Autumn at Ascot racecourse

Never Been to Ascot Racecourse? Here Is What You Can Expect

If you would ask me what I feel is typically ‘British’, I will most certainly name you all the clichés: meeting the queen at least once in your life, enjoy fancy afternoon tea with cakes and sandwiches or a visit to the famous Ascot racecourse.

Thanks to Ladbrokes*, I got to experience all of the above in one exciting afternoon. Alongside a handful of bloggers, I was invited to the QIPCO Champions Day, the grand finale of horse racing at Ascot Racecourse. We were treated to a four-course meal followed by afternoon tea and in between enjoyed a taste of horse race gambling. This was my first time at Ascot racecourse and I did some research beforehand on what to expect on the day. The most important question is, of course, what do you wear to the races?

What To Wear to Ascot Racecourse?

The horse races at Ascot are a truly unique and exclusive experience. It’s a prestige and people dress up in their finest clothing. The dress code is demanding and changes slightly each season. Classy, sophisticated and elegant dresses are a must. Wearing a hat or fascinator is optional but this is such an Ascot staple, when will you get a chance to wear one again?

Ascot Invite
The Ascot invite is here, now what should I wear?
Outfit for the Ascot races
I opted for a mid-length shift dress with a classy floral pattern. Nude accessories and a fascinator complete the look

I bought a mid-length floral shift dress from Asos for £55. I also invested in a fascinator which I got from Debenhams (£45). It took me about a month to find a good one that didn’t look too tacky or over the top. Accessorize seem to be the go-to shop for affordable headpieces but some of their range look a bit childish. The headpieces are designed for bridesmaids and flower girls rather than for Ascot. However, I found Debenhams had a nice collection and I loved the timeless look of the black one which I bought.

When I arrived at Ascot, I felt, however, a bit unsure if I should really wear it. It is quite an unusual feeling, but I guess this is only because I’m not used to wearing anything on my head. None of the other guests seemed to be wearing hats or fascinators. So my initial confidence and excitement went down.

After a while, though I thought ‘Nah come on! When will you ever get the chance to come back to Ascot?’. I pulled myself together and brought my fascinator out. So glad I did, as the other blogging ladies arrived in equally stunning headpieces and outfits.

What’s a Day at Ascot Racecourse Like?

Going to the races will take literally all day. I arrived at 10 am and parked my car on their premises. When my party and the team from Ladbrokes arrived, we made our way over to the Royal Pavilion Restaurant. The team had two tables reserved for us, which were set up with fresh flower bouquets and looked very inviting. Sitting down it was exciting to watch people arriving, all dressed up in their smart clothing and catching up with my blogger friends. It didn’t take long for the starter to be served: a pea parfait (vegetarian version) and salmon parfait with crispy bread.

Entrance to Ascot racecourse london
Entrance to the Ascot Racecourse in London
Pavillion at Ascot
The Pavilion restaurant at Ascot racecourse
Ascot Champions Day 2015
A neatly dressed table

After the first course, our party went outside to the racing grounds to see the first race of the day. I have to confess that I paid little attention to the gambling or who was rated the favourite. I was overwhelmed by the entire atmosphere and I enjoyed every minute of it.

Ascot is a unique experience that I’ve only known from pictures in my school textbooks. To be actually in the middle of the racing excitement felt surreal and thrilling at the same time. Back at the Pavilion, we enjoyed our mains; tender pieces of chicken with potatoes, gravy and vegetables.

Our dessert came in the form of a fluffy chocolate tiramisu followed by a full Afternoon Tea. Afternoon Tea is in itself a whole food experience but this one at Ascot was next level. We got a generous cheese plater with an endless supply of scones, macarons and sandwiches.

What Else Is There at Ascot Racecourse?

The afternoon brought more racing spectacle and we got to watch the winners parading in a separate ring. The racecourse has photo booths to take pictures with your friend, or you can check out the grounds which are huge! On the day, we also got to see the Queen!

Parading Ring at Ascot
The parading ring
The races at Ascot
The race kicked off
horse racing at Ascot london
Following the excitement on the big screen

The day at Ascot Racecourse flew by in a heartbeat and I had eaten way too much. Paloma Faith was announced for the afterparty at around 4pm, but most of us preferred to finish the last piece of cake and made a move home. Even though you’re not doing much, the day at Ascot is fairly tiring. Eating, looking good, parading, betting, greeting the queen…it’s a tough life, indeed.

Thanks for reading. If you enjoyed the post and would like to support the blog & my research, you can always do so via Buy Me a Coffee.

Till next time,

*I was kindly invited to join the Ladbrokes team for an afternoon at Ascot.

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