Globetrotting with the in-crowd
And we’re off! Across Britain, people are shaking out summer frocks, contemplating the merits of the block heel and checking top hats for moths, readying themselves for this summer’s exhilarating dash through the events collectively known as “the season”. The RHS Chelsea Flower Show, the official start of summer since its inception in 1913, is done and composted, the Glyndebourne Opera Festival is in full swing, the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition opened last week with its hot-ticket preview party and, on Tuesday, the golden gates of Ascot racecourse will swing open for the arrival of the royal party, universal doffing of hats and the first intoxicating race of this year’s Royal Meeting, the mile-long Queen Anne Stakes. Now, before you go “same old”, think about it for a second. Old? Too right: Ascot racecourse alone is older than New Zealand and of our dozen or so season “classics”, only Glyndebourne has yet to make its century. “Same”? Well they all do a fine job of seeming immutable, while in fact adroitly changing to fit the demands of the time.
Above all, they are unique. Nowhere else in the world has a run of events quite like this, in age, variety and quality, be it flowers or tennis. Or, and this often surprises people, open to anyone – in most cases, even on a modest budget. That doesn’t mean the rest of the world is missing out on the fun. On the contrary, most European countries have upmarket events, as
With Royal Ascot about to start, Sophie Campbell presents her guide to the world’s social seasons, from Venice to Vienna and Melbourne to Montreux
All set for the Melbourne Cup, a highlight of the Australian social calendar