Jump season is full speed and it's just 2 weeks until The November Meeting takes centre stage at Cheltenham.
It's the biggest meeting at the course outside The Cheltenham Festival and takes place on Friday 15th, Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th November.
The highlight on the track across the whole weekend is the iconic BetVictor Gold Cup, a Handicap Chase over 2m4f with a prize to the winner of over £90,000.
Recent winners have included locally trained Taquin Du Seuil for Jonjo O'Neill and the hugely popular Splash Of Ginge for Nigel Twiston-Davies.
Alongside the action on the course, there is a host of awesome things taking place throughout the weekend.
Friday is Countryside Day and lots of country themed events including Sir Anthony McCoy receiving a lesson from double Olympic medal-winning dressage rider Laura Tomlinson in the Parade Ring at 11:45am, as well as a parade by a local hunt and live music from The Lucky 15's in The Guinness Village for Club/Tattersalls Racegoers.
After racing from 4pm-5.15pm, The Wurzels will be taking to the stage in The Centaur. This is free for Club/Tattersalls ticket holders,
Saturday features more music with The Wickermen playing in The Guinness Village and after racing, Club and Tattersalls racegoers can enjoy live music from The Wandering Wings in The Centaur who will get your Saturday night started with upbeat acoustic versions of classic pop, rock and soul hits.
Sunday will see the finale of the Pony Racing Authority Racecourse Series, sponsored by Charles Owen. There have been 25 fixtures throughout the season, across a variety of racecourses around the UK, starting at Aintree Racecourse in May. The jockeys are aged between 11 and 16. The first race will be at 12pm.
There is a host of family themed activities to enjoy throughout the day and more live music with The D-Day Darlings performing live in The Centaur after racing, free for Club/Tattersalls racegoers.
Other things of interest:
For tickets and further information, please click here.
"The season has already been full of ups and downs already with some nice winners and a couple of injuries. My jaw is now fully recovered after breaking it in a fall in August. I'm really looking forward to an exciting season ahead.
It was pleasing last Thursday winning on Pop Rockstar. He looks like he's going the right way and hopefully he can turn into a long distance chaser. Perhaps the Welsh National trial at Chepstow at the beginning of December could be somewhere we go next with him. He's on an upward curve.
Friday saw our first juvenile winner of the year with Pop The Cork winning at Uttoxeter. He ran well at Perth the first time and has come on well from that. I would say that they will look for another juvenile race for him in November.
Although there were no winners, it was good to get back to Ffos Las on Saturday for their first meeting of the year.
We headed to Kempton on Sunday where Prefontaine won the Juvenile Hurdle. He was a very good horse on the flat and I think the blinkers definitely sharpened him up and there's more to come from him. It was great to get a winner for Paul Smith - his first jumps winner.
It's exciting that Cheltenham is just around the corner. There seems to be a lot of nice young horses entered. Colin Tizzard has some really nice novices', and one or two bumper horses that I rode last year entered up. L'Air Du Vent has a couple of entries at Cheltenham. He is a very exciting prospect and, although I won't be riding, I look forward to seeing him running.
Also, my younger brother AJ hopefully has his first ride at Cheltenham on Friday on Mustmeetalady so I will be looking forward to seeing him have his first ride over fences. It's great to see him coming back into racing and Cheltenham is a brilliant place to start and I hope it all goes well. I won on Mustmeetalday in the summer at Perth and he should have a good chance and give him a good spin around.
It's nice to see Minella Rocco back on Saturday at Cheltenham. He had a difficult season last year. I've ridden and schooled him in the last couple of weeks. He's been in great form and he likes it around Cheltenham so it's an ideal place for him to start.
Hopefully Carys' Commodity will run in the bumper. He would have probably won with me at Worcester last time when he unseated me halfway up the run in. I'm hoping he can make amends for that, although this is a far better race and possibly the most competitive bumper of the year so far so we will have to wait and see. He's an exciting prospect."
It's very rare that food blows your mind. I'm always seeing that someone had "the best meal they have ever eaten" followed by an #ad in the hashtags, hidden enough that some people will miss it and mistakenly believe that they genuinely had their best ever meal.
After seeing much hype and happening to be in Cheltenham, I booked a table at Bhoomi Kitchen. It's the same old Bhoomi but with a much more relaxed feel, new Indian BBQ dishes and Thali to the menu and no white tablecloths. If I'm honest I wasn't a fan of the white tablecloths in the old style Bhoomi. If I'm even more honest, I'm not a fan of white tablecloths full stop. I find it a little uncomfortable in restaurants when someone in white gloves starts brushing the cloth in front of you between courses. I kind of get it, but I feel like those days have gone and it's something my grandparents would have would have appreciated. Anyway, they have gone. Also the walls have changed colour. You know that lovely bluey, greeny grey colour that everyone uses? It probably has a trendy name at Farrow and Ball. Evidently I'm no expert, I just know it looks nice.
The Thali is served between 6pm and 6.45pm every evening (bar Monday as the restaurant is closed) and lunch time on Friday, Saturday and Sundays. There was already a trickle of the after work crowd when we arrived just after 6. How bloody clever to capture that audience with a silver tray of pleasure for a tenner or £12 if you opt for the Butter Chicken or Kerala Lamb. Either way, it's a bargain.
