TeamESL had a great time on Monday 25 January 2016 as we welcomed scores of Herefordshire tourism businesses to our first forum of 2016. Held at beautiful Burton Court in Eardisland, attendees ranged from accommodation owners to photographers, cider makers and felters.
Burton Court is a stunning wedding and event venue and has been owned by the Simpson family since the 1960’s. Proprietor Edward Simpson, along with his wife and young daughter have worked hard to make the venue one of the great places to get married in North Herefordshire. The surrounding countryside and grounds to Burton Court are glorious carpets of green landscape with stone ornaments to match the exterior of the house. The venue has recently been upgraded inside with a brand new biomass central heating system and now has two beautiful bedrooms, offering of course a bridal suite, B&B, as well as hosting conferences, guided tours and antique fairs.
As the ESL attendees arrived they were welcomed with hot and cold refreshments as well as ESL branded cakes. There was a wonderful buzz in the air as Herefordshire tourism businesses networked together and shared experiences. It was wonderful to notice friendships and partnerships building. All businesses were asked to bring their leaflets and brochures to enable information swapping, which was really great to see.
At 2:30pm everyone was led into one of the many function rooms of Burton Court where presentations were made by Managing Director of ESL Heidi Chamberlain-Jones on the progress and prospects for Eat Sleep Live Herefordshire. Then Edward Simpson overviewed Burton Court, Jenny Beard discussed the proposal of a Destination Plan for Herefordshire and Sarah Wynne from NFU Mutual showed us all the benefits of membership with Countryside magazine.
There was a captive audience with questions asked to each speaker and many notes scribbled. The theme throughout each presentation was about working together as one, to provide a great culture of Herefordshire Tourism where visitors will come for longer holidays to enjoy our heritage, activities and countryside.
After the presentations, there was a guided tour of Burton Court, much to the delight of many of the attendees who had not been there before. There was a final chance to network and chat and of course to sign up as members of ESL Herefordshire for those who had not already.
We were absolutely delighted with the turn out and the whole afternoon. We have received some wonderful feedback and we are now busy planning our next event while championing Herefordshire as a great holiday destination.
With grateful thanks to the Herefordshire branch of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) for their kind sponsorship of our forum events.