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Hand Picked Hotels is set to host five fascinating South African dining experiences, complete with expert speakers from the worlds of horticulture, wine and hospitality.

This May, Hand Picked Hotels is set to host a series of unforgettable events at a selection of its country house hotels across the UK and the Channel Islands. Diners can join Guy and Julia Hands, founders of Hand Picked Hotels for a magical celebration of South African food, wine and horticulture, featuring a sumptuous dinner, as well as informative talks from renowned experts. 

One of the highlights of the event series is a captivating talk by world-renowned horticulturalist Corné Pretorius, who has travelled all the way from South Africa to share his expertise. Corné’s Riebeek Valley Garden Centre is home to one of only two rare Baobab trees in the Western Cape, and his inspirational talk delving into the “magic of South African planting” will provide insights into using indigenous, eco-friendly South African plants to future-proof gardens in the UK. 

As a tribute to Corné’s enchanting guide, guests at the event will be treated to a menu of traditional South African dishes including, an exquisitely finished rack of lamb, pearl barley risotto, chimichurri and sweet potato Malva pud all expertly complemented by wines from the award-winning sustainable winery, Creation Wines. 

Carolyn Martin, founder of Creation Wines, will guide guests through a wine-tasting tour of Walker Bay and share the vineyard’s philosophy of “enhancing the beauty of nature” within their delectable wines, as well as talking about ‘biodiversity and its impact on fine wine.”

Hosted in-person by Guy and Julia Hands, the evening showcases Hand Picked Hotels’ commitment to adopting sustainable horticultural practices across its gardens, as well as its exemplary culinary offering. 

Events will take place between 23 – 28 May 2023 across five of Hand Picked Hotels’ 21 country house estates with either a lunch or dining experience available.* 

Tickets to the dinners at Fawsley Hall Hotel & Spa (Northamptonshire)l, New Hall Hotel & Spa (Warwickshire) and Nutfield Priory Hotel & Spa (Surrey) cost £120pp. Tickets to the lunches at Grand Jersey Hotel & Spa (Jersey) and St Pierre Park, Hotel, Spa & Golf Resort (Guernsey) cost £75pp. 

Diners looking to expand their Hand Picked Hotels experiences can book a stay in one of the hotels’ elegant rooms and suites – the perfect way to complete an evening of culinary and horticultural discovery. 

This event series will be the first of Hand Picked Hotels’ upcoming range of captivating topical events, which connect guests with cultures, arts and passions through exceptional and immersive experiences.

Hand Picked Hotels owner and CEO, Julia Hands commented, “The Hand Picked experience is all about exceptional food and wine, beautiful country house settings, carefully curated gardens and unique events designed to create magical memories for our guests. This is the first of many immersive events we are developing to further enhance the exceptional experiences we offer, and we look forward to welcoming guests to more unique events across the rest of the year.”

For more information on the event, to book tickets or find out more about the hotels, please visit

*Subject to location and availability

Events will take place at these locations and dates:

  • Tuesday 23rd May New Hall Hotel & Spa, Warwickshire | Dinner from 7pm, £120pp 
  • Wednesday 24th May Fawsley Hall Hotel & Spa, Northamptonshire | Dinner from 7pm, £120pp 
  • Thursday 25th May Nutfield Priory Hotel & Spa, Surrey | Dinner from 7pm, £120pp 
  • Saturday 27th May Grand Jersey Hotel & Spa, Jersey | Lunch from 12.30pm, £75pp
  • Sunday 28th May St Pierre Park, Hotel, Spa & Golf Resort Guernsey | Lunch from 12.30pm, £75pp

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