Timothy Barber
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IN 18 months, Simon Parker Bowles’s Cornhill restaurant, Green’s Restaurant & Oyster Bar, has become a firm City favourite, mixing time-honoured qualities – simple but sumptuous food, clubby surroundings, a very well-stocked cellar – with a theme that reflects Parker Bowles’s own particular passion: horse racing. The Runner Bar takes its name from the sport, the walls are hung with racing colours from many of the country’s leading stables, and indeed his business partners include two prominent racehorse owners.

It’s a passion that’s shared by many in the City, of course, and next week Parker Bowles is taking the theme to its logical next step with a grand –?and no doubt suitably rowdy – event to celebrate the start of the Cheltenham Festival. “On Tuesday, the first day of the festival, we’re hosting a big lunch with TV screens showing the races, a three-course lunch, sweepstakes in which you can pick horses to win a prize, and generally getting into the spirit of the festival.”

For those keen to lap up the atmosphere of Cheltenham but unable to make the trip, the event – named Cheltenham in the City – should be a godsend, and it’s all to raise money for a good cause too. Parker Bowles has teamed up with Raising the Stakes, a charity fund set up by Ladbrokes CEO Richard Glynn to raise money from the gaming industry for Great Ormond Street Hospital, an institution Parker Bowles credits with once saving the life of one of his sons.

So will he be picking Denman, Kauto Star or Imperial Commander for the Gold Cup? “None of them –?I’m going for Long Run,” he says. “He won the King George, he’s in form and he’ll get a decent price because people think he won’t run well at Cheltenham.” Take note.

Tables for 10 can be purchased for £1,750, including sumptuous dining, racing action screened live and the following activities:

Ladbrokes will be offering a charity tote service in which guests can buy tickets for as many horses as they like to win a cut of the pot if their horse wins.

A raffle with the chance to win a night’s stay at the luxurious Ellenborough Park in Cheltenham, two tickets for an exclusive F1 party and a fine dining taster experience at the Greenhouse.

A horse auction prior to the Champion Hurdle, the day’s headline race, will give guests the chance to bid to back their favourites in return for prizes including a morning on the gallops with champion trainer Paul Nicholls; and a weekend break at The Augustine hotel in Prague.

All proceeds will go straight to the charity. For more information and to purchase tables please contact Rebecca Hannawin on 020 7239 3174 or email

Green’s Restaurant & Oyster Bar, 14 Cornhill, EC3V 3ND.