Great Relationships with Clients
A couple of weeks ago we threw a bag in the boot and headed off to deepest rural Dorset, to celebrate a rather special anniversary.
Dorset is a county I know well, having spent many happy years visiting clients throughout this enchanting but largely overlooked part of the south-west. One day I might be in Wimborne financing scaffolding equipment and funding the fit-out of a restaurant in Swanage, the next day I could be at a nightclub in Blandford Forum or a gym in Bournemouth.
The rolling hills and deep valleys of Dorset fold in on themselves as if they are wanting to protect their villages and folk from prying eyes.
We meandered through the lanes before stopping and parking in the village square of Beaminster. Down this way you need to remember not to pronounce the ‘a’ or the locals won’t understand you.
Although Beaminster is little more than a village, it still boasts of a renowned restaurant on the square, together with a decent hotel and many delightful shops, such as Cilla and Camilla. This gift shop, coffee shop and ladies trendy boutique is a regular haunt of ours.
After coffee and a mooch about we drove off to investigate some of the other local gems, before travelling down another memory lane, arriving at The Summer Lodge Hotel in Evershott.
Although now owned by the Red Carnation Group of hotels, Summer Lodge was for many years owned by our good friends, Nigel and Margaret Corbett.
This Relais & Chateaux hotel continues to offer 5 star luxury in comfort, service and dining, much as it did in Nigel and Margaret’s day.
As we were shown to our room or seated in the drawing room my thoughts kept slipping back to the days when I was there on business. “Was this one of the bedrooms where we financed the furniture and fittings? Were these the sofas I paid for? Is their kitchen the one we financed and do you remember the trouble they had with the flooring in there?”
Tearing myself away from the past and happy memories so that I could give my full attention to the gorgeous wife I have been married to for so many years, I beckoned one of the attentive staff to add champagne to our tray of tea.
During dinner that evening my focus was reserved for my wife so I have little recollection of the food we had. Suffice it to say, I do remember a few ooh’s and aah’s that evening. I know that the sommelier gave us his undivided attention and the outcome was a very fine bottle of Californian chardonnay.
Looking back over 43 years of Armada has given me a lifetime of happy memories and great relationships with clients but enough of this reverie, there are hotels and restaurants needing our attention today. More funding for equipment, furnishings and fit-outs.
Must get on.