After three days of truly Glorious weather at Goodwood racecourse, rain was forecast for Day 4 and the inaugural L’Ormarins Best Dressed competition. With an encouraged dress code of white and blue (in honour of sponsor L’Ormarins’ logo), attendees and entrants prayed the weather forecasters had it wrong and slipped into their prettiest summer frocks regardless. Luckily, for the sake of my new all-white Erdem dress, the clouds parted and the sun shone on Glorious Goodwood for another day.

Goodwood racecourse in all its glory.

Goodwood racecourse in all its glory.

Dress by Erdem, hat by me.

Dress by Erdem, hat by me.

Back view of the hat, and my surprisingly-neat hair do given it was done in 15 minutes (new record!).

Back view of the hat, and my surprisingly-neat hair-do, given it was done in 15 minutes (new record!).

The L’Ormarins Best Dressed competition works like the Epsom Downs and Sandown Park events in that, unlike Australian events where you spend all morning being sorted from heats into preliminary finals into a daily final, in the UK you are simply “scouted” by the organisers and invited to enter by way of posing for a photo. Judges select their finalists from the photos and you receive the magic phone call if you make the cut. The main perk of this method is you get to enjoy the full day without being held for judging, but the main con is usually the lack of phone reception in semi-rural places such as these, meaning you spend an inordinate amount of time phone-watching in the latter stages of the day.

As I was scouted quite soon after arriving, I had plenty of time to explore the beautiful and picturesque surrounds of Goodwood, which is a racecourse I had always wanted to attend but hadn’t until this day. A highlight of the course is undoubtedly the Artemis sculpture by Nic Fiddian-Green – a towering, 30-foot bronze Greek horse head situated in the Richmond Enclosure. Fiddian-Green is also responsible for the majestic Marwari Horse at Water statue near London’s Marble Arch.

Nic Fiddian-Green's Artemis in the Richmond Enclosure.

Nic Fiddian-Green’s Artemis in the Richmond Enclosure.

The mounting yard at Goodwood.

The mounting yard at Goodwood.

The finish of the first race, won by Pether's Moon with Cafe Society in third. Cafe Society will be trained for the Cups by Gai Waterhouse while Pether's Moon may also make the trip south.

The finish of the first race, won by Pether’s Moon with Cafe Society in third. Cafe Society will be trained for the Cups by Gai Waterhouse while Pether’s Moon may also make the trip south.

Due to the aforementioned dodgy phone reception, finalists for the L’Ormarins Best Dressed competition were called later than expected. The good news was I was in the line-up! The bad news was I would have to miss out on the complimentary strawberries and cream that would easily rival Wimbledon’s famed treat and were served to racegoers every day at 4pm.

The complimentary strawberries and cream are assembled, while a length queue forms (this was only half of it!) in anticipation.

The complimentary strawberries and cream are assembled, while a lengthy queue forms (this was only half of it!) in anticipation.

As it happened, the organisers of the competition had a surprise for the finalists, treating us to a pre-final glass of Veuve Clicquot in beautiful glass-fronted Owners and Trainers’ Lounge, which is usually reserved for winning connections and their post-race celebrations.

Then it was down to the paddock for the final, where we had a meet and greet with the judges, Justine Picardie, editor-in-chief of Harper’s Bazaar, Hanneli Rupert from L’Ormarins and stylish entrepreneur Sian Parry Jones, while they selected their winner.

The finalist line-up for the L'Ormarins Best Dressed competition.

Finalists line-up for the L’Ormarins Best Dressed competition.

Dressed almost entirely in the same blue tone as the L’Ormarins’ logo, Charlie Elmy-Britton was announced as the winner, stealing the major prize of a trip for two to Cape Town for the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate raceday from a sea of blue-and-white contenders, all of whom sported unique and distinct ensembles despite the matching colour code.

The moment Charlie Elmy-Britton was announced as the winner.

The moment Charlie Elmy-Britton was named the winner.

Charlie, who owns a ladies’ clothing boutique in Petworth, wore a powder blue lace dress by Alice by Temperley, classic nude Louboutin pumps, a teal quilted Chanel bag and a feathered sinamay headpiece made by her best friend, Layla Leigh.

The winning look.

The winning look.

As the photo posing concluded, the finalists were treated to another surprise by the sponsor: celebratory bubbles and afternoon tea in the exclusive L’Ormarins marquee, which was decorated entirely in – you guessed it – shades of blue and white. While it was wonderful to finally be sampling L’Ormarins products (they make a rather decadent sparkling wine), the most intriguing feature in the marquee had to be the coconut-shaped cocktail vessels, which contained a refreshing mix of gin, elderflower and lavender.

Inside the L'Ormarins marquee at tea time. Inset, the intriguing coconut-shaped cocktail created especially for the day.

Inside the L’Ormarins marquee at tea time. Inset, the intriguing coconut-shaped cocktail created especially for the day.

It was an indulgent end to my first Glorious Goodwood experience, and one to savour until next year, when I’ll definitely return to Goodwood for another hit of glamour, racing and style. Thank you to L’Ormarins and the organisers, JSC Sport, for hosting one of the best Best Dressed events I’ve ever attended in the UK.

Photos from Goodwood Racecourse Facebook page, or snapped by myself.

By Lisa Tan