Great reasons to visit Ascot

PUBLISHED: 09:09 17 July 2013 | UPDATED: 09:09 17 July 2013

Ready for the races

Ready for the races


Famous the world over for its racecourse, Ascot is a thriving small town which is well worth a visit, says Katy Eachus

A five minute drive from Windsor across the scenic Great Park, Ascot is associated with racing but also has a bustling high street selling ladies’ fashions, jewellery and gifts. There is plenty of free parking and most of the shops are within easy walking distance of each other. Don’t forget to visit South Ascot too, just down the road from the high street, past the station. There is some lovely countryside around so you can combine your visit with a walk or a carriage ride through the beautiful Savill Garden, play a round of golf or visit Windsor Castle, while children will enjoy a trip to Legoland or the Look Out Discovery Centre with its Go Ape tree trail.

Always a winner

Ascot Racecourse draws thousands of visitors to this little town each year, especially for Royal Ascot (18–22 June) when the high street becomes an unofficial catwalk for the latest dresses and hats, and there is a celebratory atmosphere. However, there are many other racedays in the year, with special events including Family Fun Day (26–28 July 2) which combines racing with free children’s entertainment. Don’t miss the Festival of Food and Wine in September and Christmas shopping in November.

Tel: 08707 227227

Mix and match

Nota Bene Jewellery, which opened in February in Hermitage Parade, offers an exciting new jewellery concept with interchangeable, handmade, luxury pieces in 18ct gold, diamond, precious stone and pearl, designed to help you create your own look. Wear your drop charms as a pendant one day, and as earrings the next. You can colour-co-ordinate with your outfit, and transform a simple and elegant day look to evening glam by adding more charms and diamonds. For an even more personal look, commission your own statement piece. Collections are designed by owner Nikki Blowers and handmade in the world renowned Hatton Garden, London. “Our new collection pieces will launch in June, just ahead of Royal Ascot and there’s still time to customise any piece or even have a totally unique bespoke piece designed and made before the races,” says Nikki.

Tel: 0845 612 0772

Fabulous furniture

Just up the road in Winkfield is the workshop of Maple & Gray, a family run business launched last September that creates beautiful, handmade kitchens and bespoke furniture. Everything is made to your exact requirements and a complete project management service is available. There’s no showroom (which helps keep the cost down) but you can see some of their work online and they can set up viewings of private projects. They will visit you in your home to discuss your requirements and then produce detailed plans for your consideration. As well as kitchens, they make standalone and fitted furniture, from wardrobes to understairs storage solutions and coffee tables.

Tel: 01344 627150

Beautiful bathrooms

Follow the High Street out of Ascot past the turn to Sunninghill and in a couple of minutes you’ll come to Options Bath and Tile Studio in Silwood Road. Here you’ll find a selection of first class European bathrooms and wet rooms from brands such as Crosswater, Hansgrohe, Simpsons, Catalano, Dansani, Bauhaus, Imperial, Vanity Hall. This is the largest bathroom and tile showroom in the area, stocking thousands of tiles including natural stone, travertine, limestone, ceramic, porcelain, encaustic, slate, mosaics and glass mosaics. Products are available on a supply-only basis or you can take advantage of the design and installation services from their experienced team. The company has over 25 years’ experience and the highly knowledgeable staff are on hand to offer inspirational design and measurement services. A project manager is assigned to each installation to oversee the smooth running of work to reach deadlines and budgets.

Tel: 01344 627500

Insider knowledge

Transform your home with a trip to Barclay Interiors in London Road. It’s not a shop but a leading interior and architectural design consultancy that has been creating and transforming interiors worldwide since 1998. They work with hundreds of suppliers, and their interiors always reflect the owner’s style and character. The business has expanded rapidly since the opening of the Ascot office in 2010. The team has just exhibited at the Chelsea Flower Show and has lots of exciting plans for the year ahead, including the opening of a London office. “The latest trends include florals and geometrics in blue, yellow and orange, and we’re also seeing some emerald green creeping in,” says Sarah Barclay. It’s best to book an appointment so they can devote time to discuss your requirements.

Tel: 01344 626165

Beauty tips

The Guinot salon in the high street which opened in 2011 brings to Ascot the highly successful French beauty concept, aiming to make women more beautiful using exclusive and innovative products administered by qualified beauty therapists. The company believes a one hour beauty treatment is more effective than merely applying cream or a serum. A beauty therapist will begin your treatment with a customised consultation, in order for to choose a treatment which is suitable FOR your skin and your beauty goals. Salon treatments and products are also available for men.

