A luxury experience at Newbury Racecourse – the Gigaclear Race Evening
If you’ve never been to a horse racing event, there are a few things you should know before going:
- You can never be too dressed up (this goes for the men too)
- It doesn’t matter if you know anything about horse racing
- It’s a ridiculously fun day/night out.
I wish I’d known particularly about point 2 before attending Ascot during Flat Season last year. Though I did dress appropriately, I thought my lack of knowledge of the sport would be a hindrance. It wasn’t. Lucky for me, I had the opportunity to experience it again, this time at Newbury Racecourse.
The racecourse is over 100 years old, and its first race meeting took place in 1905. Since then, it’s evolved to become one of the most renowned racecourses in the country.
Newbury is in the county of Berkshire, which is in the south of England. If arriving by train, the closest station is Newbury Racecourse, and the racecourse is directly opposite. It takes around 1hr 20 minutes from London Paddington.
It’s also easy to reach the racecourse by car. It’s minutes from Junctions 12 and 13 off the M4, and accessible from the M3. Parking’s free for race-goers, so there’s no worrying about how much time you’re spending at the event!
For racegoers arriving by air, both Heathrow and Southampton airports are approximately 1 hour away. Check last-minute flights to London. These day trips to the beautiful county of Berkshire are doable and in the company of local experts too!
To mark the start of its summer evening race series, Newbury Racecourse held its Gigaclear Race Evening on 26 June. Along with the chance to watch some exciting races, we also had a lot of fun at the gin festival. It’s the first time they’ve had one at Newbury, and I hope it won’t be the last! There were around 30 different gins on offer; and you could try them neat, or in a cocktail.
A luxury experience in the hospitality box
The first race took place at 5.35pm (Arabian horses), and the last one at 9.15pm. We were fortunate to watch all the action from the comfort and privacy of the hospitality box. It was even more special for me, as one of my horses won!
Newbury Racecourse has several boxes available to hire, and different sized rooms to suit all parties. Inside the box, there are servers on hand to fill up glasses with champagne, wine or soft drinks.
The food choice of a selection of salads was light yet filling, and ideal for a warm summer’s evening. Dessert came next, a melt-in-the-mouth vanilla panna cotta with fruits. For the last course, they served a selection of cheese, crackers and fruits. Compact, light and delicious, the choices were ideal for the season, and also for taking out onto the terrace.
“We were fortunate to watch all the action from the comfort and privacy of the hospitality box. It was even more special for me, as one of my horses won!”
FOLLOWING THE RIVERA
In the hospitality box, we met some of the team from the Newbury Racecourse. Rob kindly explained to us how to spot a good horse, and the confusing numbers in the racing guide. It really made the rest of the evening much clearer, especially when placing a bet.
Don’t bet? Not a problem
For first-time attendees to a horse racing event, it can be very tempting to want to place a bet. However, err on the side of caution, as it can get addictive — especially when you win!
However, you don’t need to bet to have a good time, as there’s plenty of other entertainment at Newbury Racecourse. Along with the racing, there’s also live music on the Crafty Filly Terrace, and 3 excellent restaurants to choose from.
Events at Newbury Racecourse
The Gigaclear Race Evening was just one of many excellent events at Newbury Racecourse.
Some of the finest jockeys went head to head at Weatherbys Super Sprint Day in July.
UK singer-songwriter, Craig David, provided post-race entertainment live on the Party In The Paddock stage. It was his first time performing at the racecourse, and proved popular with racegoers.
Ladies Day took place in August. It’s where ladies get to show off their best fashion prowess, and with their favorite girlfriends in tow. Once the racing was over, award-winning act Rudimental performed a live set to keep the celebrations going.
In November, the Ladbrokes Winter Carnival, Ladbrokes Trophy Day took place. The event was the highlight of the winter social calendar where there was also had live entertainment after.
Disclosure: This post is in collaboration with Newbury Racecourse. It may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something that I’ve recommended. Thank you for your support.
“Newbury Racecourse has several boxes available to hire, and different sized rooms to suit all parties.”
FOLLOWING THE RIVERA
The Lodge is an elegant bed and breakfast that is also right on the racecourse site. It’s still relatively new with 36 rooms available.
If you prefer your hotel with a slice of luxury, The Vineyard should tick all the boxes. The luxury hotel and spa is in Speen, which is around 3.5 miles by car from the venue. Rooms are large, lavish and also has stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
Overall, the luxury experience at Newbury Racecourse was a unique and fun way to spend a summer’s evening. And I can’t wait to do it all again.
The Racecourse, Newbury, Berkshire, RG14 7PN