CORONAVIRUS: Joining forces to ward off effects of pandemic

CORONAVIRUS: Joining forces to ward off effects of pandemic

A GROUP of enterprising small business owners in south Warwickshire have joined forces in the fight against the Coronavirus pandemic.

Winchcombe Farm glamping retreat in Upper Tysoe, has risen to the challenge of surviving the economic impact of the outbreak by inviting other neighbouring businesses to work together.

Winchcombe Farm, Jo Carroll, Steve Taylor, Coronavirus, Tysoe
Steve Taylor and Jo Carroll.

Owners Jo Carroll and Steve Taylor have teamed up with five other small businesses who will now offer a delivery service directly to the doors of their four holiday lodges – from hot meals through to artisan gin.

Jo said: “Due to our remote rural location, we remain open because the very nature of our business means you can stay in a tranquil private lodge or tree house amongst nature in an isolated location.

“Normally the only deliveries we receive are from the postman, but now other businesses like ourselves, are having to diversify to stay in business, and are offering delivery services”.

The enterprising couple are working around the clock to ensure their guests continue to enjoy safe and enjoyable stays on their farm and don’t miss out on any of the local delicacies on offer – including dry from the Pinnock Distillery  in the nearby village of Kineton.

Dan Beckett, owner Pinnock Distillery, said: “In what is undoubtedly the most challenging of times for small businesses, it is also heartening to see support and collaboration in action in this way and I am delighted to be working with Winchcombe Farm. This luxury holiday retreat is the perfect partner for our brand and we’re proud to be able to do our bit, along with other local businesses, to even further enhance their visitor experience.”

Jo added: “We’ve teamed up with our local gastro pub. Why go out to the pub, when it will come to you! The Peacock at Oxhill is now delivering all their delicious meals directly to guests in our holiday homes.

“Their chef has designed a takeaway menu fit for a king, including lots of lovely comfort food such as homemade steak and ale pie with creamy mash and sticky toffee pudding.

“Guests can give us a call and we will drop down linen tablecloths and napkins, plus a candelabra so you feel like you are really there!”

Winchcombe Farm, Ofishial Foods, Tysoe, Shenington, Coronavirus, Jo Carroll
Susie Medcalf hands over a delivery from Ofishial Foods to Kate Ashfield of Winchcombe Farm.

The local butcher – HC Lewis in Kineton, (www.lewisbutchers.co.uk) is geared up to make meat deliveries directly to guests and home-cooked frozen meals from Ofishial Foods are also available to pre-order.

Jo said: “This wonderful company is based just up the road from us in Shenington and have a dropped a couple of samples down for us to try so we can highly recommend them to guests. They will take orders and payment over the phone and then deliver your meals to us in time for your arrival. We’ll pop them in the freezer for you so they’ll be ready and waiting for you.”

John Hartley, of Ofishial Foods, said: “We are delighted to supply a wide range of tasty ready meals to Winchcombe Farm Holidays guests. Our meals are hand made in our kitchen just up the hill and we are so local we could deliver them on foot.”

Winchcombe Farm, Jo Carroll, Steve Taylor, Coronavirus, Tysoe
Tommy Hewitt of H C Lewis

Tommy Hewitt, butcher at H.C Lewis Butchers based in Banbury Street, Kineton said: “We sell a huge range of local reared meats, as well as eggs, savouries such as pies and deli treats. We introduced a delivery service in response to the recent situation and it’s proved such a huge hit with customers, we are looking into making it a permanent feature of our service. People clearly want good quality, fresh meat delivered directly to their door.”

Shipston-on-Stour baking company Sweet Heart Bakes are also on hand to deliver their fresh homemade quiches, tarts and puddings directly to the door when pre-ordered.

Winchcombe Farm is home to four bespoke luxury holiday homes, including Warwickshire’s only tree house, nestling in an idyllic Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the rolling Warwickshire countryside on the North East tip of The Cotswolds, and lies beneath the famous landmark battleground of Edgehill.

For more information and bookings visit: http://winchcombefarm.co.uk or call 01295 680190.

Charlie meets his new namesake at holiday retreat

Charlie meets his new namesake at holiday retreat

THE newest arrivals to a glamping retreat in Tysoe are proving to be a big hit with guests – so much so one of them has even taken their identity!

Alpacas Geoff, Charlie and Big Bad Barry are the latest animals to move in at Winchcombe Farm, joining ponies Stan and Queenie on the site, run by Jo Carroll and Steve Taylor.

Winchcombe Farm, alpacas
Geoff, Charlie and Big Bad Barry. Photos by David Fawbert Photography.

Now guests are being offered the chance to take them on a guided walk as part of their stay in any of the four luxury lodges on site.

Jo said: “Pets fit in with our ethos here as they are proven to help beat stress, reduce blood pressure and lower your heart rate. Plus they are just lovely animals to have around the place and get on well with our ponies.

