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I recently had my first ever experience at the races when I was invited to Thirsk Racecourse Summer Cup Day by Great British Racing.
It may have been the Summer Cup, but in typical British fashion the rain poured from the sky on the day. Nonetheless, we had a brilliant time.
Growing up, I was in awe of the immaculate women dressed to the nines for Ladies Day, and I relished the opportunity to get glammed up for our visit. After much deliberation and with the help of my Instagram followers, who voted for their favourite out of four dresses I was agonising over, I opted for a pink floral Chi Chi London dress.
Although a lot of women choose to wear a hat or fascinator, I decided not to get one… although I think I’ll have to go for it next time! I mean, when else do you have an excuse to wear elaborate headgear?
If like I was, you’re getting ready for your first trip to the races, I’d recommend comfortable shoes – definitely not stilettos, and a bag you can easily attach your badge too, as you need to keep it on display.
Tom got suited and booted too. In the Premier area, gentlemen have to wear a shirt with a collar, smart long trousers or tailored shorts and shoes; jackets and ties are not mandatory, but are encouraged.
Thirsk Racecourse’s gates open at 11am but the first race wasn’t until later in the day, so we had plenty of time to familiarise ourselves with the course and enjoy a drink outside in a gap between showers.
There were numerous options for dining, including vendors selling woodfired pizzas, chips etc, and a number of bars and restaurants.
We enjoyed lunch and a bottle of champagne at The Shrimp, the racecourse’s champagne bar.
The package we had included parking, a chilled platter of either charcuterie, seafood or vegan food, served with new potatoes and salad. This was followed by a light dessert of strawberries and cream.
The Shrimp is located on the edge of the Parade Ring, which meant we could stay dry while we watched the horses being led from the stables to the Ring.
Premier entry also meant we had a spot near the winning post. There’s plenty of seating and it has its own car park and entrance.
You can pick from exclusive restaurant options in the Premier section at Thirsk Racecourse. There’s the Thomas Lord Dine & View Restaurant which overlooks the winning post (you need to book your table there before your day at the races), Hambleton Dining Room which serves an à la carte lunch and afternoon tea, and the more casual Cherry Tree Premier Lawn or Woolpack Bar.
The Paddock Enclosure was busy despite the weather and so were the numerous bars and eateries outside of the Premier section.
Thirsk Racecourse has a brilliant Picnic Enclosure which is perfect for family days out at the races. The course runs themed family days and kids go free when they come with a paying adult.
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly day out, you can pack your own food and drink and enjoy the great outdoors at Thirsk Racecourse.
There are over 400 race days happening across England, Scotland and Wales this summer including 33 Family Days, 36 Music Nights and 27 Ladies’ Days. Check out the next event near you on the Great British Racing website: https://www.greatbritishracing.com/everyonesturf/.
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