Segways queuing for ice creams.
Segways queuing for ice creams.

An interview with Carole Mearns at Cairn Energy plc following their family Summer Day Out at Winton House in May.

Why did you choose Winton House for your staff Summer Day Out?

“I asked ExecSpace to put together a proposal for venues within half an hour’s drive of Edinburgh.  They suggested Winton House and another local exclusive use venue.   We visited both venues and choosing Winton was a ‘no brainer’, from the welcome we received, to the facilities offered, to the beauty of the house itself and the grounds.

“We invited directors, managers, staff, plus their friends and families, whose ages ranged from babies who were only a few months old to teens.

“Nothing was too much trouble for Julie and Morag, and that’s why we will be returning to Winton in 2014 for next year’s Summer Day Out!”

What hospitality and activities did you have at your event? 

“Julie suggested Dog and Duck Herding which everyone loved.  I had requested a variety of inflatable games, as well as ‘school sports day’ races.

Dog & duck herding at Winton House.
Herding ducks at Winton House.

“We had Shetland Pony rides, Segway tours, house tours, face painting, line dancing, and a timely visit by an ice cream van. Our staff were offered drinks on arrival, and we had a hog roast barbecue at lunchtime which was really well received.

“People were able to dip in and out of the activities as they pleased and there was no pressure to participate. Team Challenge kept staff enthusiastic without being intrusive, which is why we love to use them.

“The activities package that Team Challenge put together was hand picked by the Social Committee.

“They were all really well received by our staff and their friends and families.  The Dog and Duck Herding was entertaining and really good fun.

“The food at our barbecue was fantastic and everyone commented on the quality and quantity.  Very often the food at company away-days can be disappointing, but this really wasn’t the case at Winton.  The sweets were well received too.”

Did your event at Winton meet your expectations? 

“It more than met my expectations.  The team at Winton were not at all precious about the house, and the tours were well attended and enjoyed by our staff.

“Into the bargain what started out as a misty and slightly miserable morning changed late morning into a heat wave – the sunshine ensured the success of our day!

“The staff at Winton are fantastic. There’s plenty of space for children to run around and burn off steam. The house itself is spectacular and its proximity to Edinburgh is also a plus.”

Space hoppers in the walled garden at Winton House.
Space hoppers in the walled garden!

“I’ve already got lots of ideas for what we want to do at Winton next year, and I know that nothing I suggest will faze the Events Team.

“I would highly recommend Winton House to business associates,” Carole Mearns concludes.

“I thought the venue and staff were welcoming and patient. I think it was pitch perfect overall. A great day and ordering the sun was a masterstroke. I wasn’t there last year but sounds like there were more activities for kids this year and enough for adults to do (or not do) as they wanted. Hopefully, there were a lot of grateful parents with exhausted children.” Cairn Energy employee.

“A superb occasion; very well run and very well conceived. Bus journey was not too long.  Day did not last too long, could be a little shorter perhaps. Good variety of events, and not press ganged into any, which helped me relax! Good food and free ice cream, always a winner.  Many thanks to you all for an excellent day out.” Cairn Energy employee.