Royal Ascot, London
Royal Enclosure at Royal Ascot, London!!
All thanks to Pete, my fabulous friend who is a Royal Enclosure Member. Guests are unsponsored and only able to attend with the existing Royal Enclosure member who has invited them. This is the only way you can gain access, I felt extremely lucky and very privileged.
They adopt a very strict dress code at Ascot with a specific code for the Royal Enclosure! Ladies: dresses and skirts are to be knee length or longer, dresses and tops to have straps one inch or greater, trouser suits must be matching material and colour, hats that have a minimum of a 4-inch base, no fascinators allowed, midriffs must be covered. Gents: black or grey morning dress, waistcoat and tie (no cravats) and a black or grey top hat! Very strict indeed and rightly so, we had to be fit for Royalty!
We arrived in Shepperton on Friday evening ahead of the big day. We met friends at the local pub called the Bell Inn for few drinks, and I say a few!! Seeing Pete and Kathryn again was very special, the last time we were together was in Grand Cayman. The gang were back together, plus I was finally able to introduce Dave in person! We went for a curry and of course a few more drinks. We were joined by Pete’s son’s (well 2 of them, Tom & Will plus Will’s girlfriend) and Pete’s best mate Garth! Fabulous night, from what I remember. I do remember all the crazy stories from Pete and Garth and their antics over the years! I am not sure who is worse, great storytellers! Garth kindly put us up for the weekend in one of his houses.
It was an early start on Saturday and I regretted (only a little) the few too many wines from the night before! Slight hangover but nothing too serious, thank god! Pete arranged for a driver to pick us up and took us to a friends house for a champagne breakfast! Sausage butties and Bollinger bubbles, how perfect!
Our driver got us to Ascot in perfect timing however, Pete had to traditional rituals for the final day. Each day he stopped on the high street and purchased a buttonhole from a florist, coordinated with his tie and sunglasses of course. Things had to be done a certain way, we couldn’t break the winning formula he had all week!
Arriving at Ascot we made our way to the Royal Enclosure! We’d never been to the races before so it was a whole new experience for us both of us. I like to people watch, and I was certainly in my element. Hundreds of people draped in beautiful clothes, stunning hats, bags and shoes! Literally thousands and thousands of pounds! The crazy, outrageous quirky outfits which attracted the media, everyday people treated like celebrities with cameramen and photographers swarming like bees around honey! Loved it and of course, I joined in, click click click!!!
As mentioned, the dress code was very strict and you were checked on the way in. Some people were turned away for inappropriate attire!! Even Rod Stewart (not this year I may add) got turned away. It doesn’t matter who you are if you are not dressed correctly, you are not getting in!! Up to the Royal Enclosure, via the escalators, I can only describe it as being in a huge, very extravagant wedding! The top hats were my favourite, the men looked fabulous! Men don’t often get the chance to dress up as much as women, we get the chance to wear pretty dresses often but men can’t wear top hats unless it is their wedding!
The day was made up of studying the horses, or watching Pete study the horses, drinking champagne, people watching, socialising with amazing friends, drinking champagne, trying to get selfies with the queen as she arrived, drinking champagne, placing bets, watching the race, drinking champagne, losing the bets, watching Frankie Dettori win an amazing race on Undrafted (kicking ourselves for not placing a bet on said Undrafted which ended up at 14-1) and drinking more champagne!!
Absolutely amazing, spectacular day with very special friends indeed. A special thank you to Pete, undoubtedly one of the nicest people I have ever met! Also a huge thank you to my very gorgeous, glamorous queen, Kathryn. It was so great to see you and I miss you already.
We finished the day for dinner at a lovely restaurant called the Tree House. 10 of us reminiscing about a great day and drinking lots of red wine of course. Love the final shot of the day after we were finally allowed to take off our hats!
Love you xx