Elmore Court

Highlighting best practice as a representative in The Parliamentary Review

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Elmore Court is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.


OwnerAnselm Guise
The south front of
Elmore Court
Elmore Court is among England’s oldest family homes, with
the Guise family inhabiting it since 1262. In 2007, Anselm
Guise’s uncle Sir John passed away, and it fell into his
generation with a considerable inheritance tax bill. Accordingly
dishevelled due to a determination to keep the property
culturally more Edwardian than 21stcentury, Anselm set about
restoring the property and transforming it into a wedding
venue. Below, he tells
The Parliamentary Review
more about the
space that has been specially curated and how they managed
the unprecedented challenge of Covid-19.
Fast forward to 2021, and it is now one of the UK’s leading catered wedding and
events venues with accommodation, and we are incredibly proud of our
achievement in getting it here. We have built a reputation for putting on big really
fun highly professional weddings, celebrations and parties.
A large grade II historical house comes with all sorts of challenges in terms of
maintenance, and since becoming custodians we have renovated and restored the
entire property. As well as that, we have built an entirely new event space using
sustainable estate materials. The walls have a rammed earth design, using soil
from the adjacent field, fully equipped kitchens, biomass heat generation plants
and more. The grounds and gardens have been restored, and this year, we have
successfully made headway in bringing our walled garden back to life.
»Owner:Anselm Guise
»Established in 1262
(as a venue in 2013)
»Based inElmore,
»Services: Exclusive use
weddings and events venue
»No. of employees:
Pre pandemic 80, currently 12
Elmore Court
Highlighting best practice
A uniquely challenging set of
In 2020, the impact of Covid-19 on
us has been harsh. At the start of
the year, we had successfully created
a business with a core full-time
workforce of more than 20 brilliant
people and a further 60 ancillary
members of the team. We had every
weekend booked as well as many
midweek days with weddings and
other events. There were exciting plans
to continue the growth of the business
out into the wider estate to produce
low-impact food via regenerative
farming practices as well as a more
nature-driven rewilding project.
By the skin of our teeth, those dreams
are still alive though now all the
ancillary staff have been lost and the
core team has dropped to 12. Our
couples and clients have for the most
part accepted postponements rather
than look to cancel, which is a relief
and for which we are very grateful, but
it has meant, bar the occasional 30 or
15-person wedding, we have had very
little income to keep the place going.
Our hope is that by mid-2021 we will
be able to get back to doing what
The issue we have is that the
postponements have jumped into
an already full diary; weddings are
booked up to two years in advance,
and the longer this goes on for, the
more postponements there are. The
result is that when a solution to the
pandemic is found, we will likely
move quickly from being quiet to
madly busy, and all our resources –
the team, the property and all systems
– need to be robust, healthy and
ready to go. This all has a significant
cost and a cost that is not going to be
met with income until things get back
to some sort of normality. It is scary
not knowing how long this situation
will go on for.
We are, of course, all grateful for
the furlough scheme and have taken
a considerable CBILS loan to keep
things going. However, as a sector
we feel forgotten, and some of the
generosity given to hospitality has not
gone quite far enough. For example,
the five per cent VAT scheme does
not apply to venue hire. There also
seemed to be a disconnect with the
restrictions on gatherings and the
reality of what was happening on the
ground, particularly last summer. It
was all rather brutal.
The Gillyflower laid out
in all it’s splendour
We have built
an entirely
new event
space using
What we do best
We, at Elmore Court, pride ourselves
on giving people an experience that
exceeds their expectations. We put
that customer service at the forefront
of what we do, and everyone who
works here knows that going the
extra mile is part of our DNA. We have
successfully worked with our local
community, local government and
council, and built into the business
model is our having enough capacity
to get to the smaller items and those
details that make all the difference.
Last year was supposed to be a bit
of milestone. When we set out on
this journey in 2012, the idea was for
the business to be as sustainable as
possible. The Gillyflower – our specially
designed and fitted events space –
was built with this ethos, and our
heating uses biomass from managed
estate woodlands. The food and
catering needed more time, and this
year we would have really started to
crack it. There had been considerable
investment into all of this, and not
having had a chance yet to see that
magic has been gutting.
It is, we think, important that those
things you are passionate about are
injected into the things you work
on. For us, we wanted to prove that
we could make a profitable business
without compromising our values.
We had made great headway into
achieving this, by creating a place for
fun and celebration and even a bit of
decadence with little impact on our
environment, while at the same time
looking after our heritage. Our hope is
that we can seamlessly return to that
journey soon.
We put that
customer service
at the forefront
of what we do,
and everyone
who works here
knows that
going the extra
mile is part of
our DNA
Canapes from the kitchen


This article was sponsored by Elmore Court. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it.