I grew up with “My Fair Lady” and because of it, Royal Ascot pretty much stands for all things British. So when Appletiser offered me tickets to the Grandstand at Royal Ascot I was immediately thrilled. In fact, my excitement was barely containable. I immediately started planning my outfit.
For all three tiers at Ascot, there is a dress code. The less stringent is the Silver Ring, and the most is the Royal Enclosure. Since I was in the Grandstand mine was a nice middle ground. Women must either be in dresses or fairly classic pants suits, and dresses had to have straps. A hat or fascinator also had to be worn at all times. The men’s code was just suit, shirt and tie. (In the Royal Enclosure for men it’s morning dress, which includes the tails and top hat.)
So one morning, much earlier than I ever expected to put on a fascinator, Sam and I got all dressed up and headed out to catch our train to Ascot. It’s about a 50 minute train ride from Clapham Junction in London which is awesome. It takes me longer just to get to the other side of London from where we live!
We had been pre-advised to take cash out prior to going to Ascot because the queue for the ATMs would be long and there’d be fees, which would be advice I’d pass along to future race goers. Gates opened at 10 am, with the first race not starting until about 2:30 pm. We arrived at about 11 am, giving ourselves ample time to look around, grab some lunch and a drink and snag a prime spot out on the lawn in time for the Royal Procession. I saw the Queen in her carriage and loved every second of it. It’s probably the closest I’ll ever get to her ever again but I was pretty thrilled.
My favourite horse “Not So Sleepy” which I picked because of his legendary name proved a bit of a dud but I loved every minute of our time at Royal Ascot despite the wicked and oddly shaped sunburn I received. I saw some epically good hats and after the races finished everyone went outside to the bandstand and sang super English songs and waved flags, which I happily participated in.