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Britain: A tip (and nibble) of the hat to the Royal Ascot races

June 08, 2012|By Mary Forgione | Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
  • Tea cakes in the shape of hats will be served at Coworth Park in June in honor of the queen's Diamond Jubilee and the Ascot horse races.
Tea cakes in the shape of hats will be served at Coworth Park in June in honor… (Dorchester Collection )

Nothing is quite as endearing as fancy hats, particularly those worn this month to British events such as the famed Royal Ascot horse races or a formal party for the queen's Diamond Jubilee.

Here's a tasty way to get in on the hat hoopla: Have tea at the luxe hotel Coworth Park in Ascot and sample the toppers disguised as tea cakes that will be served this month.

The queen's crown, a top hat and a jockey's cap (a nod to Ascot races) and a lady's hat adorned in jubilee colors of purple, red and gold will be served along with a signature Royal Blend, which incorporates lavender picked on the grounds, and a glass of Champagne. Cost is $60 per person.

But back to Ascot. Hats are as important to Ascot — June 19-23 at the course near Windsor Castle — as they are to the Kentucky Derby. And the required dress code depends on what tickets you buy.

Those lucky enough to score a ticket to the Royal Enclosure (you have to be sponsored by an existing ticket-holder who has attended four previous years, according to the website), dresses should fall just above the knee or longer, and going strapless is a no-no. Men are required to wear a waistcoat and tie, black or gray top hat and black shoes.

As for hats, women are encouraged to wear them — with the minimum requirement for the Royal Enclosure being a "headpiece with a four-inch base." Hmm, wonder whose job it is to measure them for compliance?

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