Thursday, 22 October 2015

Champions Day At Ascot

If there is one thing that I love, it's getting dressed up and outside of going to a wedding, I don't get that many opportunities to buy a nice dress, hat, bag and shoes - unless of course, I am going to Ascot.

This weekend though, the lovely people at Ladbrokes invited myself and a few others to experience Champions Day at Ascot with a 4 course meal and afternoon tea in the Pavilion and we all had an absolutely fantastic day.

Yesterday was my third time at Ascot and having been before in the winter I knew I was going to need a jacket and scarf for while I was watching the races.  My invite was a bit short notice, but somehow I managed to pull together an outfit (including a hat) ready for a day at the races.  For anyone who knows what I am like when it comes to shopping, this was quiet an accomplishment (it took me nearly 2 years to find the dress I wanted for my best friends wedding), so I was rather proud of myself!

Having been at Ascot a few times, I had learned where most things where and how to get around, so we had a mooch over to the paddocks to see some of the horses in the Pre Parade ring, checked out the Premiere Lounge and took in the spectacular views from the 4th floor.

With a champagne reception and the bubbles fizzing, we sat down for our starter which was absolutely yummy (as was our main and dessert) and then made our way out for the first race.  With the buzz of the race starting and everyone cheering their horse to the finish line, you can't help but feel the rumble of excited feet along the viewing blocks and the smell of cigars that comes with it.

Making our way back through the throng of people, champagne and Pimms, we went back to the Pavillion to place some bets for the next two races and eat our mains.

Of the three bets that I placed, I very luckily won two of them!  Simple Verse was a great tip from my friend and my Grandad before I arrived that day.  However, if you can't get to Ascot yourself and want to join in the fun, you can always place bets online or though lots of different apps on your phone - something which my housemates used to do a lot, so the living room always used to feel like we were at the races with all the cheering going on.  It used to get a little more competitive on bigger race days though, like The Grand National.

At the end of our meal, we spotted the Queen on TV and soon realised that she was actually at Ascot now presenting an award to one of the Jockeys.  So we donned our coats and dashed back outside to The Parade ring where we spotted the Queen in the winners enclosure.

I got a quick picture of her making her way back inside and after all the excitement of seeing the Queen, we stayed around for a bit to watch one of the winning horses make it's way around the Parade ring again.

After watching the Champions Race and the final race of the day, we made our way back for Afternoon Tea and wow the cakes were amazing.  Cream and Jam scones, a cake shaped like a crown and sparkling macaroons.

We rounded up the day with a refreshing glass of gin and tonic a few selfies and a walk back to the station, where the train journey home to Waterloo proved to be one of the funniest train rides I have ever taken.

As the rugby was finishing up and the crowds grew on the train, we meet some fans that had just been at the South Africa vs. Wales final and this is all I can say about that...

If you want to catch up with any of the other bloggers who were at the event too, here are some links to the bloggers I spent the day with:

Freya from

Michaela from

Katy from

Charlie from

Otherwise you can always check out the hashtag or this blog post, where we were busy uploading images all day!

Finally, thank you for such an amazing day Ladbrokes - I had an absolute blast.

Monday, 12 October 2015

Relaxing in Malta, The Blue Lagoon, Camino and Gozo Island

Last month I was chasing the sun again and this time, I found it in Malta.  I had the perfect excuse too, as my cousin was marrying his beautiful fiancĂ© there in Mdena in St Paul's Cathedral.  If you haven't been before, it is a stunning setting in one of the oldest parts of the country.

We were so worried that we were going to arrive in the wrong place that our Taxi dropped us to the Cathedral an hour early.  With the hour to spare we did a little exploring and had a quick beer before the ceremony.

Mdena is such a beautiful place, so peaceful too and lacking the usual tourist trail - but I think this might be more to do with the time of year.  As I couldn't imagine why everyone wouldn't want to explore this beautiful place.

Being in Malta for 5 days meant that we did have some time to explore other places though and being based in Sliema was perfect for us, especially as the view across the water to Valetta was absolutely perfect.

Taking a day to wonder around the Islands of Comino and Gozo was one of my favourite day trips - however, the Blue Lagoon was something of a tourist trap and it made me a little anxious being squashed - but I think I have been spoiled by the beauty of places like Thailand.

Here are my postcard pictures of our day trip though...

Isn't Malta beautiful?