We can look forward to three days of great racing, hospitality and activities for everyone at The November Meeting at the home of jump racing. Highlights on Friday’s Countryside Day include the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase over three miles and six furlongs, with runners having to negotiate 32 obstacles including banks, ditches and hedges. Moving on to November Saturday and the Paddy Power Gold Cup Handicap Chase takes centre stage. Finally, Sunday’s Family Fun Day will be featuring the ultra-competitive Unibet Greatwood Hurdle.
The November Meeting sees the opening of the fabulous Centenary Restaurant located opposite the horse walk, between the parade ring and the racecourse. This exciting new dining venue is being launched to celebrate 100 years of the Cheltenham Gold Cup at the Cheltenham Festival March 12th - 15th 2024 and celebrates local and artisan producers, providing a true farm-to-table dining experience. The culinary team, led by chefs Warren O’Connor and Lawrie Jeffries, have carefully produced dishes with ingredients from local suppliers, where there are strong partnerships, including Severn & Wye Smokery, cheesemakers Charles Martell & Son , St Georges Park Bakery and Clarence Court Eggs, founded in 1928. You can enjoy a brunch selection including a St Georges Park Bakery Cruffin, which is a delicious croissant/muffin creation, a 4-bowl menu including Hereford Hop Soufflé, and a dessert board and Warm Rollright cheese.
Wines to recommend from the selection available include the silky and sophisticated Château Léoube, Rosé de Leoubé, Côtes de Provence, France. Or, if, like me, you’ll be raising a glass to the first ever Gold Cup Winner in 1924, who was the magnificent champion Red Splash, the De Martino Estate Merlot, Maipo, Chile is the perfect red drop. Both of these wines are vegan friendly and versatile food matching choices. To enjoy your Centenary Restaurant experience, book online at Centenary Restaurant booking .
Alternatively, if you prefer to decide where to eat on the day, new restaurant The Mandarin is a great bet. Opened for the first time at The Showcase meeting in October, this excellent dining spot is located near the parade ring, with a perfect view of the racecourse and has been named after the 1962 winner of the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
Here you can enjoy an excellent two or three course menu, featuring, amongst other delicious starters, Chalk Stream Smoked Trout or The Bookies’ Favourite, which is a creative surf n turf combination with traditional scotch egg, piccalilli mustard gazed Gloucester old spot sausages, battered cod and tartare sauce. Main courses include a comforting Truffle Mac & Cheese and succulent Glazed Beef Short Ribs.
Enjoy these excellent dishes with two perfect wines from Spain: the dry, fruity and easy drinking Blanco Sobre Lías Care, Cariñena and the appealing, medium bodied red Tinto Sobre Lías Care, Cariñena, a Grenache, Syrah blend which is perfect for lunchtime drinking. Both these wines are vegan friendly.
If you are looking for excellent coffee, head to The Feed Room, where family-run Ethical Addictions Coffee Roasters offer the best in ethical coffee. Whilst you are there, make sure you try the delicious Bao Buns, including the Panko Tofu sweet chilli kimchi with gochujang mayonnaise or the Shredded Chicken sweet chilli with red chilli, spring onions and bulgogi mayonnaise. If you’ve still got room for more, then try the amazing vegetable Gyoza kaffir lime and soy mayonnaise!
Leading the field of local drinks producers is Gloucester Brewery, whose slogan ‘Earth-conscious brewing’ means you can feel good about drinking their beers. They employ numerous sustainable measures with the aim of becoming a carbon neutral business, including packaging in can, using only renewable energy, and using an electric van for deliveries. My top choice is Gloucester Brewery Session IPA, a vegan-friendly craft beer. Easy drinking and ultra-pale, this is a fruity and rounded session IPA. Other beers from their range, available at Four Eighty and The Arkle Bar, include the award-winning Gloucester Gold and Dockside Dark.
In the premium bars on course you can enjoy the Glenfarclas Highland Single Malt 10 Year Old from this famous fifth generation whisky distiller. Or, if you’re already thinking about Christmas presents, or looking for a personal souvenir of your day the races, go to Stand 17 in the Shopping Village and take home an extra special bottle from Glenfarclas who are celebrating 15 years of Cheltenham Racecourse sponsorship with the release of their limited edition Glenfarclas Highland Single Malt 15 Year Old. This unique bottle pays tribute to the 15 winners of the previous Festival Glenfarclas Cross Country Steeple Chase Races, with each horse listed in order. The 15 Year Old whisky is the first in a trilogy celebrating the fact that Glenfarclas has signed on to sponsor the famous Cross Country Races for another three years, in November, December and March. To further mark the occasion, a share of the profits from the sale of the bottles will go directly to the Jockey Club’s charity partner, Racing Welfare.
The clear glass bottle allows the natural colour of this special Glenfarclas whisky to shine through and the label reflects the 3 litre bottle presented to the winning owner and trainer. The nose is complex, sherried and deliciously peated with light butterscotch aromas a hint of dried fruit. The palate is full bodied with a superb balance of sherried sweetness, malty tones and peaty flavours. The long lasting finish is gloriously sherried, sweet, gently smoky, and distinguished.
With only 3,000 bottles made, this is an extra special gift for anyone who loves racing and whisky.
Enjoy a fantastic November Meeting.