The Main Event!
Over the years I’ve been a couple of times to the races with my mother and father, mostly during Norfolk holidays some 18 years ago, however on an overcast Saturday in July (this July actually: 2017), Newmarket Racecourse held their “July Festival”, which spanned Friday to Sunday, ending on the Darley Cup race for the event’s grand finale.
I was invited along by a very dear friend and influential business lady, Emma Warren of HiHo jewellery , to capture some brand shots of the event, soak up the fun on a socialising level, as well as network a little with some incredibly awe inspiring brands in her immediate circle (which she knew I’d love to indulge in personally too!!).
What I enjoyed most about the event is how well laid out the venue was on a whole. I mean sure, the venue is a racecourse, but the way that the different entertainment spots, food and drink, and luxury shopping areas were mapped out were wonderful! Everything was set on a “walking loop”, and felt intimate enough to not have to marathon across the grounds to get from one interest to the other, but also didn’t feel so small that you were done in around 15 minutes or so.
Delicious eateries and drink stations (Pimms and cocktails of course) were never out of eye shot, and the varied selection was a welcome one!
Each race was broadcast in a large, attractive open area on a raised big screen to enjoy in the comfort of the drinks tent and paddock, if you were not able to get track side.
In addition to the races and tasty parts, there were side events like “Best Dressed Gent” on the Friday, “Best Dressed Lady” on the Saturday, and “Best Dressed Couple” on the Sunday, as well as an appearance from the car manufacturer Tesla, showing off their latest models, and other classic cars to take a wonder around if you fancied a little more vintage.
One of my most favoured areas, you’ll not be surprised to know, was the shopping strip. Brands from Fairfax & Favor (more on this brand HERE), HiHo Jewellery (featured images below), and The Oxford Shirt Company were present.
HiHo Jewellery housed some of the most stunning accessories for the country and equestrian enthusiasts, whilst to their immediate left (if facing) stood all of your footwear and handbag needs to accompany them! With designers like these on the main straight, no wonder guests were looking as stylish and fabulous as they were!
In addition to new arrivals this year, there was also a charming hat supplier who came and had a little chat to us as we wandered around the stands, letting us know that he has been active on the selling circuit for 30 years to date! Still looking great!
More Than Just A Race Day.
So not only is Newmarket well known for its race days, but the venue itself is host to a plethora of other events too!
You can check out what's on in their events guide HERE , however as insight into a few on my radar at the moment, there are the following on the horizon!
- Summer Saturday 22nd July 2017 | 12.05 - 6.35: Great British Summer Day - "Great British Summer Day at Newmarket Racecourses is a celebration of all the most fabulous British traditions! Alongside a great afternoon of racing there will be lots of fun FREE activities to entertain racegoers of every age including music, giant deck chairs, donkey rides, Punch & Judy shows, traditional swingboats, face painting and a toy town carousel!" [Tickets HERE]
- Summer Saturday: Countryside Day 29th July 2017 | 12.15 - 6.40 - "The bucolic charm of the Adnams July Course is the perfect setting for Countryside Day. It’s a delightful raceday featuring fantastic sport on the track and rural themed entertainment.For families we have pony rides, a mini farm, a petting zoo, face painting, ferret racing and a sheep dog and ducks display! Children under the age of 18 are welcome for FREE in all enclosures and all of the entertainment is FREE (all day) so it’s a great day out." [Tickets HERE]
- Chase & Status DJ Set 11th August 2017 | 3.30 - "Enjoy an afternoon of racing topped off by a headline performance with Chase & Status on 11th August! Carrying on from the success of last year’s DJ night, which saw an explosive headline set from Mark Ronson, Chase & Status will be bringing their unique brand of Drum N Bass to Newmarket Racecourse on August 11th." [Tickets HERE]
Aside from enjoying the day as a patron, Lloyd and I did spend time as ‘Press’ capturing memories of the day with our "weapons of choice" (named Sony and Nikon, no less). We've collected some super shots taken from the gorgeous equestrian element of the racing itself and the parading horses, to the glamorous fashionistas of the event enjoying their time. We’re really happy with the way they came out.
Smiles All Round.
Its goes without saying that it's ultimately clear that the Newmarket 'July Festival' was a huge hit for 2017, and despite the overcast weather making an appearance for a short while, it was driven away by the laughs and high spirits of race day fans the weekend through.
We'll be back to enjoy more events at Newmarket for sure!