The Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic returns to NYC for 2023! Here’s everything you need to know about this long-awaited champagne event, featuring photos from my 2019 experience.
Above: Just living our best lives in the Veuve Clicquot Rosé Garden
I honestly cannot believe how many years it’s been since the event has been cancelled due to the pandemic we had. This seem like the perfect opportunity to finally posts photos from the last time I went, as well as, share some information and my experiences on the blog. It’s always a great time when bubbly and fashion gets involved. Add on the classic sport of polo as your backdrop, it then becomes an excellent time.
I went to my first VC Polo Classic in New York in 2018. You can see the post HERE.
VC Polo Classic Essential Info
Let’s get into some basic information about this not-to-miss event, so you can know what to expect.
VC Polo Classic at Liberty State Park, NJ
Location of the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic
The Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic is held annually in New York and Los Angeles. I have seen the Carnaval events in Miami as well, and those look super fun. In NYC, the venue is always Liberty State Park, and I believe in LA, it’s held at Will Rogers State Park, as extra info :).
Important Dates for the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic
For me, it’s the unofficial start of summer activities. The event is always the first Saturday of June in New York. Keep that weekend clear if you plan on attending.
Now, another important date is knowing when the tickets go on sale. The VC Polo tickets normally release their pre-sale and general-sale in April. For 2023, it’s late April and previously, tickets opened mid-April. This should be a good rough estimate to know when to get your browsers ready.
It’s worth to note that Early Access tickets are typically available to American Express cardholders, but in 2023 it is only for AMEX Platinum and Centurion holders.
Left: Veuve Clicquot Rosé Garden entrance photo-op, Right: Limited-edition Veuve champagne flutes
Ticket Information for the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic
There are normally two main ticket types for this event: Picnic Lawn ($75-150, Early Access/General Admission) and Rosé Garden ($450-550, Early Access/VIP) with Sundeck add-ons ($1200). The third ticket level are the fully-concierged, La Grande Dame Cabanas group access ($22,000).
Picnic Lawn ($150 in 2023, General Admission with Early Access availability)
This year, the Picnic Lawn ticket came with the same perks, whether you bought it Early-Access or General. The ticket will include ferry transportation, lawn seating, vendor access at a first-served, first come basis. Previously, Early Access tickets were a tad higher in price and came with first-ferry boarding and limited-edition merch.
The first time I went, I bought the ‘Picnic Lawn’ tickets aka General Admission. I was in my picnic girl era that year and found opportunity to set up everywhere.
Rosé Garden ($550 in 2023, VIP with Early Access availability)
Similarly, the Early Access tickets this year includes the same benefits, which is a dedicated VIP section of the event with open-lounge seating, gourmet lunch and a bottle of Veuve Clicquot Rosé champagne. Previously, we had priority boarding on the ferry and a separate check-in. It’s not clear, if 2023 tickets have the same benefits. The Rosé Garden has its own champagne bar, and you’ll be able to access the Picnic Lawn area for photo-ops and vendors.
La Grande Dame Cabanas ($22,000 with Early Access availability).
You’ll need to contact the concierge to reserve this booking while availability lasts. This experience has a dedicated concierge service, butler and security per cabana. It comes with private transportation from your location of choice and access to the pre-event on Friday, June 2nd. Cabana guests will get to enjoy La Grande Dame vintage 2015 and a 2012 Rosé vintage!! It’s truly an elite experience.
We were able to greet the players when they ride around the field.
VC Polo Preparation & Arrival
Now that you have tickets to the event, let’s make preparations for the day of. This is set to happen whether rain or shine!
Getting to Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic
By Ferry. From experience, all tickets include roundtrip ferry rides. Although in previous years, there had been options for first ferry tickets or priority boarding, I’m not sure how 2023 will navigate this. I normally choose the Battery Park ferry departure in Manhattan (New York).
By Shuttle. In the past, there was a shuttle bus option for those choosing New Jersey departures.
My advice is to arrive to the ferry terminal early. The lines will be super long, and if you have Picnic Lawn tickets, arriving early to the grounds will help your party secure the picnic spot for good views. I believe you can get dropped off by Uber or friend to the event entrance, but there’s no parking.
