The first thought through my mind was – what do I wear??!! which is an unusual thought for a food blogger. I was off to Musselburgh Races and whenever I’d driven past on race day, the ladies are all dressed to the nines, I’m talking heels and dresses of which I owned neither. Panic!
I did find something to wear and so on late Saturday morning we headed to Musselburgh Racecourse in East Lothian, about 30 minutes drive from Edinburgh. Musselburgh Racecourse is the 2nd largest racecourse in Scotland behind Ayr and hosts 28 race days.
Their biggest raceday is the Ladies Day in June, which can see up to 10,000 people attend but they also have Family Racedays which are very popular. They have 6 highlight racedays called their Sensational 6 – New Years Day, Scottish Cheltenham Trials Weekend, Easter Saturday, Ladies Day, Supporting Your Services Family Raceday and the one that we attended, The Caledonian Cup Raceday.
Musselburgh Racecourse is super easy to get to; catch the 26 bus from Princes St towards Seton Sands or Wallyford, get off in Musselburgh High Street and walk for about 5-10 minutes to the racecourse. There is also of course ample free parking too.
At the entrance we picked up our Caledonian Cup guest passes and headed inside the racecourse.
The first thing that you become aware of is how clean and well kept the grounds are. The place is immaculate and remains so throughout the day.
There are several places to eat and drink here, you can choose the Bistro but the Grandstand, there are several food and drink vendors dotted about, Pinkies and Cafe 1816 all serving a mix hot and cold food.
We had a table on the Pommery Lawn including brolly and blankets (it was a bit of a cold but dry day).
The lawn area is situated right outside the Pommery bar next to the hospitality suites. It is located close to the parade ring and opposite the betting windows, and the walk way through to the grandstand from where to watch the race.
To get things started and continued throughout the afternoon, we drank champagne and more champagne. We enjoyed the Pommery Brut Royal which is pale yellow in colour and is vivacious, cheerful, fresh, easy, fine, delicate, with a hint of berries and little dryness. This complimented our cheese platter.
We did also have a wee tipple of some craft beers too. Starting off with Three Hop Craft Lager from Caledonian Brewery. It’s a Holy Trinity of Hops with Hallertau Hersbrucker hops bring floral and fruity flavours all the way from Bavaria. Spicy Saaz hops have long been at the heart of beers from Bohemia. And the Strisselspalt from Alsace completes the trio with hints of honey and mint.
It’s a solid gold colour with spicy, herbal aromas, and a light malt body that is complemented by the honey and mint flavours. These earthy notes are accentuated by Three Hop’s lingering lemon finish and was the perfect accompaniment for our fish platter.
Then the Maltsmith’s IPA. An American style beer that’s refreshing and clean combining a light caramel base with subtle citrus hop notes. This went perfectly with our meat platter.
Before we knew it, our table was groaning under the plates of three large delicious platters. Cheese, meats and fish. A feast for the eyes and the belly!
The cheese platter was the one I paid a visit to the most. It held all the delights for me including large blocks of various cheese – brie, blue, cheddar and a smoked cheese. Wonderful thin water crackers and small square, quite nutty oatcakes.
Walnuts, dried apricots and the most divine red onion chutney, made this my go to platter.
Then came the fish platter…..
This was overflowing with crab and mackerel pate, smoked salmon and lovely fresh crusty bread.
Lastly it was the meat platter, laden with sliced turkey, pastrami, pork terrine slices, haggis bon bons, a plum sauce and round oatcakes. Delightful.
These platters are suitable for 4 people, but there is ample food here – you wont leave hungry. There was only 3 of us but we all had a platter to suit – I loved the cheese, Carmin loved the meats and Clare the seafood!
There were several races on that day and we decided to place a few bets. We had no idea what we were doing but with a betting slip and the racing programme in hand, we choose the horses because of their name! I know that any genuine betting pundit would have us thrown out, but for us it was all in the name of fun and just a thrill to have betted on a horse and then watch it run.
I won twice! I won a whole £8.80 over the two bets.
We had an absolute ball and I’d like to thank Musselburgh Racecourse for the invite. I had always wanted to attend a horse racing event, but just never knew what to expect and so just never went. I loved it and will certainly be back for another flutter.
Visit Musselburgh Racecourse for more information on their next fixtures and race dates.
Musselburgh Racecourse, Linkfield Road, Musselburgh East Lothian, EH21 7RG