there are a number of brilliant things about a british summer, if the weather holds out, and my favourite has to be the polo. the most stylish of sports, and the only one that allows you to get dressed up, guzzle champagne and act out scenes from pretty woman.
i was invited to the veuve clicquot gold cup final over the weekend, and despite some very threatening dark clouds, the gods smiled and we spent most of the day at cowdray park in west sussex basking in the sunshine.
we were so lucky with the weather. not a drop of rain all day, despite the dramatic sky. the grass was a little sodden, and i was grateful for my elevated wedges, which kept me a few centimetres safely off the ground. i wore a dip hem floral sundress from topshop with a coral pink blazer, and beat the breeze with my hair tied back in a fishtail braid.
we entered the oh so lovely veuve clicquot enclosure through a working victorian carousel, as you do. once safely off the carousel and inside the billowing white tents, we were handed our first of many glasses of bubbles – veuve, naturally.
we spent the next hour mingling, fizz in hand, and soaking up the atmosphere. dapper men in pastel suits and women in wedges and sundresses perched on bright yellow deck chairs, pristine white sofas, and bales of hay as seriously gorgeous waiters handed out tiny canapés and topped up our glasses.
lunch was called, and we settled in our open-sided tents for a picnic-style box of starters including paté, crudités, fresh bread with lemon butter, scotch eggs and potted shrimp. next, our chef served up poached salmon with a selection of salads including cucumber, beetroot and potato.
by this point, filled up and about four glasses of veuve in, i had almost forgotten what we were there for. but when the whistle blew and a stampede of rather muscular men on horses came charging onto the pitch, we dashed to the front of the little white picket fence to catch all the action.
we were sipping on our bubbles and gazing at the game, wondering out loud what, exactly, was going on when a friendly irish voice piped up next to us telling us that one player had cut in on another player’s line (apparently that’s not allowed). we turned to the helpful sports fan and struck up a conversation, realising rather quickly that it was chris o’dowd. yes, there we were, talking sports with adorable officer rhodes from bridesmaids. he was there with his lovely fiancée dawn, and we spent some time shooting the breeze about his recent film shoot in sydney before we swallowed our pride and asked for a picture.
there were a number of celebrity guests in the veuve enclosure, including downton’s laura carmichael, bianca jagger, mollie king, katherine jenkins, tinie tempah, designers christopher kane and henry holland (who we also convinced to pose for a happy snap. yes, we are dorks) as well as jodie kidd, billie piper and otis ferry. adele was rumoured to be attending, but her fiancé simon konecki turned up without her.
at half time, we got to channel julia roberts to stomp the divots on the pitch, teetering around in our wedges as we elbowed out others to claim a particularly satisfying clump of grass.
those eye candy waiters circulated with miniature passionfruit meringue pies and glass tea cups of veuve clicquot rosé. we were among the last to be pushed out of the tents and sent, high on bubbles and a burst of summer fun, back to london.