Walk to the Grounds. Prepare yourself for a 10-15 minute walk from the ferry to the actual entrance, where you go through security and ticketing check-in. I have seen pedi-cabs for hire for $10-20 one-way by independent companies (not associated by VC), but inflation may change that pricing.
Wear comfy shoes and don’t get stuck lugging heavy picnicking items on this long walk. It does get a bit laborious, if the weather is very hot that day.
Left: Picnic setup with Picnic Lawn tickets in 2018. Right: Our table and gourmet lunch in Rosé Garden in 2019.
What to Bring to the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic
Our priority for this event is to have fun, drink bubbly, eat and stay hydrated. When I decided to go the picnicking route on our first year, I packed a picnic basket with some snacks and a mini charcuterie & cheese board as accoutrements for our champagne. You can even bring some fruits to add to your glasses — maybe make a bellini or mimosa? The creativity is up to you.
I do recommend a waterproof picnic blanket, since grass could be wet from weather. They have list of items you cannot bring to the event on their website, so take that into consideration when planning. We did end up buying umbrellas and a fan from their merch booth. The day we went was insanely hot, and we had to get some shade.
On the other hand, when I did the Rosé Garden, all I brought was sunscreen, my bag and myself. I learned a few lessons from the previous year, so I made sure I had sunscreen to reapply throughout the day. The garden does have shaded seating and lounge area, so that was me looking out for my skin and making sure I did not get sunburnt, again. Food and a bottle of champagne came with the tickets, so I didn’t have to worry about that either.
I was very happy not needing to lug a bunch of things to the event that could exhaust me. Also, the paper fans were freely given out here in Rosé Garden, whereas, I had bought mine with a Picnic Lawn ticket, previously. Now I have a collection, lol.
On the field during the divot stomp intermission. Rosé Garden behind me.
What to Wear to Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic
My advice is summer chic. It could be bold and colorful, pretty and flowy, or minimal and understated. I think a big fun factor of VC Polo is the creative fashion choices and people watching. Keep it classy and elevated, but as always true to yourself. Fancy headwear is highly encouraged! I think those are so fun to see.
Some things to watch out for when planning your outfit includes shoe choices for two reasons. First, the walk from ferry to entrance is a bit long — your heels may start hurting. Second, the Divot Stomping tradition and just walking on grass in general. I always opt for non-stiletto heels when its a grassy event. You don’t want to get stuck! Espadrilles are nice for this occasion, and so are wider block heels. If you don’t even want to bother with any heels, stylish flats are a great way to go.
Be cognizant of the weather. It’s a summer event, so dress in something you’ll be comfortable in for hours staying outdoors. Linen and poplin are popular choices for fabric. Also, I’d avoid anything too tight, as you know, bodies expand with heat and/or alcohol intake :)).
P.S. Divot Stomping tradition is usually a mid-game session when the umpire whistles for a break for spectators to walk into the field and stomp back in the divots left by the horses while in sport. It’s a fun way to “repair” the field and mingle with everyone.
Some final thoughts here… If you love the Veuve Clicquot champagne and/or the brand, definitely come. If you’re looking for something to do in New York that’s a little elevated and different from just going out to brunch, this is a great one to do. If you love fashion and seeing all the lovely people dress up for a summertime chic event, go!
There are a lot of photo opportunities at VC Polo. It only happens once a year in New York. You make friends with your neighbors. I mean bubbly is involved, so how can it not be super fun?!
A note about ticket choices… As someone who has done both the Picnic Lawn and Rosé Garden, I would always prefer the garden tickets. It’s just easier, and of course you’re paying for the convenience. So if that’s option for you, I think it’s totally worth it. Bear in mind that with the general admission ticket, you still will be purchasing the champagne on site, buying food (either there or bringing), and maybe merch.
If you want to math it, a glass was around $26 dollars, a bottle started around $105 (depends on the type of champagne you want). Eventually it might start getting close to the same price as Rosé Garden, without the seating, shaded effortlessness. Prices may be higher with inflation.
However, if you’re going with a large group, picnicking could turn out very fun and cost-effective! Either way, you’re going to have a good time.