Why the Royal Ascot isn’t just another day at the races

Thusday Royal Ascot by Nicole Hains

This very British spectacle of exceptional racing and high fashion makes Royal Ascot one of the greatest sporting and social events in the world. Visitors can expect to see the finest racehorses and experience the very best in flat racing, pageantry and style from 18-22 June.

With a history as rich as it is long, Royal Ascot sits proudly as the jewel in the crown of horse racing; indeed, the Royal Meeting is renowned across the globe and creates an unforgettable experience in a unique setting. Underpinned by a rich and deep-rooted heritage, it has not only survived the rigours of time, it has thrived – and now organisers are inviting you to be part of the action this summer.

Royal Ascot hosts a choice of four separate enclosures – the Royal Enclosure, Queen Anne Enclosure, Village Enclosure and Windsor Enclosure – each with its own ambiance and energy, yet sharing the same magnificent atmosphere and sense of occasion.

Named in honour of the racecourse’s founding monarch, the Queen Anne Enclosure is the epicentre of the action; a vibrant world of colour, fashion and incredible millinery just a whisker away from the world’s finest horses out on the turf.

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This is the enclosure with the more formal dress code, so don’t forget to check out the Royal Ascot Style Guide to make sure your outfit fits with the sense of occasion.

While not as formal as the Royal Enclosure, the dress code is, nevertheless, followed with confidence. Ladies are encouraged to dress in a manner as befits a formal occasion and gentlemen are required to wear a matching suit and a tie, all adding to the overall Queen Anne Enclosure experience.

Racegoers and guests with Queen Anne Enclosure admission enjoy perfect views of the racing, including uncomprimised views of the dramatic final few furlongs as the horses charge towards the winning post, whether from the steps in front of the Grandstand or up close to the rails. This is the enclosure that truly is at the centre of the racing action.

Situated alongside the Pre-Parade, Parade Ring and the Winners’ Enclosure, the Queen Anne Enclosure is the most prestigious of the public enclosures and sits at the heart of the racecourse.

As Her Majesty the Queen arrives in her horse drawn Landaus, the views from the Queen Anne Enclosure are the pinnacle, and many guests head to the Parade Ring to cheer the Queen and her guests as they alight from the carriages to enjoy a day of racing.

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Guests of this enclosure also have access to the entire ground floor of the Grandstand, those with admission can sample the beautifully manicured lawns with elegant Champagne bars, tea rooms and atmospheric raised terraces from where to watch both the Royal Procession and world-class racing. Guests can also make the most of their experience and enhance their day by choosing to upgrade their enclosure admission.

New for 2019 is the Garden Club. Already sold out on Thursday and Saturday, this new experience is the relative tranquillity of the Garden, an exclusive space for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the Queen Anne Enclosure.

Guests can unwind in this stunning garden-style deck with outstanding elevated views of the closing furlongs.

Enjoy a simple lunch and afternoon ice cream as well as easy access to a cash bar and unreserved outdoor seating. The Garden Club is priced at £199 per person.

If you are simply looking for a break in your day, Afternoon Tea is the perfect opportunity to pause. The 1768 Restaurant specialises in lobster and steak lunches, and serves a selection of afternoon teas on the serene Pavilion Lawn.

Afternoon Tea starts from £35 per person and can either be pre-booked or purchased on the day.

Following the last race every evening, the Queen Anne Enclosure Bandstand becomes the focus as Royal Ascot’s traditional communal singing bursts into life. The Household Cavalry Band brings a unique end to the day, with flags, songbooks and a great British sense of occasion.

Alternatively, on Saturday, Queen Anne Enclosure guests can choose to party the night away at an after party with music from top DJs.

In terms of refreshment, the Queen Anne Enclosure offers an array of food and drink options, including on-the-go gourmet burgers, afternoon tea, Fortnum & Mason picnics on the lawn, and tapas-style plates to share.

Royal Ascot tickets start from £37 per person and £77 per person in the Queen Anne Enclosure. For more information visit ascot.co.uk or call 0344 346 3000.

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