The Gods were smiling on Cowdray Park yesterday for the final of the Veuve Clicquot Gold Cup as the first rays of sunshine in what seems like *months* shone down on Sussex.
We arrived at the garden party and entered into the festivities via a moving vintage Victorian Veuve Clicquot carousel – a nice touch, if a little adrenaline inciting – and were promptly handed glasses of fizz as a reward for our intrepid entrance.
As we made our way out into the garden to soak up the rays on the scattering of deck chairs and hay bales, we quickly learned that while we may have been dry, the ground was sodden after days of downpours.
Wedges were the smart girl’s option but Grazia Daily doesn’t always make the smart choice and soon our gold heels were caked in mud. Any concern at this fact was anaesthetised by the fast-flowing Champagne and jubilation at not being rained on (for once).
We made our way to Rajan-style tents for an artisal picnic lunch (with potted shrimp and all!), followed by poached salmon and an array of cold salads.
After lunch, we watched as Cortium beat El Remanso 10 to 9 in a very close and exciting match.
Then it was time for afternoon tea which, in Clicquot Land, means rosé bubbles served in glass teacups. We like Clicquot Land.
Billie Piper – in a floral dress and leather biker jacket - sat and gossiped with her sister-in-law Lily James as Billie’s husband Laurence Fox and his brother Jack were elsewhere in the enclosure.
The afternoon’s other celebrity guests included Mollie King, who was working a pastel palette; Bianca Jagger, who we spied across the bar ordering a glass of Champagne; Bridesmaids’ Chris O’Dowd and wife Dawn Porter; Tinie Tempah, who had rolled up his trousers to avoid getting them dirty; Henry Holland; Katherine Jenkins, who was working a very smokey eye; Otis Ferry (sans Edie Campbell); the bubbly Noelle Reno and boyfriend Scot Young, Issa designer Daniela Helayel; and BFFs Zara Martin and Jade Williams.
Zara gave us the skinny on her new fashion-based television show, which will start airing in September, while Jade (aka Sunday Girl) joked that they have started couple dressing – the girls (who met on a Grazia shoot, dontcha know) were both wearing Moschino.
Laura Carmichael, Christopher Kane and Henry Holland treading in at the Veuve Clicquot Gold Cup Final
Christopher Kane’s date for the day was Downton Abbey’s Laura Carmichael, better known as Lady Edith. An interesting couple, we thought. How did they meet?
“We met at a party,” Kane told us. We were both still there at 7am and I thought, ‘anyone who can last as long as me is worth knowing’. We’ve been friends ever since.”
DJ Hugo Fuller hit the decks in the late afternoon, causing spontaneous outbursts of dancing throughout the tent and in the garden as we all tried to put off the return to rain-soaked London and the end of a fun-filled, Veuve-fuelled summer’s day.
by Julia Neel, @julianeel