Friday, 21 June 2013

I'd rather be at Ascot...

Wednesday was a great day. Another great day in what has been a fantastic week. Thunder showers were predicted and never happened. The clouds cleared, and we had a lovely (27 degree) day at Ascot. I honestly didn't sleep well the night before as it felt like Christmas Eve. I had been looking forward to this day for a very very long time.

We met Gill at the station. This was the first time wearing an occasion hat for all of us. We were embarrassed. The most difficult part by far was walking from our flat, through the streets of Clapham Junction. You have to realize it was early morning on a work day, and we had objects defying gravity sticking out of the sides of our heads. When we arrived at platform 6, this feeling changed. Platform 6 was Ascot bound, and packed with race goers. So packed in fact that we missed one train and had to catch the next one.

It was at this point that the feeling changed from 'I feel like I'm walking through London with a parrot on the top of my head' to MAJOR hat envy. I honestly went from being embarrassed to wanting the biggest hat of them all. As you will see later, I was a major creeper, and took photos of as many hats and outfits as I could, while attempting to remain discreet. I'm not certain I nailed the discreet part.

Getting into the Royal Enclosure was a story in itself. I was going to write about it, but in an attempt to 'get over it' I'm going to tell you about the good stuff. God knows I spent a lot of Wednesday feeling pretty grouchy (poor 'S' and Gill had to listen to me). I'm not meaning to sound cryptic, and the only reason I'm bringing up said incident is so that you realize it wasn't entirely peaches and cream. I will be writing a letter, and when (if) I do, I will tell you about it then.

There are good things and bad things about Ascot. The food is substandard and over priced (I knew it would be pricey, but I assumed in the Royal Enclosure it would at least be tasty). We had terrible sushi for lunch, and then a tired looking afternoon tea later on. It was stadium food. Disappointing. On the positive side, the event in itself is great fun. The races are exciting, the Royal Procession, well, you know how I feel about that, and the grounds are gigantic, and extremely beautiful. There are many different areas to explore, and lots of things going on. You could probably spend the entire day without seeing a horse race.

We posed our way through the day, so you'll have to excuse us...

We strolled around the grounds, and met some handsome suitors...

The main building (Grandstand included) resembled a cruise ship...

The outside of the ship...and the inside.

We placed some bets...

...and at 2pm made our way down to watch the Royal Procession. We were right at the rail when Her Majesty pulled up with Charles and Camilla. 
As 'S' said, we've seen more of this family, than our own families in the last five days 
(sad, but very true).

These guys let us know she was on route...

Told you, right beside us. Is this real life?

We did watch the racing, I promise...

Gillian had a horse place in one race...I think my horses came in the bottom five in all four races. 
Even the one named 'Educate' owned by a Spencer (I thought that was a good omen...not so much).

The Jockeys had their share of colour...

The Winner's Circle...

When your horse wins, you get to stand inside the circle. Should you ever find yourself inside the circle, you best have a brilliant hat.

In between races we would rest our tired feet. Seats were hard to come by.

It is definitely a LONG DAY in heels.

I was thrilled that I had smuggled my flat sandals into my clutch. It's a ten minute walk from the station to the grounds, a full day standing, and then you still need to hobble back down to the train. Many women brought flats, and I would HIGHLY recommend this.

I told you we rested between races, but that's not why I took this picture (below)...

Total Legend.

Amazing? I know.
On that note, let me show you the rest of the sights....

Overall, it was a very dapper crowd. I will never tire of seeing men in Top Hats and Tails. Scrumptious!

Some of the attractions were distracting to say the least...

At 4:30 we took a break for Afternoon Tea...

Midway through our tea, I glanced out the window to see this....just strolling through the Royal Enclosure.

Like a bat out of hell, I jumped up, and ran outside. I will admit I still had my napkin in my left hand when I took these photos. 

Luckily, I don't think she noticed.

And off she goes...

I hate to bring this up, but 'S' and I did have a giggle at her shoe/purse decision. Really? Black patent leather with pastel? 

Quite interesting when you know the woman owns a shoe and purse for every Pantone colour. 

Regardless of the shoe/purse infraction, 'S' was quite pleased that she matched the Queen.

At 6pm the racing events conclude with Singing Around the Bandstand. This was one of our favourite parts of the day. If I can get my video to upload, you will see just exactly what I'm talking about. It was so much fun, and everyone was really into it (see drunk).

I couldn't help but feel sad as we made our way back to the train. Just like Christmas, it's that same feeling, when something you've been excited for is over. Should I ever go back (which I promised myself, I will), there are a few things I will remember- 

Most importantly, when it comes to hats...

Go BIG or go home.

I will leave you with this (My video wouldn't play so I found this one on youtube):


  1. Another fantastic post!! I LOVED all those hats. The lady in yellow is definitely my favourite :) Looks like an amazing time. And I agree, a man in a top hat must have been hard to resist!!

    1. You are winning 'Reader of the Year'. Thanks Ange! Have a great time tonight. I'll be thinking of all of you. Maybe you should wear hats?!!

  2. Ok....
    #1 Your Wednesday was a lot more exciting than mine I just went to work and didn't see any royal people or fabulous hats. Highly jealous.
    #2 I am very glad you bought that white jacket when we were shopping all those months ago cause it looks perfect with that outfit!
    #3 Absolutely agree about Liz's shoe/purse combo, wtf?? Also she looks soooooo tiny.
    #4 You girls on the other hand looked lovely, love S's dress, such a pretty pattern
    #5 Since I'm a florist I must comment on that giant flower arrangement on the inside of the grandstand, that's a lot of phalaenopsis orchids!!! Crazy!

    1. Nics- I miss you!
      #2- The Jacket had another purpose which it has still not served, but I too was glad it worked with my Ascot dress! (do you remember?)
      #3- My theory is she dressed herself on Wednesday!
      #4- S's dress was great. An Anthro find
      #5- Orchids seemed to be the theme of this year's race week- all over the posters / people's hats, you name it. Thought of you actually when I took the pic of the orchid in the glass with the Ascot brochure

    2. Yes do remember original could still happen ;)