Royal Ascot...my favourite week of the year. Mick Fitzgerald calls the Cheltenham Festival his Christmas and I have to admit, the Royal Ascot meeting is mine. I am not alone in this thought; 300,000 people attend the meeting across the five days to see around 500 horses run for £7.33 million in prize money. People from all over the world come to this small town in Berkshire to enjoy this special occasion with top class racing. Not forgetting the attendance of Her Majesty The Queen who makes her way to the racecourse everyday of the meeting with other members of the Royal family.
If you want in on the action how is best to execute this fabulous event? Firstly get a ticket! Head to Racingbreaks.com, pick from the Windsor enclosure, the Village enclosure, The Queen Anne or one of the amazing hospitality facilities. The hospitality at Ascot is second to none with 21 Michelin stars and 21 AA Rosettes collectively, you will be spoilt for choice! We normally opt for the Queen Anne but if you are in a big group, the Village enclosure is great for having everything in one place great food, drinks and in the heart of the action. GETTING TO ASCOT AND STAYING NEARBY There are a few options; you have the trusty train, this is perfect for anyone coming from Lonon as there is a direct service into London Waterloo. The station is a short 10 minute walk from the station and there is a regular service with about 4 trains per hour. If you live outside London, Racing Breaks can arrange a coach or transfers for couples and groups of all sizes. However, if you are coming from further afield and don’t fancy a late drive home, the best option is to stay locally. Racing Breaks offer some great hotels near to the racecourse, with the two most popular destinations being Bracknell and Windsor. Windsor is a beautiful town with three great hotels on offer and plenty to see and do in the town. If you can get there early the night before or don’t have to rush off the next morning, then Windsor is the best option for you. This year I stayed in Windsor and got there early afternoon on the Monday to enjoy a sundowner by the river, followed by dinner in our hotel the Sir Christopher Wren. It was a very quick 20 minute taxi to the course in the morning and took all the stress out of being late or getting stuck in traffic queue. AT THE COURSE Having arrived with plenty of time we headed straight to the car park for a picnic. Ascot is topped and tailed with amazing, quintessentially English picnics. You can bring your own, get a fancy caterer or pick one up from Ascot; a perfect way to start the day before heading into the racecourse. After the picnic it’s into the course for the Royal Procession, but not without a bet on the Queen’s outfit! You will need to secure a position around the parade ring about 1:45pm before the procession starts at 2pm on the dot. The Queen makes her way up the course in a beautiful horse drawn carriage and ends up in the parade ring before heading up to the Royal Box, ready for the first race at 2:30. This is the time for you to enjoy the facilities and grab a drink before the first race .There are so many great bars dotted around the course, a personal favourite is the champagne bar near the pre parade ring as you can keep your eye on each of the runners making their way into the paddock.
The day seems to fly by when you are having fun. There are six races throughout the day with some of the biggest names in the industry competing against each other. You won’t want to miss a thing as chances are, one of these races will make a mark in the history books! Once the racing action has come to an end, there is still more to look forward to...the after party which starts with the legendary band stand. Imagine all of your favourite songs in one place. Hearing the crowds of Ascot sing these old classics is a real goosebump moment, you get a songbook, british flag and “Sing your little heart out”. After your have sung your heart out it’s time to go finish off that picnic before heading back to Windsor, it’s always best to stay for a drink either on course or at the car park and let all the traffic die down. Once back in Windsor get some comfy shoes on and enjoy the sun go down by the river!
Sound like the perfect day? Make it yours! CLICK HERE To see how we did the perfect day at Ascot with the Apprentice Star Luisa Zissman check out our videos to see it for real.