The Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic is widely considered New York City’s social event of the summer. For the past 11 years, Manhattan’s elite and champagne enthusiasts alike have donned their summer best and flocked to Liberty State Park to toast the beginning of summer with Veuve Clicquot. I have wanted to attend the Classic for years, and, let me tell you, the thundering horses combined with the abundance of champagne and the splendid fashion set against the dazzling backdrop of the New York City skyline was everything I hoped it would be.
I was beyond ecstatic for the opportunity to welcome summer with my favorite champagne brand in my favorite city. The forecast for the weekend was less than pretty which delayed my RIC departure by almost 5 hours. In spite of the foggy Friday and the 70% chance of rain during the match, I landed in NYC in high spirits with a smile on my face. My giddiness was only heightened when Cath, Reb & I checked in to the NoMad Hotel to a perfectly framed view of the Empire State Building lit up in Clicquot orange with a splash of pink in honor of Clicquot Rosé’s 200th birthday.
By some miracle (or perhaps Cath’s manifesting skills) we woke to clear skies on Saturday with less than a 10% chance of rain. All three of us wore white, paying homage to polo fashion tradition. I had ordered three white dress options for the occasion and the only one that arrived was too big. I snagged this simple fit and flair sundress by French Connection my first night in the city. I opted to pair it with a classic straw boater, espadrille wedges and the most perfect straw bag from my favorite Richmond boutique, Mod & Soul. The breathable fabric of the dress was perfect for the hot day and the length was comfortable for sitting on the lawn to watch the match. My only regret is not packing my Havaiana flip flops for the long walks to and from the ferry. The blisters I suffered put quite a damper on the rest of my weekend in the city but it was completely worth it.
Scroll down for more pictures and six things you should know before attending the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic!1. Get there early
We all did our research and read this tip on numerous blog posts. According to our tickets, registration began at 10 am and ferry service at 10:45. Our goal had been to get there by 10 but I think we found the sweet spot by arriving right around 10:45. The first two ferries had already taken off so we were basically first in line and boarded within 15 minutes of arriving at Battery Park. We went right to the bow of the boat and ended up with a killer spot for the entire ride. The view of the city skyline and the Statue of Liberty is pretty incredible.
2. Claim your spot asap
After what will feel like one of the longest walks of your life, all you will want is a glass (or a bottle) of champagne. We were no exceptions and made a beeline for the champagne tent. Armed with the Classic’s signature and refreshing Clicquot Rich cocktail we began taking in our surroundings. The first thing I noticed was the insane line to get pictures in front of well, everything! Clicquot goes all out with their decor and it feels like the entire park is covered in orange and pink flowers. Don’t get sucked into those crazy lines for the perfect shot. At least, not yet.
People lay down their picnic blankets pretty early on to claim their spot and then wander around getting pics, merch, and more champagne so the good spots go pretty fast. After setting up camp towards the back of the grass by the field on a very crowded lawn, we decided to head to one of the many Clicquot backdrops and commit to a line. We opted for the one at the far back left of the field next to yet another long row of bars. While in line I noticed there was still plenty of space right next to the field close to the scoreboard so while Reb & Cath held our spot I moved our blankets down the field to what ended up being an absolutely perfect spot.
3. Wear sunscreen and buy an umbrella
Seriously, wear sunscreen and reapply it. I originally bought an umbrella because there was still a slight chance of rain (and I knew I would love having it later) but I ended up using it to shield myself from the sun for most of the afternoon. Not to mention, the umbrellas will sell out. There is also a good chance you will feel left out without an umbrella. I seriously had five people ask if they could borrow mine for photos.
4. Bring cash
Speaking of merch, If you want to score some branded swag, bring cash and get to the merch tent early. I got in line right at noon and they were already sold out of two things. By the time I got up there, they had sold out of two more things. There were two separate lines for credit and cash and the cash line must have been 1/8th the wait as the credit card lines
5. Buy or bring a champagne stopper (full credit to Cath Claire for this brilliance)
Not only will the stopper help keep your bottles of champagne cold for longer, it will also prevent you from spilling those precious bubbles while posing for pics or trying to balance the bottle on the grass next to your blanket during the match. Cath had the idea about halfway through the day and snagged a cute one at the merch tent.
6. Bring a backup charger
You will take more pictures, videos, and boomerangs during the event than you will know what to do with. If it wasn’t for my back up charger my phone would have died well before divot stomping. On that note, remember to put down your phone and just watch the game, check out the fashion and live in the moment. It won’t be a day you will forget.
My deepest thanks to Veuve Clicquot for inviting me and bringing all my #VCPoloClassic dreams to life! I already can’t wait for next year!