherous cobbles. Stay at Villa Scacciapensieri (www.villascacciapensieri.it) or Hotel Certosa Di Maggiano (www.certosadimaggiano.com), both a short drive from the city.
08 ISLE OF WIGHT
2-9 August: Cowes Weeks. The world's premier sailing event. Stay at Seaview in the village of the same name; for details see www.mrandmrssmith.com.
26-28 Sept: Ibiza closing parties. The last Sunday of the season at Space is probably the cream of the crop; there's a fabulous open-air terrace and the party runs for a mind-bending 22 hours. Airlines including BA and EasyJet operate several flights a day.
20 Sept-5 Oct: Oktoberfest. Begun by Prince Ludwig in 1810, the famous beer festival attracts six million visitors a year. Stay at Hotel Cortina (www.cortina.com).
1-2 November: Leeds Castle Fireworks. The floodlit turrets of Leeds Castle are a handsome backdrop for arguably the most thrilling skyful of November fireworks in the south-east. Warm up afterwards with a stay at the Hotel du Vin & Bistro, a 40-minute drive away in Turnbridge Wells.
29 Dec-1 Jan: Hogmanay. Ring in the New Year with 10,000 of your closest friends.
Mr & Mrs Smith's new European events guidebook, SMITH 52 (Spy Publishing, £21.95), is published on 15 September. See www.smith52.com