Name: Alexandra Verney
Job title: Managing Partner, Events & Visitor Attractions
What’s your role at Claydon Estate?
Working alongside my husband, Nicholas, we manage the diverse enterprises run here at Claydon Estate. Although we work together on a strategic level, on a day-to-day basis, we oversee different areas of the business – a wise move for a happy marriage! My focus is on securing and expanding our parkland and garden events, from festivals and rallies, to fayres, weddings, and corporate retreats. I oversee the arrangements at Claydon Courtyard, our hub of local independent businesses including our in-house eatery The Phoenix Kitchen, our courtyard private hire venue The Stables, two holiday cottages, and next in the pipeline, a playground. The public facing side of Claydon Estate goes hand in hand with collaborations including Embers glamping in the park, the National Trust at Claydon House, and marketing.
Describe your perfect day here!
Without doubt, an event day. I always enjoy seeing the fruition of many months of hard work where every department has played its part – from our landscape team who look after our event spaces so well, to our events, operational and catering staff who all have an integral role to play. Not only that, but it is a joy to see the place abuzz with activity and lots of happy visitors.
In your role, what are you most looking forward to over the next few months?
Am I allowed to mention Christmas yet…? ‘Christmas at Claydon’ is particularly close to my heart as the Christmas trees we sell here are all grown up in the Highlands of Scotland at my family home, Novar Estate. I very much enjoy working to build a truly family business at this happy time of year and see great potential to create a festive destination here.
What interests/hobbies do you have?
I adore foraging (I am from Scotland after all). Whether mushrooms, berries, nuts, herbs, or even flowers, there is always something to be foraged and harvested at almost any time of the year. I also love to cook and am always up for a recipe exchange.
Finally, what’s your favourite film or book, and why?
I am a prolific reader, so much so that it is impossible to pick a favourite. There is one film however that is rather special to me – and I’m going to take a leap of faith here that I’m not setting myself up for public ridicule… As a child of the 80s I had a vivid imagination and Ioved magic, fantasy, adventure… and David Bowie. Labyrinth was the childhood movie jackpot and still makes me laugh out loud today. I’m not embarrassed to admit that our loving Labrador is named after the big friendly red-haired monster of little brain but big heart – Ludo.