York Racecourse is arguably our biggest and one of our most prestigious venue partners in Yorkshire. We’re honoured to have been working together for over thirty years on raceday and non-raceday events, we even have a dedicated, stand-alone team of forty full time York Racecourse Hospitality staff including chefs, event managers and sales executives, and believe us this world-class venue is so busy, it needs it.
This month our venue of the month feature has been done in two parts, part one opened with a focus on non-raceday events and in part two we move onto the main event … raceday hospitality and the Welcome To Yorkshire Ebor Festival. The festival running from Wednesday 22nd to Saturday 25th August, now in its 175th year is still, as it’s always been, a highlight in the national and international racing calendar. Take a look at our brief low down of each day:
- Day 1, Wednesday – Opening with the feature race and richest race of the season, Juddmonte International. This race famously won by Frankel will see the winner walk away with a cool £1 million.
- Day 2, Thursday – The social highlight of the 4 day festival, it’s Ladies’ Day! Dress to impress and take part in the Ebor Fashion Lawn, this year style lifestyle blogger Love Ciandra will be a judge.
- Day 3, Friday – Race into the weekend, it’s the fastest feature race in York’s calendar, the Group One Coolmore Nunthorpe!
- Day 4, Saturday – The crowds grow bigger as it’s time for York’s oldest race and namesake of the festival… The Ebor, now worth £500,000.
Will you be joining us for all four of these amazing racedays? Book your tickets online.
RACEDAYS AT YORK RACECOURSE
We love the theatre of a raceday, our teams get out on site early (and we mean early) for the day of racing hospitality ahead. Stefan Butler, Head Chef at York Racecourse, explains his role on a raceday “My day usually starts around 5am doing all the final prep for the day ahead in the central production kitchen in the Ebor stand, from there I control the distribution of food products around the whole racecourse for each day”
On-site there is a whopping total of 125 eateries, this includes everything from fine-dining restaurants such as The Parade Ring Restaurant to the informal Eclipse Restaurant serving carvery meals. Then you’ve got your food on-the-go; burgers, pork pies, ice-creams and fish and chip vans, of which there are plenty in the Grandstand and Paddock area towards the Knavesmire stand.
We asked Pete Higginson, Executive Chef at York Racecourse, what delicious delicacies and succulent surprises they have in store for the 2018 Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival: ‘Expect as always to see locally sourced fresh ingredients, from Yorkshire lobsters to beef sirloin and grouse aged right here at the racecourse. We’ll have homemade terrines, York-made chutneys to go with our Yorkshire cheese boards and everyone’s favourite… pork pies! As well as sausage and beef burgers all from our local butcher at the end of the Racecourse, Ged Bell’s.’
FOOD, FOOD ALL AROUND AND PLENTY AS WELL TO DRINK
There are so many places to eat at York Racecourse, too many for us to go into full detail on this blog post so below is a handful of some notable places you can dine at:
Eat Between Our Races
Opened in 2017 and winner of Best Casual Dining Experience at a Racecourse at the National Racecourse Catering Awards the same year, this eatery located on the ground floor of the Ebor stand is definitely one to try if it’s a quick bite you’re after. As the name suggests you’ll have time to grab something quickly and not miss any of the action on the track.Examples of what you can eat are Ged Bell’s beef burgers, tapas pots such as mac and cheese with smoked ham, as well as bloomers, flatbreads and wraps.
No booking is required, anyone with a County Stand badge can access Eat Between Our Races.
John Carr Bar, Grill and Terrace.
Situated behind the Moët Pavilion the John Carr Bar, Grill and Terrace is one of the oldest and original parts of the racecourse, dating back to 1754 it’s a great place to shelter and socialise under the large canopy whilst grabbing something to eat with your glass of Champagne!Here you can munch on a selection of delicious 12” pizzas as well as sandwiches and salads.
No booking is required; anyone with a County Stand badge can access The John Carr Bar, Grill and Terrace.
The Parade Ring Restaurant
York Racecourse’s flag ship restaurant and winner of Best Fine Dining Experience at the 2016 National Racecourse Catering Awards, and nominated for Best Corporate Hospitality Experience at the Sports and Leisure Catering Awards 2018 The Parade Ring Restaurant provides an ideal location for a unique and intimate dining experience. Situated on the top floor of the weighing room its exclusive setting overlooks the parade ring, saddling boxes and pre-parade ring.When dining in the Parade Ring Restaurant guests have a choice 3-course menu followed by afternoon tea.
