TDN Weekend

June 2018

TDN Weekend December 2016 Issue 9

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Page 54 of 87

Look across the royal enclosure, crenelated by row after row of top hats: it almost evokes the crowded chimneys of Victorian London. And all those lovely dresses, in between, perhaps the gardens of its ever-growing suburbs. If that seems incongruous, it's not. For if Ascot is a definitively British experience, it is also an unequivocally metropolitan one. Yes, the backdrop to the racecourse is heath and forest— but this is otherwise a commuter belt of electric gates and exorbitant green fees. And remember that it was precisely Ascot's proximity to the capital that harnessed the royal meeting to the London "season", much like the Henley Regatta or lawn tennis at Wimbledon. To be honest, since the advent of the railway nobody with a cosmopolitan corpuscle in his or her veins—unless happening to have an invitation to Windsor Castle—has sought accommodation for Ascot anywhere other than in town. Above all for the overseas visitor, then, there is no better way to complement an afternoon of tradition and pageantry, at the races, than by an evening exploring 21st Century London.

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