Last weekend we all headed out with our families to Bedale in Yorkshire for the annual Vanilla Summer Party, glamping at the Camp Hill Estate.
Incredibly for the UK, we had perfect weather all weekend! We arrived on location for a buffet lunch and then proceeded straight into activities. Separated into 3 teams we participated in some family friendly fun such as the Quadbike Olympics (which found Andy Bell and Holly Lewin in their element), Foot Golf and exploring The Woodland Kingdom. As we tend to work on-site with our customers across the UK, Europe and the Middle East, we rarely get to meet up to enjoy some down time together, so it was the perfect opportunity to do so with our loved-ones in tow.
After the formal activities, we got to see where we would be sleeping – luxury bell tents, furnished with Moroccan rugs, fairy lights and a fair share of creepy crawlies. We had a central lodge to relax and unwind in and this is where we found the Vanilla goodie bags that included camping essentials and our very own Vanilla hoodies. These proved essential in the early hours when temperatures dropped significantly!
Our children all became firm friends, racing around the estate and enjoying the bouncy castle and the sunshine. Sultan Amin, our Head of Business Development, was a clear favourite with the kids, having organised a rounder’s tournament in the afternoon. In the evening, we all sat down for a hog roast and a few drinks, toasted marshmallows and celebrated the engagement of one of our consultants, Maria Nikolaidou and her fiancé Rory. Congratulations again to you both!
Settling in for the evening, we enjoyed good food, good drinks and good company. The children didn’t slow down but we made a fair few attempts to settle them with ‘story time’ in the lodge. The next morning was a little hazy due to Janine’s rhubarb gin and a series of questionable drinking games organised by Paul Darwin, but we were treated to a lovely full English on the BBQ and a cup of Yorkshire tea before heading home.
Thank you to everyone that attended the day, and to your families who helped to make some treasured memories.
A huge thank you to Rachel our HR Manager and Jason Belcher, Director for organising the whole thing and remembering to think about the little touches, such as the enamel mugs, frisbees & Vanilla-engraved torches, that proved invaluable at 1 am!
We are already looking forward to Summer 2018!!