Monday 23 January 2012

Ascot Gets Tough on Fashion Crime!

Remember when I busted the myth that Royal Ascot is posh?   Well, it appears I wasn't the only one who has noticed the drastic decline in standards.  The racecourse has tightened their dress code for the Royal Enclosure (at the Royal meeting), Premier Enclosure (at "regular" meetings) and the Grandstand (at all meetings).

Royal Ascot: Fascinators have now been banned in the Royal enclosure and those in the Grandstand MUST wear a hat or fascinator (head wear was previously optional).  We now will be spared the dreaded boob fat spill-over because strapless dressed have been banned in the Grandstand (they were never allowed in the Royal enclosure), but unfortunately, they did not go so far as to demand that dresses "are of a modest length" as is required in the Royal enclosure, so we will probably still have to deal with loads of orange cellulite on display. For the men in the Royal enclosure, a morning suit, complete with waistcoat and tie, will be mandatory and cravats have been banned.  A suit and tie will be required for the Grandstand.

"Regular" Ascot:  Men in the Premier enclosure must wear a jacket a tie, but more casual trousers or even "smart jeans" can be worn in place of the suit trousers. If it is an especially warn day, they will make an announcement that men's jackets can be removed.  Ladies should dress "for a smart occasion" and hats are encouraged, but not mandatory.  In the Grandstand, the standards remain low - basically, you can wear whatever you want, but you may not go bare chested.  Thank god for that.

The new dress codes were put into effect last weekend when a "regular" meeting was held at Ascot. So, what did they do to the people who didnt meet the dress code?  Turn them away?  Pass them a leaflet explaining the new rules?   Of course not.  They actually tagged the offenders with orange stickers to mark them as a rule breaker!  Secretly, or not so secretly since I'm telling all of you, I think this is awesome, but the stickered racegoers didn't seem to appreciate it.  In true British style, they whinged about their mistreatment and embarrassment and now will be given a refund of their ticket price.  For the record: Ascot officials say they chose to sticker people so that they wouldn't be reprimanded multiple times by different members of staff.

Photo: Daily Mail Online

If you're planning a visit to Ascot in the future, the official dress code guidance can be found here.

Friday 6 January 2012

British Stuffs Review: Cheese and Onion Filling

Happy New Year and all of that... Blah blah...

I really can't spend much time on a New Year's post this year because a) they are boring and usually filled with promises I will never keep and b) I have something much more important to talk about - cheese and onion filling

Sadly, I don't remember the first time I had a cheese and onion sandwich, although I have a feeling it was at the Co-op by my office for lunch one day in September of 2009, at least we'll say it was. I probably thought it was a bit strange to have grated cheese in a sandwich since all my past cheese sandwich experiences had been either grilled or with sliced cheese. Even if I found it odd, as I am a lover all things cheese, I am certain it didn't take much convincing to get me to try it.
Cheese and Onion Sandwich
For those not in the know:  a typical British cheese and onion sandwich is grated cheese (usually red Leicester and British cheddar), finely chopped onion, mayonnaise and sometimes spring onion or chives all mixed together to make a spreadable goop which is spread between two slices of white bread (of course you can use wheat, but white is best!)  It makes your breath smell bad, but tastes so good!  Oh and top tip: put crisps (potato chips) inside your sandwich for special occasion lunching or if you've had a very bad morning and need an extra smile.

Just the good stuff!
But enough about sandwiches.  There is more to cheese and onion filling than sandwiches!  Recently, I've been on a carb-cutting mission and while looking for non-carby things to stuff in my face, I came across the filling of a cheese and onion sandwich in a tub all by itself. Not thinking of how I was going to eat the delicious goop without the bread, I happily snatched it up.  I have since found a multitude of ways to eat cheese and onion filling without bread and I fear I have developed an addiction.  I won't share my culinary discoveries with you since honestly, some of them sound quite gross, but I would like to recommend everyone eats cheese and onion filling in some form this weekend - especially if you've never had it before.  It's a British institution, if you ask me, and definitely my first favourite thing of 2012!

British Stuff Rating: 5/5 Paddington Bears

Sandwich photo Credit: