Every year since 2015, Blenheim Palace has opened its ethereal gates to motoring enthusiasts for Salon Privé which, despite only being founded in 2006 by brothers Andrew and David Bagley, has established itself as the U.K.’s most prestigious motoring event. This is, of course, greatly helped by where it's held – at Blenheim Palace, which is the only non-royal and non-episcopal residency to boast the title of palace and one of Britain’s greatest feats of architecture. Built between the years of 1705 and 1722, it’s a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site and, as it provides the backdrop to a line-up of some of the world's finest accomplishments of automotive design, only enhances the occasion in conjunction with a few healthy servings of champagne.
There are, of course, dozens of large-scale motoring meetings around the world each year, but what makes Salon Privé different to most is that motors and location aside, it oozes class and sophistication, which is a direct result of the Bagleys' astute understanding of elegance, and how such an occasion should pan out. It’s also an event that’s attended by those who understand the varying codes of dress.
The proceedings kick off on Thursday 30th August, whereby Zurich’s foremost insurance firm, Chubb, hosts a Judgement Day of sorts; 12 classes of a variety of classic and modern cars and motorbikes will be going underneath the microscope. Judges include the five-time winner of Le Mans, Derek Bell MBE; Louis de Fabribeckers, Head of Design at Touring Superleggera, whom The Rake met earlier this year at the Concourse D’Elégance Suisse in Geneva; Giles Taylor, former Director of Design at Rolls-Royce; plus a long list of other reputable adroit automotive enthusiasts. Everything from the originality of the seatbelt buckles to the turbines to the paintwork is taken into consideration.
Thursday’s dress code is ‘smart’ and male attendees are encouraged to wear a jacket, shirt, and tie. We suggest you avoid your business suit in shades of blue and grey and instead opt for something with a bit more razzmatazz. Sciamat’s double-breasted four-pocket Solaro suit in wool is just that. The cloth is showy, but a firm favourite among sartorial circles in the warmer months due to its heat repelling properties. Due to the cloth having two hues, the most popular way to style a Solaro suit is keeping it very, very simple. So, wear it with a button-down shirt and a woven grenadine tie and finish the look with a pair of Belgian or penny loafers. If you're feeling daring, or are generally accustomed to sporting more colour, you could consider a bold paisley tie.