We had arranged to go to watch the MINT Polo in the Park at Putney in June and despite the lack of sun we dressed up in Summer entire to make the most of this British event. We had never been to the Polo before so had no clue of the rules but we handily given a little guide (an idiots guide if you like) on the basic rules.
The playfield was in the middle of the park, which had a grandstand one side with a Pub and Mahiki bar the other. There were stalls selling boutique clothing and furniture around the park with a number of food stands in one corner. Dotted in between that were bucking rodeo, DJ set and the obligatory Pimm’s bus. After a sneaky early afternoon drink we headed to the food trucks. We decided to go with the most satisfying – not to mention smallest queue – which was the burger buffet truck.
But this wasn’t your ordinary Burger van, in fact it served Koren-inspired Burgers with Kimchi and Sriracha Mayo. The queue, although one of the shortest amongst the various food stalls, was still pretty long and I am quite certain we waited in line a good 20 minutes. I have to admit, the first time I tried this powerfully pungent fermented cabbage dish, it was a little too much for my liking but I decided to give it another chance.
The meat cooked medium rare was surprisingly thin, but was moist and mildly tangy. I was surprinsingly impressed how well the the firm, zesty and tingly kimchi complimented the beef. After a while however, the bun couldn’t take it, and gradually collapsed in my hands – something I found rather irritating.
After we had gobbled up our Burgers we headed back to the Pub we were originally in and ordered Pimm’s and wine and stood in the garden that lined the playing ground. We were in awe at how these beautiful beasts (we are talking about the horses not the men) galloped around the pitch with sophistication but a brutality that wanted to win. These really were magnificent horses. What we did like was that the games in polo were short so after a few drinks, with friends it was easy to lose concentration and lose track so this was perfect. Once each game finished spectators were asked to go on the field and prod the grassy mud back down. There were six cities playing, namely , London, Sydney, Moscow, Beijing, Abu Dhabi and Buenos Aires, making this a real cultural event.
We were getting cold so went back into the sheltered Pub while the next game was getting ready. Unfortunately they had run out of lemonade for the Pimm’s so half of us had to go back on the wine. Yes I know reader this is a very middle class problem but seriously a ‘British’, ‘Summer’ ‘Sporting’ event should have Pimm’s. Actually come to think of it, these three words fit perfectly with Pimm’s so it is hard to forgive. If I managed that bar I would get the student to run down to Spar and get 20 bottles of ‘Happy Shopper’ Lemonade – who would know when slightly piddled?
Anyway we watched the final race shivering but the alcohol coursing through our veins kept us from turning blue and we really did enjoy the day. We will definitely go again next year. We found the audience less stuffy and fake than Ascot, the atmosphere festival like, and the sports itself exciting, sexy and an adrenaline fuelled. The only downside was the lemonade drought and the damn lack of sun! Overall Sex Drugs and Bacon Rolls gives MINT Polo in the Park:
Food Atmosphere Service