Royal Ascot is a quintessential British institution – not just the crown jewel of the British horse racing calendar, but also a highlight of the British social summer. The first four day June meeting at Ascot took place in 1768, which became known some time after as Royal Ascot, and over 250 years later, crowds of racegoers flock to Ascot Racecourse every year to revel in the atmosphere of one of the world’s most iconic race meetings.
Royal Ascot isn’t just about the racing, though. This is a week of sartorial elegance and fine dining, where fashion, food and fizz meet in perfect harmony. If you’re looking for a place to enjoy the British summer with friends, family or colleagues and catch up over a glass of Champagne and a bite to eat, you won’t find a better place than Royal Ascot.
On top of that, there are a number of hospitality packages available for those who really want to lounge in the lap of luxury. Every year, Royal Ascot brings a collection of the UKs best chefs to Berkshire to host exclusive Fine Dining experiences in restaurants all over the grounds. The Royal Meeting offers a unique opportunity to enjoy Michelin star food in an incredible atmosphere like nowhere else.
This year's 'Chefs in Residence' boast a collective eight Michelin stars between them, making this the most illustrious lineup ever to cook at Royal Ascot. Returning regulars include Simon Rogan of peerless three Michelin-starred L'Enclume in Cumbria, Ollie Dabbous of HIDE in London and Royal Ascot ambassador Raymond Blanc OBE. The Ledbury's Brett Graham brings his thrilling modern flavours to Royal Ascot for a second year, returning alongside Rogan & Co executive chef Tom Barnes, The Grill at The Dorchester's Tom Booton, and debutant Sally Abé from The Pem in Westminster.
Thinking about a dream trip to Royal Ascot 2023? Read on for a breakdown of this year’s food and hospitality experiences.
Royal Ascot Chef Line-up 2023
Raymond Blanc: Panoramic Restaurant
Patron of the iconic, two Michelin-starred Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in Oxfordshire, Raymond Blanc OBE returns to the Panoramic Restaurant once again at Royal Ascot 2023 with his typical refined French gastronomy. This is the eighth year Blanc has cooked here, and his restaurant remains phenomenally popular – this is an unmissable dining experience with room for just 100 guests, so expect seats to sell out quickly. Not only do you get the pleasure of Blanc’s company and food, you also get access to a private viewing balcony on level 6 of the Grandstand, complete with one of the best views of the track, level with the final straight.
Prices from £1399 + VAT per person
Availability: Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday
Sally Abé: Holyroodhouse
After years heading up the kitchen at The Harwood Arms - London’s only Michelin-starred pub - Sally Abé struck out on her own in 2021, opening debut restaurant The Pem to rave reviews and appearing on Great British Menu the following year. Sally makes her Ascot debut this year, bringing her precise British cooking to the beautiful, organic interiors of Holyroodhouse, which overlooks the Pre-Parade Ring.
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Simon Rogan: Parade Ring Restaurant
The holder of a coveted third Michelin star and a Michelin Green Star for his pioneering work at L’Enclume, Simon Rogan returns to Royal Ascot 2023 to serve a stand out menu at Royal Ascot's most prestigious restaurant - The Parade Ring. Rogan’s hyper-seasonal, precise cooking has influenced a generation of British chefs, and he brings that same commitment to British produce to the menu at Royal Ascot with a magnificent five-course lunch, accompanied by wine flight, vintage Champagne, canapes and caviar on arrival. After you've dined in the lap of luxury, head to the restaurant's private balcony for uninterrupted views of the Parade Ring and Winning post, as well as one of the best race views anywhere.
Prices from £2099 + VAT per person
Availability: Wednesday, Friday, Saturday
Brett Graham: ON5
Chef patron of the revered two Michelin-starred The Ledbury in London, Brett Graham returns to Ascot for a second year to take charge of ON5 - the flagship restaurant in the Queen Anne Enclosure. This bright, contemporary fifth-floor restaurant boasts stunning, panoramic views of the racecourse, as well as a private fifth-floor trackside viewing balcony with a perfect view of the straight mile, so you can enjoy racing action as well as the Royal Procession at 2pm. Sit down to a four-course à la carte lunch of Graham’s masterful, elegant modern cooking, before soaking in all the action.
