Ascot. What I expected it to be like:
Beautiful people dripping with glamour, floating across green, green lawns like swans in their Ted Baker dresses & oversized hats. Groups of picnic revellers and afternoon tea eaters, all washed down with buckets of prosecco and ha ha ha jokes. Horses. Money. A day of relaxation with my gal pals.
WRONG. OMG HOW WAS I SO WRONG.
My day at Ascot was a car crash. Like the worst car crash ever. And I’d scheduled a post this week on it but when I woke up on Saturday morning I was like ‘flippin’ heck, what the hell am I supposed to write about now? I can’t write about that.‘
But then I thought, yeah I can. Lets just be brutally honest. And then maybe you guys won’t make all the Ascot mistakes that I made this year.
DON’T LEAVE TOO LATE
Oh you think this is an obvious one do you? Don’t even go there.
We left at 9.30am and I thought ‘perfect, that leaves plenty of time.‘ Only to google map the dam thing that morning to realise it was gonna take us over 2 hours to get to the race course. TWO HOURS. I could take a trip to Amsterdam for the time it was going to take (and the moneys it cost) to get there.
Hey, this wouldn’t have been a problem if we’d left super early like every other Ascot reveller. But no, we got stuck in stop/start traffic all the way there and then gridlock traffic arriving into Ascot. Three hours later and we arrived, only to be greeted by everyone else’s deserted picnics outside their minibuses.
We were late. Like really late. And that sent my flock of friends into a frenzy.
My advice? Leave early doors. Like 8am early.
DON’T DRINK TOO MUCH ON THE MINIBUS
Whaddaya gonna do when you spend 3 hours on a minibus with 10 bottles of prosecco?
I think you know the answer to that.
Now this caused two major issues. The first being a huge increase in the amount of pee break stops we had to make. Which didn’t help improve the situation in point 1 (OMG WE’RE RUNNING SO LATE BUT GOTTA PEE SO BAD)
The second being that when we eventually emerged into the sunlight stepping off the minibus, everything was a bit, well, blurry. In fact, we rocked into Ascot like we were going to a Beyonce concert. Awks.
My advice? Keep that prosecco firmly in your hamper and spread the drinking out throughout the day. I sound so bloody civilised. Go me.
DON’T BUY CHEAP TICKETS
Oh my gosh so yeah this is super important. I don’t know what it was like in the other enclosures, but I like to imagine they are like the idyllic scenarios in my first paragraph.
We, however, purchased the cheapest tickets at £35 and what I entered was not a smidgen like I’d imagined Ascot to be.
In fact, it was like being at a festival but there was no live music and I had to wear high heels on grass. Lame.
It was hella busy with people sprawled out everywhere over the floor, drinking themselves into oblivion. There wasn’t anything particularly formal about the situation, so I kinda wondered what the hell I was doing standing there with a posh frock on, high heels and a flippin’ fascinator on my head.
On the website, it said there would be gourmet food stands and a live band. Nah ah. All I found was a chip stall and there was zilch live music in sight.
Okay so I sound like a snob. And maybe I just felt hard done by because we were so late to the party that there wasn’t a good spot for our group to set up camp, and everyone had already scoffed their picnics leaving mess left right & centre. But I just expected something so darn different to what we experienced that I just felt a little let down.
My advice? Fork out the extra dollar to go into the Royal Enclosure. I’ve heard the grass is greener on the other side and I want a piece of it.
DON’T GET SEPARATED FROM YOUR PALS
So we strutted into the races in our large gal pal group and what happens? Everyone goes apeshit crazy, running off left right & centre to experience all the fun of the fair.
So the booze probably didn’t help, and the crowds probably didn’t help, and the call of cocktails certainly didn’t help. But I mean come on? We had 3 whole hours on a minibus to make a plan and yet we managed to get separated within 30 minutes of entering the darn event.
Smart move ladies.
So the day we’d planned on spending together, winning thousands of pounds whilst scoffing strawberries was very quickly falling out of our grasp.
And when those phone calls come flooding in ‘hey where are you guys?’ the directions to find us at the red betting umbrella were pretty useless when we looked around and saw a sea of red betting umbrellas. Dammit.
Luckily, I stuck with one pal and we betted on almost every race. Winning nothing, obvs. But at least we saw horses before we left. The only horse the majority of my friends saw that day were the police horses on the way out. Lols.
DON’T BE A HERO – EVEN GOOD MEN GET LEFT BEHIND
Okay so this is when things really took an awful turn for the worse.
‘Mini bus leaves at 6.30pm’ she said. ‘Don’t be late’ she said.
Of course it was going to take a male to ruin my day proper like. So we let boys (smelly boys) catch a lift with us to and from Ascot. (Boys we knew, of course. Not stranger boys. That would be weird).
Were they anywhere to be found at 6.30pm? Nah ah. One of them we discovered was lost to Ascot, never to be seen again. The other was stranded on a round about, begging us to go pick him up.
Now me being the heartless bitch that I am very dramatically exclaimed ‘LEAVE HIM BEHIND. If he can’t get his butt back to this bus on time he doesn’t deserve our golden carriage‘
But there were some saints on the bus, you see, who insisted on making the journey to the magic round about to retrieve the boy. Suckers.
But the problem was, the roads around Ascot had been strategically structured into a one way system, and in order to get back to the roundabout to rescue silly boy, we had to go the whole way back round. And appaz everyone else had a silly boy to rescue too, because we were stuck in gridlock traffic for two and a half hours trying to get there.
Yeah, no, you didn’t misread that. TWO AND A HALF HOURS.
Ascot finished at 6pm and yet we didn’t leave until just after 9pm. I’d love to report that the reason for this was ’cause we were partying like rock stars in the pop up bars around the site, but alas, we were actually sat on a sweaty mini bus on a huge hangover come down with sandpaper mouths trying to rescue a boy on a roundabout.
I had to laugh at the time because if I didn’t I would have wailed big time.
My advice? Don’t be friends with boys. They ruin your day.
I arrived home after 8+ hours on a minibus, a serious case of dehydration and sore feet at around 11pm.
So there you have it. My advice on how to avoid the mistakes I made and hopefully this will lead you to have one of those fabulous times at Ascot that I hear so much about.
Rant over. Have a great week everyone.