"The gate opened, and as my wheels crunched along the stone driveway, I couldn’t help but feel as if I had discovered a secret garden on a scene in Sense and Sensibility, and that Colonel Brandon could make an appearance at any moment."
Don't just take our word for it
In May 2019, we celebrated 30 years of successful business by enjoying a weekend at Goodwood Estate with our people and their partners. Goodwood provided a rich, multi-sensory experience, overflowing with delicious flavours, sights and sounds. And, while the wonders of Goodwood can only truly be experienced in the flesh, we simply had to re-live and write about our escapade at the estate – recounted by Tanya, Head of Marketing:
Part 1: Friday at Hound Lodge
I pulled my car up to the private gate, which I initially drove past given its unassuming position nestled amongst the greenery off a quiet lane in Chichester.
“Hello, this is Tanya from Systems Technology.”
“Lovely, yes of course – the gate will open for you shortly, please drive through.”
The gate opened, and as my wheels crunched along the stone driveway, I couldn’t help but feel as if I had discovered a secret garden on a scene in Sense and Sensibility, and that Colonel Brandon could make an appearance at any moment. Looking ahead towards Hound Lodge, where I would be staying with my colleagues for the weekend, I noticed a figure with perfect posture stood out the front.
It was the Butler.
I brought my car to a stop, lowered the window and looked up and into his welcoming face. And as he opened the door to help me out, he said, “Welcome to Hound Lodge. Please, allow me. The drinks reception is through these doors. We will park your car and set your bags in your room, so relax and enjoy your evening.”
I was enchanted.
I joined my peers and their partners in the lounge of Hound Lodge. As I sipped my champagne, I took in my surroundings – from the ornaments to the cushions, each and every touch was utterly delightful! Hound Lodge exuded understated regal charm with a sporty edge – and yet, still felt like a home away from home. Shortly after, our group made our way to a private dining room to enjoy a five-course meal, expertly matched with wine. The butlers moved around the room with subtle confidence. And when I spoke with them, for any matter, the response was always willing, kind and sure. The level of care that went into the preparation and delivery for the weekend at Hound Lodge exceeded all expectations. At Hound Lodge, nothing is too much trouble.
After dinner, a few of us (not quite ready for the first night to be over) perched ourselves around the lounge room, sipping our favourite drinks over ice and admiring the selection of cigars…
Part Two: Saturday – Party Time at Goodwood House
After a hearty breakfast, we had the day to explore Goodwood grounds, wander further in and around Chichester, or head out to dust off some precious antiques in Petworth. This, of course, in addition to treatments at Goodwood Spa (I opted for the full body massage and floated out of the room and back to the car park).
I waved to my colleagues walking past and felt an excited energy all around, and I knew it was the long-awaited anticipation for the evening celebration that was soon to begin.
My room at Hound Lodge was a dream to get ready in. I glossed my lips in the dresser mirror, gave myself a little wink, then made my way downstairs to see striking, suited silhouette’s gliding alongside gorgeous, floating gowns. We took photos and admired each other’s ability to “scrub up well” as we waited (rather impatiently) for our transport to Goodwood House…
The private bus was bubbling with excited chatter as it did the pick-up round from Hound Lodge to Goodwood Hotel. The country roads were lined with shades of green and nature’s abundance as far as the eye could see! Chichester boasts some of the best countryside that England has to offer. As the bus drew closer to our final stop, the chatter eased into “ooh’s” and “ahh’s”, as our eyes took in the grandeur of Goodwood House.
Goodwood House provided a feast for the eyes as well as the stomach: the walls were lined from top to bottom with gorgeous paintings, the champagne served ice cold, and the canapes frequent and delicious. After exploring the halls, we made our way to the dining room and took our seats, where we enjoyed a three-course meal with flowing wine and flowing tears as our managing director’s loyal personal assistant and grown-up children talked about what it meant to be part of a 30-year-old organisation run with outstanding service and family values. After dessert, we danced the night away to The Sensations band, performing just for us!
Part 3: Sunday Funday
Yet another hearty breakfast was enjoyed at Goodwood, followed by a game day briefing in The Cedar Suite of Goodwood Hotel. Any sore heads were about to be sorted out with some fresh air and adrenaline!
After the briefing we ventured out onto the Goodwood grounds, where blindfolded driving, a zip wire, inflatable beach volleyball, duck herding, F1 pit stop challenge, max cats, human table-top football, falconry and bouncy surf simulator awaited us! We threw ourselves in, working up an appetite, then raced each other back to The Cedar Suite where a smorgasbord of lunch delights was spread out for our enjoyment… And just like that, the weekend was done! I said my goodbye’s and as I drove away, a smile crept across on my face as I wondered what else Goodwood had to offer as an excuse for me to go return soon.
A big thank you to Caroline and Jess of Goodwood Hotel, together with Julia of Fruitful Events for the game day, for helping Annette and Poppy to organise such a wonderful weekend of celebration for us!