Thursday, 26 June 2014

Pretty Hats and Pretty Horses: A Day at Royal Ascot

I've been wanting to go to an English horse race ever since I was a child. I grew up reading Dick Francis books, thanks to my grandfather's love of the author, and wanted to experience the settings described in some of the books for myself. And having an excuse to buy a fancy hat and a new frock for Royal Ascot made it all the better.

Royal Ascot is known for it's pageantry and fashion as well as the racing. It's a fun day out in the sun (if you're lucky, this is England after all) where you can pack a sophisticated picnic with bubbles and bet a few (hundred, if you're so inclined) bob on a pony to win. There were so many pretty dresses, hats and men in suits. I love a man in a good suit!

I had purchased tickets to the Silver Enclosure, which I think only exists at this time of year because this has become such an event. If I were to go again I would probably splurge on the Grandstand tickets where you could actually access the Parade Ring and the band stand. If you're lucky you can register for a spot in the Royal Enclosure  and rub elbows with the queen.

We arrived just before the opening parade of the Queen, who wore pink that day if you're interested, and the first race. We quickly got our first bets in and a pitcher of Pimms.We watched each race from a different vantage point making the most of our time at the track.

The afternoon flew by and before we knew it the singalong with the band had begun and we dashed off to the train station pub where they were having a festival with a much better band, I might add. We waited for the crowds to deplete slightly before catching the next train back to London. My little group was sunned, watered, fed and a little bit poorer, but happy with our day.

I would highly recommend a visit next year.

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