How to picnic perfectly at Royal Ascot
Royal Ascot is the perfect occasion to dust off your silver platters, starch your linen tablecloths and sip your finest champagne. It’s also the ideal event to pack a few sandwiches, grab a blanket and set up camp on the lawn next to the track.
That’s the beauty of Royal Ascot, there’s something for everyone no matter what your racing or culinary style.
1) Location, Location, Location
There are many car parks around Ascot that provide a great picnic base. Starting with the most exclusive, Car Park 1 spaces are handed down through the generations and are important family heirlooms.
If you don’t have access to one of these, don’t worry – there’s plenty of other green pastures to park your blanket. The Windsor Enclosure offers space where you can happily tuck into your feast whilst enjoying all the fabulous action on track.
2) Food, Glorious Food
The beauty of a picnic is that you can pack it full of whatever you like. From basic baps to fancy foie gras, your picnic is up to you.
Although, if you’d rather spend your morning pampering yourself than preparing your picnic, pre-order a ready made picnic from the kings of picnics, Fortnum and Mason. They may not be cheap, but they will certainly impress. Or alternatively, and perhaps the most convenient option is to pre-purchase a picnic from Ascot to pick up on site.
3) Equip Yourself
If your menu includes lobster with strawberries and cream to follow, it is only right it’s served on starched white linen table cloths, adorned with silverware, china crockery, candelabra and crystal glasses.
If this isn’t an option, think practical. A good cool bag or picnic hamper is crucial to keep the food and drink fresh, plus you won’t be allowed into the racecourse with your picnic if you bring it in a plastic bag. Finally, cutlery and crockery of the paper variety are fine.
4) The Five Things to Remember
- It’s been very hot with the heatwave this week so don’t forget the sun cream and an umbrella you can never trust the British weather!
- Wet wipes. Crucial when you’re in all your racing finery.
- Thermos flasks. Not to keep the soup hot, but to keep the wine cold.
- A rug to sit on.
- Don’t eat or drink too much. It’s a long day and you don’t want to over indulge too early.
5) Classic British Picnic
Our pick of the picnic bunch is always a classic British menu made up of the following delish treats (homemade of course):
- Scotch eggs
- Sausage rolls
- Quiche or frittata
- Cucumber sandwiches
- Eton Mess
- Classic G&T’s
Food and Drink in Numbers at Royal Ascot
Prize money won’t be the only record broken next week, racegoers are known for their hunger and thirst, and if the below 2015 figures are anything to go by, racegoers could be creating a BT Tower of bread!
330 – Chefs will work across 12 restaurants and 214 Private Boxes with seven Michelin stars between them.
42,000 – Bottles of wine.
51,000 – Bottles of champagne.
160,000 – Glasses of Pimm’s.
131,000 – Refreshing pints of beer.
89,000 – Wise bottles of mineral water.
2,400 – Kilograms of beef.
5,000 – Kilograms of salmon.
3,700 – Rumps of English lamb.
7,000 – Cornish and Folkestone crabs.
2,900 – Lobsters.
10,000 – Angus steaks.
45,000 – Afternoon teas, including: 1,000 kilos of clotted cream; 50,000 macaroons; 30,000 chocolate éclairs; 7,000 punnets of berries.
If you stacked the loaves of bread served in 2015 on top of each other, they would have been taller than the BT Tower!