Apart from the matches themselves one of the best things about an afternoon out at the Polo is most certainly the delicious food and drink on offer. A great excuse to nibble on cucumber sandwiches, quaff champagne and put that extra dollop of cream on your scone.
Depending on the polo club in question there is a vast array of hospitality available. Here at Style Reins we’ve scoured the clubhouses across the country to bring you what we believe are the some of the best packages on offer.
Best for marquee hospitality
With a long and prestigious history, Cowdray Park Polo Club is recognised worldwide as the home of British polo and, with an enviable location in the heart of the South Downs National Park, is the perfect place for both newcomers to the sport as well as devotees of its high octane action to enjoy a polo day out.
The highlight of Cowdray Park’s calendar is the four-week period of the British Open Polo Championship played for the Jaeger-LeCoultre Gold Cup. Around 30 matches take place in the tournament but any polo aficionado will tell you that Semi Finals day, this year on Wednesday 19th July, is an absolute favourite for entertaining.
For those who want to arrive and be totally spoilt, superb packages are available in their luxury pitch side marquee; they include a champagne and canapé reception, delicious two course lunch and a traditional afternoon tea.
The all-action Final of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Gold Cup attracts around 12,000 spectators and again there are many hospitality packages available. The Cowdray marquee is luxurious but relaxed with a garden area fronting onto the pitch where Louis Roederer champagne and canapés are served pre-lunch. Guests enjoy a superb three-course lunch with wine before settling onto their reserved grandstand seats for the match.
Champagne is served during the match, and, once the final whistle has blown, guests return to the marquee for a delicious English tea. With a retail village full of country goodies to browse around, a mini funfair for the children, and an exciting pre-match entertainment there is so much to enjoy at Cowdray Park’s highest profile day. This year’s Gold Cup Final takes place on Sunday 23rd July.
Best for box hospitality
Serving up top quality hospitality to guest parties of 20 in the Royal Box to 10,000 at their ticketed events, Guards Polo Club in Egham has a vast amount of hospitality experience.
Tailor-made to suit guests’ exact needs, hospitality packages are created for that truly bespoke experience and may consist of a champagne lunch to afternoon tea, flowers, photographs or even a marching band if a guest requires one! Plus having established great relationships with caterers, contractors and suppliers, Guards are able to organise as much or as little of your event as you require.
Guests can choose between either The Royal Box or The Duke’s Pavilion to be wined and dined, with the former being perhaps one of the most exclusive corporate hospitality boxes in the country.
With the ability to seat up to 30, The Royal Box is beautifully designed and furnished, while overlooking The Queen’s Ground, it regularly plays host to members of the Royal Family.
In contrast The Duke’s Pavilion is far more intimate. Nestled in a more private spot with its own terrace looking over The Duke’s Ground, it is a great location to watch a thrilling match. However to hire this venue you must be a member of Guards Polo Club.
Best for corporate hospitality
For entertaining your own clients in style, or team building with colleagues, you need look no further than to Beaufort Polo Club.
Situated next to the famous Westonbirt Arboretum The Beaufort Polo Club has all the facilities and expertise providing an exclusive opportunity to entertain and a fantastic corporate day out in one of the most stunning settings,
In a classic Cotswold setting, mix top quality polo with the award-winning catering of Calcot’s Kitchen at Calcot Manor, and everyone will leave with a truly memorable experience.
A typical corporate hospitality package may begin with a drinks reception in the VIP marquee while watching a polo demonstration to learn the finer points of the game; a three course lunch, including wine, can then be enjoyed before the polo match starts; finishing the day with a full cream tea.
Also on offer at the Beaufort Polo Club is something called the ‘Polo Experience’. The Polo Experience makes the sport accessible to all and invites everyone to have a go at being a player for the day! Complimenting the perfect off team building or away days, expert tuition is available both during and out of season, beginners get the chance to try out their skills on a wooden horse, before moving on to the real thing!
Charity days also take place through the season at the Club. With an array of commercial opportunities on offer to suit all budgets. Companies can enjoy branding and promotional offers as well as the chance to entertain their guests at what is often a Royal occasion, all whilst supporting a worthwhile charity.
Best for picnic packages
For a truly British polo hospitality experience, Cirencester Park Polo Club is the perfect venue. Nestled within 3000 acres of parkland and woodland and situated on one of the country’s most picturesque estates, Cirencester provides not only top-level polo but also utterly mouth-watering hospitality in a delightfully relaxed and charming atmosphere.
Established in 1894, Cirencester Park at The Bathurst Estate with its 3000 acres of landscaped parkland has to provide one of the best picnic spots in the country. Having the opportunity to marvel at some of the best players and ponies in the sport, while sat in such beautiful surroundings, will mean those sausage rolls and salmon sandwiches, will never have tasted so good!
Spectators are welcome to bring their own picnic to polo, but why not be truly spoilt and let the Club do the hard work for you by pre ordering one of Cirencester Park’s delectable picnic hampers, which will be ready and waiting for your party on your arrival at the ground.
There are three options available; Sweet Hills Picnic, Meadow Picnic, or the Ivy Lodge Hamper. Indulge in the later and you can expect to lift the lid on a selection of Artisan Sandwiches and Flat Breads, Wild Mushrooms and Parmesan Palmentiers, Selection of Artisan Charcuterie, Marinated Olives & Sun blushed Tomatoes, Chickpea Hummus, Ticklemore Cheese Salad of Roasted Red Onion, Pumpkin, Rocket and Asparagus, Deli Breads, Strawberries & Cream, Laurent Perrier Champagne, Still/Sparkling Water and Fruit Presse. If that hasn’t got your taste buds tingling then we don’t know what will?!
Whatever club you get along to this 2017 season be sure to check out their hospitality offerings as when the sun is shining, the game is in full throttle and the champagne is flowing, there is never a better English day out!