Remember a time before the weather turned all autumnal? I barely do at this point. Actually if I’m honest I’m starting to get quite excited about unearthing my favourite knits and no doubt adding a few more to my ever growing collection but I am rather missing the sun on my skin and the effortlessness of simply throwing on a floral dress without having to consider multiple other layers to wear with it. Here in London, it’s actually been a pretty glorious summer and it certainly was the day I went to glorious Goodwood for The Magnolia Cup as a guest of Theo Fennell. Much like big polo matches, the races are a wonderful British tradition which sees scores of people pack up their picnic blankets, slip into their summertimes finery and and head to the heart of the countryside for an afternoon of indulgence and enjoyment. If you live in the UK or have plans to visit next summer I definitely recommend buying a ticket. Goodwood is an utterly beautiful place and for anyone that likes fillies, frocks and champagne teas it’s simply perfection.
I wore… dress & bag by kate spade ny, shoes by Pollini & glasses by Karen Walker
Now in its fourth year, The Magnolia Cup is a charity race in aid of Best Beginnings and The Reading Agency that kicks off Ladies Day during the Glorious Goodwood five day racing bonanza. It sees the equestrian loving likes of supermodel Edie Campbell, jeweller Philippa Holland and international eventer Tina Cook don jockey silks designed by Vivienne Westwood and Sarah Burton for a gallop off (not the technical term) on the immaculately groomed Goodwood turf. As a longterm friend of Charles March, the dynamic aristocrat in charge of goings on at Goodwood, iconic British jewellery designer Theo Fennell decided to get involved in this year’s festival by sponsoring the charity race and smartly launched his aptly names 18ct yellow gold “Whip” collection to coincide with it. When his team invited me to join them, I leapt at the opportunity. Fun in the sun, the chance to wear a fancy floral number, drink champagne and hang out with Theo Fennell? It was a no brainer. And so a few weeks back, Steph – who you may remember from my Thierry Mugler project – and I boarded a Cheltenham bound train for what was a truly wonderful English summer day out.
Me & Steph at The Parade Ring
We arrived just in time to grab a glass of champagne before heading to the Parade Ring to watch the jockeys weigh in and admire their truly gorgeous silks. I’ve always thought that equestrian gear can be incredibly chic (possibly one of the reasons I was so pony obsessed growing up) and this only served to confirm it. One way or another, I will find a way to get back into riding, but that’s going off topic. Once the weigh in was done we made for the track, pretty slowly thanks to a combination of high heels and excellent people watching opportunities. In the end, we literally made it as the starting gun fired and the jockeys took off at a gallop. I have vivid memories of watching racing with my Granny as a child and still find it one of the most exhilarating sports a spectator could hope to see. In the blink of an eye, the thoroughbred troop had flashed past and it was only over the loudspeakers that I learned Edie Campbell had won for the second year running.
After hearing the result we all tottered through the grounds – thank GOD I wasn’t in charge of directions! – back to the Parade Ring for the winner’s presentation. Of course, I knew that Theo would be presenting the awards. What I didn’t know however was that he would be joined by none other than Tom Cruise. Unsurprisingly, this caused something of a ruckus as everyone brandished their iPhones, vying for a non blurry instagram shot. Given that Goodwood Ladies Day is one of the main events on the English summer social calendar, it was a given that there would be many a familiar face among the crowds and indeed, guests included everyone from Otis Ferry to Martha Ward.
Tom Cruise, Edie Campbell & Theo Fennell
Me & Theo Fennell
Photos taken and official duties over, we hit up the picnic swiftly followed by cream tea in the Richmond Enclosure and a whole lot more champagne. All in all, I could not have enjoyed my first Glorious Goodwood more and will definitely be returning next year! Thank you Theo Fennell for a fabulous day.
Love Ella. X