What better way to spend a 22nd birthday than with hats, horses, good friends and a bit too much champagne (is there such thing as too much?).
As much as I adore horses and horse-riding, I know next to nothing about the racing world. My only betting tactic for the day was to trust the Irish, as they seem pretty au fait with producing race winners. They did not let me down, as I backed two winners and broke even. An excuse for more champagne? Of course!
Shopping for Ascot was nearly as fun as Ascot itself. Although I’m not one to wear floral pieces normally, I knew the minute I saw this dress (Ted Baker) that it would be my choice for the races.
When it came to the hat, I was rather shy and opted for a quaint pastel pink fascinator. Although, meeting Brazilian hat designer Graciella Starling in the enclosure, who was exhibiting a 2 feet tall, diamond studded, feathery white crown has inspired me to go for a more elaborate head-piece next time.
This year’s Royal Ascot fell on the hottest June week in over 50 years. After the sunshine must come the rain, and inevitably, we got caught in it. Luckily, the downpour came during the after-party, which meant hundreds of suited and booted racegoers got soaked while belting out You Got The Love. Oddly, it was the perfect end to a wonderful day.
Windsor boasts so much classic beauty and seems the perfect place to stay for a weekend away in the English countryside. I instantly fell for the charm of this quintessentially English town as we strolled through the grounds of Windsor Castle, wondered from pub to pub, and enjoyed a rather hungover row up the Thames.
If by magic I could have postponed turning 22 by another year, I would have jumped at the chance. 21 sounds so much more youthful and I wanted to hold on to that for as long as I possibly could. But, ultimately, I would not have wanted to spend my birthday weekend in any other way and cannot wait to return again next year. I feel a tradition starting…