Wednesday, June 08, 2011

View up to the buses and stands at The Derby

It is easier said than done, organising a picnic for 20 or so in a foreign country. So we spent quite a bit of time on the Friday organising things which had us going to Homebase to pick up the 'gazebo'/mini-tent to rpovide shade, as well as three comfortable chairs which fold up into a bag, as well as two more common collapsable chairs. Then I would rely on Fiona for the picnic rugs. So much for the furniture.

Plates and napkins had been brought over from the Hema in Holland and Fred picked up some soft cool boxes at the pound shop.

The food was ordered from a Syrian restaurant in Shepherds Bush, the champagne already pre-ordered from Waitrose (which was listed as having one of the best supermarket champagnes) and then we picked up breads and cheeses and still more cheeses from the Portobello Market.

A big worry was how we would carry everything and I was lucky to find a quite sturdy shopping trolley with big wheels for a tenner on Portobello Road, which was big enough to carry the soft cool boxes stuffed with bottles of cooled champage as well as the cheeses and so on.

The minibus which brought us from West London took us through the various byroads of South London, slow but reasonably direct and brought us all the way to the course, from where it was a short walk through the tunnel under the course to the open areas of the Downs to this spot just below the last furlong, in view of a good TV screen, from where we could follow the races.

James set up the gazebo with a little bit of help and soon we were set, for what turned out to be a lovely afternoon!

As it happens, the double decker buses at the track were for rent at 1,600 pounds for the day, whilst a pitch was going for 2,000 pounds. I don't really consider myself a cheapskate but I thought these prices were a liottle bit on the high side, when just a few yards behind, access was completely free, more money left for the champers!

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