I started writing this post having just got back from an amazing weekend with the girls in the China White enclosure at Henley Royal Regatta in early July and thought I’d extend the smile on my face by writing about how much fun we had and by sharing some photographs of the day with you guys.
So for those of you who haven’t attended or heard of the Henley Royal Regatta before, it is an annual rowing event where numerous boat races take place on the River Thames in the town of Henley-on-Thames. You don’t have to pay to attend the event itself and are free to sit along the river and enjoy a picnic or few drinks whilst watching the boat races at your leisure. There are however a number of different enclosures along the river which you do need to book tickets for in advance if you wish to attend.
We were kindly offered tickets for the China White enclosure as part of a collaboration with London based blogger events organisers LDNmeetup however tickets normally retail at £40 and need to be bought in advance via the China White website.
We attended the regatta at around 1pm and sat and had a picnic by the river with a few cheeky drinks and nibbles before heading to the China White enclosure (which is situated near the start line) at around 4pm. The enclosure is open from 3pm so we did go in quite early due to some very dark clouds and quite imminent rain! It did fill up quite quickly and from around 7pm onwards was pretty packed and lively.
As a Henley Regatta virgin I had no idea what to expect from the day, but can say without hesitation that I loved every second. The China White enclosure was a gorgeous venue, set up beautifully and manned well with staff. It had an outdoor section filled with tables, sofas, hammocks and oversized deckchairs all of which were perfect for a photo opportunity or two…
Inside there were two raised areas which had been cordoned off for private group reservations and pre booked parties and a lower section with more seating for anyone who hadn’t reserved a table in advance. As we had arrived quite early on we managed to secure a table for our group, however it did fill up quite quickly so if you don’t pre-book next year and get tired feet quite easily I would recommend attending early on to secure a table.
The bar (whilst busy) had no longer than a 10 minute wait and the staff were great. Always on hand and helpful. I personally drank the Henley Fizz cocktail all night which was £12 per glass, but pitchers of Pimms were available for £45 and bottles of champagne and spirits from £100 upwards.
The dance floor was literally buzzing from around 6pm and only got busier as the night went on. We had an amazing evening dancing and just generally enjoying the China White atmosphere.
At outdoor events I am always wary of the port-a-loo situation, but the ones at China White were literally the nicest ones I’ve ever seen. Each individual port-a-loo had its own sink, mirror, hand dryer, hand wash and paper towels. They were always clean, with toilet roll and with no queue whatsoever – a rare treat in the ladies on a night out!
I know it sounds a bit daft talking about the toilets at an event, but small things like having to go in a dingy port-a-loo can put you off outdoor events so I definitely thought it was worth a mention. Massive thumbs up for that China White, classy toilets are a winner everytime.
There was also a hair and beauty tent if you wanted a little top up half way through the evening and a cloak room for any belongings or coats you didn’t want to carry with you all night.
So if you are looking at attending Henley Royal Regatta next year I would wholeheartedly recommend the China White enclosure. It was beautifully laid out, lots of fun and there was zero trouble.
I will definitely be attending again next year and do hope to see some of you there!
PS. Take a closer look at our day in this Vlog by Robyn Samantha