The roar of the engines, the smell of the fuel, the air crackling with excitement. The 75th Goodwood Members’ Meeting kicked off last Saturday as speedsters took to the track to thrill the crowd and fill the air with high octane energy.
And in that crowd, jostling for the perfect view, was me. Now I am not, and probably never will be, a fan of motor racing. So why did I go? Free tickets (c/o my father-in-law), a husband who is a complete and absolute petrol head and more than a smattering of curiosity. That’s what got me through Goodwood’s doors on a ‘way-too-cold-to-be-out-of-bed-yet’ Saturday morning.
I’m not really sure what I was expecting, but it certainly wasn’t – themed restaurants, lots of fun touches, interesting pop-up shops, pretty good (if overpriced, £12 for pie and a very small portion of mash) food, or to actually enjoy watching cars race around a track.
I also didn’t expect to see quite so many ladies wearing jackets like this:
Or hats like this:
It was akin to mingling with thousands of women who had all worn the same dress to a cocktail party. All looking wonderful, but kind of the same. Needles to say I had my own take on the brochure’s ‘What To Wear’ area which stated:
As with any exclusive club, the Members’ Meeting is intended to be both stylish and relaxed – an informal yet smart event, with everyone asked to respect the style guide….. It’s a great excuse for ladies to wear their smartest countryside attire.
And wore this:
I could almost feel the venomous stares of some of the more ‘I’ve-got-a-stick-up-my-rear-end’ attendees. I completely understand dress codes, and will adhere to them— if necessary. I do, however, object to being judged for my choice of attire when it was blatantly obvious that a number of my ‘judges’ had scoured the internet and filled their baskets with the results of a search for ‘smart countryside attire’.
Rant over. I will now put the b*tch back in the box and get back to Goodwood Members’ Meeting 😉
It has to be said that we didn’t sit/stand and watch all the races, I think that may very well have pushed me over the edge. But we did watch more than a smattering – and I found it all quite exciting. Noisy (my ears were ringing at the end of the day), but exciting. I particularly enjoyed the Edwardian race.
I believe the oldest car to race was built in 1904. How on earth it managed to fly around the track at speeds of over 100mph I’ll never know. I was manufactured in 1964 and parts of me are wearing out 😕
In an effort to keep out the cold of the weekend, I had to consume plenty of hot drinks. This proved an issue because the choices (at least the ones I found) were: tea, coffee or hot chocolate. Coffee makes me go funny in the head (and I’m daft enough without the aid of chemicals), hot chocolate is too sweet and, as I’m trying to cut back on milk, I didn’t enjoy the tea. Note to self: carry herbal teabags at all times!
We spent a number of hours getting up close and personal with the vehicles. I was amazed at how close the general public is allowed to get to these racing beasts. I mean, do they know how clumsly I can be??!!
Some of the engines looked clean enough to eat your dinner off. Don’t try that though, because it’s seriously gross!
Mr Chic ran from one car to another, trying (in vain) to educate me on their awesomeness. Most of it went in one ear and out the other. I am amazed at his depth of knowledge, and the sheer amount of info he could regurgitate. Now if he could only channel that talent and remember where he leaves his car keys I’d be thrilled!
Mr Chic’s quote of the day:
Honey, I’ve got all of these cars — in scalextric form!
Lunchtime found us at the school canteen themed Great Hall. Bedecked in the standards of the four Goodwood House Teams, it had a bit of a Harry Potter feel to it. Despite being absolutely humungous, the clever use of lighting gave The Hall a feeling of intimacy.
Stomachs full (well fullish, did I mention the meagre mash portions?), we decided to take a nosey around a couple of the other eateries. The Forge offered boy scout camp fires to warm the bones, burgers and a few a laugh:
The Daffodil was filled with straw sofas, food stands and flowers. I adored the ceiling which was dripping with globe lights:
We were now beginning to feel hungry again, I blame the meagre mash portions, so we stopped off at the Bill Wisdom for a spot of tea and cake. There may also have been a couple of glasses of fizz. Well is was Veuve, and I am only human.
In fact, the fizz was gratis. The manager happened to ask us how we had enjoyed our tea, which had been served in a woefully inadequate teapot – it only held enough tea to fill a cup and a half. After politely telling him so, he offered us two glasses of champagne to make up for our tea disappointment. Result!!
Knowing that we had a really long afternoon and a whole evening ahead, we spent a couple of hours resting in the Bill Wisdom marquee. We sipped champagne, drank more tea (which was served in a super large teapot on request) and listened to the live quartet. It was all rather blissful.
With the evening drawing in, we caught another race:
Then girded our loins in preparation for the evening. We had been told to expect a pretty good party, but did the Goodwood Members’ Meeting deliver? And would I return for another visit? Stay tuned to find out.