Something new and unique, away from London but with easy access to its airports, that would meet the high expectations of the group. An English country estate experience delivering a mix of culture and adventure in contrast to classic sightseeing. As well as providing extraordinary new experiences, it also had to offer absolute tranquillity with exclusive use of the hotel.
- Client: 100 incentive award winners from the financial sector. Average age: 35.
- Event: Three nights in the beautiful English countryside.
- Season: Early July.
The location we selected for this challenging project was the South of England... approximately two hours from London and rich in attractions. Next we chose a country hotel estate that offered exclusive use and combined great English tradition with luxury. The hotel's large grounds provided peace and tranquillity, as well as extensive opportunities for sports and other activities.
Day one. Guests were greeted at Heathrow and transferred by black cab to Harrods in Central London for a sumptuous buffet lunch. This was followed by a tour of London on vintage red buses and a flight on the iconic London Eye (pictured below ). We then switched to classic British cars for the transfer to the private country estate for the next three nights. After a welcome reception, guests were given a gourmet dinner complete with 'mad' waiters and live music from a harpist and a local folk band!
Day two. A huge selection of activities with something to suit everyone. Guests could dip in and out as they wished or just spend the time relaxing... with golf, mountain biking, fly fishing, clay pigeon shooting, archery and ferret racing all on the agenda! A barbecue lunch was set up on the terrace. That evening guests were transported to a medieval gem of a castle dating from the 13th Century and still a family seat. There was banqueting in the Barons Hall and jousting on foot and horseback in the showground complete with stunt shows, music, artists, fire-eaters and other entertainers, plus a hog roast and beer tables.
Day three. This was the highlight of the event... a visit to Glorious Goodwood and 'The Festival of Speed'. The day literally took off with a helicopter shuttle to Goodwood's Richmond Estate (main photo), and included racing in supercars, trials of handling skills in Minis and aquaplaning, plus track racing. Lunch was provided in the pits, and traditional English high-tea awaited them on their return. In the evening an official welcome and grandstand dinner were arranged at one of the oldest racetracks in England.
Departure day. Guests left the hotel for Windsor and Eton just a 30-minute hop from Heathrow. There they were treated to some royal pomp, including the Household Cavalry's changing of the guard, touring the glittering state rooms at Windsor Castle, and strolling through the medieval town to 'meet the Queen' in the Park. A barbecue lunch was provided in the beautiful clubhouse on an island owned by the illustrious rowing clubs of Eton, before the event finished with a dragon boat race. After that it was just a short shuttle to the airport for the flights home.