Cheltenham, the home of horse-racing, held its annual Festival last week, attracting thousands of equine fanatics to the Cotswold town. I was lucky enough to be invited by the Ladbrokes Sports Team to attend Ladies Day with a group of other bloggers, to add a touch of elegance and class to the week of racing (naturally). Of course, a chance to don a fascinator and sip champagne whilst watching the horses and jockeys do all the hard work wasn't to be refused! Here is how I spent my day!

Friends 🐎

I couldn't have wished for a better group of girls to spend Ladies Day with! Rachel and Hayley, who I had met before at a Shire Bloggers meetup were there, as was Em who I met at #BloggersAreUs, and Joelle, who I had never met before but was still so lovely! We had some great chats over dinner, placed bets together (and WON! I'm now £11.70 richer!), and had such a laugh walking around and trying to find the ideal location for the all-important outfit photos! It was great to spend a whole day with like-minded people! You can watch the lovely Hayley's vlog below for more of our antics!

Facilities 🐎

We certainly couldn't complain at the facilities we had the chance to enjoy on the day! Our tickets entitled us to the Festival Restaurant package, including admission to the exclusive Club zone! This secured us a table in the restaurant for the day, with a hospitality team on hand to ensure that we had a fab time. In addition, we made the most of the Tote betting service, which allowed us to place our bets whilst seated in the restaurant, meaning that we didn't have to miss any part of our meal when having a flutter! You might think that being in the restaurant for most of the day would mean we'd miss the racing action, but this certainly wasn't the case - big screen TVs on every wall meant that we didn't miss a moment!


Dress Code 🐎

Ladies Day means one thing - dressing up to the nines is ESSENTIAL! I changed my mind about a million times before settling on a pastel yellow dress, and blue jacket with cream details, which matched my navy and ivory fascinator perfectly! I was in heels for most of the day, but for travelling I brought along a trusty pair of white tennis shoes which didn't exaaaaactly go with the outfit, yet were definitely worth it to save my poor feet! In terms of jewellery, I kept it simple with a dainty silver necklace.

Fascinator - Phase Eight
Jacket - Vintage
Necklace - H. Samuel

Food and Drink 🐎

I couldn't have eaten one more thing at Ladies Day if I'd tried! I'm not exaggerating when I say that the food provision was immense. Our package included morning tea and biscuits, a four course á la carte lunch, and afternoon tea. We had a choice of options from the menu, so I opted for Coin Valley Tsar Salmon with beetroot and hazelnuts to start, Oyster Mushroom Medallions with cous cous, sauteed asparagus, and a garlic cream sauce for main course, and a Lemon Tart for dessert. The main course was the highlight of the meal for me - the garlic sauce with the mushrooms was absolutely divine! The whole meal was very light and didn't leave me feeling bloated. This was lucky because afternoon tea was served soon after we finished lunch! We were treated to sandwiches, scones with cream and strawberry jam, and a selection of mini cakes. As for drinks, none were included with our package, so Em and I split a bottle of red between us. However, the restaurant manager delivered a complimentary glass of champagne for everyone on our table, so it was cheers all round!


Atmosphere 🐎

I must admit that I wasn't expecting the atmosphere to be electric in the restaurant where we were dining, but I was definitely wrong! There was a great buzz when the girls from our table placed their bets and started cheering for their horses as the races drew to a close. Quite a few of the other punters in the restaurant were super enthusiastic as well, which helped even more! Outside when wandering around in the Club area, everyone was friendly and chatty and lots of people tried to join in with our mini photoshoots! The glorious spring sunshine made the outdoor experience even better!


Value for Money 🐎

Our tickets for the day retailed at £370 each, a pretty hefty price tag. I wouldn't be being honest with you if I said that I'd shell out that much myself for a ticket. Combined with other expenses, such as the £5 bus fare to the station, £25 for return train tickets from Oxford, £12.50 for a bottle of wine, plus any money you spend on placing bets, the day can turn out to be incredibly pricey. I had an absolutely wonderful time and I loved every second, but for me, £370 was a little too much to pay. If our restaurant had a view of the racetrack, if we'd had a couple of bottles of wine thrown in for the table, or if we'd had a slightly more spacious dining area, I would gladly have paid £370, but I didn't feel that our ticket was incredibly good value for money.

I had a fantastic day at Cheltenham Ladies Day and I can't thank Carrie, our lovely PR contact, or the  Ladbrokes Sports Team enough for inviting me! 

Have you ever been to the races? Let me know in the comments!

Until next time,

A x

* I received a free ticket to Ladies Day c/o Ladbrokes in exchange for an honest review