Today we chat with the lovely Elmore Court team about how the pandemic and lockdown have affected their business, what they have done to keep busy, how they pivoted, and what they are looking forward to most…
Tell us about Elmore Court…
Elmore Court is an old family home turned sustainable wedding venue in Gloucestershire. In 2013 owner Anselm Guise (previously Glade festival, Nano records,) inherited the family home and saved it from ruin by launching a wedding & events venue with a 1 million pound renovation & building a rammed earth reception in the grounds.
How have you pivoted your services and skills during the pandemic and lockdown?
During the pandemic the diversification hasn’t stopped with initiatives from picnics on the estate to micro weddings, yoga retreats, and most recently brand new covid safe cabaret dinner extravaganza; The Parrot Cage.
Opening to rave reviews The Parrot Cage is back for 7 festive dates in December featuring a heady mix of live music, table magic, circus performance, dance, burlesque and stand up comedy from the likes of Marcel Lucont, Missy Fatale, Vicky Butterfly, The Curious Little Big Band (and others TBA), all within covid guidelines and risk assessed by Alan Law!
Sitting safely within their bubbles guests are served a 3 course meal with ingredients picked straight from the recently renovated walled garden, with contact free table service of drinks via the Hopt app from the well-stocked bar.
Once dinner and show is done, guests lucky enough to have snapped up overnight stays will retreat to their bedrooms where room service will continue until midnight. The next morning a hearty home cooked breakfast with freshly picked ingredients is served in the beautiful Hall and Dining Room usually reserved for weddings.
**If you would like to enter a competiton to win tickets to one of the shows which includes overnight accommodation, you can do so HERE – competition closes this Monday 23rd November.**
How have you helped the community?
In the first lockdown we donated huge batches of homemade soup to Square Food foundation in Bristol which helped feed local school children who weren’t getting their usual school meals.
We also donated lots of our lovely 100 Acres bathroom products; shampoo, body wash, soap etc. to Gloucester hospital so the staff could enjoy a luxury soak after long shifts.
For us, sustainability and the environment is always at the forefront of our development as a business, and with scientists all over the globe linking the pandemic (and increased risk of further pandemic break outs) to climate change and ongoing human disturbance to species has made it even clearer that we all must put reversing climate change at the top of our priorities.
So, through lockdown we have focused a lot of time improving our sustainability and have renovated the walled gardens and built a large greenhouse to grow much more food ourselves, we’ve also started the long process of rewilding part of the estate here, allowing wildlife to prosper without human interaction, and carbon dioxide to be absorbed far more than it currently is.
How has your daily routine changed:
Like most of the rest of the world, our routine has moved online- which is particularly strange for events and wedding co-ordinators who are used to face to face meetings, walk rounds and parties as the daily norm…
The hardest thing to cope with has been comforting our couples who’ve been through wedding planning hell, all from a distance- with no hugs! There have been a fair few tearful phone calls for sure, and actually having the light of The Parrot Cage has really helped us mentally as well as financially through this.
Team E are such a tight work family, we’ve all been there for each other and taken turns being the shoulder to cry on!
What have you learned about your business/ life during the pandemic and how will this affect your business/ life moving forward?
As mentioned above, this pandemic has really clarified the need to accelerate our efforts in rewilding and sustainability, and we are taking this very seriously and doing all we can to improve the environment.
The events and arts industries have suffered a huge blow with covid, we’ve been so happy to be able to come up with a covid safe event and to support the arts and performers through this time.
The Parrot Cage has created a little community which has breathed life, light and hope back into people’s year. We’ve seen it make a huge impact on guests and performers alike, it’s really left a mark on people’s hearts.
We won’t allow this year to make us bitter or hopeless, and we won’t be persuaded into forgetting how important arts, theatre and events are for humanity. We must not take creativity for granted, there is real magic in this and we have to do all we can to fight for and protect it at all costs.
As lockdown restrictions start to ease, will you continue to offer this new service or get back to working in the wedding world?
With all of our 2020 weddings having been postponed (we’ve been so lucky and we are SO grateful to all our wonderful couples for postponing not cancelling) to 2021 and 2022, we are looking at a VERY busy couple of years!
There won’t be any time for any other partying on top of the post pandemic weddings which we are so looking forward to, so The Parrot Cage is a truly limited edition event of just 7 dates in total, making it all the more special -and not to be missed.
What are you looking forward to most when restrictions are lifted?
After the war came the roaring 20’s. We’re holding onto the idea that history repeats itself and that after this dark time will come the most unbridled period of post pandemic partying which will go down in history.
We also hope that the stark improvement in the natural world due to the effects of lockdown will not be forgotten, and that people will be much more environmentally conscious after all this.
We can’t wait to get back to creating epic weddings of raucous joy & celebration, at the same time we are busily working away on re-wilding a huge portion of the estate and can’t wait to see the effects this has on the biodiversity of Elmore.
Big love to the Elmore team… if you would like to go to the Parrot Cage event in December visit HERE. If you would like to win an overnight stay and tickets to the Parrot Cage, act quickly as the competition ends today. (23rd) You can enter HERE.