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    Cartier Polo, Surrey Review

    Windsor Great Park, Egham, Surrey, TW20 0HP, UK
    Cartier Polo Review
    5 Star Rating
    Tags: Surrey, UK, Hospitality reviewsThe Bill: £395 per person

    The annual Cartier International Polo event is a summer staple for the rich and famous. It’s an opportunity to socialise with the elite, eat good food, drink good champagne and maybe watch a chukka or two.

    The event is held in summer each year at the Guards Polo Club in Windsor Great Park. It was the 25th anniversary this year, so extra effort was made to make it a good one. The weather was nice, the atmosphere relaxed, and yours truly had two tickets.

    They gave us access to Chukkas, the hospitality tent provided by Keith Prowse. Which meant an afternoon of free drinks, good food and conversation. Keith was putting on an African themed tent this year, so we were looking forward to seeing what we had in store.

    There were 30,000 people expected this year, so we got there early to make sure we didn’t get caught up in the crowd. The car park was well-managed and we had no problem finding a spot. We glided through a polite and efficient entry and we were into the Guards Club itself.

    Guests at this year’s Cartier International Polo included Prince Charles, Anna Friel, Neve Campbell, Amber Le Bon and many others. It is really a who’s who of English society, and so the press were also there in droves. The atmosphere was light and convivial, although people were there to be seen rather than to watch the game.

    "The menu was African-inspired but was an innovative choice for such an English event."

    The game itself wasn’t bad either. The itinerary consisted of several polo matches, with the main event being The Coronation Cup at 3.15pm.

    The Keith Prowse tent was huge. It was light, airy and had enough headroom to give the illusion of space. The African theme, was officially the “40s Rift Valley Heyday” was a nice touch. It was done in a serious, but light-hearted manner. There were animal prints everywhere and people playing African drums and other instruments.

    We were greeted by champagne and canapés at the Smith’s Lawn Enclosure as we walked through. The canapés were light, tangy and delicious, and of course the champagne was superb.

    The menu was African-inspired too which was a little startling at first, given the deep English roots of the event, but ended up being an innovative choice. It gave us the opportunity to try things we would never normally try, which is great.

    Starter was a sharing platter, called the “Bayete Inkosi Platter.” It had Droewors, biltong, harissa spiced hummus, ethopian flat breads with dukkah spice and olive oil, Malay spiced lamb, chicken, fish and vegetable sosaties, tomato, mango and papaya salsa and chilli butterbean salad.

    It was a lovely mix of meat and vegetables and ideal for eating on the flat bread. Biltong takes some chewing, but is worth the investment as the rich meat has a very distinct flavour.

    Main course was masala roasted sirloin of beef on sweet spiced carrots with cucumber, green beans and pine kernels with coriander and lime yoghurt with Peri peri spiced roasted potato wedges.

    Dessert was and Egoli Plate. A little trio of African gems - koeksusters with cardamom syrup, mini milk tart and chocolate sphere topped with gold.

    Once dinner was over, there was of course afternoon tea. That was a range of light bites, suitable for settling the stomach after an afternoon of polo. It was made up of smoked chicken, apricot, rocket and harissa mayo wrap, crayfish and ras-el-hanout mayonnaise with preserved lemon in a wrap, cocktail roll filled with toasted onion with parmesan and pesto, cocktail roll filled with brie with fig relish and fresh apple and open thick sliced peppered beef rump and cropwell bishop stilton on seed loaf.

    Our day at the Cartier International Polo was what you would expect. A day full of socialising, eating, quaffing champagne and watching the game. It is a great day out, and one we would recommend wholeheartedly.

    Photos courtesy of Cartier Polo
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