The racing season is well and truly upon us! Royal Ascot may have wrapped for 2016 but the Qatar Goodwood Festival – popularly known as as Glorious Goodwood – is just around the corner.
Set against the stunning backdrop of the rolling Sussex countryside at what is often described as “the world’s most beautiful racecourse”, guests can expect five days of world class racing. There are few sporting spectacles more exhilarating than watching the world’s greatest thoroughbreds competing for the most prestigious prizes in the horse racing calendar – in addition to pageantry, fashion and fine dining – little wonder then that King Edward VII once described the famous July races as “a garden party with racing tacked on”
Notorious for being a stylish and sophisticated occasion, Goodwood’s guests are invited to embrace fashion in a relaxed atmosphere alongside the excitement of world-class racing. From flowing summery dresses and classic racing finery for the ladies, to Panama hats and linen suits for the gentlemen, cool sophistication is definitely Goodwood’s distinctive style. Some of the biggest names in British fashion – Vivienne Westwood, Amanda Wakeley, Kate Halfpenny, Beulah and Jasmine Guinness – have designed bespoke jockey silks for the riders (who, this year, include creative director of Harvey Nichols, Shadi Haliwell, Capital Radio presenter and Bank of England COO Charlotte Hogg) competing in the renowned ladies’ charity race. Called the Magnolia Cup, this five and a half furlong race will this year support Best Beginnings and World Vision.
However, it’s not just fashionistas who will be in seventh heaven at Goodwood: foodies are sure to love Rhubarb’s strawberry and cream pavlova topped with delicate meringue batons, freeze-dried strawberries and decorated with edible gold leaf flakes and flowers.
All told, whether you are a horse racing enthusiast or simply looking for a glorious day out, the Qatar Goodwood Festival delivers. Arguably the social pinnacle of the British summer season, it’s an event with no end of races to watch, things to do and people to see.
Bottom line? If you’ve never been before, make 2016 the year you get yourself to Goodwood. Taking place from Tuesday 26 until Saturday 30 July. For more information, visit www.goodwood.com.
By Kaye Holland