6th November 2019
Royal visit by HRH The Earl of Wessex for ‘Surrey Day’
A Royal Visit by HRH The Earl of Wessex in early November recognised the growing reputation and development of the Surrey Hills as a hub of innovative, high quality local products and services. At the start of this ‘Surrey Day’ His Royal Highness visited the Great Barn at Bramley and met arts, crafts, food and drink producers who showcased food, wine, cheese and coffee. They were among the100 businesses that have received the Surrey Hills trademark since it was launched by Surrey Hills Enterprises in 2018: https://www.surreyhills.org/enterprises/surrey-hills-trademark/
Travelling on to Albury Old Saxon Church, The Earl of Wessex presented the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service to the Surrey Hills Society, awarded for “encouraging people to explore and learn about the special qualities of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty”. Prince Edward talked to over 40 volunteers, who shared with him their passion for the wide-ranging work that they do collectively to promote the specially protected landscape and cultural heritage of the Surrey Hills. Current Vice President Chris Howard, who was Chairman of the Society for seven years, received the Certificate.
Next stop was Sherbourne Farm close to The Silent Pool, where His Royal Highness visited two more high quality food producers within Surrey Hills Enterprises. At Norbury Park Cheese, co-owner Michaela Allam demonstrated the art of artisan cheese making – this is Surrey’s only commercial cheesemaker – and Prince Edward tasted both the flagship Norbury Blue and Dirty Vicar, a soft white cheese. Moving on to Mandira’s Kitchen, he met founder Mandira and her team that have built an enterprising business selling authentic Indian food and running cookery courses, markets and tastings. He then unveiled a plaque to mark the official opening of the new kitchen and shop premises.
Finally the Royal visitor walked the short distance to Albury Organic Vineyard, where owner Nick Wenham and his team, including the talented female vineyard manager, shared with The Earl their passion for producing quality English wine of the highest quality. Then he met with other members of Vineyards of the Surrey Hills (Greyfriars Vineyard, Chilworth Manor Vineyard, Albury Organic Vineyard, High Clandon Estate Vineyard and Denbies Wine Estate) for a lunch with produce supplied by Surrey Hills Trademark producers.
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