26 March 2015
Ever wondered what it’s like to live the VIP lifestyle at Cheltenham Festival?
The best way to enjoy the races….
Like many people I have attended horse racing before. A soggy sandwich before we enter the gate to avoid paying for the £8 burger and save our pennies for the racing itself and of course a few drinks to go with it. I fall, unfortunately, at the first hurdle – I usually lose my friends (it is always a free for all), the queues at the bar are lengthy so I miss at least 2-3 of the races to spectate or bet on and I usually (like most women at Cheltenham on Ladies Day) do not wear enough clothes! It pays to be organised. So what a difference my experience was at The Cheltenham VIP Club.
Richard & Jenny from the Paragon team in The Cheltenham VIP Club
We were waved into the facility with a smile – our wristbands, club badges and lanyard VIP passes on show. The champagne was handed to us in seconds. Not long before I had noticed the fantastic, undisturbed view of the course had I been given a bacon roll filled with the thickest hand cut ham in a warm crunchy baguette. What a start to the day! My guests arrived, also champagne in hand and before we knew it we were sitting down to have the card read to us. This was my moment to be organised.
The charming Ed Chamberlin, Sky Sports’ presenter and all round nice guy stepped up to welcome us to the best facility in Cheltenham, he then proceeded to read us the card and give us his tips for the day – turns out he had walked the course with some of the owners that morning so I felt in good company. Peter Scudamore – ex jockey then arrived to throw his two pennies in. Those two were a fantastic duo and as well as getting some great tips, I was thoroughly entertained.
After putting a quick bet on the first and second race and hedging my bets on an accumulator for the day, the starter arrived. Chicken and mushroom terrine with nutty wafers and tangy piccalilli. Scrumptious! We then jetted out to watch the first race….. I WON!!! I have never had such a thrilling viewing experience. On our own private balcony, meters from the track, champagne in hand, in fabulous company. I could see the final furlong and watched my horse (jumping and screaming) to victory!! I was ecstatic – that was such a rush.
Back at the table our main course was served. Beautiful melt in the mouth lamb wellington with creamy potato and fondant vegetables – absolutely delicious and such a huge portion no one was left hungry, beats my soggy sandwich any day. Next dessert – chocolate chip bread and butter pudding, yum. Followed by my favourite – cheese board! I was in heaven. Not only that, but the cheese was served with port which was such a treat after my champagne and wine fueled day.
We were treated to a visit from Tom O’Brien and Mick Fitzgerald who also gave us their tips for the rest of the day – I hedged my bets and it paid off!! 2nd win in 2 races. What a day.
We went for a stroll around the festival and it had such a buzz – with the fashion village, parade ring and the course so close it is easy to see why millions of people flock here every year. Another 2 races stormed by – I decided to stay on a high and step out of the betting, but the energy was catching.
We went back to the facility – so lovely and warm to come back to – and afternoon tea was served. You were certainly not going to go hungry. It was very tempting with beautiful hand created petit fours, mini scones oozing with clotted cream and jam and of course traditional sandwiches.
The next few hours flew by, we mingled with the celebs, caught up on some business and enjoyed the electric atmosphere. The day was a thrilling success – I had rave reviews from my clients and I could not recommend it more. I certainly don’t think I can go back to just ticket only at the races, I am now spoilt to the next level.
Check out our Paragon hospitality options here.
Written by Megan Collins, Head of Marketing