If there was ever an antidote to Singapore city living and tropical heat, this is probably it. Cheltenham Festival is not a music festival or a weekend of jazz; nope, The Festival is arguably the finest jump racing in the British sporting calendar.
Ascot – which is flat racing – is of a similar calibre (read about last summer’s Ascot trip here) but in terms of what to wear, Cheltenham is strictly country attire. DO NOT be confused; leave the chiffon, heels and any exquisite, over-the-top millinery in the cupboard. And don’t even think about wearing black.
Tweed is fine but there’s so much of it you instantly loose people in a sea of, well, tweediness.
This is all well and good but most of my winter clothes are scattered to the wind now I reside in tropical climes. I found my old overcoat in the cupboard and flung it on (it was a bit OTT; the weather was cold but not that cold). And the hat I borrowed, and was hugely grateful for.
Here’s what else you need for a day at the races:
Tickets to the Club Enclosure, a copy of the Racing Post (to assist with any bets you might place) and a glass of champagne…
In an ideal world, you also require a friend with a box or someone who is a member of the Jockey Club (thank you, Godmother). You then don’t have to stay outside in the cold for quite so long…plus you get a much higher vantage point to watch each race from:
I was with Mr Changmoh and a great friend who lives in Cheltenham and has been racing all her life, Vicky Cain. Between us, we left with pockets that were lighter than they were when we arrived and, whilst I can’t pretend to be even vaguely knowledgeable about racing (even less so now that I live in Singapore), it was an incredible day out.