Wednesday, 1 June 2016

My day at the Races- Newbury Racecourse*

A couple of weeks ago I was invited to the races at Newbury Racecourse for the Al Shaqab Lockinge Day. I took along my friend and fellow blogger Kim from Romanov’s Views. We made a real day of it and set off nice and early for the 4 hour drive down. The train times were hit and miss and we would have missed the chance to be there on time and we would have had to leave really early too so driving was the easiest way. 

Newbury Racecourse is indeed a day out that cannot be topped. Spending time with friends over great food and drink and having fun watching some fantastic equine action. Centred around the £350,000 Group 1 Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes will be an outstanding seven-race card worth a total of £750,000.

After nearly 4 hours of driving, we arrived nice and early and made our way to the Fred Winter Suite as VIP guests. I felt very privileged to be invited into this room and it was absolutely beautiful. We arrived quite early behind a girl who I assumed was another blogger and were given the choice of rosé champagne or virgin cocktails. As I was driving I went for a virgin mohito which was delicious. Kim went for a pomegranate cocktail which was really fruity and she enjoyed it.

The minute our drinks got low, we were immediately topped up with more. We decided to stand out on the balcony and the sun was beaming down on us. The weather was absolutely gorgeous and it was funny to hear that it was cold and wet back home! The suite got quite busy but we still managed to keep our places on the balcony and had a great view of the racecourse.

Food was served all day by waiters and waitresses that brought round trays of small food to try. There were plenty of gluten free options available too and staff were happy to find out what food were safe for Kim to eat as a coeliac. I tried so many different things. This was a tuna nicoise bowl which was delicious. We also had tandoori mango chicken with fried pita bread pieces, hoisin duck with noodles, oyster mushroom risotto and a beetroot and feta salad. Food was plentiful and the staff were bringing it round frequently.

Later on in the day, desserts were brought round. My favourite was this gorgeous chocolate brownie with clotted cream and a raspberry garnish. It was probably the best brownie I have ever had and tasted really fresh. I also had a mini crème brule. Kim could only have the crème brule and the eaton mess so she took a couple of bowls of each of those. There were also mini cupcakes!

We had such a great view of the racecourse from the balcony but later on in the day we decided to venture downstairs onto the grassed area right in front of the course. We had a walk around and saw some of the race horses up close and personal after they had made it into the top 3 of that particular race. They were so elegant and graceful and very well looked after.

We decided on the day that we wanted to make some bets, but had no idea what we were doing. Thankfully the man explained it to us and made it sort of clear and we decided to place £3 on an accumulator which would yield us great winnings. After the first race we were still in with a chance as our horse came second but after that it all went wrong. We didn’t mind too much as it meant we could leave whenever we wanted. The atmosphere when a race was on was absolutely amazing. People were cheering and shouting and there was a real buzz about the place. After the races there was live music but unfortunately with such a long journey home we had to leave before it started.

There were moments during the day where I felt a bit out of place dressed head to toe in New Look amongst the sea of Mulberry and Chanel bags and Louboutin shoes but I feel like I dressed as nicely as I could for this day at the races. No one looked down on us and as far as they knew we were paying customers too! We did feel like we were in an episode of Gossip Girl!  My feet were not used to being in heels all day and I came away with some sore blisters but it was worth it. I think if I am lucky enough to go again I will invest in a nice pair of flats. Kim kindly let me borrow a flower for my hair – the ultimate raceday accessory!

Overall I had a fantastic time at the races and I wouldn’t hesitate to go back. I was extremely lucky to be given the VIP treatment and this made the experience all the more fantastic. Thank you to Kim from Romanov’s Views for coming with me (and for some of the photos of us used in this post!) and to Newbury Racecourse for having us!

*I was provided with 2 tickets and travel expenses in exchange for this blog post. All opinions are my own and I was not influenced in any way.


Monday, 30 May 2016

My Favourite Bloggers and Vloggers

I thought I would share with you today some of my favourite bloggers and vloggers. I follow loads of blogs and watch loads of vlogs but if I’ve had a busy week there are always a select few that I will catch up on first before reading or watching anything else. I am sure you will have probably heard of most of these as they’re not exactly obscure but for those of you that haven’t – why not give them a look? You may discover someone new yourself!

Brogan Tate Weekly Vlogs
Brogan is one of the realest youtubers I watch and her weekly vlogs posted every Monday are always worth watching. Brogan isn’t afraid to show the real things that are happening in her life. If she’s had a bad day, she’ll talk about it in her vlog. She doesn’t try to make our her life is 100% perfect which is what keeps her so relatable. When she cries in her vlogs you only have to check the comments to see that her viewers cry with her because it’s easy to become involved. I can relate to her because like me she has a full time job and vlogging/blogging is her hobby.

Helen Anderson Daily Vlogs
I first started watching Helen because my boyfriend who knew I liked watching vlogs suggested her to me. He works with someone in her band and had found out about her that way and I decided to look her up. I find Helen really relatable not only because we live in the same city but I can understand some of the things she is going through. She recently moved house which is something I am going through at the moment and it was really refreshing to see that she was having the same thoughts and feelings as me. It’s also been great to see the process unfold so I know what is to come and makes me really excited! She also has a main channel but my favourite videos are her daily vlogs. They’re just the right length, don’t ramble on and are very ‘real’. I’m secretly hoping we bump into each other on dog walks or something and our kids will go to the same school and we will become friends haha. A girl can dream..

Hannah Gale - Blog and Vlogs
Hannah is another blogger I follow who is reasonably local living in the next county across from me. I have been following her blog for a long time and love it when I receive an email saying she has done a new post. She has a way with words that makes you want to keep reading and when I first found her blog I spent hours reading through the archives (is that weird? Idk). She posts very real posts and writes about topics some of us wouldn’t even dare write about (for example a post about the contraceptive pill) and that’s why I love her blog. She isn’t afraid to say it how it is. Hannah also posts vlogs which I have been enjoying lately and it’s lovely to get to see snippets of someone’s life that you enjoy reading about. Her personal style and homeware options are goals and I will continue to keep reading and watching until I run out of money buying everything she recommends! 

Kim – Romanovs Views
Primarily a blogger, Kim’s progression over on her blog has become inspiring. She hasn’t been blogging that long but the progression in the quality of her photos has grown immensely. I am envious of her flatlays and the composition on her photos has come on leaps and bounds. I love reading her helpful posts, beauty reviews and most of all her monthly lookback posts. She deserves a lot more followers than she has! She’ll be vlogging when she heads to America this summer and I can’t wait to watch those.

Who are your favourite bloggers and vloggers? Leave me their links below - I love finding new people!

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