Goodwood, and in particular the Revival, is without doubt a Mecca for motoring enthusiasts the world over however, that isn’t always the case for the motoring enthusiast’s wife.
More often than not her eyes roll back and she sighs deeply and relays the words, “Not another motor race, no!”
You’ll find though, that you won’t get the same response if you suggest F1 at Monaco, so what’s the difference? To you they are both motor racing events, to your wife Monaco is aspirational – hobnobbing with the rich and famous, at a prestigious location and with more to do than just look at cars.
So here’s where the hard sell begins and it’s not bait advertising. Once she attends her first Goodwood Revival there’ll be no stopping her, I promise. You just have to give her the ‘female view of Goodwood’ and not the one you use on your male friends. Historic cars, famous race drivers, engineering excellence, hard fought races – this is not the stuff your wife wants to hear.
Here’s what she wants to hear…
Fashion in the Field
Goodwood Revival is almost as well known for its fashion tribute to the eras from the ’40s to the ’60s as it is for its cars. Frocking up is king and what woman doesn’t like to show off a little, or a lot. Add to this that the frocking up is of another era where it was elegant clothes with hats and hairdos, and heels and stockings. Now you’ve got her interest immediately.
Before every Revival women are preparing their apparel, sometimes months in advance and they love it. This year, as in others before, there was a best-dressed competition for both men and women – yes some men did strut their stuff in the Richmond Lawn marquee where the event was held, but when it came to the women there was barely any standing room.
Wall-to-wall women in their finery, a cha-cha line snaking around the room, and they came from all over the world, many on a yearly quest to take out the prestigious title.
Three are honoured from the hundreds, and they beam with pride and giggle like girls when they are chosen while the others continue to conga around the marquee with a champagne flute in hand and barely a male in sight.
Watch the racing, I don’t have time darling
Preparing to look glamorous can be daunting, the hairstyles of the eras are difficult to recreate, and the make-up requires that polished allure lacking in today’s world. Don’t fret that is all taken care of. While you watch the racing your wife has the choice of a couple of onsite salons ready and able to recreate the hairstyle and make-up she needs – at a price of course. But is it worth the money for you to be able to have free time with the cars of your choice, of course it is.
Next door to the salon is another attraction, What Katy Did, which caters for the undergarments so necessary to recreate that perfect look. All this shopping buys you precious time with cars.
Food for thought
So often watching racing is a hot dog in hand event, not here – no, no here the vast expanse that is the Goodwood circuit is dotted with marquees, tables and chairs, sun lounges and umbrellas. Yes, you can buy hot dogs but that’s not what your wife wants to hear. Buy Verve Clicquot and get a table – that’s what she wants to hear. As an example there’s all these venues to chose from: Richmond Lawn (from £33), Bar & Grill (from £35), Cedar Suite (from £45), The Richmond Arms (from £55) or have a hamper for £65.
If you’re willing to hand over a bit more of that hard earned cash then book a seat in one of the seven hospitality areas and treat your wife to a well earned rest with all the trimmings that her heart desires including entertainment. There she will come across similarly minded women who will keep each other amused while you saunter off to see those cars, again, and she won’t mind a bit.
You can chose from the new Airside Lounge from £295pp, The Kennels from £350pp, The Goodwood Mess from £530pp, Supershell Building from £550pp, Officers’ Club from £605pp, War Rooms from £675pp or Salvadori Pavilions from £695pp.
But if the budget doesn’t stretch to hospitality suite tickets then there still plenty of free entertainment on both sides of the track.
Paddock side there’s live music playing on the airfield next door to a bar and surrounded by deck chairs. At the Richmond Lawn there’s record booths where you can listen to the sounds of days gone by.
Outer circuit side there’s live rock’n’roll, while further up on the Goodwood ‘high street’ the little lady can get free cooking lessons ‘50s style.
Rest her weary head
With three days of Goodwood, although you could choose to only attend one day but three is necessary to see the racing and all the cars, you need somewhere to rest your weary heads. Goodwood Hotel is set in the 12,000 acres of the Goodwood Estate a mere hop, skip and jump away from the track with everything you can expect of a 4-star luxury hotel.
Suggest to madam that if she is weary of the track activities she can go back to the hotel for a luxury spa treatment, or a sauna or even a workout at the gym to ease off those extra scones and jam – be careful how you word that last suggestion though.
At the hotel and at the track, depending on your luck you may even bump into Lord and Lady March, caretakers of this magnificent estate.
Lord March founded the Goodwood Festival of Speed in 1993 and reopened the Goodwood Motor Circuit in September 1998 for the Revival. This circuit is the only one in the world dedicated to historic motor racing. Lord March’s grandfather the 9th Duke of Richmond was a successful driver in the 1930s so it’s in the blood.
All that’s left for you now that you’ve convinced the good lady is to wait until 2017 when the next Goodwood Revival will spring to life again – besides she will need all that time to find a suitable outfit.