I never eat at 6pm. I don't trust people who do. They must be the ones who go to bed at 10pm when I'm just about to sit down to eat my dinner. With a mix of naivety and fear of having to eat twice in a night, we treated the Thali as a starter and ordered three of the Indian BBQ dishes for our main; Tharavu (Duck breast, rubbed with south Indian
gunpowder spice blend then barbecued in charcoal tandoor), Chicken Reshmi Kebab (Marinated breast in hung yogurt, ginger, garlic, cream, ground peppercorn, ground cashew nuts, skewered and tandoor roasted) and Barbecued Prawns (marinated in lime juice, chilli, cumin, coriander tandoor baked).
Now we've all had duck chicken and prawns before but this was on a different level. The duck and the chicken more so than the prawns which were seriously good, just not as good or a memorable as the other two. The flavours were immense, compelling and fiery all at the same time, and the meat was like butter. It was simply brilliant.
I'm not here to say that my meal at Bhoomi Kitchen is the best I have ever eaten, but it was some of the most exciting food I have eaten for a very long time.
One of Bristol’s brightest star chef’s is coming to take over the kitchen at Tetbury’s The Priory Inn.
New head chef Tom Bannister has worked at some of Bristol’s best eateries including a head chef role at The Souk Kitchen.He is planning to introduce a new, more casual approach to dinning focusing on the social side of eating, using the charming dining space at The Priory.
The Arkell’s Brewery hotel has undergone a management makeover since Greg Heath took over the reins of the hotel in July.
The 2019 Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival has marked its 70th anniversary with a record-breaking number of tickets sold. With its most international, diverse programme yet, the world’s oldest literature Festival reached a larger audience than ever before, supported by a new broadcast partnership with Sky Arts.
Festival highlights included stage and screen stars Tan France, Helena Bonham Carter, Louis Theroux and Andrew Ridgeley, sporting legends Sam Warburton and Alastair Cook, and political insight from the likes of Jess Phillips, Rory Stewart, Emily Maitlis and David Cameron. The fun continued after dark with a Game of Thrones quiz night, US story-telling sensation The Moth, and the return of the ever-popular Lit Crawl taking over the streets, pubs and bars of Cheltenham.
Literature Festival in Numbers
• Over 140,000 tickets issued
• Over 17,000 visitors on each of the festival weekends
• Over 4,500 visitors to the site every week day
• More than 900 authors on site
Things we learnt during the festival
• Helena Bonham revealed that she sought psychic help for the role of Princess Margaret
• Sue Perkins admitted that cake was in fact off her ideal menu
• Rory Stewart spoke of how he quit as an MP to run for Mayor so that he could make a difference
• Sky Arts exposed a nation of literary liars, with over half of Britons having had pretended to read a book
• This Country stars teased the audience with the idea of a Cotswold Christmas Special
• Andrew Ridgeley suggested TV talent shows were too brutal for young talent
• Sam Warburton told how his arachnophobia stops him from entering the I’m a Celeb jungle
• David Cameron admitted his daughter has forgotten that he was prime minister
• David Mitchell joked that we might look back on the invention of the internet as a terrible disaster
Next year’s dates
The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival will take place from 2nd -11th October 2020
The Cotswolds Distillery have introduce their own twist on the classic Old Tom Gin.
Dating back to the 18th century, at a time when gin was consumed in copious amounts, this juniper spirit was traditionally sweetened with sugar or liquorice to conceal the astringent qualities of the substandard spirit. Thanks to the thriving craft cocktail scene, Old Tom Gins based on traditional recipes have made a comeback in the past few years.
The Cotswolds Old Tom has sweet, woody notes from liquorice root balanced with zesty orange citrus and light spice from the ginger.
We enjoy our Old Tom neat, garnished with fresh orange peel, or why not try a Tom Collins cocktail by adding lemon juice, soda and sugar syrup.
It's available now in-store and online.
500ml | 42% ABV | £29.95
50 restaurants in the Cotswolds have made it into the Michelin Guide 2020 that was published this week.
We have done the honourable thing and listed them all for you so you don't have to to go on a wild search.
You can find the whole list by clicking HERE.
The Royal Oak in Whatcote has been awarded a Michelin Star.
The menu showcases high quality local, organic, wild ingredients and game often 'shot to order' by gamekeepers on local estates, while keeping the local pub ethos throughout.
Chef Richard Craven has been a well-know name in the culinary world in the Cotswolds after the success of The Chef's Dozen in Chipping Campden and said on twitter "We’re still reeling from last night but we would like to sincerely thank our little team and incredible part timers for all their hard work. Thank you Michelin for taking the time to visit us and for awarding us this absolute honour."
The National Hunt horse racing season starts this week, and there's just 17 days until the first meeting at Cheltenham Racecouse.
The Showcase, a 2-day meeting on Friday 25th and Saturday 26th October, kicks off the season for many racing enthusiasts here in the Cotswolds.
In addition to great racing, why not celebrate the start of the season in style with the first ever Cheltoberfest on both days of The Showcase meeting, including live music from The Bierkeller Boys, a range of local real ales, and tips from a racing tipster before racing commences.
For more information and tickets, visit www.thejockeyclub.co.uk/cheltenham/events-tickets/the-showcase
The Hollow Bottom in Guiting Power opened its doors again after its shock closure in July.
The famous 17th century Cotswolds racing pub has been taken over by The Lucky Onion Group, which is owned by Julian Dunkerton.
Obviously we went to have a look. The pub's interior looks and feels warmer, and there is still a racing theme throughout. There is, of course, Dunkertons Cider of draft as well as other local ales and lagers.
We also had a bite too. The Ham, Egg and Chips is immense with an orange glazed whole ham hock on the plate.