Royal Ascot

The hottest June day since the 1970’s and it’s an early start for myself and friend Lydia. After dropping various children off at school, child minders and nursery, it’s off to Derby station to catch the train to Reading then onward to Ascot for the second day of Royal Ascot 2017.  Of course, our early start wasn’t anything compared to that of Her Royal Highness, the Queen who had to give her speech at the opening of Parliament before a quick outfit change and onto Ascot for the parade at 2.00pm.

One of my favourite traditions at Royal Ascot is watching the Royal procession as it travels around the race course and into the parade ring, guessing the colour of the Queen’s outfit before she appears (I wrongly guessed green for Wednesday but she wore a beautiful bright yellow). After the parade it’s time to put on a quick bet before the first race starts at 2.30pm.  I’d had a few betting tips from friends ‘in the know’ and Lydia is possibly one the luckiest ladies I know, so I had a good feeling. We placed our bets, found a shady spot at the side of the track and soaked up the atmosphere.  ‘And they’re off…’, it was a close race with a photo finish, but our horse wasn’t a winner. This pattern repeated itself for the second race, the third, fourth and fifth … by now I’m feeling a little less positive about winning a small fortune! But who cares? We had a fantastic time sitting on the lawn people-watching, commenting on outfits, picking our own ‘best’ and ‘worst’ dressed.  We had a few nice compliments ourselves; one lady asked where my dress was from, a waitress telling us that she’d spotted us earlier and we looked ‘very classy’ which, of course we did! I wore a nude coloured lace dress with pink and purple embroidered flowers by ‘Little Black Dress’ teamed with a Ben deLisi fascinator. Lydia donned a white and gold Ted Baker dress with a pale pink fascinator and her gorgeous wedding shoes.  I’ll let you into a secret though – by the afternoon we’d nipped into the Ascot shop and brought a pair of pumps each! 

At 5.00pm we made our way to the 1768 tearooms for our pre-booked Afternoon tea. The tearoom is named after the first recorded year of races being held at Ascot.  Afternoon tea: a selection of finger sandwiches, mini cakes, scones with strawberry preserve and Cornish clotted cream, all washed down with a pot of English Breakfast Tea. It was heaven to spend a few hours sitting in an air-conditioned room.

After tea we joined in another Ascot tradition – songs around the bandstand. By 6.00pm most race-goers are feeling the effects of Pimms and Processco and are in fine voice ready to sing along in the crowd of several hundred to well known tunes. The atmosphere is amazing; ladies in their finery, gentlemen in top hats and tails, Union Jacks waved high in the air and the band playing merrily.  This tradition was started in the 1970’s by the late Lady Jinny Beaumont, wife of Sir Nicky Beaumont, Clerk of the Course from 1969 to 1994 and is now synonymous with Royal Ascot.

Then it was back on the train northwards, finally arriving home just before mid-night, it was a tiring but wonderful day and we are already planning our 2018 Ascot trip.

Plenitude – Afternoon Tea at Edensor Tea Cottage

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Tucked away in the Chatsworth estate village of Edensor, the Tea Cottage is a lovely location for an afternoon tea. Parking at the tea room is limited but there is plenty of parking near by, and in a setting as picturesque as Edensor, a little stroll to the cottage is no bad thing.

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img_8355With all the right ingredients for a quintessentially English afternoon tea; a selection of crustless finger sandwiches, plenty of delicious cakes, scones (with jam and cream of course) and Yorkshire tea. I particularly enjoyed the thick cut ham with whole grain mustard sandwich and the moist lemon drizzle cake.
img_8272For the price of £13.25 per person, Edensor Tea Cottage offers a delicious afternoon tea, and even a take away box for those cakes you can’t quite finish!

  • Review From Lady Convivial

img_8274I would have to agree on all accounts with Lady Viv, it was a most delightful day spent with the other ladies at Edensor Tea Cottage. We were spoiled with a plenitude of divine sandwiches (egg, ham, smoked salmon, cheese), scones with strawberry jam and clotted cream along with a cornucopia of desserts that were a feast for the eyes and the taste buds.

I also particularly liked the sandwiches as we are no wilting violets in this group and tackled the savouries with giddy delight. We had finally met our match in the cakes as I was deliciously over-faced with more confections then my poor stomach would allow. What a struggle to have though? Too many cakes! Marvelous!

img_8354All the ladies attempted to tackle all their allocated cakes – sharp lemon drizzles and devilishly rich chocolate cakes – but alas only a couple of us mastered the challenge but had to be wheeled out with a wheelbarrow by the end of it. Seriously though, the cake selection was both divine and ample. Lush darling! Simply lush!

img_8353Needless to say, we all ran out of room for the scones and took them home with us for next day treats. Quite a bargain for the price. A fulfilling experience in all but the service was incredibly poor. We had reserved a table for afternoon tea and were unsure about whether to wait for service at the table or go to the front, whether the afternoon tea was on its way or we were waiting to order. Some of us wanted soup before hand but didn’t have an option to get this beforehand which was perhaps a good thing considering the size of the feast that awaited us. It was a delightful afternoon tea but felt they fell down somewhat on service. That aside, I would definitely go again as the afternoon tea was a shining-star of a feast for ladies.

  • Lady Wordsmith

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Now we have an extremely pressing question readers! The ladies broke out in a debate about this one….jam then cream or cream then jam?! We want your answers! What do you do?img_8351

 

“Down The Rabbit Hole”- Richmond Tea Rooms – Manchester

Lady Sky and Lady wordsmith decided to jump down the rabbit hole and visit the Richmond Tea Rooms in Manchester for Lady Sky’s birthday recently. Alice in Wonderland themed, this treat of treats had us giddy for hours and that wasn’t just the bubbly…

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