We dressed up all smart (which was really nice, I'm usually a bit of a scruff and a chance to wear fancy clothes was appreciated) and hired two boxes for the day. Having seen the size of our two boxes together we definitely wouldn't have gotten all 27 of us in anything smaller. We had a lovely buffet meal of hot steak pie and roast ham and beef and chicken. Crusty bread and melt in the mouth new potatoes. A glass of champagne and some wine (well just 1 glass of wine for me).
There was a covered balcony where you could go out and watch the racing. When we first got there we saw that there was a step down to it which was disappointing as they'd said it was accessible but they got me a movable ramp and kept me well informed that they were looking for it, etc. The layout in the room meant I needed help to handle that ramp etc but I could go out on the balcony which was fun. We were right by the finish line too. In the box itself there were two big screen tv's which also showed the racing so the races I didn't go out for I watched on there.
The tote had two desks on the floor we were on so we didn't have far to go for bets. One was right by where we were and the other was at the opposite end of the floor but right by the disabled loo so it was easy and if one had a big queue the other didn't. I spent £30 on bets and had a second placed horse which won me £2.80 and a third placed horse which won me £13.20 - I was well pleased!
By the door of each box there was a name plate for who was in there. One right next to us was a Brigadier and another was a Rt. Hon. someone or other. John Motson (I think that's the name) had one but I didn't see him and Matt Le Tisier had another - I saw him a few times (but only knew it was him when it was pointed out to me!). He was in the queue for the tote the same time as us a few times and it was amusing because most of us where betting two or three pounds each way and he was going up putting on £25 each way - well I suppose if you've loads of money, £50 on a bet is nothing. But it also meant that whilst we were collecting a few pounds or so in winnings he was getting a few hundred. Ah, well.
Oh and I did think Matt Le Tisier looked a bit of a scruff (sweatshirt and trousers) - maybe the smart smart dress code was one my mum had made up not the racecourse. Although I read in the racecard that they don't allow you in in sports wear.
It was sooo much fun and I really enjoyed it. Much more than I had thought I would. I love the races but don't go too often. I had anticipated that people would go off and go for a wander and that I would find that bit hard to join in on so might get a bit left out (only accidentally) and also had been worried about the lunch as I'm such a fussy eater. But no one did go wandering and there was sooo much food that I was able to have plenty of the stuff I did like and I was completely stuffed.
Some people were talking about maybe doing it again next year and everyone paying their own way. I'd really like to do that but I also think at those prices the phrase "too rich for my blood" comes to mind and it'll have to remain a once in a lifetime experience.
It was a fantastic day though!