Prices from £1199 + VAT per person
Availability: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday
Tom Barnes: The Old Press Room
Executive chef of three Michelin-starred L’Enclume and one Michelin-starred Rogan & Co, Tom Barnes is an essential part of Simon Rogan’s team – undisputedly one of the most influential chefs in the country. Barnes returns to Royal Ascot for a second year in The Old Press Room. This area on level two of the Grandstand did in fact used to be the old press room – this year it’ll be home to Tom’s six-course tasting menu, which takes plenty of inspiration from L’Enclume's hyper-seasonal ethos, celebrating homegrown and foraged British ingredients. Each course will be served with accompanying fine wines selected by L’Enclume's sommelier.
Prices from £2199 + VAT per person
Availability: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday
Ollie Dabbous: The Sandringham
Over a decade since Ollie Dabbous exploded onto the London scene at his eponymous restaurant Dabbous, he remains one of the capital’s most thrilling chefs, subsequently winning a Michelin star at HIDE with his innovative, intricate tasting menus. He returns to Royal Ascot for another year, where he hosts a flexible fine dining set up that includes a variety of food stations to try at your leisure, as well as a signature menu served tableside. You can't miss The Sandringham restaurant itself - it sits within a magnificent orangery in the Lavender Courtyard and features a large wrap-around deck area, perfect for lounging and socialising in the sun with friends, family and colleagues.
Prices from £849 + VAT per person
Availability: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday LAST FEW TICKETS REMAINING
Tom Booton: Royal Enclosure Gardens
In 2019, 26 year old Tom Booton became the youngest head chef ever to take the helm of The Grill at The Dorchester, and his modern, fun cooking style has breathed new life into the prestigious restaurant. He returns to Royal Ascot for a second year, bringing his signature contemporary British style to a pop-up in the Royal Enclosure Gardens.
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James Tanner: Queen Anne Kitchen
Most will recognise James from his many appearances on TV - notably for his regular slot on ITV’s Lorraine - but James has a long history in top quality kitchens, including working with the Roux brothers for many years, and alongside his brother at The Kentish Hare in Royal Tunbridge Wells. He returns to Royal Ascot for another year, bringing with him a host of sharing dishes, delicious small bites and canapes, all served al fresco at the Queen Anne Kitchen.
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Master pâtissier and proprietor of Cake Boy London, Eric Lanlard returns to Royal Ascot 2023 with his stupendous afternoon tea menu of sweet treats. Lanlard’s delicious teas are available in Fine Dining restaurants, private boxes and the 1768 Grill & Tea Rooms in the Queen Anne Enclosure.
There are lots of other restaurant packages available across the Ascot grounds, from the spacious Pavilion overlooking the famous Ascot Bandstand and Queen Anne Enclosure Lawns to the quiet and exclusive fine dining experience of the Windsor Forest.
Private Boxes at Royal Ascot
If you would prefer the flexibility of having your own space, there are a number of Private Boxes available on various tiers of the Grandstand too.
Boxes range in capacity from 10 to 108 people, and are available in the formal Royal Enclosure, or the more relaxed Queen Anne Enclosure. Every single one of the boxes comes with a private bar and dining area, as well as a private balcony with a view of the race track and a flat screen TV. You can organise catering directly with Ascot’s in-house catering teams, who can lay on a sit-down banquet or a buffet style feast depending what suits you and your party. Click the link for more information about hiring a private box at Royal Ascot, with prices starting from £1,099 + VAT per person.
Attending Royal Ascot
The prices of boxes, enclosures and hospitality packages vary, so be sure to check the Royal Ascot website for more details.
Royal Ascot also has a strict dress code depending which enclosure you’ll be in, ranging from the very formal top hat, tails and exquisite millinery of the Royal Enclosure to the more informal Windsor Enclosure, which has no dress code.
Royal Ascot 2023 takes place between Tuesday 20th and Saturday 24th June this year, with Gold Cup Day taking place on Thursday 22nd June.
*This article is sponsored by Ascot Racecourse