Category: UK – London

Off to the Races: 2016 Horse Racing Season Guide

Off to the Races: 2016 Horse Racing Season Guide Kentucky Derby - Photo: iStockphoto/ Jill Lang

Ready, set, hats!

May marks the beginning of horse racing season, and its attendant mint juleps and mojitos, bright sundresses, and huge statement hats. To prepare you for high racing season, my team and I have put together a primer of the most important races, what’s at stake at each this season, and how to answer the most pressing question – what to wear?

Kick back with a mint julep and our guide to this season’s quintessential races.

Races to Watch

May 6 and 7, Kentucky Derby:

Held in Louisville, Kentucky on the first Saturday of May every year, the Kentucky Derby kicks off horse racing season. Held at the famous Churchill Downs, the competition is between three-year-old thoroughbreds, who battle it out on the racetrack for one and a quarter miles. The Kentucky Derby is the first of three key American horse racing events that, together with the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes comprise the “Triple Crown” of thoroughbred racing.

The race’s marquee social event is the star-studded, black tie Barnstable Brown Gala, held the night before the races every year in the jaw-dropping mansion of local social doyenne Patricia Barnstable Brown. It is one of the highlights of the Southern social scene, and a perfect occasion to break out your best Oscar, Carolina, or Miuccia. And once you’re at the races the next day, you’ll need a drink. If you’re feeling lucky with your bets, there’s no better way to toast to your luck than with Woodford Reserve’s $1,000 mint julep, which has been sold in a custom-designed commemorative cups at the Derby for the past ten years.

May 14, Iroquois Steeplechase: 

Hot on the Derby’s heels is the Iroquois Steeplechase, held near Nashville, Tennessee. Steeplechase has been held on the same course since 1941, and has been a fixture in Southern social calendars for just as long. The best views are from the “Tents in the Turn”– luxe, tented affairs with prime panoramas onto the track, and from the Skybox Suites, which are wood-paneled, climate controlled, and full of the crème de la crème of Southern society.

The hottest ticket in town is the Steeplechase-eve gala at the gorgeous and historic Belle Meade Planation. The soirée is invitation-only, but if you have a proper Southern belle on speed dial, you can bet she’ll have an in. You’ll have plenty of time to meet fellow race-goers in the preceding weeks, when all of Nashville congregates at the booming city’s best boutiques, including Reese Witherspoon’s new Draper James.

June 14 to 18, Royal Ascot:

For those looking to hop the pond for a mid-summer European escape, Royal Ascot is a must-go event on the British social calendar. Ascot is over 300 years old, and hats are required. The Royal Enclosure is the place to be, where Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, along with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, watch the race each year. Race-goers imbibe over 50,000 bottles of champagne each year and nosh on 2,900 lobsters and 50,000 macaroons. Four hundred helicopters and 1,000 limousines ferry Ascot-goers to and from London and beyond.

What to Wear

Races have a very particular dress code, of course. For the ladies, statement hats or fascinators are the most essential piece of any outfit. While you could always head to Barney’s or Saks to find your perfect topper, some designers have taken to making extraordinary hats particularly for the occasion.

The Royal Ascot collection is designed in collaboration with eight of the United Kingdom’s most fabulous milliners, many of whom have been of service to the Royal Family. (We think the fascinator would be a particularly good choice to pair with your L.K. Bennetts, in a nod to the Duchess of Cambridge.)

Top American milliners include Maggie Mae Designs and Gina Conti. There are ostrich plumes and hand-pleated Parisian ribbon aplenty, custom orders are not uncommon, and the most important rule of all is that the same hat can never be worn twice.

As for the rest of your outfit, ladies should opt for a bright shift dress paired with Louboutin wedges and ropes of pearls– a classic, understated look that lets the hat shine! For gentlemen, a Brooks Brothers seersucker suit was practically made for Derby Day. Smarten up your suit with a bowtie, a pair of horse bit loafers (worn sockless, of course), and a fedora or bowler hat for a distinguished, dapper look.

And now, we’re off to the races!

