Everything Gourmet

A Day at the Races

A day at the races at the ParisLongchamp track. Photo Scoop Dyga courtesy France Galop. Handout via The Gourmet Gazette

Paris, France — The horse racing season just headed into full swing in Paris and beyond this April with flats and steeplechase races all on the agenda as well as plenty of family and friends fun activities spread out over the racetracks’s vast green spaces. France Galop manages the five largest racecourses in France, in Paris and the Paris region, in the charming town of Chantilly and in the celebrated seaside resort of Deauville. But at the France Galop tracks there is more in store than just horse races with leisure activities amidst plenty of greenery for young and old alike, after work parties on Thursday nights and a garden party with a celebrated DJ on July 14th, France’s national holiday all organized under the house’s new umbrella brand: France Galop Live.

Stick ponies waiting for a steeplechase race at France Galop’s Auteuil track. Courtesy France Galop. Handout via The Gourmet Gazette

Each of the racetracks is nestled into a unique setting offering a unique experience. The Auteuil track, which is dedicated to obstacle course races, was inaugurated 160 years ago and offers a splendid view out onto the Eiffel Tower. It is located right in Paris in the 16th arrondissement and is easily accessible by public transportation. The spectacular ParisLongchamp racetrack, for flat races, was completely renovated in 2018 and it is here that some of the world’s most emblematic horse races are run. The youngest of France Galop’s racetracks is the Saint-Cloud flats racetrack, which is 120-years-young. From the grandstands you can enjoy sweeping views of Paris and Mount Valérian.

A day at the races for the Haras Detreham Jean Prat prize, a race for three-year-olds held in Deauville. Photo Elliott Chouraqu Scoop Dyga courtesy France Galop. Handout via The Gourmet Gazette

Meanwhile out of town in rather chic towns, France Galop operates two other flats tracks. The Chantilly racetrack was inaugurated 190 years ago and is one of the cradles of French horse racing. The grandstands have retained their original charm and offer beautiful views onto the Chantilly Castle and the Great Stables of the Princes of Condé. A bucolic experience awaits just a 30-minute train ride from Paris and in the forest neighboring the track one finds the largest race horse training center in Europe. Meanwhile right in the seaside resort of Deauville is France Galop’s Deauville track. The track is outfitted with buildings in the typical style of Normandy, Normandy a name synonymous with stud farms.

Family Days at the Racetrack. Courtesy France Galop. Handout via The Gourmet Gazette

If you are looking for a great family outing in the outdoors take in the Family Days at the Racetrack (32 dates in all) when admission is 5 euros for adults and free for children under the age of 12. There are myriad activities on hand, like the very popular pony rides. There are plenty of places to have a bite to eat from food trucks to snacks to fine restaurants. There are stick pony steeplechase races for all of the children at the Auteuil track but you can also cheer on budding jockeys at the real pony races which are held five times during the season at the various tracks. Children can also accompany the jockeys to the presentation ring wearing a racing silk in the same color as the jockey and which is offered as a souvenir of the day (there are a limited number of places).

A day at the races at the ParisLongchamp track. Photo Elliott Chouraqui Scoop Dyga courtesy France Galop. Handout via The Gourmet Gazette

For an extra fee you can also visit the « backstage » of a racetrack. Special events are also held throughout the season like the Easter egg hunt at Longchamp that took place on April 9th. There is the not to be missed Great Steeplechase of Paris at the Auteuil track in Paris during the weekend of May 20th and 21st and a picnic for the Grand Prix of Saint-Cloud on July 8th. There are also plenty of activities for friends as well. And a day at the races makes for a great date as well. For tickets, events and the complete program race to https://www.france-galop.com/en and https://www.francegalop-live.com/en/home/ ©Trish Valicenti for The Gourmet Gazette

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