Best pre-race breakfasts in Cheltenham
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The best pre-race breakfasts in Cheltenham

Heading to Cheltenham Races? After a decent fry up before a big day of betting and boozing? As a local, I’ve tried and tested all of the pre-race breakfasts in Cheltenham, and thought I’d share my guide to the best so you don’t have to.

If there’s one rite of passage in Cheltenham, it’s getting fuelled up with a decent breakfast in Cheltenham before heading to the racecourse for a day at the races. Whether you’re after a hearty fry-up, or a classier brunch and bubbles, there’s so much great choice in my hometown these days. Oh, and there are a plenty of places to grab a pint of Guinness to wash it all down. This year, Cheltenham Races takes place from Tuesday 12th March to Friday 15th March, and I really recommend booking in your pre-racing breakfast in advance to avoid disappointment. As a local, here’s my guide to the best breakfasts to get stuck into before Cheltenham Races and the Gold Cup Festival 2024.

Quick tips for visiting Cheltenham

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Don’t miss: this budget-friendly self-guided audio tour of Cheltenham, highlighting all the very best bits to see in the town.

Flights: find the cheapest flights to nearby Bristol with Skyscanner.

Stay: Find the most affordable hotels in Cheltenham on Booking.com.

Pre-race breakfasts at Cheltenham Racecourse

Keen to crack on and head straight to the Racecourse as soon as possible? Here’s my pick of the best places to get pre-race breakfast at the racecourse itself.

Mandarin Gastro Pub

Location: Cheltenham Racecourse, Evesham Rd, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL50 4SH

New for the 2023/2024 racing season, Cheltenham Racecourse has its very own Mandarin Gastro Pub. It’s the racecourse’s first walk-in restaurant, although you’ll need to book in advance for a pre-race breakfast. The gastro pub offers a cosy Cotswold pub feel, beautiful racecourse views, and country-style interiors. Do note that during Race Week, a visit to the Mandarin Gastro Pub will set you back £325, although it includes morning coffee and breakfast, a 3 course pub lunch, afternoon tea, Club admission, racecard, betting service, and parking. You’ll also need to book ahead for sit-down pre-race breakfast for each of the Cheltenham Festival fixtures (Champion Day, Style Wednesday, and St. Patrick’s Thursday).

If you don’t fancy splashing the cash on a pre-race breakfast at Cheltenham Racecourse, there are other options. I’d head to Aroma Coffee by Nero Roasting Co, which serves coffee and pastries for a lighter bite on the go.

Heading to the races, but not got an outfit sorted yet? Here’s my comprehensive guide on what to wear to Cheltenham Races.

Pre-race breakfasts near Cheltenham Racecourse

A little further out from Cheltenham Racecourse itself, there are plenty of places serving pre-race breakfast.

Pittville Pump Room And Heritage Cafe

Location: Pittville Pump Rooms, Cheltenham, GL52 3AG

I often visit this beautiful Grade I cafe for coffee anyway, and love its location in an orangery overlooking Pittville Park. It’s also super convenient for getting to Cheltenham Racecourse. From Tuesday 12 March to Friday 15 March, they serve a Race Week Breakfast. Set yourself up for the racing with a Full English breakfast buffet from 10am to 2pm for just £15 each. What I like is that you can actually walk in for a smaller table, although do note for tables of 6+, you’ll need to book ahead. There’s also a big screen at the Shamrock Bar so you can catch the racing and a drink before heading over to the track.

The King’s Arms Prestbury

Location: High Street, Prestbury, Cheltenham, GL52 3AR

I may be biased as this was my local pub when growing up in Prestbury, but it’s a lovely pub and perfectly located for a pre-racing breakfast. A short stroll down the hill from Cheltenham Racecourse, The King’s Arms is set in the charming village of Prestbury. The pub has a generous breakfast menu, from Full English breakfasts to Eggs Benedict and French toast – perfect for fuelling up before heading to the races. They’ll be serving hearty breakfasts from 9-11.30am each day of Race Week, and there’s even live music each day. I recommend booking your table in advance, as it’s a popular spot.

