Dancing in the rain, winning money and drinking bubbly. That was the first time I went to a day at the races. It was a really epic event that I’ll never forget and I’m desperate to go again this year so fingers crossed I’ll be able to get tickets to Ladies’ Day this summer.
Even though I kicked off this blog post by saying that I was dancing in the rain, my last visit to the races honestly started off as a lovely sunny day. I wore a light cotton dress, sunglasses and my best wedge heels (to avoid sinking into the grass). My husband and I breezed around the arena, viewing the horses, placing our (humble) bets and enjoying an al fresco meal (read: picnic). I was completely thrilled when my horse came in first and we trotted over to the ‘winners enclosure’ to celebrate my first ever win. It was an amazing experience!
‘My’ winning horse!
That first experience was at Newmarket as part of their Newmarket Nights events calendar, so the dancing in the rain part of my day came later on in the evening; the heavens opened just as Steps took to the stage to perform. Who knew that I would remember those dance moves so well?? A beautiful rainbow filled the sky as the whole audience became soaked through in their summer dresses and cotton shirts, dancing on regardless. It was just awesome.
So this year, I’m planning a trip to Royal Ascot at the end of June. I’ve done my research and have read up on the event here: http://sports.williamhill.com/bet/en-gb/events/royal-ascot. Just reading about the daily Royal procession is giving me butterflies and it seems like such a traditional British event – I can’t wait to go!
At these events there are plenty of places to eat at the racecourse but many visitors like to take their own (champagne!) picnics to enjoy during the day. I love a ‘posh’ picnic so I’ve pulled together a few of my favourite recipes ready for race day and here’s what I’d recommend for a lovely lunch:Of course, finger sandwiches are a must for any posh picnic but my favourite dish is this easy cheese and broccoli tortilla. It’s one of the most filling yet decadent parts of a picnic and I love to make this recipe – I call it an ‘easy’ quiche! I fill it with either cooked pasta or sliced potatoes and throw in handfuls of whatever ingredients I have in the fridge; courgettes, leeks, onions, tomatoes, cheese, olives, ham – anything goes really!Whip up a gorgeous white chocolate and strawberry cheesecake and when you’re dolloping out the creamy filling, be sure to make it in jars. Not only have you got a simple, mess-free way to transport your dessert with the lids tightly screwed on, but you also have individual portions ready to serve with just a spoon. I probably don’t need to tell you that you’ll want to take plenty of refreshments with you, so stock up on bottles of water, fruit juice and, if you fancy it and aren’t driving home, a bottle of bubbly. Freezing small bottles of water in advance serves as ice packs to keep your picnic chilled until lunchtime, and you’ll have a nicely defrosted bottle of ice-cold water ready to accompany your meal. Pack all your goodies up in a cute hamper and don’t forget the napkins!
So do you fancy going for a day at the races yourself now? I’m definitely booking my tickets soon and will be making a trip to one of the most famous race courses in the country to have some summer fun in the sun. Let me know if you’re planning a day at the races too and leave me a comment below with your posh picnic suggestions, I’d love to hear from you!