June started with pizza-making at Gusto in Oxford with ten B4 Platinum Members creating some delightful and some rather questionable pizzas under the watchful eye of Gusto’s pizza expert! Robert Pinheiro of Mills & Reeve was our ‘Pizza Master’ earning himself his very own Gusto apron – well done Robert! We then enjoyed a BDM Ecosystem at B4 with the fantastic Rick Mower of RAW who mesmerised guests with a fascinating insight into the great work that the team at RAW do for the likes of GAIL’s and Goldman Sachs.
For the second year running we had our Summer Platinum Dinner at The Yurt at Nicholsons hosted by Director of Plants, Merlin Brooke-Little. Guests enjoyed a sunset tour of the beautiful nursery and learned all about Nicholson’s sustainability practices from our host, followed by a delicious meal in The Yurt. We will be returning in 2024. Talking of returns we returned to the wonderful roof terrace at Courtyard by Marriott later in June where our host, Christina Irons, explained more about the opportunities for businesses looking to engage with the hotel and plans for the future.
Our Members lunches at Brasserie Blanc have been hugely popular this year and our special guest in June was Heather Cater of Blenheim Palace. Heather gave our guests a detailed insight into life at Blenheim as we all enjoyed yet another first class meal courtesy of our hosts Jon and Georgina. AI is possibly THE hottest topic at the moment for businesses and B4 Platinum Members, Oxford Brookes, hosted the fist B4 Lecture in The Manor House in Headington (former home of Robert Maxwell) which was sponsored by Freeths. Thank you to our guest speakers for revealing more about AI’s origins and future.
For those of you with a taste for the finer things in life, do try to get along to our event at Hundred Hills Vineyard next year. This year was our first visit but an absolute treat with owner and winemaker Stephen Duckett hosting us impeccably with wife Fiona and their wonderful team including Rupert and Lauren. Lee Baker of Wenn Townsend was the host for our first Finance Ecosystem at his offices in St Giles. This was a lively roundtable discussion which focused on skills shortages, interest rate rises and much more. Webinars haven’t featured too heavily on the B4 events calendar this year but Oxford Brookes and Enistic hosted a fascinating online discussion which focused on how sustainability and net zero can impact your business.
To round off our events before we took a break in August, we held the first B4 Platinum Quarterly in the beautiful Clementine’s on the south lawn at Blenheim Palace. Over 100 Oxfordshire business leaders including Platinum Members and their guests enjoyed a tasty breakfast, excellent conversation and an open and honest speech from our first guest speaker, Dominic Hare, CEO of Blenheim. It really was a wonderful event and we’re delighted to confirm that all four B4 Platinum Quarterlies will be taking place at Blenheim, with the next one scheduled for November 8th where our guest speakers will be Nigel Tipple, CEO of Oxfordshire LEP and Liz Nicholson, Managing Director of Nicholsons.
Thank you to Tina for organising such a fantastic line up of events, to our hosts for accommodating us and to everyone who came along and hopefully enjoyed themselves.
We’re back in September with a full calendar of events starting at Daylesford in Oxfordshire and the Sabrina Boat BBQ and Drinks in Shropshire. For a full list of future events, please visit www.b4-business.com/event/.