Feathery hat? Tick. Champagne picnic? Tick. It’s Henley Regatta time!

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Beer in shades at The Harvester in Prospect Park, Reading

Well Revellers, you may recall my last post being about a 3-step self-help programme in Reading: Visit the pub, grab a drink, plummet gracefully to the Earth in a bungee jump.

Last Sunday, a portable bungee platform was set up near the smoking patio beside the Royal Albion pub on Oxford Road, Reading. Did you take part?

In any case, there’s a different human spectacle on this weekend. It’s the famous Henley Regatta in Henley-on-Thames, Berkshire, drawing world-champion rowers since 1839.

You can see the rowing for free along the public paths of the Thames or in the start enclosure, from what I have read. Throw on some shorts, pack a picnic and invite the bees if you’re feeling sweet and summery.

However, if you’ve already gone out and bought your silly hat, lounge suits, jackets and blazers — after all it is July and you will be outdoors in England, you never know if it could snow — then fear not! You can still rise above the bourgeoise and buy a spectators’ badge for one of the other enclosures, ranging from £15-£20.

The Henley Regatta site goes into courteous detail about how one should present one’s self on the day. I think they had to spell it out really clearly in case Kate turns up to another royal-level event wearing jeans and wellies again:

Those attending the Regatta in the Stewards’ Enclosure must dress in accordance with long-established tradition. Gentlemen are required to wear lounge suits, or jackets or blazers with flannels, and a tie or cravat. Ladies are required to wear dresses or skirts with a hemline below the knee and will not be admitted wearing divided skirts, culottes or trousers of any kind. Ladies are encouraged to wear hats. Similarly, no one will be admitted to the Stewards’ Enclosure wearing shorts or jeans. Members are particularly asked to bring the dress code to the attention of their Guests, to ensure that the standards are maintained and to avoid the possibility of embarrassment of a Guest being refused admission.

Luxurious Lamborghini or classic Cadillac Coupe de Ville, your royal carriage will no doubt want to be seen on the day as well. Don’t forget to keep £25-£30 in your golden money clip to pay for your space.

Revellers of the common and sensible variety, you can either take the train or catch a bus. I would recommend treating yourself to the train, as it looks like the train is cheaper than at least one bus company! 

Go on now. Visit your nearest milliner (in Reading, why not try Adrienne Henry Millinery?) and grab your featheriest hat for the quintessential Wimbledon on water.

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Do you know of other cool happenings in and around Berkshire? Leave a comment below or email revelinreading@gmail.com.

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