Veuve Clicquot Gold Cup 2014 > Cowdray Park
Last Sunday afternoon at Cowdray Park, saw nearly four weeks of play come to an exciting climax. This year fourteen teams set out to take home the most coveted trophy in polo, the Veuve Clicquot Gold Cup. In their twentieth year of supporting the British Open Polo Championship, Veuve Clicquot thew a quite the afternoon for us lucky guests.
Now what do you know about Polo? Did you know that the word ‘polo’ is supposedly derived from ‘pulu’, Tibetan for willow, of which the original balls were made? The earliest architectural remains of a polo field can be found in Isphahan, the ancient capital of Persia. Now that space is a public park, and the ground is the exact size of a modern polo pitch. Records show how British officers saw the game while they were stationed in Manipur, India in the mid 1800s and slowly local British tea planters joined the British army in taking up the game. The Calcutta Polo Club was formed and remains the oldest club in the world. Returning officers brought the game to the UK, and the first recorded game was played on Hounslow Heath in 1869.
The Gold Cup
In sporting terms, the Gold Cup remains the most coveted polo trophy in the world, and Veuve Clicquot has added the gloss and glamour to the tournament final, making it a day that you do not want to miss. I was honoured to be invited as a guest of Smythson. Moet Hennessy kindly arranged the transportation to Cowdray Park for our VIP lunch ahead of the final.
The 150 person lunch was attended by Lord Cowdray and his guests, Jean-Marc Lacave, President of Veuve Clicquot, The Hon Mrs Lila Pearson (who we have to thank for the VCP partnership with the Championship 20 years ago following Davidoff’s withdrawal), Princesses Isabel and Gabriella Khan, Caroline Sieber, Roksanda Ilnicic, the Veuve Clicquot 2014 Social Entrepeneur Jenny Dawson, Nicholas Kirkwood, Katie Hillier, Jodie Kidd, Raymond Blanc, Alexa Chung and Tinie Tempah to name a handful of the glam squad. Personally I was thrilled to spend the day amongst old and new friends Akiko Takashima, Benjamin West, Paula Fitzherbert, and Henry & Freddie Conway.
I have to share with you though the most beautiful setting for our lunch. Polar Black Events and Floral Artist Rebecca Louise Law created the most visually stunning marquee for us to shelter from the days heat, and if you head to my Instagram video you’ll see the suspended roses gently swaying in the midday breeze.
Notice Rebecca’s tiny ski friends and animals in the centre pieces…
Seated with some new faces, my table included Roksanda llincic, husband Philip Bueno del Mesquita, and their gorgeous little daughter Mia, Smythson’s Akiko Takashima, Amy Molyneaux and her boyfriend. Spot our place card holders, how divine!
A heavenly lunch, rather light on the carbs considering the bubbles to food ratio but hey who’s complaining, there are flowers on my food!
Pudding? Roksanda and Akiko are fooling no one…
I tell you it’s thirsty work…
Let the polo begin, King Power are introduced to the field.
VIP may have had the sun loungers but the picnic area had the swings, SO FUN.
In celebration of Dubai lifting the Gold Cup, The Blades Air Team performed an incredible air display later in the afternoon over the lawns…
A wonderful day. With all my thanks to Smythson and Veuve Clicquot UK for spoiling us all rotten.
“Let others play at other things. The king of games is still the game of kings.”