What a lot of photos I have to share with you today. I have tried to whittle my choice down to a small selection, but I have so many images from our lovely day at Royal Ascot on Wednesday, that it has been very hard to make a choice!
The day started early as I am not used to having to ‘scrub up’ so early in the day – it is very rare that I wear anything other than jeans in the daytime. The morning was cool and overcast, so I was slightly apprehensive about going out in a dress and heels (not to mention the hat!).
AS Ascot is quite a drive from Suffolk we were on our way bright and early. Unfortunately traffic conditions were against us necessitating a few changes of route along the way and a very long slow trawl for the last few miles into the racecourse. At least by the time we arrived the sun was shining.
We were slightly late, so missed the pre-lunch drinks overlooking the Parade Ring. I still managed to take this quick shot of the Ring before it filled with horses, owners and jockeys.
I was relieved that we had arrived in time to see the Queen – that is always the highlight of the day!
I found this lovely photo of the Queen and Queen Mother from many years ago in the foyer. I love all the top hats in this shot.
After lunch and between the races I wandered around taking photos of all the lovely hats.
I know nothing about racing, so rely on luck when placing my modest bets. I was pleased with my very unscientific method this year – I had 4 places and even picked a winner.
Sadly I was so busy taking these photos that I did not realise my horse had won until after the race!
And so to the flowers. I told you on Monday that in 2012 the tables were decorated with pink roses in silver rose bowls and that in 2013 they were adorned with orchids. I entered the room this year with anticipation – what would the Ascot flowers be this time?
This year Ascot had orchids displayed with a horse head statue on some of the tables:
And yellow and cream roses on others:
I loved this year’s vibrant summery combination of yellow and cream roses with viburnum opulus and alchemilla mollis displayed in crackle glazed pots.
I also found this very modern hanging flower arrangement.
And a truly amazing floral chandelier.
I think that this hat/headdress must have been a sponsored display – it looked incredibly heavy. A whole arrangement of peonies was attached to this girl’s head! I debated whether to include this picture with photos of the hats or the flowers – I have opted to include it with the flowers in the end.
As lunch drew to a close with a trio of lemon puddings followed by cheese we seemed to move seamlessly on to Afternoon Tea.
Which of course called for another glass of champagne.
After the last race, just as you think it is all over and start to gather your belongings to head home, the music starts up at the Bandstand and a very British sing along draws the crowds in.
Which was followed by some great music to keep the revels going into the beautiful sunlit June evening.
Finally it was time to say our grateful goodbyes to our hosts and push our way through the crowds to start our drive home. There is a heady delight in leaving a venue in sunshine at 8pm to arrive home at 10 and still be able to walk the dogs around the garden before the light fades completely.
Ascot was a lovely treat of a day – a memory of summer to take out and relive on the long dark nights of winter.
In the meantime we are back to London tonight for dinner, keeping our fingers crossed for a warm evening tomorrow when we are taking a picnic to an opera in a beautiful outdoor setting and next weekend we have our daughter’s graduation at Durham Cathedral to look forward too. I will be keeping my eye out for flowers to share with you at all these events and will be back on Sunday with ‘Flowers On Sunday’.
If you have enjoyed this look at Ascot and would like to see more you can click here for my photos from Ascot 2013.