Unusually we recorded this one, with my golden retriever ‘Jasper’ whilst giving him a walk around a 130 acre country estate. But more importantly I was joined by Darren Venables, the Estate Manager at the Chewton Glen Hotel down in the New Forest in Hampshire.
Darren has been working at the Chewton Glen for over 30 years so really has seen a huge amount of change, and as far as the grounds are concerned has curated much of that himself. And our wide ranging conversation typifies the reason for setting up this podcast. To shine a spotlight on what happens behind the scenes of hospitality. So much that the public may never get to hear about, or even imagine is fundamentally supported by the hospitality trade.
Developing an orchard of 250 of the rarest trees in the country perhaps, or breeding your own Queen bees, or surveying wildlife on an annual basis, or attracting a wider species of birds into a habit for the first time in decades, to growing food for a cookery school, to planting xmas trees and so so much more. I just hope conversations like these open your mind as to how much awesomeness the independent hospitality sector is responsible for. And remember, where you decide to spend your cash, in supporting these genuinely small and hospitable businesses, really makes a difference to the type of world we are all going to live in. Less dominated by bean counter international chains and more diverse and richer for humanity and the environment.