It all started on a cold February day in 2012 when Anne-Marie was deep in thought as to where this years Area 1 Christmas Lunch could be held; it had to have the sparkle of Hampton Court Palace but the historical motor interest as in Brooklands and hey presto, in a flash she knew where it was going to be. She immediately rang to book the venue for 100 people and thought she had struck gold when she was told that they also had the James Bond Exhibition on show and entry for the Exhibition and Beaulieu was included in the price.
Mails flew out at lightning speed to members and by September we had the 100 people. However, as usual, when more came forward, Anne-Marie increased the number to 150 and on the day, which was a bright and crisp winter day, we had 140 in attendance of which 100 were from Area 1 and the remainder from various other areas.
We commenced proceedings with a convoy of twelve cars from Fleet Services and achieved considerable admiring glances from other passing motorists. Parking was granted to us in the Arena area and the general public was treated to an absolute feast of 43 beauties ranging from DB2/4’s through to the very last of the carbon addition DBS and everything in between.
We spent a couple of hours walking around The National Motor Museum which houses a unique collection of over 250 vehicles that tell the story of motoring in Britain from the 1890’s to the present day, and also visiting the Bond in Motion exhibition which housed the largest official collection of James Bond vehicles the world has ever seen. In all there were 50 vehicles to celebrate fifty years of 007 movies providing a great talking point over lunch.
At the heart of Beaulieu lies the Domus, part of historic Beaulieu Abbey. With its stone walls, beamed ceiling and open fire, the Domus provided a unique and enchanting atmosphere for a Christmas lunch.
After a glass of bubbly or Kir Royale we ascended the stairs into the dining area which looked absolutely beautiful with the wooden beams, candles and the biggest log fire I have ever seen blazing away. I have to say it was an absolutely stunning room with the tables all set. We then enjoyed a three course meal prepared by Leith’s who specialise in providing catering and hospitality at many prestigious venues throughout the Country. Leith’s has been awarded Food & Beverage Supplier of the Year at the Meeting & Incentive Travel Magazine Awards for three years running from 2007. We then rounded off our meal with mince pies and coffee.
Tim then rounded off what we feel was a perfect day with a speech and raffle which raised £1,250 for Headley Court Rehabilitation Unit which is situated in Area 1’s locality and as well as funds raised through AMOC Tim also holds bacon butty mornings occasionally at his workshop in Cobham to raise further funds. The day finished at approximately 4.30pm and Anne-Marie now has her thinking cap on as to where she goes next – I think she has a hard act to follow!