Chester Racecourse, known as the Roodee, is the oldest racecourse still in use in England, dating back to the early sixteenth century.

It is also thought to be the smallest racecourse of significance in England at one mile and one furlong, and is flat and raced anti-clockwise, or left-handed.

The chief characteristic of the course is the very short straight (239 yards), which is said to give long-striding horses, which perform better on straights, a distinct disadvantage.

The racecourse also provides a distinct advantage for people who enjoy good food and drink; underlined recently when it won a prestigious award for Overall Excellence in Racecourse Catering at the National Racecourse Catering Awards, sponsored by Piper Heidsieck Champagne.

The awards, which recognise the high level of catering excellence that is achieved at racecourses throughout the UK, took place at York Racecourse, with the team from Chester also picking up the award for Best Bar at a Racecourse for Ruinart at The Roof, above 1539 Restaurant & Bar.

The Roof is a private members bar during race meetings, but is open all year round for lunch, drinks and private functions. 1539 Restaurant was also shortlisted for the Best Fine Dining Experience at the national awards. A further three catering concepts were also shortlisted in other categories.

Richard Thomas, Chief Executive for Chester Race Company commented, “This award is testament to everybody’s hard work over the last couple of years since we made the decision to bring the catering in-house. We have made significant improvements to our catering offering during this period from our range of private hospitality packages to our high quality food concepts in the Paddock.”

Phil Dougherty, General Manager for Chester Race Company added, “It was great to have the opportunity to attend the awards ceremony and represent the racecourse. It is always good to be recognised nationally for our efforts and the team is very proud to be achieving this award.”

Whether entertaining clients, celebrating a special occasion with family or enjoying a day out with friends, a day at Chester races is a memorable experience! Chester is renowned for being a glamorous venue where style and fashion go hand in hand with the racing action … and where the food and drink satisfies even the most discerning of tastes.
Ruinart at The Roof, for instance, offers alfresco dining on a large decked terrace that provides outstanding panoramic views of the Roodee at Chester Racecourse.

Alternatively, there is a sumptuous lounge and bar area. But whether you choose to eat and drink, the Roof menu is ideal for lunch or a lighter snack with salads, nibbles and sandwiches. Then again, why not dine from the à la carte menu, or two course £10 lunch menu, for the ultimate summer dining experience. And the retractable roof will keep you dry should there be a summer shower!

The Roof is also just the thing for pre-dinner drinks, catching up on the latest sporting action on the large flat screen televisions, or hiring for a special event (excluding race days). To find out more, visit

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