The talents of four guild members were celebrated at the Savoy Hotel in London, courtesy of the 2019 Perkins Power on the Farm Award.
Winner Andrew Faulkner (Profi International) and runner-up Edd Mowbray (Farmers Weekly) were treated to a magnificent Champagne reception and tour of the hotel made possible by the generous sponsorship of the Perkins Engines Company.
Third and fourth place went to freelance journalists Andrew Blake and Chris McCullough.
Hosts were Perkins agriculture sales manager Andy Curtis; corporate & marketing communications manager Annette Ward; and EAME & Asia events and hospitality manager Claire Cox.
The tour of the famous London hotel from the Savoy’s very own archivist, Susan Scott.
Among other fascinating stories, guild members heard how the Savoy pioneered many of the features and aspects of hospitality and luxury now take for granted in most hotels around the world.
They also heard about its role as the convivial meeting place for politicians of all stripes and colours, in the form of a private supper club known as ‘The Other Club’.
It’s a play on words – Parliament being the club. Founded by Sir Winston Churchill in 1911, the rules were “no speeches” and “no politics”.
Over the years, Prime Ministers have been invited to join the club, alongside politicians from the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrats, and a sprinkling of those from the arts and sciences.
Despite the Savoy hosting the club, it refuses to divulge any further details and the full membership remains unknown.
Winners and judges were then treated to a masterclass in effective travel packing from one of the hotel’s 12 resident butlers, their services being available (at a cost) to any of the hotel’s guests.
As well as taking care of luggage, laundry and packing, the butler recounted some of the more esoteric requests he has received from his clientele.
The hotel promises to fulfil every (legal) request, no matter how unusual.
These include being asked to book a lunch at a guest’s favourite Paris restaurant before accompanying them there by private jet.
Other requests include arranging for Welsh goats’ milk to be brought to the hotel so a guest could enjoy his favourite bedtime hot drink.
In the usual Perkins fashion, everyone enjoyed a fabulous three-course private lunch from the Savoy’s chefs, followed by an afternoon cocktail-making class in the hotel’s famous American Bar.