Thursday, 14 May 2015

A whirl through the SUMMER SEASON

With the annual social season about to begin, here’s our guide to all the best events, from Chelsea to Cowes Week.

Written by Eliza Riley-Smith
RHS Chelsea Flower Show
This world-renowned flower show traditionally marks the start of the summer social season. Held in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea since 1913, it features a fine array of plants, garden accessories and show gardens. Where Royal Hospital, Chelsea, London SW3: 0844-338 0338, www.rhs.org.uk
When 19 to 23 May

Glyndebourne Festival
For over 70 years, Glyndebourne has mixed world-class opera with al fresco summer dining – in formal dress, naturally. Founded by landowner John Christie and his opera-singer wife Audrey Mildmay, this festival is particularly noted for performances of works by Mozart, Handel and Janácek.
Where Glyndebourne, Lewes, East Sussex: 01273-815000, www.glyndebourne.com
When 21 May to 30 August

GuideToSeason-may15-02-590Wimbledon and Slug here The Lady 32 1 august 2014 The Cartier Queen’s Cup at Guards Polo Club

INVESTEC Derby Festival

The first of the season’s horse-racing meets is a highlight of both the sporting and social calendars. Ladies’ Day, featuring the celebrated ‘Style on the Downs’ competition, is held on the Friday, followed by Derby Day on the Saturday.
Where Epsom Downs Racecourse, Surrey: 01372-726311, www.epsomdowns.co.uk
When 5 to 6 June

GuideToSeason-may15-03-590The RHS Chelsea Flower Show

Royal Academy Summer Exhibition

The world’s largest open-submission art exhibition features works by artists both known and unknown, selected by a rotating committee. It offers a unique overview of the contemporary art world.
Where Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1: 020-7300 8000, www.royalacademy.org.uk
When 8 June to 16 August

CARTIER Queen’s Cup FINAL
Set in the beautiful surroundings of Windsor Great Park, the Queen’s Cup is the highest-handicap league competition in the UK. The trophy is still presented to the winning team by the Queen.
Where Guards Polo Club, Smith’s Lawn, Windsor Great Park, Egham, Surrey: 01784-437797, www.guardspoloclub.com
When 14 June

GuideToSeason-may15-04-590Clockwise from top left: The Henley Regatta. The Qatar Goodwood Festival.The BBC Proms

Royal Ascot

With its strict dress codes, the Royal Meeting is held annually over five days in June, the highlight being the prestigious Gold Cup event on Ladies’ Day. Many also enjoy the traditional car-park picnic and ‘singing around the bandstand’.
Where Ascot Racecourse, Ascot, Berkshire: 0844-346 3000, www.ascot.co.uk
When 16 to 20 June

GuideToSeason-may15-05-590

The Boodles

Taking place in the beautiful grounds of Stoke Park, The Boodles is an intimate yet high-profile tennis tournament. With a crowd of just 1,500, the mood is always one of a relaxed English garden party.
Where Stoke Park, Park Road, Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire: 020-7384 4877, www.theboodles.com
When 23 to 27 June

The Championships, Wimbledon
One of the world’s top sporting events, Wimbledon is the only Grand Slam tournament still played on grass. Over 200,000 glasses of Pimm’s and 28,000kg of strawberries are sold over the fortnight.
Where The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Church Road, Wimbledon, London SW19: 020-8944 1066, www.wimbledon.com
When 29 June to 12 July

GuideToSeason-may15-06-590From top: Royal Ascot. The Glyndebourne Festival. The Boodles

Henley Royal Regatta

Since 1839, Henley-on-Thames has hosted the famous regatta, drawing in Olympians, international crews and members of the Royal Family. Spectators can watch from the Berkshire (towpath) side of the Thames as crews battle it out over a course of one mile and 550 yards.
Where Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire: 01491-572153, www.hrr.co.uk
When 1 to 5 July

BBC Proms
Widely regarded as the world’s best classical music festival, the Proms now includes over 70 concerts. True to the original ‘promenade’ tradition, the ground-floor arena of the Royal Albert Hall is standing-only.
Where Various locations across London: 0845-401 5040, www.bbc.co.uk/proms
When 17 July to 12 September

International Polo Day
The English polo season comes to a spectacular end in Windsor with international teams playing at the highest level. The highlight of the day is the Coronation Cup match in the afternoon.
Where Guards Polo Club, Smith’s Lawn, Windsor Great Park, Egham, Surrey: 01784-437797, www.guardspoloclub.com
When 25 July

GuideToSeason-may15-07-590Above: The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition. Below: Competitors at Cowes Week

Qatar Goodwood Festival

Over five days, the beautiful racecourse at Goodwood hosts some of the best horse racing and most stylish socialising of the calendar.
Where Goodwood Racecourse, Chichester, West Sussex: 01243-755055, www.goodwood.com
When 28 July to 1 August

Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week
The last event of the traditional season, this long-standing Isle of Wight regatta has been a favourite with royalty since King George IV presented the King’s Cup in 1827. The Solent, known for its calm waters and challenging tidal conditions, hosts around 8,000 competitors over the week. Crowds can enjoy the exuberant atmosphere on Cowes Parade, with parties and street entertainment.
Where Cowes, Isle of Wight: 01983- 295744, www.aamcowesweek.co.uk
When 8 to 15 August


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