On the 16th of June, The Holly Lodge Centre hosted a magical ‘Woodland Wine Tasting’ event. Thirty guests were warmly greeted with a refreshing glass of champagne as they entered the nature trail - the perfect setting for an evening soiree!

With expert guidance from Ben Thornton-Smith, a sommelier from ‘The Good Wine Shop’, we were treated to a selection of premium wines which were perfectly matched to English speciality cheeses from ‘The Teddington Cheese’ shop.  Between each flight we were further spoilt with delicious charcuterie meats from the ‘Valentina Delicatessen’ in East Sheen and ‘Sicily’ restaurant in Victoria - a perfect way to cleanse the palette!

Our Centre Manager, Anna and James, the Chair of Trustees, welcomed our guests and provided context about the wonderful and unique work that is done at our centre.  Guests were also invited to enjoy a stroll along the nature trail and to peer inside the sensory dipping boxes to find some surprises – lots of giggles could be heard when the frog spawn bubble blowers were discovered!

We would like to thank the amazing team of volunteers who planned and delivered this hugely enjoyable and successful evening.  Anne, Caroline, Sue and Moira made things run so seamlessly and we appreciate all their hard work and time spent on making this such a memorable night.

We received an abundance of compliments form our happy guests who eagerly await news of the next event!   One guest reported that ‘My husband and I had the most amazing evening, it truly was the most magical experience in such a stunning location. The outstanding wines were expertly explained and we were looked after by the friendliest team who volunteer at this unique centre. Nicest time we have had in a long time, please do more!’ Another happy guest told us ‘I had an amazing, fun evening of wine and cheese tasting in this very special outdoor environment, a little secret gem in Richmond Park. I also had an unexpected treat of being taken around the wonderful sensory trail, I even got to blow my own frog spawn!’

Plans for the August event are already afoot.. gin lovers prepare yourself!

A special thank you to Ben and to the following local shops who gave such generous donations: