Huntsman, bespoke tailors on Savile Row, has a natural affinity with the legendary horse racing event Royal Ascot, given both the meeting’s very British nature, and its reputation as a showcase for racegoers’ sartorial flair.
Huntsman, bespoke tailors on Savile Row, has a natural affinity with the legendary horse racing event Royal Ascot, given both the meeting’s very British nature, and its reputation as a showcase for racegoers’ sartorial flair. Previous years saw Huntsmen gracing the noblest enclosures, from Gregory Peck to Sir John Warren, the Queen’s racing manager.
This year, Huntsman celebrated Ascot by hosting its own event for a few select guests in the race meeting’s grounds. The house took up residence at the Rosebery, a grand London Routemaster bus in a racing green livery, transformed into a cocktail bar and private dining room, standing in Ascot’s Number 1 car park, literally on the racetrack.
There, guests including Guy Pelly and his wife Lizzie, Huntsman CEO Philippe Brenninkmeijer, Lord Porchester, Jake Warren, and François Lagrange all gathered for a delicious Champagne lunch and a bird’s eye view of the racecourse from the bus’s top deck. The vintage 1966 bus directly overlooks the racecourse, and is nearby to the Royal Enclosure, meaning that guests could wander between the bus and the rarefied enclosure, as the mood took them.
After liveried waiters served a lunch of heirloom tomatoes and burrata followed by mint and coriander-marinated lamb cutlets, guests took a look at Huntsman’s equestrian-inspired designs displayed on mannequins dotted about the bus. They included, ‘The Machir’ Huntsman’s latest AW16 Tweed Sports Coat and a beautiful royal blue ladies smoking jacket. Also on show was an equestrian bust from Huntsman’s archives, which the the house would have used in the past to fit riding coats for its clients, to ensure they’d look their best while sitting on a horse.
Guests could also place bets on the races from the comfort of the bus, as bookmakers from Fitzdares were on hand to take bets and offer tips.
As the afternoon unfolded, guests flitted between the Royal Enclosure and the bus – making sure not to miss an afternoon tea of cucumber sandwiches and fresh scones – before the final race took place at 5pm.
Huntsman CEO Philippe Brenninkmeijer alongside Francois Lagrange & Bastiaan Don – all three in Huntsman bespoke morningwear
And the festivities carried on well into the evening, when the bus threw open its doors as a cocktail bar, the hotspot of the day’s afterparties. Guests including Lord Settrington, Otis Ferry, Lady Alice Manners and Maye Musk (Elon’s mother), reconvened for drinks and dancing, fuelled by a cocktail that the independent British distiller Sipsmith had created for the night named ‘The Huntsman’, a variation on their Summer Cup.