Pass The Pimm’s Please: Chestertons Polo In The Park

Polo in the Park Overview 1

If you thought summer activities were limited to wasp-infested picnics, rained-off bike rides, going to the races or being invited to another distant relative’s wedding, then you’ve obviously never heard of polo…

Polo in the Park Polo 3

Situated not far from Parson’s Green and King’s Road is Hurlingham Park, Fulham, home of Chestertons Polo – the best introduction to the crazy, furious sport you could hope for!

Polo in the Park Polo 2

Spread across three days this summer (at the beginning of June), Polo in the Park slots nicely into the summer social calendar and provides ample opportunity for you to dress up, stand in a field, eat burgers and get slightly tipsy whilst watching everyone else do some hard work. I can’t think of many more summer activities I like better…

Food Festival overview.jpg

This year, Chesterons Polo in the Park had a new attraction – the Great Polo Food Festival, which was held in the Grazing Paddock, from Gorilla Events. The festival brought together some of the finest London restaurants and street food vans, including some of my personal favourites: Hix, Maze, the Meringue Girls, and Bubble Dogs.

Food Festiva Hix

The food area was absolutely heaving, but there were plenty of places to sit (although, pro-tip, remember to bring a picnic blanket just in case. And water (preferably a few bottles already frozen!). And sunscreen!). There was so much to choose from but eventually I plumped on this gorgeous lobster roll from Hix – although this buffalo chicken burger from Maze was sooo tempting…

Food Festival Maze

The event felt very much like a mini Taste of London festival, which was fab! I also picked up some Meringue Girls treats for after dinner back at home – their dessert bar was incredible and included brownies and pavlovas – all picture-perfect and 100% Instagram-friendly!

Food Festival Meringue Girls 2

Their stand was one of the prettiest there, and I had to snap a few pics of their cool Smeg mixer, which the chap behind the stand was pretty chuffed with and eager to tell me all about how much better it was than certain other brands…

Food Festival Meringue Girls 1

I’ve followed the Meringue Girls on Instagram for ages so I was so happy to see them at the event – and felt the same way about seeing Rachel Black, the amazing milliner, there too! I have followed her for ages on Twitter, stalking her gorgeous floating feather headpiece for what seems like years… She even had one available for an amazing discount but I just didn’t have the funds. (So sad…) However, I swear one day I too shall wear a floating feather on my head!

Retailer Rachel Black

But as you can see, the floating feather piece is far from her most beautiful item – there are some truly incredible creations here. Check out her site!

Retailer Stella and Dot

There were quite a few other fashion retailers, selling everything from jewellery (Stella & Dot, above, are another fav!) to fur coats and panama hats! Luxury skincare brand Elemis even had a treatment bus parked up for the odd impromptu facial or massage…

Retailer Elemis

Of course, just like all the rest of the punters, I didn’t come here just to eat and shop. No. I came to get an alcoholic beverage of my choice at a pop-up bar! And luckily, there were plenty of choices there, from the traditional Pimm’s…

Bar 3

…to the rather more interesting Fentiman’s, which was selling its own drinks as mixers for tequila, vodka and gin. I went off-piste slightly with my order…

Bar 2

Instead of a boring old G&T I had Boodles Mulberry Gin with Fentiman’s Rose Lemonade – and it was utterly delicious! Fruity, floral and deliciously pink! I’d already tried the rose lemonade at a restaurant on its own, so knew that it would work gloriously!

Bar 4

There was also a tropical themed bar – the Mahiki Coconut Bar –  which sold drinks in pineapples and coconuts.If you were feeling flush you even shell out for a treasure chest for £150, which served eight people and was a mix of Kraken Black Spiced Rum, plus more rum, brandy and peach liqueur, shaken with lime and sugar and topped with a bottle of Lanson Black Label Champagne – served, of course, in a treasure chest!

Bar 1

But of course, I’m only kidding about the refreshments – the real focus of the day was the polo, and what a thrilling day it was! I’d never seen a polo match before and Chestertons was the perfect place to learn, because it’s geared up for everyone from families to fashionistas, to polo-fiends, to polo-newbies. There were even helpful leaflets explaining the action, including the lengths of the chukkas and what to do with a divot…

Divot overview 1

That’s right – if there’s one thing I knew for sure about polo (apart from I was sure it was the horse kind and not the water kind), it’s that you have to go and stamp down the divots ripped up in the lawn by the action of the hooves and the mallets.

Divot shoes 1

This is why I recommend 100% wedges (or flats) for a polo watching session, because if you come in heels you’ll end creating divots of your own. I wore my trusty Stuart Weitzman for Russell & Bromley Coco wedges in navy blue suede for just this occasion… (Teamed with my Mulberry Lily Gem in blue suede and my Hobbs Bianca sun hat! Oh, and some more familiar accessories, my Brora Gold Charm earrings.)

Polo selfie

(But, don’t forget a trusty tote to carry all those polo essentials, too, like your water, picnic blanket, spare flats, etc…)

Polo in the Park Polo 1

I would massively recommend Chestertons Polo in the Park to anyone who wanted a fun activity for summer – whether it’s a family day out (the day I went, Sunday, was perfect for kids as they had special activities and amazing games for children in the morning), to be seen out and about wearing your finest, to grab some amazing food, or to get out to a summer sport that isn’t horse racing… again!

Check out Polo in the Park here, and keep your eyes peeled for info about next year’s event!

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