Fascinators and bowler hats at the ready – Royal Ascot has cemented its reputation as the one of the grandest events in British racing, and, bearing in mind its historic refined dress code, nothing but the most extravagant outfits will do. Of course, it’s not all about peacocking: the five days of racing that constitute Royal Ascot are the highlight of the racing calendar, drawing thousands each year – not to mention the actual royals – for almost a week of exhilarating performances and centuries-old traditions.
While the current UK lockdown and fears over a second coronavirus wave mean that in-person attendance is sadly out of the question, we were as pleased as any to find out that Royal Ascot hasn’t been cancelled in its entirety – and neither are the outfits. Organisers of Virtual Ascot are encouraging viewers to break out their finery (and bubbly) to celebrate the occasion in appropriate style, albeit from the comforts of their own homes. This unique event, a first in the history of the race, will include interactive activities for patrons to take part in from home, including celebrity chef recipes and singalongs, many in support of those worst affected by COVID-19. Funds will be donated to a number of charities, including The Care Workers Charity and NHS Charities Together – guests can take part by posting images of themselves in their very best hats and race-going outfits under the hashtag #StyleItWithThanks. For ideas and tips for what to wear while watching Virtual Royal Ascot, have a look at the C&TH Style Guide.
Six world-class races are run every afternoon of Royal Ascot’s duration by some of the world’s finest horses and jockeys. As in other racing festivals, Royal Ascot has designated themes, and no day is the same. Look out for the unmissable Royal Procession – at two in the afternoon and not a moment before – the historic Gold Cup, Royal Ascot’s oldest race, the famous Coronation Stakes on the Friday and Saturday’s prestigious Diamond Jubilee stakes.
Tuesday 16 – Saturday 20 June 2020
Ascot Racecourse, High St, Ascot SL5 7JX
Tickets from £26; for more information and prices visit ascot.co.uk
The only British hotel with the distinction of holding not one but two professional polo fields, Coworth Park is the Dorchester’s bucolic countryside cousin. An 18th century country house set in acres of glorious parkland, it boasts a luxurious spa and countless fine dining opportunities, with executive chef Adam Smith having garnered a Michelin star. After all the excitement of the races at Royal Ascot, unwind by the tranquil lake at the edge of the grand estate’s fine grounds and home to resident swan, Chukka.
Doubles from £405; book now for Royal Ascot 2021 via dorchestercollection.com