Dinah Hatch

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Goodness me! The English summer season is upon us. How do I know? Because the Queen has just been featured in all the newspapers admiring the gardenias at the Chelsea Flower Show. The season traditionally kicks off with this glorious (though often rain-soaked) event and goes on until August 12, when the grouse-shooting season starts. But these days it's not just for the aristocracy and the well-heeled. Tickets are easier to get (and occasionally not needed) and you really don't have to wear a hat (unless you want to). Here's our guide to where to stay whilst attending some of the big season events…
Pennyhill Park, an Exclusive Hotel & Spa

Royal Ascot, June 16-20. Often said to be the very epitome of the season, Ascot has become more about the hats than the horses. Each day has its own very individual personality, with six amazing races thrown in across the calendar. Whether you are in the Silver Ring, The Grandstand or The Royal Enclosure, every day begins with the wonderful Royal Procession where the crowd gets to check out what keen horse-owner the Queen and assorted family are wearing. Bring along your own picnic (you are allowed to bring in one bottle of champers per person), find yourself a good spot for people watching and simply absorb this centuries old custom still alive and well in 2015. Oh, and the races are fun too! Stay at: Pennyhill Park Hotel and Spa. In the heart of Surrey but just a few miles from the race course, this ivy-covered hotel offers a lovely balance of relaxed comfort and real style. Choose from two great restaurants, bliss out in the spa and take a bracing walk in its awesome grounds.

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