Gorgeous jewellery

Tom French Jewellery in Hermitage Parade specialises in fine jewellery, silver and watches. Exquisite jewellery can also be designed and made to commission. Tom will endeavour to make any item you’re looking for. Valuations, and a full range of repair services, are also available. Jewellery is made in 18 carat gold or platinum using the finest coloured gemstones such as sapphires, rubies and emeralds as well as less well known stones, for instance Aquamarine, Tanzanite, Tourmaline and precious Topaz. There is always an impressive array of pearls in stock, and a collection of gifts including silverware.

Tel 01344 624555

Drive time

Guy Salmon, part of the Sytner group, offers an unrivalled selection of new and approved used Land Rovers and Jaguars along with an after sales and parts department. This relaxed and friendly dealership in the high street, managed by Dealer Principal Alan Davis, is committed to provide outstanding customer care. A recent customer feedback survey scored a 99% positive response.

Tel: 01344 870383 /

Dream kitchens

For stunning, contemporary kitchens, visit Nicholas Anthony in the High Street. The showroom features imaginative designs and layouts from leading German manufacturer Poggenpohl, together with top, internationally branded appliances which add function to the aesthetics. New materials and technology are constantly being introduced and designs are adapted to suit clients’ needs and individual tastes.

Tel: 01344 624829

Stylish tiles

Hyperion Tiles in the high street offers an array of stunning tiles, from cutting-edge designs to timeless classics, including natural stone, porcelain tiles and engineered wood. Hyperion’s reputation is based on extensive knowledge of materials and first rate advice, and is the choice of many interior designers and local developers and builders. Customers are welcome to browse and then take advantage of the complimentary premium home visit service is where measurements will be taken and technical advice given.

Tel: 01344 620211

Nearby schools

In addition to an excellent state school, Charters in Sunningdale, which has been consistently classed as Outstanding by Ofsted, the Ascot area has a wealth of independent schools.

The Marist in Sunninghill offers an excellent education in an atmosphere that is friendly, lively, incredibly caring and most importantly, fun. The two Independent Catholic day schools for girls aged 2½ to 18 years are situated within 55 acres of woodland on a single campus. This enables pupils to enjoy their childhood in the company of the same teachers and friends as they progress from the Preparatory School through to Senior School. Dedicated and highly qualified staff foster a respect for learning that enables Marist girls to achieve consistently high academic results in their public examinations, year on year. This culture of excellence puts The Marist amongst the highest ranking schools in the country and allows Sixth formers to progress on to higher education in Russell Group Universities, Universities abroad and within the UK. The schools also enjoy an outstanding reputation for sport, drama, music and the creative arts.

Tel: 01344 624 291

LVS Ascot (the Licensed Victuallers’ School) is an all-ability school of more than 900 pupils with Sixth Form, Senior and Junior Schools located on one spacious, green, airy site. Both schools achieve outstanding academic results, and day and boarding students are able to participate in a wide programme of co-curricular activities. Pastoral care is a great priority for the school which was founded on the ethical teachings, traditions and festivals of Christianity. While it is an inclusive school, embracing all faiths and none, LVS Ascot still takes pride in its Christian roots. Students are challenged and inspired inside and outside of the classroom to help each reach their full potential.

Tel: 01344 882770

Where to stay

Set in beautiful wooded grounds, the Berystede Hotel is an ideal place to enjoy a meal, or combine shopping with an overnight break. The hotel also has 126 luxurious, en-suite bedrooms equipped with air-cooling, free broadband, mini-bars, tea and coffee making facilities, iron, trouser press, satellite television and safe. It also boasts the contemporary style Vital Health and Beauty Spa with two sparkling pools; a thermal suite, six beauty treatment rooms, Technogym and relaxation suite.

Tel: 0844 879 9104

A few minutes drive from Ascot, Coworth Park, is a beautiful Georgian manor hotel set in 240 acres of parkland. It’s a great place to stay or to go for lunch or afternoon tea, and children are made very welcome. Restaurant Coworth Park offers a modern take on classical British dishes in an elegant, contemporary setting. For more relaxed dining, The Barn restaurant serves comfort food throughout the day. It has a stone floor so you’re welcome to keep your muddy boots on. The exclusive, eco-luxury Spa features eight treatment rooms, a manicure and pedicure suite, relaxation rooms and the Spatisserie restaurant.

Tel: 01344 876600

Places to eat and drink in Ascot

Anne Marie Patisserie 01344 620 360

Ascot’s 01344 874363

Bar 1 01344 875123

Fego Caffe 01344 874 318

Jagz Club 01344 878100

The Stag Pub 01344 621622

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