April 2016 - CHS Rentals

Month: April 2016

Royal Ascot
by Cedric

Royal Ascot is the centrepiece of the British social calendar and the ultimate stage for the best racehorses in the world. This year Royal Ascot will take place between the 14th and 18th June. If travelling by public transport rather than by car, the Ascot racecourse is easily accessible by train from Waterloo Station in central London. The journey takes approximately 50 minutes and the railway station is a seven-minute walk from the racecourse.

The opening race on Tuesday 14th is the Queen Anne Stakes in honour of the founder. However, the Gold Cup is the most important race of the meeting and is run on Thursday. Open to horses aged four years or older, it is run over a distance of 2 miles and 4 furlongs (4,023 metres). Throughout the week there is a strict dress code but Gold Cup day is designated Ladies’ Day. This is a day when women have the chance to dress up in their finery showing off their good taste in fashion especially with their hats.

The Queen has attended every Royal Meeting during her reign. The Royal Family travels from Windsor Castle every day in open horse-drawn carriages to watch the racing. The Royal Procession takes place at the start of each race day. Traditionally the Queen presents the Gold Cup and The Diamond Jubilee Stakes. New versions of these trophies are made each year and presented to the winners to keep.

The Queen is owner and breeder of many thoroughbred horses and shares her interest in horses with many members of her family. In fact the Queen’s own horses have won races at Royal Ascot on a number of occasions. The names of many of the week’s races have a Royal theme, such as ‘King George V Stakes’, ‘Diamond Jubilee Stakes’ and ‘Windsor Castle Stakes’.

In 1711 Queen Anne first saw the potential for a racecourse at Ascot. Whilst out riding near Windsor Castle she came upon an area of open heath that looked “ideal for horses to gallop at full stretch”. The racecourse was laid out and the first race meeting ever held at Ascot took place on Saturday 11th August that same year. In 1813 Parliament passed an Act of Enclosure, which ensured that Ascot Heath would be kept and used as a racecourse for the public in the future. Racing at Ascot was now secure. The Ascot summer race meeting officially became a Royal week in 1911.

For more information go to: https://www.ascot.co.uk/Royal-Ascot.

For your London Vacation Rental go to www.chsrentals.com/london

Beating the Retreat
by Cedric

On the successive evenings of Wednesday 8th and Thursday 9th June the annual ceremony of Beating the Retreat will take place on Horse Guards Parade in London. It precedes the Queen’s Birthday Parade (Trooping the Colour), which will take place on the 11th June.

These annual concerts are performed on Horse Guards Parade in front of the beautiful backdrop of St James’s Park. The Massed Bands, Pipes and Drums and Corps of Drums of the Household Division, supported by The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery and visiting military bands from other services around the world perform a sunset concert involving precision drill, horses, cannons and fireworks in time with the music. Historically, on at least one evening, a senior member of the British Royal Family has attended and taken the salute.

Described as ‘truly spectacular’ and ‘London at its finest’ the Household Division Beating Retreat cannot be seen anywhere else in the world and is a not to be missed event. The concert raises money for the Household Division Charity, which provides improved welfare and opportunities to Household Division serving soldiers and veterans.

Military Beating Retreat concerts have a long tradition dating back to the 1690s. Originally the beating of the drum was used to order troops to break off fighting and withdraw to the safety of camp as darkness fell, later it signalled the closing of the camp gates at the end of the day and called troops back to base for the night. Today a Beating Retreat is an evening military concert with a marching display and usually marks the lowering of the Regimental flag at sunset.

For more details and tickets go to http://www.householddivision.org.uk/beating-retreat

For your London Vacation Rental go to www.chsrentals.com/london


The Derby and the Oaks
by Cedric

In June two of the best flat races in the world will be run at the Epsom Downs Racecourse in Surrey. On Saturday 4th June THE DERBY takes place. The race is open to three-year-old thoroughbred colts and fillies and is run over a distance of one mile, four furlongs and 10 yards (2,423 metres). With winnings in excess of one million pounds, the Derby offers one of the biggest prizes in UK racing. However, the prestige that victory brings is even more important than the prize money. Being one of the oldest and greatest of all horse races, it remains the one race that every jockey, trainer  and owner wants to win.

The Paddock is where the horses are led around having been saddled immediately before the race. The jockeys mount the horses here too. Unsurprisingly this tends to be the centre of activity and is a great spot to soak up the atmosphere.  Some of the most famous jockeys, trainers and owners will be seen having a final chat before the race, or being interviewed by television reporters. It should be noted that only guests in the Queen’s Stand and Duchess’s stands have access to the Paddock. Needless to say all of the enclosures provide a good view of the course and hence the races.

