Thursday, July 4

Henley Royal Regatta

I'm sorry I haven't blogged in a few days. I feel like I've been left, right, and centre lately and never really had the chance to properly sit down and type.
I finished my job at the junior school this week which was definitely an experience I will never forget and surprising one I already miss, but on a positive note, this means I once again have some freedom with my time!
And boy, oh boy, do I have a treat for you today.
Good things come to those who wait, and my friends you have definitely waited long enough!

My brother Ben is an up and coming rower at Exeter University and his crew is rather good. The boys qualified for a regatta that is second to none, and of course, my family and I were not going to miss this.

Ladies and gentlemen, here is the one and only... Henley Royal Regatta.
The most famous, the most prestigious, and the most British of rowing events across the entire globe.
And in true British style, when we do something, by George do we do it with prowess and prestige!

After a ridiculously early 5am start, my parents, friend Anna, and myself set off in the picnic packed Range Rover to discover the famous pinstriped tents.
Unfortunately when we arrived, the weather was a bit dodgy.
What a typical British Summer!

We finally arrived and parked up in our adorable river side space, accompanied with its own white picketed fence. Stretching out our legs, we quickly headed off for some coffee and croissants to settle our ravenous stomachs along side the regatta course.

(Looking lovely as always: Anna's dress is from Asos and her cream jacket is from Mango)

Not a bad view for breakfast, ey?

(My dress is from Asos, jacket from H&M, and bag from Topshop)

After reading through the programme and watching the punters go by, we decided to have a gander down the course whilst we waited for my brothers moment in the spotlight to arrive.
My parents had Stewards Enclosure passes which enforce a strict dress code:
- Men: Lounge suits and blazers
- Ladies: Skirts below the knee, clutch bags only, hats encouraged, and strictly no trousers.

Whilst they had the delight of being serenaded by the old brass band inside this charming and classy enclosure, Anna, my brother girlfriend Charlotte, and myself went and explored the shops.

The hat store was definitely my favourite!

Top hat?

Fur hat?

Feather hat?

Or even a boater?

We had more than our fair share of fun in choosing our favourites and playing dress up!
Think I might invest in a top hat... Everyday fashion essential of the future?

Finally the event of the day arrived and above is the shot of my brother and his team speeding by, (Ben's rocking the white cap). Exeter did incredibly well and we all went a bit mental with excitement as we cheered them on! 
The draw for Henley is completely random and because in each round it is a straight two boat race to the finish line, you pray for an easy rival! 
Obviously we were all extremely proud of my brother and his crew, and so exhausted from our cheering that it was time to hit the drinks.

Luckily, we found this handy London bus which was more than happy to offer up its services!

With a Rekorderlig cider cupped in each of our hands, we squeezed onto a wooden picnic bench next to the river to wait for my brother to ditch the rowing onesie and shoes.

I've decided that I want a bus.
Bright, red, full of delicious concoctions, and utterly British... I think it suits me!

Finally the man of the moment came to join us after he had smartened up a bit.
Looking very dapper in his chinos and blazer, we all bought him a few drinks as congratulations.

(Ben and the lovely Charlotte, looking rather sweet alongside the bus.)

But before we knew it, lunch time struck on the grand old clock and it was time to wander past the different food stalls in search of our own quintessential picnic at the car.

As per usual, my mother was on the ball!
With the picnic hamper unpacked and the Pimms already flowing, we arrived just before the food started disappearing.

Smoked salmon, cream cheese, and chive blinis.

Prawns in marie-rose sauce with honeydew and galia melon balls.

My father's favourite, the classic Melton Mowbray pork pies.

Asparagus, roasted vegetable, and green bean salad with black pepper croutons.

Honey and mustard glazed cocktail sausages, (the flag cocktail sticks are of course compulsory for that extra spark of British charm!)

Crunchy Kettle crisps with dips and dunks.

And of course, lashings, and lashings of Pimms and Prosecco.

We British don't half do a top notch picnic don't we?!

Anna and I were sold on the fact that you just can't beat a proper Pimms.
Mint, strawberries, and cucumber galore all day, everyday!

Of course, we couldn't have a proper picnic without dessert!

Crunchy, crisp pavlova with a sticky fruit filling.

A couple of glasses of classy Prosecco.

And, of course, a big old tray of chocolate and chocolate orange brownies.
These little devils are faultless favourites at any time of year!

Filled to the brim and having finished a few too many glasses of Pimms, we set off in the newly emerged sun to walk along the course.

However, Henley is famous for one thing in particular.
Their blazers.
Everywhere you turn there is an array of brightly coloured, pinstripe pieces which dazzle the eye.
The only way to obtain a blazer is to compete at the Regatta and each team has their own design, (I can't wait to see my brother's when it arrives!)

I thought the best way to present these incredible pieces to you was simply, one heck of montage!

(Loving the bright pink chino and burgundy blazer combination here!)

But my personal favourite was this rather dashing gentlemen in a red blazer and boater hat, it complimented his moustache perfectly!

Possibly the best montage ever?
I think so.

With only an hour or two left, Anna and I settled on a quest for afternoon tea before clambering back into the car.

Further in the town of Henley-On-Thames, we found the Maison-Blanc which offered a cracking deal of tea and scones that we simply could not refuse.

