Royal Ascot is here again, but it’s not all about the hats and the horses. Where are the best places to eat at Royal Ascot? These dining options are sure to keep even the most discerning race-goer satisfied. From afternoon tea to a Fortnum & Mason picnic, you’ll be royally spoilt for choice…
Where to Eat at Ascot 2018
Ascot has recently opened four new Fine Dining restaurants; The Balmoral, The Windsor Forest, The Furlong Restaurant and The Gallery, all carefully curated for the discerning race-goer and inspired by fine dining institutions around the world. Raymond Blanc OBE, Phil Howard and James Tanner are returning this year to cook up a storm for Ascot guests, while Adam Handling and Simon Rogan are making their racecourse debut.
Two Michelin-starred chef, Raymond Blanc OBE, will be celebrating his fifth year at Ascot, luring visitors into the Panoramic Restaurant at the Royal Enclosure with his reputation for culinary perfection. His tailored menu promises to be one of the finest gastronomic experiences at the Royal Meeting, including an indulgent lobster starter that could be mistaken for a work of art.
“I am honoured to return to Royal Ascot for a fifth year with a fresh new menu. The standard and expectations will be higher than ever and my team and I will continue to evolve and deliver” – Raymond Blanc OBE
It follows that this quintessentially British affair should include Afternoon Tea. Ascot’s Executive Chef Gemma Amor and Head Chef Ben Dutson have teamed up with celebrated pastry chef Claire Clark to create the first ‘Royal Ascot Afternoon Tea’ promising delectable fancies with fragrant loose-leaf teas and Champagne Bollinger, drawing out the afternoon.
Over 240,000 hand-crafted afternoon tea cakes, 12,000 buttermilk scones and 60,000 finger sandwiches are set to be served this year. Partake in the quintessentially English tradition inside the Royal Enclosure or the Queen Anne Enclosure, the perfect viewing point for an afternoon of pageantry.
How to Picnic at Royal Ascot
For those who would rather a more casual, yet equally sophisticated dining option, begin your racing day with a glorious picnic in the sunshine. Racegoers can enjoy a pre-ordered picnic sitting on the picturesque grounds and can choose to enjoy some of the very best artisan products from the British Isles, or an afternoon tea feast from Fortnum and Mason.
Adam Handling of Frog Adam Handling and The Frog E1 will be making his Royal Ascot debut at The Balmoral. Inspired by a bucolic summer in the Scottish Highlands, the restaurant will mix the very best of British food with fresh Scottish seafood, Royal Estate beef and locally-sourced cheese. Diners can keep a weathered eye on the finish line while choosing from the chef stations or ordering from the a la carte menu.
The crème de la crème has to be The Windsor Forest, re-opening this year with prime views over the Winning Post and seating an exclusive 45 guests. The modus operandi of the Windsor Forest is flexibility. Diners can tuck into a relaxed a la carte menu throughout the day, tailoring their food choices to personal preference and timing.
The Former Furlong Club in the Queen Anne Enclosure has also undergone a rather drastic facelift, reopening this 2018 with a bright, airy lounge area for grazing or seated a la carte.
Yet another new restaurant to add to the mix this year is The Gallery, offering fine food in a stripped back, social setting within the Queen Anne Enclosure. Diners can soak up the heady thrill of racing just meters from the track with outside seating.
Speaking about Fine Dining at Ascot Racecourse this year, Jonathan Parker, Director of Food & Beverage at Ascot Racecourse, said;
“We are excited to welcome five exceptionally talented and highly respected chef restauranteurs to Royal Ascot 2018 and to finally reveal our exciting new Fine Dining concepts. Our insight has shown that there is a strong preference for interactive chef stations, social feasting and tapas style menus that provide flexibility whilst still affording guests the convenience of allocated seating. With the reputation of being the most important event in society’s calendar, we are constantly evolving and enhancing the experience for visitors, setting the standards high.”
To book or for further information with regards to Fine Dining at Royal Ascot, please call 0844346 3000 or visit www.ascot.co.uk
Afternoon Tea starts from £35 per person and can be enjoyed as a picnic for two from £90.
The Fortum and Mason picnic can be pre-ordered for £95 for two people, here.