Sitting in my Harry Potteresque under the stairs home office, sipping tea whilst talking to my colleague ie. George the cat and writing small business blogs, I’m very conscious I’m alone! I love networking and the opportunities this brings not only on a business level but also for my sanity too! The chance recently arose to visit Walton Castle and experience first hand the corporate facilities on offer. At first I wondered what little old me in the under the stairs office freezing and eating cheese could possibly offer in return but as it was a night away WITHOUT children, I repeat NO CHILDREN! I thought “meh! I’ll wing it!”
Walton Castle is set in 4 acres of private grounds with helicopter access. We decided to rough it though and turn up in the beat up Fiesta. The objective of the day was to enjoy fabulous hospitality (host, castle F&B), learn a little (Next Step & Motivational Session), play a little (archery) and above all, head off feeling buoyant, motivated and realising Walton Castle is a fantastic venue for corporate events/meetings.
So did Walton Castle deliver on their objective? TOO RIGHT they did!
Hospitality – The castle is gorgeous! Our turret was lovely! The furniture and decor is sourced from antique fairs making you feel like you stepped back in time. The bare stone walls add to the drantic effect and it’s surprisingly warm. My only minor quibble is I’d like to have been able to make a cup of tea in there however this did mean that we had to go into the main house with it’s glorious marble and glass round table and engage with others rather than a solitary cuppa.
Learn a little – We were provided with 2 speakers, Tee Dobinson (who is The Gerkin Guru – I wonder if there is a building in Bournemouth I can become an expert in, might boost my profile! ) and Robert Craven (who’s book “Grow Your Service Firm” I’ve really been enjoying. I even got to pick his brains about writing a second book!). To be honest I’m not sure what I was expecting. However I came away with a lot! It was fun, especially playing people bingo – something I will definitely try at Lemur LinkUp and informative. Being away from the office in the tranquil surroundings of Walton Castle I really had time to think and digest the information. Having half an hour sitting in the turret no noise, no arguing children, no mad dash home which normally occurs after a workshop or seminar provided a period of contemplation and perspective.
Play a little – One downside to taking your partner with you on a trip like this is the inevitable competitive side. Now in my defense I’m half his size and I’m pretty much a weak girly girl meaning I didn’t stand a chance when it came to archery! BUT I gave it a good go and thoroughly enjoyed it! Having a game of archery before the speakers also meant you were already feeling less inhibited and had started to loosen up and giggle.
One of the key success factors in Walton Castle has to be the passion and enthusiasm. Everyone is passionate about their role and making Walton Castle the place to be. This transfers over to the outside people they use. The caterers McBaile Exclusive Catering & Events, for example, not only was the food divine, but as a family run business you could see and hear how important the sourcing of products, presentation and making the customers requirements key was to them.
I very much enjoyed sitting around the large marble and glass table, eating, sipping wine and having a great discussion about social media, book writing and food! I left Walton Castle not only feeling buoyant, motivated and energised but also contemplating future ventures. I may not have hoards of employees but if I did Walton Castle effect is definitely something I’d like them to experience.
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Photo Credits Mike Fletcher