No. 38 The Park

Location: 38 Evesham Road, Cheltenham GL52 2AH

A chic venue that’s set off Pittville Park and a short walk from Cheltenham Racecourse, No. 38 The Park puts on a great pre-race breakfast. Choose from hearty English breakfasts, American style pancakes, and even dippy eggs and soldiers. They also put on a marquee serving drinks, so on your way back into town after the racing, you can enjoy drinks and live music.

Havanas Coffee

Location: 14 Prestbury Road, Cheltenham GL52 2PW

A pleasant walk away from Cheltenham Races, head to Havanas Coffee for pre-race breakfast. They’re serving a Full English breakfast every single day of the Cheltenham Festival, although I’d recommend booking in advance as it’s a popular spot. It’s just £15 per person. Get fuelled for a busy date at the races with a with a delicious fry up and a decent coffee, or opt for something a little boozier from their bar.

Pre-race breakfasts in Cheltenham Town Centre

Cheltenham’s town centre is bustling during Cheltenham Festival, and you’ll find all the restaurants, bars, and cafes serving a decent pre-race breakfast to fuel you for a busy day ahead. As a local having sampled most places in town, here’s where I’d recommend for a pre-race breakfast.

WoodKraft

Location: 13 Regent Street, Cheltenham GL50 1HE

WoodKraft is one of my favourite spots for a pre-race breakfast in Cheltenham. An independent restaurant owned by former MasterChef winner, Simon Wood, their brunch is next level. It’s open for racegoers during Gold Cup Week, serving a delicious range of breakfasts, from pancakes to a WoodKraft breakfast with all the trimmings. The quality of their meat is great, too. Make sure you order an extra helping of hash brown bites as they’re delicious. I recommend booking your table well in advance.

The Find

Location: 20 Regent Street, Cheltenham GL50 1HE

Popular brunch spot in town, The Find is serving up a new Race Week menu. Get your day started with a delicious pre-race breakfast – all within each reach of the bus stop to take you onto Cheltenham Racecourse. Enjoy a glass of fizz or a cocktail, and one of their delicious breakfast dishes. Choose from plates like chorizo hash, steaks and egg benedict, or a Cheltenham bap filled with sausage, bacon, egg, and potato rosti. It’s a popular spot for good reason.

The Beehive

Location: 1-3 Montpellier Villas, Cheltenham GL50 2XE

One of the best pubs to be during Race Week in Cheltenham is The Beehive. For one of the best pre-race breakfasts in town, pick their ‘rise, ride, race, return’ option. For just £25, book a table, order a fry-up and enjoy a Guinness or two before being transported to Cheltenham Racecourse and picked up again and dropped back at the pub for a pint or five. Breakfast options include a Full Irish or English breakfast, smoked salmon and eggs, or a breakfast sandwich.

The Ox

Location: 10 Cambray Place, Cheltenham GL50 1JS

The Ox is serving a delicious pre-race breakfast (or Champions Brunch). Indulge in a few pre-race cocktails and enjoy a tasty Race Week brunch to kick off the celebrations. My favourite is the Breakfast of Champions – a 6oz rump steak, hash brown, bacon, eggs, mushrooms, tomato and a glass of fizz or a cocktail. Steak and eggs is another option, and quite frankly it would be rude not to at such a great steak restaurant.What better way to get Race Week started?

The Nook on Five

Location: The Quadrangle Imperial Square, Cheltenham GL50 1PZ

Cheltenham’s only rooftop restaurant not only offers beautiful panoramas across the town, but also a delicious pre-race breakfast during Race Week. Enjoy a traditional Full English breakfast for £19 each, and enjoy tasty dishes like smoked salmon and eggs and smashed avocado on toast. Served from 8.30am to 11.30am during Race Week, unlimited pastries and coffee is also included. If you’re getting started on the booze early, enjoy pre-racing drinks or champagne.

The Brown Jug

Location: 242 Bath Road, Cheltenham GL53 7NB

The Brown Jug on Cheltenham’s bustling Bath Road isn’t just great for a pre-race breakfast, but also if you’re not heading to Cheltenham Racecourse for the races. In fact, they show the live racing over 8 screens. Race Week breakfasts are served every day from 9am, so you can enjoy a Full English or a sausage or bacon roll. There’s live music each evening throughout Race Week, too.


That’s my guide to the best pre-race breakfasts in Cheltenham as a local! Are there any other places you’d recommend adding to this list? Let me know in the comments below.

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