Thursday, 30 July 2015


Goodwood racecourse has such exquisite views over the Sussex Downs; you half expect the band to strike up Jerusalem at regular intervals. It was wonderful watching the horses race - at about this point they move up several gears from an average pace of thirty miles an hour to over forty as they near the finish line, every sinew stretching, their coats gleaming in the sunshine, their long, elegant legs carrying their jockeys past the finish. I can quite see why Diana Vreeland thought the horse was the definition of beauty. But then again, she also thought one ought to wash one's children's hair in left over champagne to bring out the blond highlights "as the French do". The French don't.
The day began with drinks at the house - which I nearly didn't make. My train was late, and so missed my car at the station but hopped on the double decker shuttle bus taking everyone to the racecourse. Very grandly, I persuaded the driver to let me off at the house on the way, and skipped over the gravel to the beautiful porticoed front, which the driver thought was hilarious. It was a marvellous moment. Ladies Day at Goodwood is more relaxed than other race meetings - one doesn't see quite such extravagant hats as one does at Ascot, and there aren't the same dress codes. I was having a Carolina Herrera moment, and wore a cream silk shirt with a satin floral skirt, a hat I'd made myself (which wasn't quite enough of a hat, so I will redesign it for next year.) and some wonderful Schiaparelli pink glace kid flats (a great sale bargain, and much as I love heels, they have no place at the races.) A quarter of the people who go to Goodwood are very county, straight from Jilly Cooper, another quarter are, like me, down from London and so dressed as if for an informal wedding. The other half are on the double decker bus. 
Tracey Greaves, of Goodwood, has a brilliant talent for bringing together really interesting women - I made lots of new friends amongst those she'd invited, and was absolutely delighted to discover there were old friends there too - Jacquie Greaves, Publisher of ELLE (centre) and Jacqueline Euwe, Publisher of Harper's Bazaar and Town & Country on the right, both looking wonderful in proper hats (see what I mean about my hat not being quite enough of a hat, though, I hope it was not so small as to class as a fascinator.) There seem to be several glasses of left-over champagne - perhaps I should have saved it to bring out the gold in  Trefusis Minor and his sister's hair?