A Summer of Luxury | Holiday with… Cowdray’s Iain Beaumont
The temperature may have dropped a few degrees of late, but the sensational summer of 2018 is likely to break all weather records. Little adaptation has been required at Cowdray, which is beautifully located and set-up for all weathers. In today’s ‘Holiday with…’ Cowdray’s Director of Events, Iain Beaumont, explains the Estate’s appeal, and what events we can look forward to at the West Sussex retreat.
What is your holiday read this year?
Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts. I’ve always been intrigued by others adventures and lives less ordinary, so Shantaram has me gripped.
What is your favourite holiday destination?
It has to be Devon, although I decided to explore the local area this year. Having moved to Sussex at the start of 2018, there’s a huge amount to discover within the 16,500 acres of Cowdray Estate. There are some wonderful walks from our Farm Shop & Café, through the National Park and up onto the South Downs, with great views across to the Isle of Wight. I’ve also explored the local vineyards, various Estate farms and the famous Queen Elizabeth Oak which is a staggering 850-1,000 years old!
Have you ever had a ‘lightbulb’ moment related to your business or career while taking some downtime?
I have been lucky to work at various historic buildings, each and every one is unique, fascinating and inspiring. Finding the time and space to really let my mind wander is so important and allows me to think about how I can implement new experiences without disrupting or compromising the integrity of an historic space. One of the most important aspects of my role is being able to give our house guests the opportunity to check out of the hullabaloo of everyday life and give them the peace, space and surroundings that allows them to relax and feel reinvigorated.
What is your top tip for surviving the summer heat in style?
Export your office to Cowdray House! With two swimming pools, a tennis court, polo on the private ground and a cool cellar with a bowling alley, work becomes pleasurable. We are well set up with luxury reception rooms which work exceptionally well for board meetings, and super-fast WiFi to ensure that everyone is able to remain as connected and productive as they would in London, New York or Singapore, without breaking into a sweat. Ending the day with a glass of Perrier Jouet on our croquet lawn is idyllic.
Favourite al fresco drinking or dining spot?
There is a wonderful place to eat called the River Exe Cafe that was crafted from two steel hulls upon which a wooden restaurant was built. It is set in one of Devon’s most idyllic surroundings on the Exe Estuary and you can only get to it by boat. The food is incredible and brought in fresh each day. Get a table on a late summer’s evening to see the sun set over the Haldon Hills and watch the abundance of Avocets and Little Egrets bobbing about.
What can we look forward to at Cowday?
Friday night polo is our next Summer event, a late match and great band attracts a super crowd. We are already looking forward to the next seasonal chapter as we start to plan House parties, shooting parties and the arrival of Le Chameau’s new Prestige Range at Cowdray House.