I've never been to Ascot, but I've been looking at it with increasing interest in the last few years. I'm not a great betting man myself, in fact I know little very little about the Gee Gee's generally, but I realise that isn't necessarily the point in the case of this event. (although I'm sure a modest flutter wouldn't too much of an indulgence)
I know there was a bit of a "Chav punch up" as the papers described it last year. But it looks like it could be fun, and I've certainly seen some fairly outlandish costumes on display, on certain days anyway.
So what's the general atmosphere been like when you've attended in the past?
Generally I've found the atmosphere to be a bit like a large garden party or picnic. Yes, there are some fools who go (loudmouth stockbroker types and those who think it appropriate to get plastered on Lambrini) but they're pretty easy to ignore if you're part of a group of friends (which is how I have always attended). But then, I've always bought the Silver Ring tickets (there are three sorts of ticket- Silver Ring [the cheapest], Grandstand [which has a dress code] and Royal Enclosure [which you have you be invited to]).
It's been my experience that the Silver Ring has a certain 'chavvy' element (which as I say is easily ignored) whilst the Grandstand has a more 'refined' (for want of a better expression) atmosphere.
It strikes me of course that what we could do is, rather than go to the racecourse itself, to go onto the Heath and watch the racing from there (which is completely free!) whilst having a picnic. Which has a couple of advantages:
1) Space- Silver Ring is usually packed, whilst Grandstand doesn't allow picnics....
2) Cost- All the foodhalls are insanely expensive...