Our family day out at Ascot Racecourse on Saturday was utterly perfect from start to end. The sun shone all day long, but there was a breeze too so we didn’t feel flustered, and the kids, wait for it, were in in good spirits and didn’t argue once- a first!
The good vibes were indeed testament to Great British Racing and their jam-packed, super fun launch event which saw us returning to work with the brand again this year, in support of their summer boredom-busting initiative Under 18s Race Free (you might remember we worked with them last year, meeting David Walliams).
This super initiative sees 60 racecourses all over the UK offering under 18s free entry when accompanied by a paying adult all year long, and over the summer holidays, there are over 200 fixtures where kids can race free with a paying adult, as well as lots of family days at racecourses, bursting fairground attractions and activities for the whole family.
If you’re anything like me, you’ll be desperately on the hunt to fill the next 7 weeks with as many entertaining, stress-free, low cost days out in the open air, and this is just the ticket. Literally!
Ascot hosted a vast fairground area for families on Saturday with a free-fall bouncing area my kids were obsessed with and wanted me to try (I was a wimp as per so said ‘no’), mechanical horses to help them with form, a Virtual Reality bus the kids could game on Oliver was enraptured by, teacups and Helter Skelter, free sweets (the first time I’ve eaten a Murray Mint since the 90s), dance workshops and stimulating storytelling sessions.
There were tons of places for children to eat and drink too from pop-up restaurants to ice cream vans, and we felt lucky to be invited to get up close to the beautiful horses before they raced on the day, as well.
We also dined in a stunning box with expansive views of the racecourse and there were bubbles aplenty for the parents too (I’m such a lightweight I had stop at 2 glasses and still needed a disco nap, when I got home).
Inside the box, the children enjoyed colouring in a huge racing themed poster as well as playing on a a life-size Connect 4 (I lost 8 times to Oliver-argh) and Xander couldn’t get enough of the ‘Don’t Buzz the Wire’ game which neighed if you touched the pole.
Lunch was an expansive buffet featuring smoked salmon, crayfish, quiche, cold meats and custard tarts and chocolate cake. The children’s table offered up all of the kid’s favourites with Sausage and Mash, Mac ‘n’ Cheese and petit pois.
There were plant-based options for me with turmeric rice with veggies, a potato medley and strawberry and rocket salad.
We also got to meet the brilliantly dynamic and utterly stunning, Tess Daly, who is the face of the campaign and spent the day filming with GB Racing. Tess was patient enough to chat to my suddenly shy two boys, and kindly remarked how gorgeous they were. Aw.
Here I am trying to encourage the kids to give us a quick pose for posterity. SMILE! Xander’s face! There’s always one!
Now, while the boys lapped up the lavish buffet put on for us in the box, being kids, they wanted to eat every flipping 5 minutes, so also gobbled up chicken burgers at the Katsu Burger van where we met super chef, Saraa, who asked if we could all have a photo together. The boys announced the burgers were the best they’d ever eaten so hats off to Saraa!
…I couldn’t help get style pic* for the gram too before we headed home back to Windsor just five minutes down the road, having had the perfect family day out: no arguments or moans of being bored: just spectacular views of horses racing, delicious food for all and old school entertainment (bar the VR bus!) in the British sunshine. Lush.
Have you attended the races with your under 18s before?
Find out more at: http://www.under18sracefree.com/.
* I was styled by Lauren Jobling Styling (blazer a gift c/o Baukjen, bag- Louis Vuitton neverfull, Dress-H&M, headband-Topshop, personalised necklace- Thoughtful Impressions gifted, wedges Tommy Hilfiger. Boys’ shirts by Gant and Ralph Lauren also gifted, boys’ chinos Ralph Lauren and Next respectively, pumps-M&S).
This is a sponsored campaign but as always, my words are honest.