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It’s the season for garden parties, summer sports and of course, the chance the don your biggest, wackiest and most colourful hat. This year, I was lucky enough to have the chance to experience the Henley Royal Regatta for the first time, to see exactly what those pin-striped blazers and boater hats get up to, and what an experience it was!

Having never been to the Regatta before, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I did imagine a busy river of boats, but what I didn’t know about was all the fantastic  fashion. Taken by the Bicester Village team, we headed straight into the Stewards Enclosure, one of the most exclusive areas of the event. It was truly spectacular! Rows and rows of mint-green garden chairs dotted the edge of the river as the rowers flew by. I felt like it was England’s little mini-version of Venice, it had that much of a buzz.
We spent the afternoon sipping on pimms, spectating as each and every team rowed down the river. We watched them haul the long boats into the water and prepare themselves for the long race ahead, which they were fortunate to complete under the lovely summer sun. It was a fascinating afternoon and a real feast for the eyes, you didn’t know where to look! I was in awe of all the colour around. I couldn’t take my eyes off the incredible hats and blazers that came in all shades of the rainbow, and especially how people took pride in the blazer they wore (each represents a different rowing team). Knowing that it would be an elegant affair, I took every opportunity to go all out with my outfit and chose to wear a beautiful floral LK bennett dress and shoes, matched with a nude straw hat from Lock & Co hatters. You can never be too overdressed!
As the sun began to leave us, we finished the afternoon with a touch of high tea (the quickest afternoon tea I’ve ever seen laid out!). We watched the last few boats fly by as we made our way back to London. I was so grateful for the chance to experience this exclusive event, and did leave with an air of envy, wishing I could take home one of those fantastic pinstriped jackets. I suppose next year I’ll just have to join a rowing club so I can get my hands on one… Hhmm maybe not!!

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