After years of travelling as an International cocktail alchemist, how did you end up here?
"Introduced by my dad and his wife, Jan, I came to the farm during the first lockdown. I was living in Brighton alone, on furlow, in a large house and I was struggling with the solitude. I'd had some work experience at Wilderley during the previous summer and was invited back. I instantly clicked with everyone including the animals and fell in love with my new surroundings. After a couple of months of helping out I was offered the opportunity to come to work and live on the farm which I could not refuse. It just felt right and a great opportunity to be closer to my family.
What's your day-to-day routine?'
I manage the various retreats onsite, making sure they are cleaned and maintained and ready for all our new guests. Meeting and greeting is in my nature as I love people. I also help out with the animals including the alpaca walking, feeding the owls, building, fencing and maintaining the land. Our onsite cafe opened recently and my previous catering experience means I can now make breakfasts for our guests, pop-up suppers, BBQs and cocktail creation evenings. I also host various private parties, from community events to hen-dos.
Every day is different on the farm, but name one which stretched your skills as a host?
Wilderley recently hosted a launch of the Skoda Enyaq all-electric car to align with our electric aircraft brand, Neboair. My previous experience of global brand launches meant we had to ensure that everything ran like clockwork from organising the food to ensuring that the PR and crew were taken care of. I'm looking forward to working more with Skoda in the coming few weeks.
What's changed in your life since your move and how has Wilderley inspired you to follow your dreams?
My first Christmas spent at Wilderley came in the guise of a unique gift and something I've always wanted; an iguana called Norbert. He keeps me company in the evenings when I'm not entertaining guests. I'm also currently writing my very own cocktail book which will hopefully be out early next year. It's inspired by the fusions from our in-house herb garden to my various travels across the globe. I'm also hoping to start some 'woodland courses' for kids and get involved with team-building exercises for local companies and more community events. I've got a lot of ideas.
Give us an example of some magic you've experienced whilst on the farm?
I love incorporating my own magic tricks and my poi spinning skills when hosting parties or on cocktail evenings. Recently, we had a guest stunt rider who invited me onto their photo shoot on the farm. As the sun was setting, a dapple grey horse and her lovely rider cantered around me while I spun some fire sticks. Now that was pretty special!