Wednesday, 17 August 2022

Stewards’ parking area turned into cafe

Stewards’ parking area turned into cafe

A NEW public area with a café and seating is to be installed at this year’s Henley Royal Regatta.

It will be set up on Little Lion Meadow, a small triangular parcel of land to the north of the regatta car park at Lion Meadow and opposite the bandstand entrance to the stewards’ enclosure.

There will be a food outlet called The Brasserie where passers-by can purchase hot and cold food and drinks similar to those on offer at the regatta café, which is next to the boat tents and is only accessible to athletes, coaches and spectators with passes for the stewards’ and regatta enclosures.

Aston Martin and Henley watch manufacturer Bremont, which both became official partners of the event last year, will have stands in the area.

The former will display a selection of its cars while a technician from Bremont will give demonstrations of tearing down and rebuilding watches as fast as possible.

The area was previously a parking area for stewards, who will now park elsewhere while regular five-day pass holders for Lion Meadow will not be affected.

Regatta chairman Sir Steve Redgrave said the committee wanted to provide a meeting place for people who are visiting the regatta enclosure or who plan to watch the racing from the towpath.

He said the new area would also relieve pressure on the regatta café, which was extended two years ago to include a terrace with outdoor seating, giving competitors more space to unwind.

He said: “It is not a new enclosure and we know guests feel very strongly about their spaces on Lion Meadow so we’re very keen to make clear that everyone will be in the exact same position. Only the stewards have been moved — and did I get some stick for that!

“The outside of the stewards’ enclosure has always been an informal meeting area so it seemed a good place for our partners to show off their wares while people buy food and drink. There’s a huge footfall in that area so clearly it helps us as well.”

Meanwhile, plans for a new enclosure at Fawley Meadow, on the opposite bank, have been held up due to the ground becoming very muddy after rain and the cost of covering it.

Sir Steve said: “We are still working on it.”

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