Tuesday, 20 September 2016


When I woke up, I tried to imagine what my day would be at the Champ de Mars in the Crown Lodge... Well, I had the time to enjoy the breakfast buffet at the hotel and get back to my room to get ready for the day.  You have to dress smart but at the same time it is quite 'relax'...  so please yourself, perfect occasion to dress up and still have a sun tan on Jacque's terrace...

So I wore the best cocktail dress I had in my luggage, checked myself in the mirror and decided I looked beautiful in my voile cream dress, assorted hat and high heels.  Jacque's driver was already waiting for me in the lobby of the hotel.  I took place in a luxury tourist coach together with some 15 other guests of Jacques Ritter.

Let's go to the Champ de Mars... After a 30 minutes' drive we arrived in Port Louis, particular road traffic one must say but the coach was comfortable and the driver made his way easily to the Champ de Mars and then to the Crown Lodge meeting point where Jacques was waiting for us, wearing his traditional Panama hat.

A few steps among the crowd (what a crowd !) and some stairs, we were in the Crown's Lodge... Wow so nice, cosy lounge, friendly staff, so many more people to meet and spend the day with.  A glass of champagne was handed over to me before I could make any step further in the box and choose where I wanted to sit and spend my Maiden day...Now where to sit? in the shade, next to the bar and betting station (because of course you have your own, no need to queue up outside...) or on the terrace where Jacques has carefully dropped cushions to make you feel so comfy... You choose !

 A sunny horse racing day to experience, The Maiden Cup, the horse racing day Mauritians will not miss...be it in the huge garden around the racing track or in front of their TV set!  So as a tourist, enjoy not only the view of the green racing track just in front of you but feel the Mauritian ambiance a few meters away...  

In the Crown Lodge, while enjoying the races, you are spoilt with snacks and drinks all day long, you can bet as much as you wish, get a few tips from Jacque's team and shout your soul out (just like all the Mauritians) when your horse wins!  An ambiance I have never seen in England, not even on Derby's! 'Cerise sur le gateau' : the winning post is just in front of The Crown Lodge.

The highlight of the day is Jacques' Mauritian food, served by Jacques himself dressed as a 'chef'...  delicious curries and vegetable 'achard' served with the traditional dhull purri.  Bravo Jacques, you couldn't find a better choice of food.

You have it all in the Crown Lodge, no need to walk around in the crowd.  Huge TV screens everywhere will give you all the information you need to have on the horses and trainers.  Just relax, eat all the delicious food with your wine or champagne, sit in the sun, meet people, exchange your holidays experiences, take photos, plenty of photos to take back home.

Don't forget to let Jacques have your contacts so that he may also send you souvenir pictures of your day at the races in his company.

Thank you again Jacques.

- Danielle