The Festival™, presented by Magners, involves Jockey Club Catering tackling the momentous task of feeding the 265,000 spectators who flock to Jump racing’s spiritual home. Cheltenham Racecourse will become a pilgrimage for thousands of global fans and guests for the four-day Festival, 12-15 March. Exhilarating racing is matched only by the roar of the crowd and entertainment on offer in this Cotswolds hotspot.
New this year
Jockey Club Catering has upped the stakes this year and created its very own pub, the Horse and Groom. A relaxing and charming space with horseracing at its heart, the new punters’ local will overlook the final two fences and is hotly tipped to be a fans favourite, with a range of real ales, fine wines and best of British food created by Regional Executive Chef Tom Parry.
If you’re looking for some of the best views of the racecourse then head to the impressive Princess Royal Stand. You won’t be able to miss it, with state-of-the-art entertaining areas abuzz with hospitality boxes, bars and restaurants.
A British icon of global proportions, The Festival™ reflects international catering tastes. Returning for the second year is the critically acclaimed pan Asian restaurant, Theatre@ The Festival™. An incredible hospitality dining experience with an exclusive three-course pan Asian menu delivering a fusion of flavours from across Asia, embraced and delivered via the farms of The Cotswolds.
Each Theatre@ guest receives an exquisite bento box starter with delectable dishes such as; black pepper fillet of locally sourced beef served with a cucumber kamahi salad and fresh plum sauce; or ‘lobster and lobster’, a dish of poached noodles served with a luxurious lobster oil drizzle, shallots and coriander cress, Cantonese ginger, spring onion and Brixham lobster tail.
For guests keen to experience the height of luxury, Chez Roux at Cheltenham is a stone’s throw from the final fence and is hosted by culinary icons Albert Roux OBE, supported by Michel Roux Jr. and granddaughter, Emily Roux. For the fifth year the family will bring bespoke menus to reflect the seasonality and provenance of Cheltenham’s local larder.
A focus on local ingredients is given to create the show-stopping menus across hospitality and public areas. 100% of the cheese used is from South West England; while 100% of responsibly sourced Scottish salmon is cured or smoked within 50 miles of Cheltenham (Severn and Wye) too.
Nick Campbell, MD at Jockey Club Catering, commented: “The food and drink, hospitality, and dining experiences at The Festival™ is second-to-none. Imagination and the very best of British produce are key ingredients for serving outstanding food & drink occasions to all our racegoers.
“We work year-round preparing for these four days in March when we produce over 45,000 fine-dining meals to be enjoyed by our guests including well-known faces, racing elite and Royalty.”
Economics at a gallop
The Festival™ generates an estimated £100million for the local economy, and sees the development of the largest tented village in Europe which will become home to 24 marquees, including the longest triple deck structure in Europe, with over 2.5 miles of internal walls. The scale of the event is reflected in the construction of 15 individual restaurants, 30 temporary kitchens, 74 mobile catering units and over 240 private suites.
Jockey Club Catering is a joint venture between The Jockey Club, the largest commercial group in British racing, and Compass Group UK & Ireland. The partnership was launched in 2009 with the aim of providing premium quality catering at all 15 of The Jockey Club Racecourses.