Posts Tagged 'british'



British Grand Prix 2009

The British Grand Prix has been held at Silverstone in Northamptonshire since the mid-1980s.

There is no strict-dress code for the stands and so you can get away with jeans. However, if you are lucky enough to have tickets for a private box then it is advisable that an effort should be made to look smarter, although it is wise to consult with your host as to what is expected.

Silverstone is always popular and so traffic around the area is a nightmare. Leave plenty of time to arrive as not to miss any of the race.

Further advice on this event – or any other event in the Season – can be obtained on request from The English Manner (www.theenglishmanner.com).

William Hanson
Tutor, The English Manner

Badminton May Horse Trials

One of the regular features on this blog will be postings regarding dress codes and etiquette for sporting events in the British Season. We have already commented on The Season in general. This week, we begin our quick insights into each major event with next month’s Badminton Horse Trials.

Badminton House

Badminton House

Set in the park of Badminton House in Gloucestershire, the three-day horse trials are an annual event, which began in 1949. The cross-country day at Badminton attracts crowds of about a quarter of a million people, the largest for any paid-entry sporting event in the UK. Although it is said to be ‘three-day eventing’, the trials actually take place over four. The Thursday and Friday are for dressage; the Saturday for cross-country and the Sunday for show-jumping.

As with many social events in the British season, we at The English Manner start to get many enquires asking us what the correct dress code is for this event, which this year takes place from 7th-10th May.

It is advised that your choice of clothes is ‘country’ and that sensible shoes are worn. ‘Country’ does not mean what one would wear to go walking or rambling in the fields, but instead it infers tweeds or rustic fabrics. For those that hope to enjoy the corporate hospitality in the Portcullis Club or company marquees, it is requested that you wear jackets and suitable ties (no novelty ones, please!).

Badminton is known for its stringent rules on dress. The New Zealander Mark Todd rode two-thirds on the 1995 cross-country course on his horse with only one stirrup before getting disqualified at an inspection the next day.

If you are still in any doubt as to what to wear, please do feel free to reply to this blog with any more questions on the event you may have. Alternatively, visit our main website for more information: http://www.theenglishmanner.com

The Greatest Minefield of All: The Season

The ‘Season’ begins in just under a month’s time and is a uniquely British thing.  In these days of a so-called classless society it is quite amazing that this totally inimitable feat of social engineering continues to hold such sway.  Perhaps it is entirely because it is such a change from the mundane that it remains so popular!

The Season came about primarily in the 19th century, and its heyday was reached during the reign of the gregarious King Edward VII.  Since then, we have witnessed two world wars, banking crashes and the horrors of the credit crunch, and whilst there are bound to be some financial casualties this year, particularly where corporate sponsorship is concerned, many of the events of ‘the season’ seem to attract ever increasing crowds.  Attendance at most is not cheap, but because corporate sponsorship has boosted entry many people will be invited to at least one event this year through work or friends.  Our intention is to give a basic guide – but do email us for more specific assistance!

Blooms from 2008's show

Blooms from 2008's RHS Chelsea Flower Show

Debutantes went out in the 1950s as a result of The Queen’s ‘modernisation of the Monarchy’, although the Berkeley Dress Show and the Paris Crillon Ball have been revived to rave reviews – aspiring young ladies no longer need to be presented at Court, nor do they necessarily want to find a wealthy and eligible bachelor for long term wedded bliss, but instead perhaps enjoy a chance to show off a pretty dress and meet some new friends, whilst the aspirations of good manners, correct dress codes and a little bit of gentility in our increasingly hectic lives is cutting the mustard.

Officially, the ‘season’ is a three month period from May to July when in days gone by, the Court and fashionable society were in town (London).  During winter months, the ruling classes spent time at their country estates hunting, shooting and fishing – nowadays many do not even own one home let alone two – but the Chelsea Flower Show, this year from 18th May, continues to herald the start.

The English Manner always has a presence at Chelsea, usually with guests who are taking part in one of our guided garden tours, and if the weather is good, it is a wonderfully English way to kick-start summer.  The Derby follows, and then Royal Ascot, possibly the most famous race meeting in the world, presenting an opportunity to wear that fabulous outfit and out of this world hat, whilst picnicking on smoked salmon, strawberries and champagne at the side of the course – in Number One car park, of course!

After Ascot and The Queen’s Birthday Parade, we have Wimbledon, Glorious Goodwood and the Festival of Speed, and for the sailing fraternity, The Royal Henley Regatta and Cowes Week, preceded by Cartier International Polo Day – always a firm fixture in the social calendar and now attracting a celebrity crowd from all over the world.

Packed tightly in between all of these are myriad charity events, timed to perfection to attract the most likely donors, and to give credibility to all that partying!  Coupled with the Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy, the Grosvenor House Antiques Fair and Hampton Court Flower Show, those who have the money, the time and the inclination, can have a jolly good time!

Of all the summer events, I think Royal Ascot is probably the one we think of more often than not when we talk about ‘the Season’, and it was here that the term ‘Royal Enclosure’ began.  King George IV invented the idea of entertaining his private friends, and the idea of a private or select area quickly caught on for Centre Court at Wimbledon, the Stewards’ Enclosure at Henley – where entry is even more restricted than Ascot – and the Member’s Enclosures at Polo.  As the names imply, entry is limited, often to the cognoscenti and ‘who you know’, and there are essential elements of dressing up as well as certain rules and traditions.

As ‘the season’ unfolds, we will give you some do’s and don’ts on protocol and customs.

Alexandra Messervy
Founder, The English Manner


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