Well, the jolly boys outing has come and gone.
My brother booked a caravan on Haven campsite. It's as cheap as chips when booked up early and a place to rest your head from Monday to Friday. I would have stayed there myself but I had my other half with me, who had travelled back with me from West Palm Beach, Florida. We booked three nights at Andover House Hotel down Camperdown Road, not far from the Grosvenor Casino.
I can't fault the hotel. A neat, presentable room and the staff are friendly. One of the better hotels in Great Yarmouth. I wanted to book the attic room but sadly it was taken.
There never seems enough time with going to the Eastern Festival at Great Yarmouth horse races. We travelled down by train, changing at Ely and Norwich. Got a taxi from the station to the hotel, arriving about 5pm Tuesday. Missed that day's racing.
I heard that cousin Paul won £700 at the Grosvenor Casino. I don't think him and Danny won at the races. They both play 3-card poker and Paul hit on a great hand betting £20 on pair plus, and turned over a running flush or something in that order.
The casino is a beautiful setting compared with some of the modern venues we have visited such as Nottingham and Luton. This listed building used to be frequented by Edward VII, the future king of England, son of Queen Victoria, if you like your history. Obviously, it wasn't a casino in his day but a private house - Shadingfield Lodge. If you want a cheap three-course meal in a regal setting then here's what you do. Take your ticket from the racecourse and you get a free alcoholic drink and free £5 match bet. Considering the three-course meal cost about £13 mid-week, it is a superb night.
My two brothers, Marlene, Paul, Danny and Sue went to the casino that evening.
We heard there was a problem with the electrics at the casino and as it had just gone 9pm all the pubs seemed to stop serving food. You wouldn't believe it at a coastal town, but it shows how there is a lack of footfall come mid-September. Marlene and I had to settle for a KFC. It was disgusting. Limp chips, and the bucket of chicken wasn't much better. I can normally eat anything - I did to a point - but it wasn't good at all.
The casino betting went a little better. Just small bets for me as I am not keen on fixed odds. The only way you can win at the casino is to win early and go home. I think if you are going to be lucky you need it to be with decent odds so I bet a single number and corner [lucky 33]. It came up time after time and I won £90. The roulette is the best of all games to play in UK casinos. The house edge is less than the states without the double zero.
Paul won, Danny lost and Tony & Gareth won a few bob. Sue sat next to some drunk bloke at the poker table who won and he kept giving he £25 chips. Wisely, she bet with her 50p chips and cashed in the £25s later that evening.
I went to the races with Tony and Gareth the next day. The ladies stayed at home, resting. I didn't bet. Couldn't see much at all in the two-year-old races, in which I specialise. Tony & Gareth bet on Luca Cumani's 11/1 winner. Tony went for a big win in the next race - betting William Jarvis' Lady Bowthorpe, but she was no competition for the impressive Hidden Message, who is clearly a Group Horse.
Went to the casino that evening after a great meal at Pamela's restaurant. If you are going to Great Yarmouth you really need to go there because it is run exceptionally well - a blend of good food, bling and professionalism. They had a rowdy group of blokes, one who had a bizarre-sounding laugh, who seemed arrogant if not laddish. I'm not keen on loud people. I noticed them in the casino later.
On Thursday, we went to the races and enjoyed ladies day. Always a good crowd. Marlene got in the last ten of the Best Dressed Ladies Competition. Interviewed by Thommo. Marlene's American accent catching the attention of racegoers. As my friend said: ''Let me think, where would I like to go, Great Yarmouth or West Palm Beach?'' Marlene loved the day, so on this occasion, the Norfolk coast got the nod.
We met a lot of lovely people over the days and Marlene got many compliments.
We travelled back Friday morning, returning to the Fens just after noon.
A great time had by all.