Attending the British Grand Prix at Silverstone? Major bucket list item ticked off!
On Sunday 14th July, thousands gathered to Silverstone for one of the biggest and most prestigious events in the world - the F1 British Grand Prix, most famously held at Silverstone Circuit and is the World Championship of motor-racing.
Did you know, 2019 marked the 70th time that the race had been run as a World Championship event since the inaugural season in 1950 and the 53rd time it’s been held in Silverstone - even better that it has been confirmed that it will be held at Silverstone until 2024!
Sunday 14th July marked the final race day, where everyone across the county, the country and beyond would either be watching live in the stands or on the sidelines, or on the telly at home to watch the exciting events unfold and most importantly for England, to see whether Lewis Hamilton, would reclaim his title as champion.
However, unlike most people who headed straight to the circuit, we started our day a little differently and with a bit more luxury, comfort and ease… I was kindly invited by Whittlebury Hall, to be their special VIP guest for the day where I was offered to use their facilities before and after the race to make the most of the day.
I have visited Whittlebury Hall a fair few times, once for the spa, a few times for meetings and I even once had my year 11 prom there - another fun fact! Being so local, it’s an easy drive away and it feels like you’re still away from home when staying, even when I’m only a 10 minute drive away!
For those who are unfamiliar with Whittlebury Hall, it is an award-winning, 4* Hotel and Spa, based in the village of Whittlebury, near the border of Buckinghamshire. It is the hub for conferences, spa breaks, golf and weddings and is considered to be one of Northamptonshire’s most popular choices when it comes to these things.
Whittlebury Hall is also considered to be THE closest hotel to Silverstone circuit, being located right next door where the race would be happening - they literally have their own dedicated route that goes from the hotel straight to the circuit, which goes all through the country fields and avoids traffic - genius!
Fun fact: My first ever job when I was 16 was working as a Food and Beverage Assistant at the hotel’s restaurant and for functions. Fast forward 9 years later and it feels very strange to be working for them as a blogger/content creator!
I couldn’t think of anyone else to take with me than my dad, so he came along with me to have some special daughter-father bonding time and being a HUGE F1 fan, he was very excited, as were I.
Here’s a run down of how Whittlebury Hall accommodated us pre and post British Grand Prix action…
As I was heading straight back from London (so a very early 5am start for me) my dad and I arrived at the hotel for around 9:30am. Considering it was going to be one of the busiest days, the traffic from Towcester to Whittlebury was considerably light, meaning we didn’t find ourselves rushing too much.
As we arrived, we were clearly instructed to head to the car park and there was plenty of car parking spaces. Prior to arriving, we were sent wristbands and a car park pass, so we were all set for the day and there was no risk of running into any problems or delays along the way - already a big tick in organisation from them!
We headed to the front of the hotel and our eyes were caught by the array of F1 cars displayed outside - of course, my dad being a huge fan, had to get a photo outside every one! But I didn’t mind, as that was all part of the Whittlebury Hall F1 experience!
We were greeted at the reception and that's when we bumped into Lisa Fellows-Flynn, Head of Corporate Sales, who guided us into the Silverstone bar - which was very appropriate for the location. Another fun fact: all the rooms inside are named after racetracks!
It was also lovely to see a familiar face in Hannah, who was working and whom I knew from school days - so straight away, we felt very at home and were both looking forward to what we hoped would be a leisurely morning.
Inside the Silverstone Bar, you will find walls, displays and tables full of F1 British Grand Prix at Silverstone memorabilia from over the years, so it certainly lived up to its name.
Walking around, my dad was educating me on all the different portraits of people that were displayed on the walls, from Graham Hill OBE, twice Formula 1 Champion, to a whole display dedicated to #DankeNiki following the death of iconic figure, Niki Lauda.
Lisa showed us to our seats, which were opposite a couple, who looked very much like big F1 fans and whom were actually really helpful in giving us advice and talking to us in general. We were offered tea, coffee or any other beverages in which we both opted for coffee (well, it was 9:30am on a Sunday!)
Another lovely touch was being given branded Whittlebury Hall goodie bags which contained, what they called, British Grand Prix essentials - and they were right in saying so, because every item contained inside was extremely useful and well fitting for the occasion.
