I remember seeing things like Royal Ascot on TV as a child and wondering what it would be like to live ‘down south’ where these type of things happened.
Now I feel so lucky to not only live near where these great British sporting events happen, but this year I got to go to Royal Ascot…and I was in the Royal Enclosure. This is what it was like.
We got the train from Waterloo, which was predominately full of other people going to Ascot in their best suits and fascinators. The train takes about an hour, and gets very full by the time you reach Ascot. It’s then a 10min walk from the station to the stadium.
The stadium was much bigger than I expected, and it was full of people. However, with our Royal Enclosure badges on we were able to get into our special area. The area was filled with different bars and restaurants, both with outdoor and indoor marquee seating. It wasn’t too busy and there were plenty of spaces to fit. A glass of champagne ranged from £10-£17, and I had quite a few!
What a fantastic experience to sit in the sunshine surrounded by people wearing their finest clothes and enjoying an essentially British experience.
When it came to the clothes I received an email a few weeks before the event to let me know what the dress code was – no strapless or thin strapped dresses, and a skirt on the knee. I was asked by the lady on the entrance to make sure I pulled my skirt down as it was slightly above the knee – I felt like a naughty school girl going against the uniform code!
I wore heels for most of the day but took flip-flops which turned out to be a godsend. By 5pm there were ladies everywhere walking barefoot and paying through the nose for the Ascot flip-flops sold in the shop.
As the races come and you end up walking backwards and forwards to watch the race and place bets. By the end of the day I must have walked well over a mile.
The Queen arrives just before the first show, and on the day I went she was accompanied by Will and Kate (yes she is as skinny as she looks on tv).
It was an expensive day but 100% worth it. I’ll remember it for years if not forever.