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Hats and Confit at Ladies Day, Royal Ascot

Another Ladies day at Ascot has passed and what a day for the girls! Estimate, the only filly in the Gold Cup wins the big race for the Queen. It was the first time any reigning monarch has won the big race of the royal meeting and the crowd went mad when The Queen came into the winners circle to greet her winning horse. No doubt ‘that’ picture of the Queen will be on all the front pages to tomorrow’s papers. The Queen was the headline from the day, but we were spoilt rotten for good stories. Lady Cecil was in the winners enclosure after Reposte took the Ribbledale stakes – a poignant moment for connections with Sir Henry Cecil passing away last week. Before that we had our first American win of the week with the wonderfully named No Nay Never taking the Norfolk stakes.

Away from the racing, with my role for Ascot TV, I get to mingle with all the racegoers from the Royal Enclosure to the Silver Ring. In general, I think the quality of outfits this year have eclipsed previous years in terms of style and elegance. I am told by my colleagues at Vogue TV that feminine full skirts are ‘on trend’ this season whilst I’m a big believer of bright colours on a summer’s day, so I’m glad that ‘bright and bold’ also features in their fashion chat. Novelty hats are synonymous with Ladies day at Ascot and my highlight was a hat made entirely from biscuit trays and a dress that was made with a 3D printer. Elegant it might not have been but 10 out of 10 for effort!

Mary Berry presented the trophy for the opening race, the Norfolk Stakes. Her first visit to Ascot and she said she’d award her pre-racing lunch 10 out of 10. I wonder where she was eating today. Earlier in the week I did a TV feature on the ‘Parade Ring Restaurant’ which is run by TV wine expert, Olly Smith. I was served lobster claws with crab, sea samppire and Potted confit Scottish salmon and cucumber crème fraîche – yummy! However I almost chocked on my chilled glass of Servignon Blanc when I learnt the cost. A mere £1500 per head. So with that price tag I’d be pretty disappointed if Mary Berry didn’t give it top marks.

Aly Rowell