Saturday, 1 April 2017

Ladies Day at Cheltenham Races

I am currently absolutely swamped with uni work as it's my final few weeks until I'm finally done for good! I was lucky enough to take some time out, however, for a lovely at the Cheltenham Races. I was invited, along with a few other bloggers, by Ladbrokes to experience the Golden Package on Ladies Day at the races on the 15th March. I couldn't contain my excitement when I received the email asking me if I would like to attend - I had never been to the races before and always wanted to go! And what better way to spend Ladies Day than eating lovely food and placing a few bets?! I was even lucky enough to enjoy the experience with my mum, who is also a blogger, which was amazing as being away at uni means I don't get to see her too much. 

We left the house at 7am (yes... 7am) to drive from South West Wales to Cheltenham for the races. I live in Bristol, however I was visiting home in Wales so decided to drive up with my mum instead. In typical Amy style, I managed to tear the ligaments in my ankle just a few days before the races. It was difficult to walk too much on it and I had to wear a huge bulky support but I was looking forward to the races so much that I decided to go anyway. It meant that I had to sacrifice my heels, though, which was pretty annoying! 

By the time we arrived, the sun was shining and it was really warm - a beautiful spring day. The traffic was very heavy around the area due to the races so we were a teeny bit late, but the parking was very organised and straight forward which was good. 
Our base was at the Festival Restaurant, where we had a table for the entire day. The staff were all really friendly and helpful; the service was super quick and I felt very welcome. The restaurant itself was impressive, with a window overlooking the winner's enclosure and big screens showing the races. The atmosphere in the restaurant was great, and very infectious. So infectious, in fact, that me and my mum bought a lucky dip of bets and decided to get in on the action! The restaurant was buzzing, full of tables and people. Private toilets also meant that we got to avoid the queues! There was also a walking betting service on offer which was a great touch, especially for those who can't make it down to place a bet for every race. 

When I think back to the food, my mouth literally waters. It was so good. For my starter I ordered the Coin Valley Tsar salmon, which was incredible. It was a generous portion and the salmon was done perfectly, served with Cheltenham beetroot and horseradish yogurt and topped with caramelised hazelnuts. It went down nicely with a glass of champagne, too! 

For my main course I ordered the Aged Fillet of Beef, which came with creamed horseradish mash, spinach, carrots, sauteed foraged mushrooms and a bordelaise sauce. Oh. My. Goodness. The beef was lovely and tender, and the mash was what can only be described as dreamy. 

Soon came dessert, and I opted for the Callebaut dark chocolate pave: cornish clotted cream, black cherry glaze and almond crumb. It was, of course, absolutely gorgeous and left my sweet tooth satisfied.

As if the food front couldn't get any better, we were then presented with a glorious cheeseboard full of glorious cheeses. I am a huge cheese fan and there's nothing better than a big cheeseboard after an amazing meal, so we all got stuck in. A little bit later we had Afternoon tea which was also lovely. Phew, so much eating! 

After all the amazing food we decided to take a little walk around (as much as we could with my sore ankle!) and to try and get a look at the racecourse. Outside, the atmosphere was even better. Everyone was dressed up in suits and dresses and looked amazing, and the drinks were flowing. It was really warm outside (a nice surprise for an English day in March!) and it was great to experience the passion and enthusiasm of everyone there. The setting was lovely - we were surrounded by greenery and beautiful blue skies. 

The dress code at the Cheltenham Races on Ladies Day was definitely dress to impress. As it was Ladies Day, all of the ladies, of course, looked incredible. There were plenty of colourful dresses, pretty bags and impressive fascinators. I decided to wear a navy blue dress from Apricot with my favourite silver chain. I had planned to wear a lovely pair of black heels with the dress, however my ankle had other plans.  

Overall the entire package was worth a hefty £370, which is a lot if I'm being completely honest. Drinks were not included in the package which means spending extra money on top, which can add up to a pretty big sum as the drinks menu was a little pricey. The food was absolutely incredible, however, and I really enjoyed myself. We were treated wonderfully by all of the staff there, and I loved the atmosphere.

Would I go to the Cheltenham Races again? Yes, if I won the lottery then I would go every year!


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