Epsom Ladies Day – the London Season
Investec Ladies Day is taking place on 31st May at Epsom racecourse. The races at Epsom date back to 1780, and are one of the most exciting flat race events to attend. Watching racing on TV never really captures the drama and excitement of being at the race course, and it’s a while since I’ve been.
So I’m really excited to be invited. What could be better than an excuse to buy a new frock, matching headwear (a hat or fascinator is mandatory for the ladies), and get my hair done especially? I’m just hoping that I can restrain myself from any My Fair Lady moments!
I’m going to be spending the day in the Winning Post restaurant, a marquee situated on the inside track next to the winning line. We are promised a cocktail reception, a sit down 3-course lunch made with the finest of seasonal produce including a good choice of lighter and plant-based dishes. Later on, we will be offered a Modern Afternoon Tea, which sounds most intriguing. With its private outdoor terrace, it’s going to be a very refined way to enjoy the races. There are many other packages available from the Jockey Club, although these are selling out fast. Behind the scenes, Jockey Club Catering’s Head Chef Rhys Owen, 100 chefs and another 1,200 catering staff are preparing to deliver a delicious array of food and drinks over the two-day festival.
Perfectly prepared for summer dining, menu highlights include smoked salmon from the Severn and Wye smokery served with honey-whisky beetroot, pickled cucumber and smoked yoghurt in the Winning Post restaurant. That sounds exactly like my kind of food. Seabass with masala raita, pickled courgette, butternut purée, Bombay potato and tandoori onion feature in the Derby Suite, where celeriac, hazelnut and truffle soup, with British artisan cheeses and gooseberry and nettle relish top and tail the menu. Racegoers can enjoy lighter dishes too, including, on the Downs View Suite menu, sous vide fennel with orange and quinoa salad and coriander cress, a vegetarian speciality perfect for the warmer weather
We’re also going to have access to a professional Tipster. Although it seems that Neil Philips is a man who can multi-task, known as The Wine Tipster his role is to advise racegoers on their wine & food and race choices of the day. My father is a keen backer of horses, so I’m going to make sure that I get some tips from him before I go so that I can compare his recommendations with those of Neil.
I’m a huge fan of English Sparkling wine and looking forward to seeing local wine producer Coates and Seely in their wonderful vintage bus.
Fingers crossed for clement weather and a lucky streak.
Want to go along yourself? For Tickets and More information check the Jockey Club website
Epsom Downs Racecourse, Epsom, Surrey, KT18 5LQ
See our feature on other London Season events each year