Braving the elements at the Royal Ascot Races

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Posted on: 17 June 2011 by Diane Priestley

It was a case of ticking a box on my bucket list. Royal Ascot Races. A famous event One simply must attend at least once in a lifetime.

However when the day dawned I was miserable with a virus and it was grey and blustery and raining steadily. Nonetheless, having bought the tickets, my daughter Justine and I valiantly dismissed the weather and braved the arduous Tube ride to Waterloo then caught the train to Ascot station.

Justine looked stunning in a rose pink dress and natty jacket by Australian designer Bettina Liano and a gorgeous hat handmade by Madame Moi of London.

As for me I threw on my sturdy boots and practical dress and trench coat, a strategy, which proved wise when we arrived at the soggy lawns of the Silver Ring where the spiky heels of girls in their finery were sinking in the slush. 

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We weaved our way through the crush of rowdy racegoers, well primed with Pimms, and squeezed in right on the barrier to take in a view of the action as the horses thundered past.

By the afternoon, the rain has stopped and the sun had broken through but random gusts of wind were playing havoc with frilly skirts. The success of an outdoor event like this is largely dependent on cracking perfect summer weather but the festive atmosphere for Ladies Day  2011 was marred by the volatile conditions.

Not being drinkers or gamblers, Justine and I were really only there to take in the colourful fashion scene which was dominated by brash groups of buxom wenches with heavy fake eyelashes in gaudy outfits clutching bottles of cheap plonk. I am sure the classy fashions were on display in the Grandstand. 

Well that’s Ascot Races ticked off. Not an outstanding day but a glimpse of another English tradition for this curious Aussie who is willing to try almost anything at least once. 

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Alexander Hay posted 17 June 2011

Did you see the fight?

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Trevor Bacon posted 21 June 2011

Any Event in Britain So Close to Wimbledon has to be viewed with suspicion.



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