Booking is required for The Parade Ring Restaurant which you can do by clicking here.
The Melrose Club Lounge
Home to some of the best views on the course, the Melrose Club Lounge is located on the second floor of the Melrose Stand. With its own balcony looking over the Home Straight the relaxed and casual atmosphere of the lounge is popular with regular racegoers and first timers equally. Light bites and the ever-popular Yorkshire tapas where local and seasonal ingredients are prominent have guests coming back meeting after meeting, year after year. You can expect a range of hot and cold canapés to start your day followed by Yorkshire tapas, including everyone’s favourite mini beer battered fish and chips. Followed by a light afternoon tea.
It is strongly advised that you book the Melrose Club Lounge in advance as places fill up quickly and may not be available to buy on the day.
The Gimcrack Restaurant
Edwardian grace meets modern taste in this popular restaurant. The crisp linen tablecloths and wide choice help make dining here a further treat on any raceday and there’s no need to book.
The Gimcrack Restaurant on the 1st floor of the Gimcrack Stand offers a great value choice three course sit-down lunch from 11.30am. It cannot be booked in advance and is available to all County Stand badge-holders on a first come – first served basis.After lunch service from 3.30pm the room is host to the famous “Gimcrack afternoon tea” – this fabulous buffet style afternoon tea with hot and cold savouries is great value and a wonderful treat.
You haven’t seen a proper buffet until you’ve witnessed the Ebor Restaurant buffet! Serving almost anything you can think of, guests are welcome to dine at their leisure from the luncheon buffet which includes an amazing choice of cold seafood, charcuterie and vegetarian options as well as hot options including a carvery as well as a dessert buffet of dreams, with over 100 different items to choose from, you won’t know where to start!On top of this you have a spectacular balcony view of the racing – now that’s what we call a ‘dine and view’ experience.
Click here for more information on how to book into the Ebor Restaurant.
We asked Nick Fazackerley, General Manager at York Racecourse Hospitality where he would eat if he was attending a day at the races ‘You could come to every day in the season and pick a different experience every time. York is a treat of a day out, if it was up to me I would pick the Melrose Club Lounge or the Parade Ring Restaurant, great facilities, great location and great food!’
Click here to see the full list of places to eat at York Racecourse.
JOIN THE GARDEN PARTY
Marquee image for location only.
New for the 2018 Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival, set in the newly refurbished Picnic Enclosure on the inside of the track is the Garden Pavilion. A luxury pavilion with its own private garden it will be a first-class experience featuring Champagne reception, four course buffet luncheon including hot choices and wines followed by afternoon tea.
Guests will be able to enjoy a complimentary bar (excluding Champagne), large screens to keep you updated on the action from the track, a live view of the finish itself is thirty seconds away, with the parade ring and Champagne terraces all in easy reach as well as luxury garden to enjoy the summer sunshine. Intrigued to find out more?
We spoke to Mark Jones-Locke, CGC Event Marquees Director to find out more about what guests can expect… ‘We wanted to do something different to the usual hospitality marquees at Racecourses, and so took inspiration from the Harrogate Flower Show for some ideas on the décor, I don’t want to reveal too much at this point as we want it to be special for the guests that book, but you can expect lots of greenery and a luxury dining experience …’
For more information and to book the Garden Pavilion click here.
BIGGER AND BETTER EVERY YEAR
With the sports hospitality industry growing every year and more and more people and a younger crowd wanting a piece of the action we have to make sure we keep up to date, and fresh on trends not just the food itself. So what does Nick Fazackerley predict for the future of racing hospitality?
‘Over the years the growth from fifteen to eighteen successful but very different race days has been remarkable. The £15 million redevelopment of the Champagne terraces was an amazing project along with the growth in our temporary bars and hospitality facilities, all allowing us to cater for record crowds. In terms of what trends I see in the future of racing hospitality; Premiumisation – everyone aspires to having the best hospitality – demand for premium products, the best restaurants and more importantly the best service and food’
Keep up to date with all the action by following ours and York Racecourses social media over the course of the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival:
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