Sunday, 9 July 2017

A Day at the Races, and a Beer Festival

How is the weekend nearly over already?! I think I really need to start getting organised with this blog.
Anyway...last weekend was another busy one with visiting the races on Saturday and then a beer festival and Sunday.

So a few months ago we bought tickets to the music weekend at York races with the music act being...Olly Murs.
I have never attended a music event at the races before, but I have heard good things about them. In the past, there have been big names acts such as; Tom Jones, Blondie and Madness. 
Now we booked the tickets for here shortly after seeing Olly Murs in concert at Leeds First Direct Arena at the beginning of this it is safe to say we were/are a fan of his.

We decided to go to the races a bit later than the start of the first race, as we thought it could be quite a long day if we went from the get-go. As luck would have it we were able to bag ourselves a lift there, being dropped off not too far from the entrance, meaning we only had to get the train once. Thank goodness we did get a lift as York station was packed coming home, as was the train, where we were packed on like sardines.

Back to the races... There are a few different areas in the races where you can purchase tickets from. We decided to buy for the 'County Stand' as you have more access indoors with seating areas, as well as a few different balconies and terraces. One of the downsides to this area though, you cannot take drinks outside like in the 'Paddock and Grandstand'.
Views from the very top terrace were amazing, especially overlooking the City of York, however, there was a very limited view of the actual race course from here as you were mainly overlooking the entrance to the area.

Entrance View from The County Stand

View of York Minster

 I think we arrived at the ground near the time of the 3rd or 4th race, and we thought we would edge our bets and attempt to make a win on the horses. Now we were all a bit of a novice when it came to betting, and decided on which horse to back based on their names rather than the odds and statistics. We chose; Finishing Touch, Spinnaka (it reminded me of the Greek Spinach Pie- Spanakopita) and Hindsight, betting £2 each way for each which equalled to £12 in total. To our surprise Finishing Touch came 1st with Spinnaka a close 2nd, meaning we won a bit of money! We won the grand total of....£14 which really translated into £2, but a win is a win! Unfortunately, Hindsight placed 6th so we didn't win anything with that horse. Our luck sadly ran out after this race, and we decided not to place any more bets after losing the next race.
The atmosphere is brilliant though when the horses are racing, and you can definitely tell when they are getting closer to you, as the crowds' volume increases tenfold. We were also closer to the finishing line being in the County Stand.

 As for the races fashion, there was plenty to see. Some decided to be more formal, with beautiful ball gown type dresses, others looking a bit more wedding party/guest and a few dressed for the clubs. My mum's cousin liked to point out 'fashion disasters' she had spotted in the crowds.
We decided against wearing a fascinator or hat, and I am glad we did, as it got quite windy on the race course. I am also glad I didn't wear a floaty dress, as there would have been plenty of Marilyn Monroe moments if I had.

Now I decided to wear the ever stylish but impractical outfit known as a jumpsuit...I will let you decide whether it was a fashion disaster or not. I thought it was a great outfit choice until I needed to use the bathroom and luckily the cubicles' locks worked as people would have viewed more than just a Marilyn Monroe moment! I purchased the jumpsuit from Quiz, and the white wedges I wore were a purchase from Quiz too, a few years ago. They have lasted so well!

Jumpsuit & Shoes by Quiz

So Olly came on stage about 5.45 p.m. and was the usual amazing showman that he is, singing his new songs, as well as older hits. He really knew how to get the crowd going and the atmosphere was amazing. The crowd was on either side of the race course, with it going right back to the end of The County Stand. Unfortunately we were quite a bit further back and could not see the actual stage, however, there were plenty of screens dotted around outside that you could see his performance on.
We decided to leave a bit earlier and whilst Olly was still on stage as we anticipated there being a bit of a surge in the crowd when leaving, and the queues for the shuttle buses being humongous if we waited until the end.  Turns out a few people had the same idea, however, you could definitely tell when the performance was over as the queue to the buses grew!

All in all, it was a fab day out enjoyed by all, and I would definitely go to another music event there again. Have you been to a music event at the races? What would you wear to the races?

Is that you Olly??

Every year a pub located close to the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, called 'The Abbey Inn', hosts a three-day beer festival. This is usually within the first weekend of July.
As we had been to the races for the day on Saturday we decided to have a trip down to the beer festival on Sunday.

The beer festival is hosted on the site of the pub, as well as into a bit of the neighbouring field, where the beer tent is located. This is decorated with hay and hay bales for seats, with a stage at one side for the live music acts that perform throughout the weekend.
Traditionally all the special brews and craft beer are located in the tent/gazebo, with a few on offer in the actual pub. Unfortunately for us, they had very good custom on Saturday which meant all the beer had run out in the tent, with the owners needing to restock for the day. This meant that there were not as many options for beer and particularly cider when we visited. Instead of being able to choose from a few craft ciders there were only cans of Rekorderlig fruit cider, which was nice to have on a sunny afternoon, but it would have been nice to sample more of a range.

The beer festival also had a few food vendors, with pizza, Indian street food and a traditional BBQ of burgers and sausages being offered. We sampled a little of the wood-fired pizza and Indian food (which had a bit of a kick) during the time we spent at the festival.

Beer tent

As we had my favourite little person (my niece) with us, we decided to only stay for a short while, and take a walk along the canal so that she could see the barges and ducks.
We were very lucky to spot three swans on the canal, all of which swam nearer to us as we approached the edge.

It was a lovely end to the weekend, and to make it better the sun was shining.
What have your plans been for the weekend?

Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for further antics!

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