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African Ladies Day At Ascot African Ladies Day At Ascot
African Ladies Day At Ascot

The original AFRICAN Ladies Day at Royal Ascot event is back for 2017! It’s a day for African Kings and Queens put on their finest attire, meet, network and socialise with other likeminded men and women all to the backdrop the latest urban sounds and the finest mouth-watering African and Caribbean cuisine.
Breeze caught up with one of the founders of this tantalising annual event Rachel Palmer, to get the low down on the highlights and activities of this fabulous and colourful day.

 

BM: So Rachael, tell us about the story behind African Ladies Day
RP: Attending Ladies Day has been a dream of mine for a while, to be among the luxury, exuberance and extravagance of such an event. Not to mention the fashion, outfits and amazing headgear … although Ascot is an English event I wanted to represent MY heritage, culture and traditions, hence my idea of African Ladies Day was born! I remember mentioning to a friend in 2013 that I’d love to go but dressed in African attire – so she said: Well go on then what’s stopping you? 35 ladies attended in the first year (June 2014) all in traditional wear.

 

BM: Talk us through the whole day, where do you guys meet and what do you get up to?
RP: We start our day at Embankment, by the River Thames, meeting and greeting, taking pictures, talking to press, other racegoers and admiring outfits. By 10am we board the coach, bubbly is flowing, and everybody is socialising and enjoying the atmosphere.
We arrive to a fully catered buffet lunch. This year we are privileged to be looked after by Tita’s World Cuisine who will be providing us with a fusion feast of Caribbean and African flavours this year. Of course all accompanied by a variety of quality bubbly, wines and soft drinks. Of course we have some music, dancing and a whole lot of laughter too. At about 1pm we start to make our way into the race ground as the Royal procession is at 2pm. Everybody then finds their own prime spot to enjoy the day watch the races.

 

 

BM: You must feel ready proud out there in your Gele?
RP: Oh yes, we get a lot of admiring glances; always have people asking about the materials, the colours, the headgear. They are all very polite and respectful – even ask to take selfies – we even have people who recognise us (you cannot miss us!) from the previous year. This year we have almost 100 attending, so it’s understandable it’s not every day middle England get to see African Royalty in all our beauty and splendour. Our motto is “Representing the Motherland in another land” and that’s exactly what we do!
I love it, we have other (Black) racegoers coming to us saying “I wish I had worn my traditional now – next year” And that’s the serious side of things, if we can inspire others to feel proud and unashamed to wear Gele or Kente even if nobody else is that’s a great thing.

 

BM: For those ladies and gents who have not experienced it, tell them what they’re missing
RP: It’s a great experience – A day for Kings and Queens to meet, network and socialise with other likeminded men and women. Each year we have individuals attend by themselves and by the end of the day made new acquaintances and networks – so don’t be shy. It’s a day out with a difference! We enjoy the vibrant and flamboyant atmosphere, and of course it’s perfect if you fancy and flutter, or just want to enjoy the excitement and soak up the regal ambiance.

 

 

BM: Do you actually do any betting or are you too busy eating and dancing?
RP: I have excruciating bad vibrations when it comes to betting, I’ve never won a penny so now I just enjoy the atmosphere and celebrate when others win (and many who come with us do) like it’s my own jackpot!

 

BM: Finally if you won £5000 on an outsider, what would you spend the money on?
RP: Oooh it would go towards a family holiday in the sun, probably the Caribbean somewhere. Hmmm maybe I will have a little flutter this year.

 

About African Ladies Day At Ascot

 

Travel in style on luxury coaches that will be leaving from Victoria Embankment at approximately 10am and return around 9pm

 

Dress Code: Strictly formal. African Attire/Traditional African dress only

 

Single Tickets: £99 per person for the Windsor Enclosure (Formally the Silver Ring)

 

Couples Tickets – £188 for Windsor Enclosure

 

£288 for the Queen Anne Enclosure

 

Your ticket includes: return coach transfers, glasses of bubbly on the journey with non-alcoholic alternatives available, FULL Caribbean and African inspired HOT buffet lunch upon arrival, with unlimited varieties of quality red, white wine, soft drinks – and more bubbly throughout the day. Plus of course entrance to the enclosure of your choice.

 

For more info email: info@africanladiesday.co.uk or visit Gelegang Ascot on Facebook.

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