“We brought them from a local campsite owner so they are used to being around lots of different people and this is a big plus for us. Guests absolutely love them and turn up with bags of apples to chop and feed to them.

Charlie Hiner meets his alpaca namesake.
Charlie Hiner meets his alpaca namesake.

One of the trio has even been named after a regular customer to the farm who took a shine to the animals, eight-year-old Charlie Hiner from Sheffield.

Winchcombe is a favourite destination for Charlie and his family – mum Amy, dad Kyle and four-year-old sister Evie who have visited several times.

Amy said: “We are regulars at Winchcombe Farm and that’s the one place we save up to go on our holidays. It’s our special little place. Jo mentioned she was going to name one of the alpacas after our Charlie and we finally got to meet him at Christmas. He thought it was great and goes around telling everybody. It’s his claim to fame.

“I like the fact that at Winchcombe you know the children are really safe and they can go off and play, getting down and dirty with nature and exploring. They just don’t want to leave.”

Winchcombe Farm, alpacas
Kate Ashfield, alpaca keeper at Winchcombe.

The alpacas will eventually also be enjoyed by guests indoors as Jo and Steve have arranged for their fleeces to be turned into rugs for the lodges.

Winchcombe Farm signed up for the Karcher Accumulator Challenge to raise funds for the Banbury-based Katharine House Hospice. They were given a £50 ‘seed fund’ and five months to see how much they could make it grow. The total now stands at around £800.

Jo said: “Thank you to our guests, followers on social media and local people who joined us by donating £2 to be entered into a draw to win a beautiful alpaca footstool, a trek out with our three boys, an overnight stay in Will’s Tree House and an alpaca- themed welcome pack on arrival.”

For more information about Katharine House Hospice, visit: https://www.khh.org.uk/

Winchcombe Farm, alpacas
Will’s Tree House, one of the four lodges at Winchcombe Farm.

Winchcombe Farm is home to four bespoke luxury holiday homes nestling in an idyllic Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the rolling Warwickshire countryside on the North East tip of The Cotswolds, and lies beneath the famous landmark battleground of Edgehill.

Will’s Tree House (sleeps 4), (Bob’s Lodge (sleeps 8), the Chicken Shed (sleeps 5) and their new George’s Getaway (sleeps 8), all with private hot tubs, barbecues, pizza ovens and hammocks – and three with geodesic domes with circular bed for stargazing.

For more details about Winchcombe Farm visit: www.winchcombefarm.co.uk or call 01295 680190 for details.

Win a Harrods hamper and two-night luxury glamping stay

Win a Harrods hamper and two-night luxury glamping stay

A WARWICKSHIRE-based luxury boutique glamping retreat has signed up to take part in the Karcher Accumulator Challenge to raise much needed funds for the Banbury-based Katharine House Hospice.

Owners Jo Carroll and Steve Taylor, of Winchcombe Farm Holidays in Upper Tysoe, have signed up to the seed fund project. Jo explained: “The challenge is simple – Karcher give us £50 and 5 months to see how we can make it grow. We’re aiming to raise £500. Every penny raised is donated to the Hospice, which this year is facing a huge funding shortfall.

Steve Taylor

“Each day it costs £11,000 to provide the hospice’s services and they rely on the local community and businesses for three-quarters of that funding,” said Jo.

She added: “We’ve asked our guests, followers on social media and local people to join us by donating £2 to be entered into a draw to win a luxury Harrods hamper. But there’s a twist; you have to come and collect your Harrods hamper and stay for a couple of complimentary weekday nights in one of our lodges of your choice – or the tree house – between now and the end of March 2020.

“It is a bit of a risky strategy to blow our entire £50 seed fund on the hamper, but then we thought it was worth the gamble. We’ve already had donations of over £200 and we’re going flat out to get some more.”

Steve added: “The winner can choose to enjoy their Harrods hamper in our lovely Tree House, the unique Bob’s Lodge, the luxury Chicken Shed Lodge or our brand new lodge for 2019, George’s Getaway. All have private hot tubs and the lodges all have stargazing domes, equipped with super king-sized circular beds and telescopes.”

Entries into the prize draw cost £2 each and people may enter as many times as they like (each £2 donation will be classed as a single entry) by visiting: https://www.wonderful.org/fundraiser/winchcombefarmholidays

The winner will be picked at random on Sunday, 1st December 2019 and announced on Winchcombe Farm’s social media pages, along with the total of how much they’ve raised.

Jo said: “Then watch this space for our next accumulator challenge initiative. We’ve got a great idea up our sleeves to make sure we hit our target.”

For further details about the Karcher Accumulator Challenge visit https://www.kaercher.com/uk/the-kaercher-accumulator-challenge.html

For more information about Katharine House Hospice, visit https://www.khh.org.uk/