The Derby boasts an unrivalled roll of honour, from legendary names such as Sea Bird, Nijinsky, Mill Reef, Shergar, Galileo and more right up to last year’s winner Golden Horn. Subsequently the winners are put to stud to continue the blood line and owners can then earn millions of pounds in stud fees.

The day before on Friday 3rd June 2016 THE OAKS is run over the same distance as the Derby. This race is open to three-year-old thoroughbred fillies. The day of the Oaks is designated Ladies’ Day. This is a day when women have the chance to dress up in their finery and show off their good taste in fashion – especially their hats! Many compete to win the much sought after title of ‘Best Dressed Lady’.

The fillies race is named after The Oaks, an estate located to the east of Epsom which was leased to the 12th Earl of Derby in the 18th century. He and his guests devised the race during a party at the estate in 1778 and it was first run in 1779. At a celebration following the first running of the Oaks Stakes, a new race was planned. It was decided that it should be named after the host of the party, the Earl of Derby himself. The inaugural running of the Derby was held on Thursday 4 May 1780.

The train journey from Victoria Station in London to Epsom Downs station takes approximately 50 minutes. For further information about the races and to buy tickets go to http://www.epsomderby.co.uk/

For your London Vacation Rental go to www.chsrentals.com/london


Trooping the Colour
by Cedric

The Sovereign’s official birthday is celebrated by the ceremony of Trooping the Colour. This impressive display of pageantry will take place this year on a Saturday 11th June on Horse Guards Parade, Whitehall. The Queen celebrates two birthdays each year. These are her actual birthday on 21 April and her official birthday on a Saturday in June. The latter is a ceremonial occasion selected when there is a strong probability of fine weather.

Historically soldiers needed to be able to locate their regiment in the heat of battle. Hence the practice of carrying the regimental flag (colour) into battle. As they represented the honour and traditions of a regiment, they were treated with reverence. Colours are usually inscribed with the names of battles in which a regiment fought – a regiment’s battle honours. Regiments often adopted ‘colour guards’ to protect their colours. These were composed of experienced or élite soldiers. Conversely the capture of an enemy’s standard was considered as a great feat of arms.

The custom of Trooping the Colour dates back to the time of Charles II in the 17th. Century. The first traceable mention of The Sovereign’s Birthday being ‘kept’ by the Grenadier Guards is in 1748. In 1760, after George III became King, it was ordered that parades should mark the King’s Birthday. From the accession of George IV and with a few exceptions they became an annual event.

There are five regiments of foot guards making up the Sovereign’s personal troops. They are the Coldstream, Grenadier, Irish, Scots and Welsh Guards. The regiments take their turn in rotation to troop their colour. This year the honour falls to the Coldstream Guards. As usual the regiment will be joined by the Household Cavalry and a massed band of over four hundred musicians. In total over 1400 officers and men are on parade together with two hundred horses.

Lasting approximately one hour the ceremony begins 11.00am when the Royal Procession arrives. The parade begins with the inspection when the Queen drives slowly down the ranks of the Guards and then past the Household Cavalry. The Queen then takes the Royal Salute as the regiment marches past her. After the event, the Royal Family gathers on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to watch an RAF flypast.

Tickets for the ceremony are available to the public by ballot. However applications should be made before the end of February each year. Those unable to obtain tickets can see the procession to and from Horse Guards. The parade route extends from Buckingham Palace along The Mall to Horse Guards Parade and back again. Alternatively there are two practice parades: the Major General’s Review on Saturday 28th May and the Colonel’s Review on Saturday 4th June.

For further details go to http://www.householddivision.org.uk/trooping-the-colour

For your London Vacation Rental go to www.chsrentals.com/london

Chelsea Flower Show
by Cedric

The annual Chelsea Flower Show will take place this year between 24 – 28 May 2016. It is organised by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) and since 1913 the Show is always held in the grounds of the Royal Hospital, Chelsea. Receiving considerable publicity, The Show is attended by some 160,000 visitors each year. The number is limited by the capacity of the 11-acre (45,000 m2) site. All tickets must be purchased in advance but the first two days are reserved for members of the RHS. The show is extensively covered on television by the BBC

The Show is one of the highlights of the ‘London Season’. One can see the very best in modern garden design, themed gardens, extravagant plantings, plus outdoor furniture and greenhouses. On the last day, there’s the opportunity to buy some of the magnificent exhibits. It is not just for garden enthusiasts but for socialites and anyone who loves beautiful things. In past years it has been visited by the Queen and other members of the Royal Family.