It contained water and snacks, a special edition programme of the event, to even nailing little things like giving us ear plugs for if the race got a bit too loud!
We were also very happy to see that there was a help yourself breakfast buffet across 5-6 different tables spread out in the bar.
There was a variety of options to choose from, but my eyes (and my hungry belly) navigated towards the very yellow and runny looking Eggs Benedict on English Muffins, where I grabbed a couple of those along with some fresh oranges, red grapes and grapefruit which set me up just right ahead of the day!
My dad went straight for the bacon rolls without hesitation and was very happy - as much as there was lots of choice, my dad isn’t really a ‘brunch type’ person, so it was good that Whittlebury accommodate those who just wanted something simple, but hearty.
After some breakfast, we decided to have a little wander around the hotel to get acquainted with the place before we headed off. What I admired about Whittlebury on the day, was how they decorated the space to suit the occasion; from portraits circled in the lobby with a grand bouquet of flowers in the middle, to a display in the courtyard area of the 1992 French Grand Prix car, the Williams FW14B Renault, that another racing legend, Nigel Mansell rode in.
My dad was especially excited at this and wanted another picture by it!
After we spent a relaxing morning waking and pumping ourselves up, thanks to the refreshments and facilities Whittlebury Hall offered, it was time to head for the race!
We were very pleased to hear that there were mini coaches going from the hotel to the circuit every 10--15 minutes, so there was always a guarantee to get to the race in good time.
We jumped on the bus with no waiting or queues and just felt very at ease knowing we didn’t have to walk all through the fields. It was a relatively pleasant drive that gave us a rolling view of the campers, the F1 village and the crowds walking to the circuit - the atmosphere was building and building!
As we arrived, we got off the bus and were clearly directed to where we needed to go. This was when we started to get very excited as we could hear the many cars soaring past, literally as though you were right next to them, along with the smell of glorious food and car tracks mixed together.
As a big foodie, I noticed there was a BIG billboard of food vendors across the whole circuit, so if you’re a big foodie like me, this is certainly a great event to dig out all the independent foodie vans!
Though I wish I could have eaten from every one (there were A LOT!) I opted for a pre-race hot dog with onions and tomatoes from BBQ Meat.
Whittlebury Hall well and truly hooked us up with some of the best seats in the house! We were situated at Becketts stand, which is one of the Grandstands at the circuit - and what a view! We were treated to a panoramic view of the whole circuit and there was hardly any action that we didn’t miss. It was particularly great for when the race drivers swerved round all the corners that were situated in front of us.
And what made the day even better… we witnessed Lewis Hamilton become champion of the F1 British Grand Prix! I’ve watched it on telly, I’ve heard about his wins and successes, but there was something quite magical about watching him win the title and stand on the pit.
The day reminded everybody why Silverstone is THE place (and only place, in my mind) to host the British Grand Prix… long it may continue!
After what felt like a whole day on our feet (even though we were sat down for the race) it was a comfort to know that there was a mini coach waiting for us at the gate to take us back to the hotel. As per anything you have to wait for, a crowd did gather but
As we passed through the aftermath of the race, with people walking back, relaxing by their tents and people wandering around the F1 village, we couldn’t both help but look forward to a nice sit down back at the hotel after the madness of the day.
Once we got back, it was time for a quick drink back at the Silverstone Bar to relax. As anticipated, the bar was much quieter compared to the morning, which was a nice opportunity to sit back, chill and reflect on the day before we headed back home.
I honestly don’t think our day would have been as smooth and relaxing, if it wasn’t for Whittlebury Hall and considering I had been awake since 5am, it was nice to take a moment to chill once we got back.
Overall, I truly believe Whittlebury Hall has so much to offer with it’s fabulous facilities that will make any day out, such as the British Grand Prix, that bit smoother with no fuss! Whittlebury made sure to look after us, as well as the other guests on the day, which made us feel very VIP indeed!
I also have to thank my dad for coming with me - without him, I probably wouldn’t have known half of what was going on! My first time at the British Grand Prix was an educational, yet inspiring one and I am so thankful to Whittlebury Hall for inviting me and my dad!
Whatever the occasion, you can guarantee a memorable one with Whittlebury Hall.
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