The recent stream of cancelled Point-to-Point fixtures, and for that matter other events on the outdoor circuit, has lent added weoght to Andoversford Races' reputation as a great place for retail therapy. An influx of trade exhibitors denied opportunites elsewhere, has adopted the fixture on Sunday to get the great British public back in the habit of shopping.
Andoversford Races has its largest retail village yet with a broad variety of independent traders and more well recognized brands. You can sell your house or insure its structure and contents with surveyors and insurance brokers Tayler & Fletcher and Lumley Insurance, both race sponsors, or sign your children up to a life of exciting racing with Cheltenham Racecourse's Junior Jumpers Club.
Every self-respecting racing spectator needs tweed, available from Egan Sheepskins or Lancombes, whilst a pair of binoculars is obligatory. A visit to Vivid Optics will sort that in time for the first race at 2pm.
And as a reminder that we are all craving Summer, you can buy your teak garden furnitire from Frys Teak, and sit around a firepit from Firepits UK.
There is tea from Tilly's of Tewkesbury, cakes from Ridiulously Rich by Alana, winner of TV's The Apprentice, toffee and ice cream for those that crave cream whatever the season.
Beautiful gift ideas come in all shapes and sizes. Hic Haec Hoc produces an eclectic mix of gifts for people who have everything, whilst The Blue & White Company sells lots, so long as it's blue or white. Artists Elizabeth Armstrong, Catherine Sharpley and photographer Mark Gemmell will adorn your walls, and don't forget the dog. Urban Hound will look after him or her!
Food is never far from our thoughts, and the best of Gloucestershire is on show at the Happerley Food Heavens, brought to you by Best of Our Counties. With a new award-winning store in Bourton-on-the-Water, Best of Our Counties has some mouth-watering suppliers to show you with tasty titbits to drive you back to store. And keep an eye out for ambassador Adam Henson, scion of country matters and the driving force behind the Cotswold Farm Park.
More immediate appetite assuagers can be found in the Village Eatery, with a range of street foods from hog roast to pie and mash, washed down with craft ale or non-alcoholic Pmento, the ginger drink with a chilli kick.
Oh, and did I mention there was some racing too?!
Going for Sunday April 3 - Good (Thursday)
6m SE Cheltenham, nr junction of A40 and A436 (Exit 11A, M5)