Over the last 12 months we have seen a rise in demand for corporate hospitality at the Englefield Estate. Our bespoke service, beautiful setting and warm welcome have earned us a reputation as a premier venue, with many of our clients returning year on year. However, this year we were pleased to welcome a number of new companies and organisations too.
In June 2018 we opened our grounds to Bupa for their annual Challenge event, which saw teams of staff, clients and business partners take part in a team building event across the Estate. Activities included mountain biking, laser clay shooting, stone carving and a mental and physical obstacle course. The action-packed day was finished off with a dinner in the Englefield House Gardens for over 120 guests hosted within a beautifully lit open marquee, complemented by live music.
In the same month, Aston Martin enthusiasts from around the world gathered at Englefield for the annual Bonhams Aston Martin sale, which included James Bond’s vehicle from the 1995 film GoldenEye. Several thousand people also attended the Aston Martin concours which included 400 stunning cars dating back to the 1930s being displayed on the lawns in front of Englefield House. A selection of the latest models were also on display, with the event showcasing 90 years of the British manufacturer’s iconic craftsmanship and acclaimed design.
Additionally, earlier in the year, Castrol’s Technology Centre in the UK picked Englefield as the venue to host an event for their business partners visiting from India. As part of the event, one hundred guests were treated to tours of the House and gardens followed by a sumptuous high tea in the Long Gallery.
Lights, camera, action
During the year the Estate was also much in demand as a filming and photography location for feature films, adverts and TV series.
You may have spotted that Englefield House and grounds featured in the mobile network EE’s TV advert. Over two days in May, our grounds were transformed into a safari park for the 40-second commercial which stars Hollywood stalwart Kevin Bacon and British Peep Show comedian David Mitchell. It was directed by Steve Bendelack whose previous credits include Spitting Image, The Royle Family and one of the Mr Bean feature films. While the final piece shows a large troop of monkeys and a herd of giraffe, the Estate only had to play host to six energetic monkeys as the additional animals were cleverly added in post-production.
Animals also featured heavily in the filming of Indian comedy film Housefull 4 as 30 horses were brought in as ‘extras’ for a scene shot in the Deer Park, located in front of Englefield House. Housefull 4 is the fourth instalment of the successful Bollywood franchise and it is set to be the most expensive Indian comedy film ever made. Indian audiences will also see Englefield in another Hindi language film, Badnaam. For eight days in September, Englefield House became a secret facility where the lead female character was put through her paces in espionage training. Both films are set for release in 2019.
Closer to home, scenes from the concluding episode of the latest series of popular ITV drama Unforgotten were shot at St Mark’s Church and also in the woodlands above the house. During the filming, actors James Fleet, of Vicar of Dibley and Four Weddings and a Funeral fame, and Kevin McNally, who played Joshamee Gibbs in Pirates of the Caribbean, were both on set.
Englefield also provided the backdrop for a stunning fashion photography shoot for luxury magazine Country and Town House. Additionally, in the same issue, the Estate also featured in an article about the rise in demand for corporate events at country estates.
Supporting the community
As ever, we were delighted to offer our support to a range of community and charitable events and initiatives throughout 2018. In May we again hosted the Annual Forget Me Not Walk in aid of the Sue Ryder Duchess of Kent Hospice. Five hundred walkers took part in either a 5 or 8km walk raising over £22,000.
The Royal Berks Soapbox Challenge also returned to Englefield in September. Almost 2,000 spectators cheered on vehicles of all shapes and sizes as they took part in three-time trials in their non-motorised machines. Adding to the thrill of this year’s event was a chicane section and, for those brave enough to try, a jump! Teams from companies such as Porsche, Visa, and Hiscock all helped to raise over £6,000 for the Royal Berks Charity.
Earlier in the year, our woods provided the perfect terrain for putting the Berkshire Search and Rescue Dogs and their handlers through their paces during their training sessions. Berkshire SAR is a UK charity comprised entirely of volunteers who provide a specialist search dog resource for the police and statutory emergency services. They are on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to search for high risk, vulnerable missing people. The work carried out by Berkshire SAR is exceptional and we were privileged to be able to support them in this small way.
For more information about the Englefield Estate, visit https://www.englefieldestate.co.uk/.