Once Britain’s largest flower show, it is still the most prestigious  although it has now been overtaken in size by the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, which will take place at the beginning of July. Historically RHS had held flower shows from 1833 in their garden in Chiswick. From 1862 the Great Spring Show, as it was then called, was held at the RHS garden in Kensington until the move to Chelsea.

For more information and tickets go to http://www.rhs.org.uk/Chelsea

For your London Vacation Rental go to www.chsrentals.com/london


Rolling Stones Exhibition
by Cedric

Running from the 5th April until the 4th September, EXHIBITIONISM combines over 500 original Stones’ artefacts, with striking cinematic and interactive technologies offering the most comprehensive and immersive insight into the band’s fascinating fifty year history.

Formed in London in 1962 The Rolling Stones are arguably the World’s Greatest Rock and Roll Band. It is certainly the most durable English group. The names of the band are famous. Mick Jagger (lead singer), Keith Richards (guitar) and Charlie Watts (drums) have been members from the beginning whereas Ronnie Wood (guitar) joined the band in 1975. The recent rapprochement between the USA and Cuba was recently marked by a live performance in Cuba by The Stones. Prior to this performance they had been banned in Cuba while Fidel Castro was in power.

The Rolling Stones were in the vanguard of the British bands that invaded the US in the early 1960s. At first noted for their longish hair as much as their music, the band are identified with the youthful and rebellious counterculture of the sixties. The band is now credited with introducing ‘Blues’ into rock music.

The Rolling Stones were entered into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989 and the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2004. Rolling Stone magazine ranked them fourth on the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time” list, and their estimated sales are above 200 million. They have released twenty-nine studio albums, eighteen live albums and numerous compilations. Noted for big stadium  live tours, the band had made in 2007 four of the top five highest-grossing concert tours of all time.

Charles Saatchi and his brother Maurice were co-founders of advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi, which became the world’s largest advertising agency in the 1980s. Having been a collector of contemporary art for many years, Charles Saatchi donated the Saatchi Gallery and over 200 works of art to the British public in 2010. Based on an attendance survey covering 2014 The Saatchi Gallery featured in a list of the most visited art museums in the world.

For more information go to http://www.saatchigallery.com/current/rolling_stones.php

For your London Vacation Rental go to www.chsrentals.com/london


Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre
by Cedric

This year the annual open air season will run between 13th May and 17th September. There will be four major productions, namely:-

  • 13th May to 12th June: Running Wild – an adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s novel about the adventures of a boy in the aftermath of a tsunami in Indonesia.
  • 17th June to 9th July: Henry V – Shakespeare’s play about the Battle of Agincourt with an actress taking the lead role of King Henry V.
  • 15th July to 27 August: Jesus Christ Superstar – the Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber musical.
  • 2nd September to 17th September: Pride and Prejudice – an adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic novel.

Founded in 1932 the theatre is located in Queen Mary’s Gardens on the Inner Circle of Regent’s Park. As a consequence it is surrounded entirely by parkland. The theatre is completely uncovered; the only sheltered area being underneath the tiered auditorium, which houses one of the longest bars of any theatre in London. The bar stretches the entire length of the seating. The theatre has a seating capacity of some 1250. Despite having one of the largest auditoriums in London, visitors say it is one of the most intimate of theatres. The Open Air Theatre is a particular favourite for productions of Shakespeare plays. Over the years many well known actors from the British stage have performed in productions there.

The theatre houses an extensive backstage area complete with green room for the company and technical team, a full wardrobe, makeup and wigs department, a workshop and paint-shop for the creation and maintenance of stage sets and numerous offices for stage management, sound and other crew.

Being open air, performances are dependent on the not-so dependable British weather. In the case of wet weather, the Met Office is called to determine the immediate forecast. The unpredictable nature of the weather adds an exciting element and makes the rapport between performer and audience uniquely special at every performance. Each evening provides a special and unique ambience and, before the performance, theatregoers often enjoy a picnic on the lawn or a Pimms in the bar as the fairy lights sparkle in the trees.

For additional information and to book tickets go to https://openairtheatre.com/whats-on

For your London Vacation Rental go to www.chsrentals.com/london


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