A fun and fashionable Olympic night out: Beach Volleyball at Horseguards Parade

I promised you some more Olympic action Fashion Detective style and last night really was the perfect event for me and my tribe. The beach volleyball, held down on Horseguards Parade, spitting distance from Trafalgar Square, is an experience and a half. There are still a few tickets being made available for this event (I bought mine on Sunday night) so I do urge you to get down there and experience this surreal sporting treat if you can. Here’s why….

Showing off my tickets on The Mall: I decided to go all-out for beach-worthy wear in the yellow big spot skater dress from Pilot (£21.99)
I wouldn’t usually go for a short skirt in the UK, but the occasion demanded it (and the hidden wedge trainers dress anything down)
El joins me for a pic: It was a full family turn out
Arriving at our seats: The setting is simply stunning
First up, the boys from Brazil: Ricardo Santos and Pedro Cuhna are top of their group
The Canadians (Joshua Binstock and Martin Reader) knew they were outclassed
Canada put up a fight but lost in straight sets
With landmarks all around, a plethora of bars and snack outlets everywhere you look, a pumped up crowd yelling “ole!” and singing along to zillions of chart hits and classic anthems, you have to keep pinching yourself
The Brazilians celebrate victory
Next up, Switzerland vs Germany
Personally, I think that bandana lost it for the Swiss
Before the women’s teams take over, a little light entertainment
It’s all hulas, congas and 1950s style bikinis down on Horseguards Parade – who’da thunk?
Fast, fun, superbly organised – the beach volleyball really is a fantastic spectator sport
On the big screen: The hula girls get in there with the crowd
The “rakers” get their own moments of glory
Here come the girls: You’d think the Aussies would be unbeatable in this sport, but Nat Cook and Tamsin Hinchley are bottom of their group as things stand
Kristyna Kolocova and Marketa Slukova from Czech Republic played an absolute blinder – it was a thrilling three set match (the ladies game is so much more exciting than the men’s, in my humble opinion)
El shows off some official merchandise
See if you can spot Boris Johnson’s artist…
It’s the final match of the night (which didn’t start until gone 11pm!)
Team USA (Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh-Jennings) disappointed us slightly in their all-black, leggings-heavy get-up
…but the Austrian duo, sisters Doris and Stefanie Schwaiger, got their bikini bottoms out to a rapturous seal of approval from the crowd
Sadly, the glimpse of butt cheek wasn’t enough to power the Austrians past their American rivals – the nail-biting third set went to the USA
Wonder who he’s supporting?
A big moon peeps out behind the big screen as we wind up a fabulous evening of Olympic entertainment: We left the fantastically well-organised centre court feeling proud to be a part of this momentous occasion – and proud to be Londoners
Written by Johanna Payton