Country Pursuits at Hintlesham Hall

We’re a big fan of Hintlesham Hall. Walking around the Estate is the best relaxation fix. This 16th Century Grade 1 listed Elizabethan manor house has over 170 acres with rolling lawns to the front, a pretty garden to the rear, a rose garden and a pond. Their Renowned Herb Garden, designed by Robert Carrier is stunning and ‘aromatic’ in season and is a working garden influenced as much by the Head Chef Alan Ford as by the Head Gardener. Alan’s menus reflect the best natural ingredients and are designed to appeal to foodies and health-conscious like.

The Hotel offers three dining rooms including the super-chic Salon and the cosy wood-panelled Parlour and then, of course there is their 350-bin award winning wine list comprising wines from across the globe, including an extensive range of half-bottles; not that we do half-bottles that is.  We dine there often.

Hintlesham is just a nice place to be. But actually, to be more specific, from a business context we’re a big fan of their wonderfully friendly representatives, Julie Dolphin and Tracy Carter. For several years Julie and Tracy have caringly looked after groups and small parties, arranged events and coordinated weddings at the hotel. Now they’ve also set their sights on steering interested guests our way for a spot of country pursuits. It’s often the case that weekenders who have ‘flown and flopped’ from the city for the quietude of the countryside get restless. Likewise, being in a breath-taking countryside location makes one want to do ‘all things country’.

With this in mind, Hintlesham Hall have devised a Shoot & Stay inclusive package, which now features on their website and which offers incredibly good value for overnight guests. The package includes accommodation and dinner for each evening you book, full English breakfast the next morning and then a shotgun shooting session based on 50 clays and cartridges, followed by a light lunch here with us. Transfers to and from the hotel are also included if you want them. Of course Julie and Tracy are seasoned clay-shots having received their initial tuition here at Coopers Country. Neither had shot before, but now Julie is particularly keen.

In the spring, Tracy hit upon the idea of running a charity event. So, on a very hot lazy Sunday in mid-July, Hintlesham held a charity summer BBQ in the grounds of the hotel, in aid of EACH – The East Anglian Children’s Hospices, who provide care for children and young people at their three hospices in Ipswich, Milton and Quidenham or in family homes. Their Royal Patron is HRH The Duchess of Cambridge. At the event there were numerous attractions for adults and children and we were pleased to be invited along to run a clay shoot. It was a truly magical day and with clear blue skies, wonderful al fresco food and the hotel sparkled. Rumour has it, it may become an annual event.


The Daisy Ball

Over recent years, we’ve been pleased to support the Anthony Nolan charity, via our great friend and fellow shooter Simon Dyson MBE.

Every day, the Anthony Nolan charity helps save the lives of people with blood cancer by matching remarkable donors who are willing to donate their blood stem cells or bone marrow to people who desperately need lifesaving transplants. In 1971, Anthony Nolan was born with a rare condition called Wiskott Aldrich Syndrome, the only known cure for which was a bone marrow transplant. But how to find the right donor was another matter as there were no registers anywhere in the world. Anthony’s mother Shirley had a vision, and the first Register was created in 1974.

Simon’s involvement started in 1987 when he was appointed Chair of Anthony Nolan, a post he still holds today. Since 1979 the charity has facilitated the chance of 11,500 lifesaving transplants from its Register and from small beginnings there are today over 470,000 potential donors on The Register and annually over 3000 blood stem cell transplants take place.

Each year Anthony Nolan holds a spectacular ball at The Grosvenor House in London where ordinary folk – ‘with a conscience’, rub shoulders with the great and good of the land -‘with a conscience’, including numerous sporting personalities who lend their name to fundraising efforts. Coopers Country provides a lot ‘with a difference’ for the charity auction, which for the past two years has comprised a ‘Suffolk Shooting Variety Day’ held here at our venue.  The lucky ‘volunteers’ have generally been seriously professional chaps who soon transformed into great white hunters. This year, we’ve had the pleasure of meeting Jonathan Lee, whose late father-in-law oversaw aspects of Anthony’s care during his hospital stay. We’ve also enjoyed having John Giddings, music industry guru whose great ‘hobby’ is the Isle of Wight Music Festival.  He said of the day “it was a great practice for my next Isle of Wight Council meeting.”

This auction lot offers a unique chance to have a rather quirky time in the woods, letting off some powder and firing a few bullets, a major attraction being firing the 9.3mm big game rifle elephant gun.  The full programme includes shooting various shotguns, as well as .22, .243, .308 rifles and the 9.3mm. Naturally guests are well-fed and watered. The day also tends to assume a military air as we make our assault on a charging man target with a 7.62mm rifle and partial army kit.

Tickets for the charity’s annual Daisy Ball on 10th May 2014 can be purchased on-line at or by calling Jessica Randall on 0303 3033000. Also you can simply donate to the charity on  Which brings us back to the matter of the tin helmet. ……well, we boys just love a bit of dressing up.


The Game is a foot

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