Qatar Goodwood Festival

Welcome back to the RCA’s very own On Tour blog.

Having spent the last few blogs touring the best of our competitors in the sports and leisure sector we thought it was time to bring the focus back to some of the best of our racecourses. It’s easy to overlook the work being done to improve the guest experience within racing, but it is certainly not underestimated, judging by the quality of the Showcase Awards entries and the ‘new ideas’ round-table discussions at each Raceday Experience Group meeting.

So we’ve cooked up our new ‘Picto-blog’. Heavy on pictures, light on copy. A quick whizz through the delights of Glorious Goodwood as seen on a wonderful July afternoon on the Sussex Downs.

Arriving at Goodwood to the sight of these giant silken banners, blending both Goodwood and Qatari colours and branding.

 

And if you are lucky enough to be an owner at Goodwood, your car parking pass is emblazoned with your own silks. Perfect.

 

Teams of greeters both inside and outside the main entrances set the tone for an altogether elevated day out at the races.

 

Once inside the young ladies in Qatari national dress welcome guests to the Qatar Goodwood Festival. With fresh carnations offered as buttonholes.

 

Adjacent to the entry is this sculptural carnation-encrusted Qatari pavilion. Bold, stylish, fragrant and of interest to many – a fascinating confluence of cultures.

 

The flag theme continues – the flamboyance setting the tone for a day above the norm.

 

Meeters and greeters are out in force answering questions and guiding lost souls.

 

To the parade ring – resplendent in the summer sun. Take a closer look to see how subtle the Qatari Goodwood Festival branding is in these iconic areas.

 

Moving trackside the spectacle goes on – mixing old and new. From brass band…

 

…to free WiFi which actually works – almost.

 

And one of the prettiest Winning Posts in the country. Confident and stylish.

 

Moving on to lunch, and the secret garden. This superb singing group were one of many lifting the mood.

 

 

Whilst the attention to detail in the theming was on point in the secret garden both inside and outside.

 

Whilst further afield the everchanging Tanqueray / Gordons / now Nyetimber Bar has had its third makeover in three years. Celebrating this ‘Best of British’ young brand alongside those more established French Champagne houses.

 

And making sure no one is left behind, superb traditional music in the Far End Bar in the Lennox Enclosure.

 

And in the newly fashionable world of gin and mixologists, this new entry from Hendricks.

 

Timely perhaps but is this really the most opportune tribute to the great man – O’Sullevan’s. Was he indeed partial to a spot of sausage roll?

And lastly, following the emerging trend showing how racing’s more prosperous customers are lapping up better quality food and drink when they are offered it – the biggest queue of the day was at Prime Steak and Chicken with its handheld steak and chips at £13.50 and fried baby calamari (yes the ones with the little legs) leaving Goodwood’s own very creditable burger stall longing for custom at £6.80 for a 6 oz burger made with local meat…

 

And to top it all off that great Goodwood icon, strawberries and cream, which just gets higher and higher…

 

So there we are. There were no big showstoppers at this year’s festival, more an abundance of simple ideas executed beautifully. Despite the naysayers the Qatari involvement was delivered in ‘the best possible taste’. Customers were clearly having a wonderful time and many had dressed to the nines. The result of all of this attention to detail is an atmosphere which can truly be described as Glorious.

Congratulations to all concerned on a truly wonderful afternoon.