Top 100 Senator Designers & Architects at Ascot RacesPublished 09.09.16
Wednesday Morning. While spending the first half an hour of my day opening boxes and boxes of requested Camira fabrics, covering myself in fabric sample fluff, an unusual envelope caught my eye. It had arrived. The envelope carried; the menu for the day, itinerary and a small golden label on a golden string with the words ‘panoramic restaurant’ glistening in even the office lights. It finally hit me that in just a few short days, I was going to the Ascot Races for the first time.
The morning came and before I knew it I found myself in the crowds walking through Ascot towards the wrought iron gates of the race course. The buzz was incredible, glamorous women in beautiful summer dresses and masterpieces of artwork balanced on top of their perfectly groomed hair. Gents in suits, clean shaven and handsome in the sun, which seems to have arrived to welcome us all into the racing palace gates. Once inside I was guided up the maze of escalators which seemed to rival those at a London tube station!
Upon entering the restaurant, I stopped a moment to appreciate my surroundings. The restaurant wrapped the grand staircase, with one white faced intricately decorated bar at either end of the restaurant. Surrounding the staircase were beautiful laser cut panels like sheets of weightless lace, which was impressive given their vast size. Combining the intricate details within the decoration, the sheer amount of sunlight flooding in the fully glazed walls and the infinite ceiling height gave the space a secret garden feel, like you had found a little corner of heaven at the very top of the racing mountain. Champagne in hand I found my table, collated by Jane Wheeler, our lovely Allermuir representative. Heading out onto the balcony, which ran around two sides of the Panoramic Restaurant, I gazed upon the most incredible view across the racecourse.
After introductions, we sat down for two courses of not simply cooked, but created food. The standard of cuisine was to such a level, a part of me didn’t want to pull it apart to eat it! After starters and mains, the energy level begun to slowly rise throughout the room, it was time for the first race. The divide then emerged, between those who knew what they are doing when it comes to betting, and those who most definitely did not. You can always tell the difference, you see those clutching onto the slips of paper; after careful consideration of all the runners, the statistics, ability, ground and weather conditions and performance. These folk have an air of confidence about them as the network the room dropping tips on winners or particular owners and trainers that should be watched closely. On the other hand there are those of us who allocate an amount of money for the day, and if we do not go over it, we are happy. If we come back with the same or more, we get to the same excitement level as just being told your partner has just bought you a pet unicorn for Christmas! We choose on amusing names, hat silks and patterned jerseys. We do Ip-Dip-Do. We choose the number of our Birthday while in front of the Bookie. The ultimate proof of this was at a recent Point-To-Point race at Upton upon Severn when a friend of mine put down a bet, to later be told that the race that he had bet on had passed well over an hour ago and the horse he had actually put a bet on, had just won. I’m not sure if that was through luck, or an inordinate amount of Gin, that his tactic of not even knowing which race we were watching, seemed to work in his favour.
As the day continued and the Pimm’s keeping us well watered seemed to be coming to a very sad end, I reflected on the insight into a world that I had not seen before. A world of glamour and networking, of fine food, rented hats and pressed suits. I felt so welcomed into a room full of the Top 100 Senator Designers and Architects in the country and at the same time couldn’t believe I was invited to be there to enjoy the day with such an incredible group of individuals. I would like to thank Jane Wheeler and Nick Williams for the invitation to join The Senator Group on this special day, and I look forward to all future business between Cobus Spaces and Senator, Allermuir and Torasen.
PHOTOGRAPH CREDIT: EDDIE MULHOLLAND FOR THE TELEGRAPH