On Friday 1st July, I put on my glad rags and joined the swarm of beautiful ladies and dapper gentlemen that lined the river at the Henley Royal Regatta.
I’m not going to lie, I have never had any interest in rowing but I think I had this in common with the majority of the crowd in Henley-on-Thames that day.
Rowing merely appeared to the the excuse everyone was using to get dolled up, start drinking before midday and have a jolly good picnic.
Let’s talk about picnics for a minute here. People bring their picnic A-game to Henley. I saw a whole carved ham, an entire cheese board complete with chutney and an impressive selection of home made quiches. These were supported, of course, by sophisticated checked blankets and hampers. This is Henley Royal Regatta, where we take pride in our picnics.
Next comes the fashion. Ladies strolling along the river in sky high heels and dreamy dresses on the arms of men in boating jackets and aviators.
The lovely group of ladies that I had the pleasure of spending the day with did not disappoint on this front.
From left to right: Robyn (Robyn Samantha), Lauren (Blonde Vision), Jess (Jessica KG), Rachel (Me), Charlotte (Vanity Fairest), Laura (That Girl Behind Her Mask), Jenny (Dream in Pink) and Fran (Franny Mac)
My dress from the Little Mistress range but I ordered mine through Dorothy Perkins. It was a skater fit dress in light pastel blue and grey. I broke the trend slightly by wearing grey satin look flat pumps but given the height difference between myself and the other girls this was preferable to looking like a giant if I’d paired it with heels as well! Besides, it aided me greatly in cutting some shapes on the dance floor for a lengthy period of time.
We spent the first few hours of our day amongst the professional picnicers on the river bank, thanking our lucky stars that the looming grey clouds passed us by and cheering as the occasion rowers went tearing past.
As soon as the doors were opened however, we made our way straight to the China White enclosure and set up base camp in easy reach of both the bar and the dance floor.
China White, the guys behind London’s West End club Libertine, know how to throw a party. Sponsored by Moet, the whole enclosure was decadent and suave. As we arrived the atmosphere was calm and smooth, basking in the now radiant sunshine. We were serenaded by relaxing plinky-plonky music reminiscent of spa retreat.
Gradually, as more people arrived, the DJ began to expertly guide the guests through a musical journey, first introducing a solid beat, to upbeat charty numbers and into an evening of old school favourites and modern anthems that kept the dance floor packed all night.
We were front and centre of the dance floor in fact when the lights came on and we reluctantly departed with that blissful feeling – a cocktail of “I’ve spent time in the sunshine today” and “I think the bubbles have gone to my head”.
I want to say a huge thank you to China White for their hospitality and can guarantee that they will see us back at the Henley Royal Regatta again next year!