What’s not to love about an afternoon spent sipping Champagne and watching eight gorgeous thoroughbreds (and stallions – ahem) thundering across grassy fields in the sunshine? Answer: nothing. It was with this sentiment in mind that, this weekend, we set a course to Midhurst for the St Regis International Cup to watch the English and American teams thrash it out at Cowdray Park.
We always like to start the day off right. For some, that means tea and toast; on Saturday, it meant Grey Goose vodka bloody marys. Suitably equipped, we stopped to catch up with the glacially cool blonde Rosamund Pike. She is set to appear in this year’s Boxing Bay blockbuster, One Shot, with Tom Cruise, and she looked envy-inducingly gorgeous for someone who gave birth just five weeks ago.
She was bang on trend in one of this season’s vibrantly printed dresses and she had warmed to the equestrian theme of the day. “It’s by Mary Katrantzou,” she told us. “It has horses printed on it, which I thought was terribly appropriate for today. But when I arrived I felt I was a bit garish; it’s very bright. I did want to point them out but it would look like I was just pointing at my boobs.”
Zany fashion blogger Bip Ling, with her masses of hair piled up into a high ponytail, was wearing a Sandro jacket over a Keepsakes lace dress, with a Chanel bag. But it was her super-cool, mean-looking studded Chloe ankle boots that we lusted over the most. And then we spied Bip’s nails… Instant obsession (check them out in the gallery above). These were some seriously pimped-up talons. We’re talking, Nail Art 2.0. “They’re my Mermaid Kitty nails,” she said as she let us inspect them up close. “My friend, Belinda Fountain, did them. She’s amazing, you have to see her blog - So Hot Right Nail.” Trust us, Bip, we will.
Elsewhere in the St Regis enclosure, love was in the rural air, with two ridiculously gorgeous couples in our midst to ogle. Burberry model Edie Campbell was hip-to-hip with the dapper Otis Ferry and, while Otis was rocking a city-gent-in-the-country look, Edie was a picture of off duty model cool. “I love horses,” she said, “I ride once a week but in an ideal world it would be every day.” Edie had taken the afternoon off as a break from studying for her History of Art exams at The Courtauld Institute. “I’ve got nine days left, my last exam’s on the first of June so I’m going home tonight to hit the books,” she told us. What a *model* student (sorry).
If they were hip-to-hip, then David Gandy and his new squeeze were very much lip-to-lip. Gandy (who’s inside this month’s Men’s Health talking about his problems with ‘perfectionism’), was inseparable from Portsmouth-born model Sarah Ann Macklin. We lost count of the number of blush-worthy PDAs that they shared. Sarah Ann later Tweeted, “First polo match today, and England won!” We love her patriotism!
Before the presentation of the cup, we caught up with Joely Richardson, who was sporting a buttermilk Stella McCartney trouser suit and sensible-but-stylish suede brogues. Not that we were staring (much), but we couldn’t help but notice Joely’s keen-eyed observation of the match, so we were surprised when she told us she “didn’t have a clue” what was going on. “Someone had to explain the rules to me,” she confessed. “I’ve only been to one polo match before, a long time ago, but it’s such a lovely English thing to do on an afternoon.”
And, when the clouds parted as afternoon tea was served with (even more) Laurent Perrier Champagne, we had to agree: a very lovely afternoon indeed.
by Julia Neel, @julianeel