I was so excited when a friend suggested we give Ascot races a whirl. I’d missed out on tickets the year before, as I arrived in the U.K. not long before and they had already sold out. Tickets were £60 through Stoke Travel when we got them. Entry was £40 alone, and then we would have still had to get ourselves there. It included breakfast, a welcome drink, and a bottle of Prosecco. Absolute no brainer! We found our dresses and fascinators, and about ten pairs of shoes later, I was set.
An early start, we met at the Clapham Grand at 8am. It’s a very surreal feeling being in a bar at that hour of the morning, dressed up more than I ever have been. Grabbing our breakfast beer and bacon sandwich, we watched some of the rugby, then jumped on the first bus headed out to Ascot.
We were given a bottle of Prosecco for the bus ride, which was on vintage double decker red buses. Adorable, but not so much when they are sans toilet, and you’ve given 80 people nearly a litre of liquid to drink before they get there! A few emergency toilet stops, and we were there!
Word of wisdom: don’t take anything metal. We took a normal dinner knife to cut cheese, but this got confiscated. We set up our picnic blanket, ready for the day, and being the classy lasses we are, managed to break off bits of cheese. Not going to let the good stuff go to waste! Nothing like a bit of Kiwi ingenuity.
We watched the queen zoom around the track in her royal carriage, then settled in for a day of racing. I have no idea what I’m doing when it comes to betting, but we made a few one each way bets and elbowed our way to the fence, to watch our horses come…nowhere near the front.
As the racing came to a close, we still had time to get the final bus. There was a dance floor under a huge marquee, so we tore up the dance floor for a bit. I was walking backwards, talking to the other girls. I didn’t realise I managed to knock over a whole glass of Pimms…the girls were so mad, and my friend yelled at me to keep moving. One of them tried to throw her drink at me, but I’d turned to look at my friend, and her drink went all over one of her friends. Chaos averted.
It looked like a good time to head back for the bus! The trip back was so much fun, there was no sound system so we started singalongs. Me being me led most of the songs. It should be a crime to not know all the words to Bohemian Rhapsody. We went out after, but didn’t last too long. It was a mammoth day!
I had such a good day at the races. The Stokies were awesome at getting us going in the morning, and getting us sorted. We couldn’t have done it cheaper ourselves, and it’s always great having some rent-a-friends! If you’re keen for the races but not sure how to go about it, I’d highly recommend doing it through Stoke. If you’d like to sign up, click here. If you add the discount code ‘foreverdreaming’ they might throw in a little something extra too. Happy fascinator hunting!
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