The Belfry Hotel & Resort earlier this week saw eighteen golf teams from across the hospitality industry gather, to take part in the H&C News Golf Day, in association with Bank Brokers, on behalf of The Clink Charity.
As you arrive at the resort you immediately understand why The Belfry is synonymous with golf, it oozes a well-earned presence, having hosted more Ryder Cup tournaments than any other venue in the world.
With our own car park for the day, once parked guests followed signage to the Sutton Suite, the H&C News headquarters for the day. Bacon rolls, tea, coffee and a range of snacks were in plentiful supply and popular with the golfers in storing up some energy before setting out for eighteen holes around The Belfry’s Derby course.
The Derby is a parkland golf course with far-reaching views across the Warwickshire countryside, strategically placed bunkers, water hazards and well-designed risk and reward holes. It offers a fair challenge and is perfect for players of all levels. Designed by Peter Alliss and Dave Thomas, the course demands accuracy right from the first tee, good club selection, and intelligent course management.
Once briefed on the day’s details by the golf team at The belfry, a shotgun start was at the end of a short buggy ride to each teams allocated starting hole. The claxon sounded and play was underway.
The day was sunny and warm with a wind that kept temperatures ideal for golf.
In order to keep up with play and see how the day was unfolding, Christopher Moore, Chief Executive, The Clink Charity and Denis Sheehan, Publisher, H&C News took a buggy to do just that.
The day was clement, and play was going well for the first few teams we came across. Standing a polite distance from play we watched the Forum Events team led by team captain Toby Wand approach the green. All four players, Toby and guests Iain Munro, Derek White and Simon Frost were between 120 and 150 yards from the green, all four a few minutes later were on the green, well played gentlemen. The standard was being set.
We then started to get reports that a 330 yard drive had been delivered on the 18th hole for the longest drive, it unsurprisingly wasn’t surpassed all day, congratulations to James on the Optimal Compliance team for, quite some shot.
As we worked our way round, we met one team that had travelled from Oslo, Norway to take part, House of Guarantees, guests of Bank Brokers. So, we spoke with Daniel Unstad, Director of Business Development at House of Guarantees to see what he thought of the day.
Late afternoon the teams started to file in after completing the course and all were ready to enjoy a few well-earned drinks in the Sutton Suite before dinner. Many were reflecting on ‘if’… this drive or that put had only gone a few degrees/yards the other way and friendly banter was in abundance.
Dinner was then served, Smoked Chicken & Ham Hock Terrine, Spicy Apricot & Raisin Chutney with Pomegranate Dressing for the starter course.
After the starter and before main course prizes and certificates were presented. All teams were presented with a certificate to commemorate being part of the day and the three top teams were…
- Paul Thorburn’s Team
- Optimal Compliance
- Collins King & Associates
Nearest The Pin – Dean Evans, Merlin Catering, Guest of Meiko UK
Longest Drive – James Sheehan, Optimal Compliance
Once the awards were collected everyone settled back down to enjoy the main course, Slow Cooked Beef Cheek in Red Wine, kibbled onion & parsley crumb, Smoked Garlic Mashed Potato, Braised shallot. An exquisitely cooked piece of beef that literally melted in the mouth.
After dinner came the main event, the auction. We received some incredibly generous gifts from friends across the industry to raise money for the vital work done by The Clink. Thank you all.
CH&CO: Afternoon Tea for four and tour of the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace. Donated by, Tim Jones, Chairman, CH&CO.
Dorchester Collection, Coworth Park: Champagne Afternoon Tea for two at Coworth Park. Donated by, Jonathan Ellson, Director of Restaurants, Coworth Park.
Preferred Hotels & Resorts, The Grand, York: Two nights stay at Yorkshire’s only five-star hotel, The Grand, York, with dinner and breakfast. Donated by, Brenda Collin, Managing Director – UK, Ireland, Nordics, The Netherlands, Preferred Hotels & Resorts.
The Belfry Hotel & Resort: A Four ball on the Brabazon course: Donated by, Neil Walker, Account Director – Golf, The Belfry.
The Clink Charity: A day of fly fishing for two on the River Test at Timsbury Fishery, Hampshire. Donated by, Finlay Scott, Chairman, The Clink Charity.
The auction expertly conducted by Daniel Fletcher, Senior Partner, Bank Brokers UK raised a total of £2,200 for The Clink. Payments were taken through a PaymentSense terminal provided by Kathleen Snell, Strategic Partnerships, PaymentSense, who provide payment systems to The Clink Restaurants.
A huge thank you once again to all who contributed and the generosity of the winning bidders, a fantastic range of hospitality experiences await.
The dessert course was then served, Trio of belfry desserts – White & Dark Chocolate Cream Pie, Mango & Raspberry Cheesecake with Coconut Ice Cream – once again Chef Richard Bates and his brigade didn’t disappoint. Our compliments to chef and all the front and back of house team at The Belfry, on an outstanding dinner experience enjoyed by all.
At the end of the evening Neil Fillbrook, Managing Director, Bank Brokers UK reflecting on the day said: “To host such a day is a privilege, the venue was superb, it’s easy to understand why The Belfry has hosted more Ryder Cup tournaments than any other golf venue in the world.
“The Clink Charity make a difference to people’s lives, giving those who have paid their dues a second chance to contribute to society through working in hospitality. A cause we are delighted to support.
“Working alongside H&C News we have created a day that saw many of the best known brands in hospitality and catering come together to take part in a day that is becoming a must attend event in the hospitality calendar.
“I would like to thank all that took part in making the day so special and look forward to doing it all again in 2020.”
We will leave the last word to one of the guests taking part, Ian Thomas, CEO, Bartlett Mitchell interviewed by Piers Zangana, Susa Comms. Thank you, Ian and Piers.
The Teams that took part were…
- Asian Restaurant Owners Network
- Aures Technologies
- Bank Brokers
- Bartlett Mitchell
- Collins King & Associates
- display block
- Forum Events
- H&C News
- House of Guarantees
- Meiko UK
- Optimal Compliance
- Susa Comms
- The Belfry
- Tower Hotel Management
More feedback from participants is featured below in video interviews as well as a range of pictures that we hope give readers a flavour of the day.
Paul Thorburn, Bank Brokers UK and Ex Wales Rugby Captain
Simon Bullough: “A very enjoyable day – lovely weather, fabulous golf course, excellent food, great networking and superbly organised from start to finish. Looking forward to next year already.”
Christopher Moore, CEO, The Clink Charity
Neil Fillbrook, Managing Director, Bank Brokers UK
Paul Anderson, Managing Director, Meiko UK