Sunday, 16 June 2013

Mint Polo in the Park 2013

Last Saturday, a few of us decided to pop down to the Hurlingham for a day of polo in the park. It was Ladies' Day so I took the opportunity to don a hat and enjoy the June sunshine!

But first, brunch. We broke our studenty way of life and the boys whipped up a delicious eggs benedict. Ali, our master chef, went as far as to make the hollandaise sauce from scratch! I was put on the much easier task of chopping strawberries and mixing up breakfast Pimms (perfectly acceptable at this time- it's summer after all!).

Then, all suited and booted, we hopped on the train to Putney Bridge. The first thing that struck me was  how many people were there! Last year I'd attended on the Sunday and although busy, it hadn't been nearly so crowded. Not deterred however, we entered the park in search of a good spot to watch the matches from. Typically, we nested outside a pop-up pub which kept the boys happy.

The polo is exhilarating to watch. The players wheel their ponies tightly around each other, swinging their mallets, before making a mad dash across the field after the ball and hopefully hitting it into a goal.  At half time, spectators are invited onto the pitch to stomp on the divots (the bits of turf torn up by the ponies) to smooth the field before play resumes. The whole game appears almost chaotic, but we didn't mind as we cheered on the teams from the sidelines.

Feeling hungry, we pottered off to the food stands to find some rather late lunch and then browsed some of the stalls around the park. The boys even had a go at riding a polo pony simulator which they said turned out to be harder than it looked!

As the sun sank lower in the sky, we snuck up into the grand stand and watched the last match, groaning as our chosen team let in a few goals. Our spirits were not dampened however- we'd had a great day in beautiful sunshine. Lets hope this is only a preamble to the rest of summer!

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