Leave a Comment »

Remembering Zaha Hadid

Remembering Zaha Hadid Cultural Center, Baku Azerbaijian by Zaha Hadid - Photo: iStockphoto/Asurobson

“People think that the most appropriate building is a rectangle, because that’s typically the best way of using space. But is that to say that landscape is a waste of space? The world is not a rectangle.” – Dame Zaha Hadid

Recently, when I learned the sad news of Dame Zaha Hadid’s passing, I was reminded of the moment in 2015 when Read more…

Leave a Comment »

Manhattan Market: What Does a $2.5M Condo Really Cost Foreign Buyers Today?

Manhattan Market: What Does a $2.5M Condo Really Cost Foreign Buyers Today? Rise in local currency cost to a foreign buyer for $2.5M NY property, from 2014 to 2016 based solely on currency value fluctuation

Much has been written about Chinese and Russians dropping $30+ million on Manhattan luxury condominiums since 2012. As a result, even sellers of condos priced between $1-4 million ask: “Where are the foreign buyers for my home? What will you do to attract them?”

While huge amounts of foreign currency is being spent on US real estate, not every property type is benefiting from it or is appealing to an international buyer. Generally, foreign buyers who Read more…

Leave a Comment »

Favorite Cities of the Super Rich – London Ranks #1 per Forbes Magazine

Favorite Cities of the Super Rich – London Ranks #1 per Forbes Magazine London Aerial View at Night - Photo by Jason Hawks 2008

In this recently posted photo gallery by Forbes (click link) ranked the top 11 cities that the super rich (HNWI) are choosing to buy in. London ranked #1 with New York luxury real estate coming in at #2.

With a growing personal network of global brokers that I have met and know, it’s becoming evident to me how Read more…

Leave a Comment »

Why One57 and New York’s Luxury Properties Are Selling At Record Prices

Why One57 and New York’s Luxury Properties Are Selling At Record Prices View from the top of One57 - Photo by Chang W. Lee for the New York Times

A September 18th New York Times article entitled “Rising Tower Emerges as Billionaire’s Haven”, details the success Gary Barnett and Extell development are having with One57, New York’s newest and tallest (1,004 feet high) luxury residential real estate development. VIDEO

Trophy property sales in Manhattan have skyrocketed in 2012.  While the $95 million the buyer of the full floor unit at One57 is a New York record and surpasses the $88 million Read more…

Leave a Comment »

Tavistock Group: Investing in Luxury Real Estate

Christopher Anand of the Tavistock Group shares successful tips for investing in Luxury Real Estate. Tavistock’s successful investment strategies provide insight into why global high net worth individuals (HNWI’s) invest in New York luxury real estate (condos and townhouses) in Manhattan. Anand’s tips and Tavistock’s strategies agree with a recent Knight Frank Wealth Report revealing that along with equities, HNWI’s are purchasing Art, Wineries, Sports Teams along with other non-paper investments as part of an overall strategy to have more protected investment portfolios. Contact me for your New York luxury real estate needs. – Tony Sargent

Leave a Comment »

London Hotspots – Top 13 Residential Redevelopment Areas Ranked by Knight Frank

London Hotspots – Top 13 Residential Redevelopment Areas Ranked by Knight Frank London Thames Sunset Panorama - Photo by David Iliff, 2008 courtesy of Wikimedia.com

Knight Frank (KF), a highly respected real estate firm based in London recently released their Autumn 2011 Report on the Top 13 Residential they expect to outperform prime central London property by 2016.

It estimates that in these identified “hotspots” new-build redevelopments (conversions and new construction) will increase in value by more than 30% by the end of 2015. Key factors which will contribute to the price growth in these currently non-central price point areas are: a) New development initiatives, b) Significant improvements to transportation/access via the planned London “Cross-rail” project which will transfer people to/from prime work areas (The City, Canary Wharf) in reduced times. c) Current underdevelopment of new housing, which is expected to result in an under-supply of housing necessary to meet London’s future expected population growth, in areas not currently viewed as “prime central London”.

3 of the Top 5 Hotspots as ranked by KF – 1) City of London – due to Read more…

Leave a Comment »

Buying, Selling, Renting

Market Update

Monday Market Video: Average Manhattan Home Now Costs $2M

Posted on April 4, 2016

Other Market Updates

Archives

Follow Me on Twitter

Follow Me on Instagram

Follow Me on Facebook