Henley Royal Regatta

Henley

A heat wave hit England this weekend so it was perfect weather to enjoy the boat races at the Henley Royal Regatta. Every year since 1839, society descends upon the picturesque town of Henley-On-Thames to picnic along the river and watch the historic event. It’s also somewhat of an Anglo-American contest with many American universities competing – I proudly cheered on crews from Harvard, Columbia and University of Virginia.

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The Regatta Enclosure is a formal tented area along the riverfront where spectators can enjoy lunch or tea, traditionally accompanied by champagne or a glass of England’s favorite summertime drink Pimm’s. The atmosphere is very social and we settled back along the water chatting with new friends at our table.

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Outside of the enclosure, racegoers gather along the Thames to share in the spirit of the competition. Corporate hospitality tents, private rowing clubs, and pop-up outposts of London nightclubs Juju and Mahiki line the riverbank. I browsed in a few of the shops and stalls to escape the blazing sun – and managed to resist a few impulse buys, including this fun feathered topper.

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After a cloudless day by the water, I returned to London sun-kissed and happy. With Henley and Wimbledon finals taking place on the same weekend, there’s no beating England for summer sport at the moment.

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