After such a long and choca blocked day full of boats, Pimms, and tight lycra costumes, this was an unbeatable way to say goodbye to such a fantastic event.

Until next year Henley, I have a feeling this champagne filled fun is not going to be a one off wonder.
One thing is for sure though, Anna and I have definitely caught the rowing bug!



  1. There is too much food porn in this post Emily, I can't cope!
    I loooove smoked salmon blinis, we make them for my mum's Christmas drinks, I've had to give up dairy because it was making me ill, so I have to imagine the cream cheese, it's heart breaking!
    Mrs Rowbotham seems to be the picnic Queen, jealous!
    Lottie xxx

    1. Haha typical me ey Lottie?!
      I could live off smoked salmon, so you can imagine my delight when I saw it on the picnic table!
      Isn't she a babe?! xx

  2. Suuuch beautiful photos Emily! Love this post, it's beautiful. My parents are going to Henley to the stewards tent tomorrow and I'm in the bloody office, so jealous! PS The blue dress reaally brings out your eyes XXX

    1. Aww thanks India! That's so sweet of you to say! That sucks! It's damn annoying that they get it go in isn't it?! Fingers crossed for next year! xx

  3. How very quintessentially english your day was!! Sounds so lovely, and that picnic?? wow! all the food and prosecco, could not be better. What a lovely day, and you should definitely get that top hat!

    Teffy || Teffys Perks Blog


    1. I felt rather patriotic! I think only the British do something like a regatta as fine as this, it was stunning!
      Yep, definitely born in the wrong century me! xx

  4. What a perfect day, the sun even came out! I love the blazers, british gentlemen sure aren't shy with their fashion haha
    Oh and It's always Pimms o'clock!

    A Golden State of Mind

    1. Haha shy isn't the word to describe British men for sure!
      The whole 'preppy'/'gentlemen' vibe is always a winner.
      Oh and yes, all day and every day! xx

  5. such a lovely post. i've just got back from the regatta today and you've managed to capture it in it's full british glory. (the blazer's definitely deserve their own montage)

    1. Thanks Rebecca! Did you enjoy it? Bet you got much nicer weather than we did though.
      I might steal a blazer... Just a bit cool! xx

    2. it was really great. such a good atmosphere and we had an absolutely scorching day, even got a little bit of a tan
      i definitely think you could work one of those blazers with some skinny jeans or a pretty summer dress :)

    3. Lucky!! We got the best part of 5 minutes, obviously picked the wrong day!
      I like your style! White jeans or a white dress with a bright jacket for sure :)

  6. Brownies and Prosecco - that combination sounds heavenly :)
    Lovely post, couldn't get more English than those boater hats and pork pies!

    1. Thanks Kitty! I couldn't help but live up the British stereotype, might as well just go with it! xx

  7. see, it's posts like this one that make me want to pack up my family and move from Australia to your neck of the woods Em! What an absolutely divine way to spend the day! Love the photos...have to get myself one of those Pimms signs for my kitchen. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Cheers Em

    1. Thanks Em! You are more than welcome to pop over for a trip, happily give some heads up of places to go! Glad you like Pimms as much as we do in the UK :) xx

  8. I love your picnic, you can't beat a fancy English picnic! my parents are exactly the same with always packing a picnic wherever we go. All of the different blazers are also pretty amazing!

    1. Thanks Isabel! British picnics are second to none, perfect way to be British and proud! xx

  9. What a wonderful day :D As an ex-rower I totally agree with you that Henley is such a magical place and there's so much beautiful eye candy to keep you busy :)
    I take my hat off to mummy R, what a splendid spread of a picnic. Melton Mowbray Pies are the way to go for sure.
    x x x
    Big Well DONE to your bro

    {The Lobster & Me}

    1. Aww Ibbs, I had a feeling a ex-rower like you would love this post! Henley is just incredible, I mean the atmosphere is second to none!
      (Melton Mowbray is literally down the road- my dad is in heaven!) xx

  10. Wow, all the food looks so good, what a quintessentially British day (wouldn't be complete without a spot of rain!!!)

    Katie <3

    1. Agreed Katie! Pimms, picnics, brollies, blazers, and sport... Classic British day! xx

  11. I'm sure you probably hear this a lot, but your hair is so beautiful! It looks gorgeous with the blue dress you're wearing too :)

    I've just come across your blog, and I'm so hungry after looking at all the lovely photos on here!

    Jess x

    1. Aww thanks Jess!! I do hear it quite a bit, but I'm always just as flattered each time!
      Hope you stick around, food porn photos are kind of becoming my thing! :) xx

  12. So I've just been scrolling through your blog, and I've discovered your Henley post and realised how similar both our write ups have ended up being, particularly with regards to the blazer montages! Great minds think alike :) It's hard to resist an opportunity to capture such unique style.

    Plus Henley is awesome. I hope you're planning to come again next year?

    Lucy x

    1. Haha so true Lucy! You really can't talk about Henley though without a good blazer montage, it is the best bit!!
      Fingers crossed, especially if my brother qualifies again. Thinking of maybe staying for a few days.. You?

  13. Yeah, I'd definitely recommend staying over a course of a couple of days to make the most of it. Hopefully I'll be competing again next year. I've got through to the quarter finals a couple of times in previous years at Henley so my aim is to make it through to Saturday's semi finals at some point!

    Lucy x


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