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Harry’s Restaurant

Harry’s Restaurant at The Chase Hotel in Ross-on-Wye has been receiving a lot of attention over past months, with a large feature appearing in Absolute Herefordshire over the summer and a prime spot in The Wye Valley and Forest of Dean’s new promotional video.

It is surprising, then, that Harry’s remains a relatively undiscovered gem for some in the local area, perhaps because it is tucked away up a sweeping driveway amidst award winning grounds. Just a couple of minute’s walk from the centre of this pretty market town, those who do venture inside this delightful Georgian Country House are met by a luxurious and inviting interior and an exceptional dining experience.

For those in the know, Harry’s Restaurant is an absolute treat, with beautiful original features complemented by contemporary furnishings to create an environment which is classically elegant and perfect for day time or evening dining.

The award-winning cuisine is crafted from locally-sourced produce where possible, with recommended wine selections to complement each dish. The setting, service and the food itself have earned hearty praise from visiting food critics and journalists.

See Harry’s Restaurant as featured in The Wye Valley and Forest of Dean’s promotional video by Signature Films…coming soon on our website.

Heart of England in Bloom Winner

The Chase Hotel was delighted to beat off entrants from all over central England to pick up gold in September 2012, winning the coveted category of ‘Hotel and Pub Grounds’ in the prestigious Heart of England in Bloom Awards.

Entrants from as far afield as Birmingham & the Black Country, Coventry & Warwickshire, Staffordshire, Shropshire, Herefordshire, Gloucestershire and Worcestershire had an opportunity to showcase their lovely gardens and green fingers.

The competition judges commended The Chase Hotel for our quality of care, describing the gardens as ‘impressive and maintained to an exacting standard’. They certainly are a sight to behold! There are perfectly manicured lawns dotted with striking mature trees, lovingly planted borders and flashes of deep red roses, lush hydrangeas and eye-catching Clematis.

The Georgian Country House itself blends seamlessly with the pastoral beauty surrounding it. Its stately walls are clothed with lush Virginia creeper and ivy; its portico is framed by vibrant hanging baskets and its architecture is perfectly complemented by the manicured topiary in stately urns.

We were also thrilled to be commended by the award judges for the sustainability of our approach, due to the ‘excellent balance of permanent planting, complimented with seasonal bedding’.

So, a huge thank you from us to the judges of this fantastic award…fingers crossed for next year!

Networking to Success

Thinking about dipping your toe into the world of business networking but not sure what to expect? Intimidated by the prospect of a room full of driven executive types? Has a negative experience put you off? Unsure what the real benefits of relaxed business networking actually are?

Before the last few months, I had the same preconceptions of networking that many do; imagining walking into a room full of intimidating Managing Directors and other ‘important people’ who I would have nothing in common with.

So far, I am relieved to admit, I couldn’t have been more wrong.

My first attempt at networking in this area was at a ‘Women in Business’ Barbeque in Hereford. I was met with welcoming smiles, and quickly introduced to the roomful of women from all levels and a broad sweep of businesses. Relaxed yet supportive, with the WIB team making gentle introductions whenever they spotted anyone on the outskirts, my first foray was thoroughly un-scary, and I met some lovely and interesting people there.

In fact, one of the contacts I made at that first event was Rachel Carr of Business Checkmate Training, whom I subsequently booked some very rewarding  1:1 coaching sessions with. These sessions gave me the additional inspiration and practical tools I needed to formulate the first draft of my marketing plan, and I quickly realised how helpful networking could be.

I have since popped along to another WIB Networking event in Leominster, a Ross-on-Wye Lunch Club, the Harrison Clark ‘Young Professional’s event and a Chamber of Commerce Colour Profiling Event at Dewsall Court. I am looking forward to forging more relationships and friendships with local businesses and individuals over the coming months.

Now thoroughly converted, I have instigated some networking events at The Chase Hotel over the next few months with the intention of building closer relationships with businesses on our doorstep.

Our Networking and Team Building Event on Wednesday 31st October with Checkmate Training and Inspire 2 Adventure offering interactive workshops and team games was a fantastic success. Participants came back with glowing testimonials, saying it was well organised, completely different, and that the interactive and fun format really allowed everyone to network and enjoy themselves far more than your average business networking event would.

Our second event, on the evening of Wednesday 16th January 2013, will include drinks, relaxed networking and a talk by The Seed Group on how Creative PR & Marketing can benefit your business.  It is my hope that these first events will be followed by a regular calendar of similarly relaxed and inspiring networking sessions, for local professionals looking to escape from the office and try something a little different.

Initial ideas for the future include Cocktail Classes, HR Seminars, Leadership Workshops, Craft and  Cookery Demonstrations and more.

I am also keen to hear what ingredients you think make up the ultimate networking event.

Please get in touch and let me know your ideas…the more creative and innovative the better!


Herefordshire Food & Drink

The Herefordshire area is well known as a haven for food and drink lovers, with a choice of fantastic local produce wowing enthusiasts from all over the country.

If you enjoy sampling great produce and are always keen to learn a little more about it, then The Chase Hotel recommends popping over to Truffles Deli on the High Street in Ross-on-Wye.

Truffles specializes in local and high quality produce and has a faintly continental feel, with glass cabinets full of delicious looking food stuffs, above which hang long strings of garlic. The selection of cheeses alone would impress even the most discerning patron, with local specimens from Martells in Dymock, Monkland Dairy in Leominster and Nial’s Yard to name but a few. Richard, Truffles’ proprietor, has been asked to be on the judging panel of this year’s International Cheese Awards so you are certainly in good hands!

You can also pick up a selection of locally-made chutneys and pickles by producers such as Artisan Kitchen in Gloucester, winners of the Great Taste Award, Usk River Chutneys and smaller producers like Forage Fine Foods. There are local, free range quail, duck and chicken eggs and mouth-watering pies made by Jackie Limb of Moors Pies in her farmhouse kitchen, using the meat from her own herds. Pristine wooden shelves are filled with jars of loose herbs and spices, nuts and seeds. Beside them sit metal vats of various decanting oils plus a comprehensive choice of quality Italian produce from the famed village of Seggiano, where each product is made by a different family to closely guarded recipes. There is a brimming olive bar stocked by ‘Olives et al’ who recently awarded Truffles the coveted prize of ‘Best Deli in the West Midlands’. In fact, Truffles seem to be on a roll with commendations, having recently been shortlisted as one of the final 5 delis in this area by The Good Food Show….winner to be announced shortly!

If you fancy a tipple at the end of the day, you can choose from 106 varieties of local ciders from 22 suppliers, as well as locally produced ales. For a special occasion pick up a bottle of a delicious local spirit, with Tipsy Fruit Gins from Ledbury and Celtic Marches brandy-based liqueurs made just over the border in Wales.

As well as being available to offer expert advice in the Ross-on-Wye deli, Truffles often make an appearance at the fayres and food festivals this area is well-known for. You may have seen them at the ‘Big Apple Festival’ in Much Marcle, celebrating the traditional Herefordshire practices of apple growing and cider making.

We are always keen to hear about other popular food and drink producers and enthusiasts in our area.

Please get in touch if you have any recommendations that you think we should try…we’d love to hear about them!

Organic Food and Quirky Knick-Knacks

The Chase Hotel is proud to have a close relationship with many local businesses in the area, and is able to suggest some truly unique and inviting options if you are keen to indulge in a spot of Christmas shopping. Field Fayre on Broad Street in Ross-on-Wye is a favourite of visitors from all over the area who love its fantastic selection of organic food and ecological wares, as well as those starting their Christmas shopping, on the look out for one-off treats their family and friends will adore.

We Love Really Good Food…

Field Fayre is an incredible haven of organic produce which is visited by connoisseurs from all over Southern England.  It is all about organic, ethically sourced produce and an ecological way of living. When you walk through the entrance you are immediately drawn into an intimate space surrounded by floor to ceiling wooden shelves crammed with stock, with the welcoming aroma of herbs, spices and incense. There are crates of locally grown, organic fruit and vegetables, beautifully-packaged local honeys, and platters of native breed charcuterie. Meat eaters can stock up on organic meat from within a 20 mile radius as well as sustainably caught fish. Vegans and vegetarians are well catered for with a large selection of soya and other products.

There are bowls full to the brim with plump organic olives from a tiny farm in Northern Greece, of which Field Fayre are one of only two UK stockists. Their coffee is sourced raw directly from the plantation, brought locally and then ground and roasted to order.  The range of organic bread is supplied by a fifth generation French artisan baker who is based locally and the unhomogenised organic milk products are produced in a local dairy. There is an organic pasta bar with over 20 types of pasta, and even a range of organic pet food which is also available in Harrods at practically twice the price. When you fancy a treat you can choose from organic ice creams, chocolates, beers, wines, ciders and spirits!

Eco Shopping & Quirky Knick-Knacks…

Field Fayre is one of only a few refill stations for the popular ecological cleaning product range, Ecover, and also offers natural, locally-made toiletries and Herbfarmacy products for all your cosmetic needs. Now that Christmas is approaching, it is also the ideal place to pick up some quirky stocking fillers such as locally crafted beeswax candles, eco-friendly hemp and bamboo socks in a variety of funky patterns and shades, and heavenly-smelling connoisseur incense made in Prinknash Abbey to a closely guarded, 100 year old recipe.

The proprietors of Field Fayre, Yolanda and David, run informal tasting sessions every Saturday which are well worth a try for anyone with an interest in organic food and drink and local products….why not pop along this weekend?