The sound of galloping hooves, the roar of the crowd, the buzz of the game and the rumble in your stomach…
I don’t know about you but hearing Tony McCoy announce that he won’t be hanging up his riding hat even if he does win the gold cup (again) at Cheltenham, makes me want to head to down to racecourse and bear witness. I’m also not one for passing up an opportunity to wear a large hat! Despite scooping the award a whopping 19 times, McCoy has said he’s got another Grand National win on his wish list. You can’t help but be impressed by his talent, drive and gritty determination. Lucky for guests to Cheltenham, the standard of talent and inspiration doesn’t stop at the track – that’s why this course is worth a visit for its restaurants as much as the races themselves.
If you’re getting caught up in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, let us guide you through the Festival:
Tuesday 10th March: Champion Day
Get set for the beginning of the races, as the Cheltenham Gold Cup Festival kicks off with the first race at 1.30pm. The most important hurdle race of the season: the Stan James Champion Hurdle is scheduled for the Monday, so not one to miss.
Get right to the heart of the action, on the first day of the Festival races and head over to the Champions Court Restaurant. A new addition for 2014-2015, this restaurant boasts an incredible position allowing you to really get a good look at the horsewalk, while enjoying the likes of a Champagne reception, charcuterie selections and afternoon tea.
Wednesday 11th March: Ladies’ Day
Dust off your highest heels, don your most glamourous frock and crack out the biggest hat you can find, Ladies’ Day is 50 per cent racing and 50 per cent fashion and flowing Champagne. This year the theme is on colourful attire and 2015 sees the launch of the best dressed competition; with the winner judged via social media. It’s already a flutter of colour. Have a look at what’s going on and trends to watch using #ColourMeMarch
The Panoramic Restaurant is located on the fifth floor of the Tattersalls Grandstand, and is the place to be for amazing views. Diners are sat next to the panoramic windows, so they can enjoy all of the action while tucking into exquisite food. If you have been lucky enough to secure a table here, it’s a dream spot to view the sensational head-to-head that is the much anticipated Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase – for some it is the highlight of the Festival. The fine-dining experience is one to savour, with exquisite seasonal dishes prepared to an exceptionally high standard. Let the bubbles flow and the race begin; these really are the best seats in the house.
Thursday 12th March: St Patrick’s Thursday
On Thursday, Cheltenham Racecourse will be injecting a little Irish flavour into the races in anticipation of St Patrick’s Day – and why not? Irish style entertainment runs throughout the day completed by a charity race at the end of the card. It’s the first year for this race: dubbed the St Patrick’s Derby and all proceeds will raise money for the Injured Jockeys Fund.
The Moscow Flyer is located close to the Guinness Village; a place you will definitely want to visit today. The Moscow Flyer has been set up on a temporary basis just for the festival. It’s central, so makes for a great base, with fab food served up all day and won’t cost you the earth – leaving you spare change to celebrate St Patrick’s Thursday with a Guinness or two.
Friday 13th March: Cheltenham Gold Cup Day
It might be one of the unluckiest days on the calendar, but luck is a fickle mistress and for one rider it’s going to be the best day of the year, as the Gold Cup winner will cross the finish line. Who have you put your bets on?
It’s got to be its namesake, the Gold Cup Restaurant. This dining destination is linked to the main grandstand by the Hall of Fame, so you can take in the history of the course and check out its past heroes before catching the final hurdle and celebrating in style.
Discover more great eateries around Cheltenham, from grand estates like Whatley Manor and Bibury Court to hidden gems like the charming Corner Cupboard Inn by visiting The Dining Post.