My Suffolk Weekend: Christine Bond
PUBLISHED: 10:43 22 December 2010 | UPDATED: 18:19 20 February 2013
Christine Bond, commercial manager at Trinity Park, home of the Suffolk Show, and one of the region's leading conference and events centres, tells us how she spends her weekends in the county
Christine Bond, commercial manager at Trinity Park, home of the Suffolk Show, and one of the regions leading conference and events centres, tells us how she spends her weekends in the county
As commercial manager at Trinity Park my work often involves working at weekends which is a feature of my career and so is part of our life. Working in F&B (Food and Beverages) for the past 25 years I quickly realised that conferencing and event management is 24/7, so am used to integrating play into work and vice versa at weekends.
At this time of year I love all the Christmas activities and while we have developed a talented and dedicated events team capable of staging any demanding occasion, I like to be there to support them.
This Christmas our chef and his team are undertaking all the party catering, which is a big responsibility, so I will be behind the scenes supporting him and helping ensure all our guests enjoy an unforgettable evening whether it is a Friday or Saturday night or during the week meanwhile leaving my daughter a lengthy to-do list for Christmas!
I am not a control freak, I just like to be involved. Occasions like the the pop-up Boden and Puffa sales and the plant and flower shows interest me, so like any other Suffolk mum with a daughter who loves to shop, once shes finished playing sport at weekends well quite often come in for a look.
David my husband and I decided to make the move to Suffolk in 1992. Both of us had done our stint in London working in related industries, and we wanted to share our love of the countryside and rural activities with our daughter Charlotte, now 14.
For many years I was a long distance commuter while still running conferencing and events for the Royal Society of Arts. Now driving along the road into Trinity Park especially at this time of year as the leaves are changing colour and we have some wonderful frosts, I cannot think of any more attractive working environment.
Weekends for us as a family are frantic, but also a very precious time as we both work long and frequently anti-social hours and really need to plan time together.
Christmas is my real two days off and fortunately for me always filled with celebration and surprises, which I love. Living with a chef has its rewards.
David is the general manager at Bawdsey Manor, so often works a major part of the weekend. As food is such a major part of our lives and we live in a county that is full of wonderful places to eat, and people who grow wonderful produce, we try to have at least one meal each weekend in a local pub or restaurant. Often this is Friday night when we chill out with our friends, many of whom live in the Southwold area, for a leisurely catch up over supper.
Being a hockey-mum, Saturdays are usually an early start getting Charlotte and her fellow school players to a match.
I love to encourage her in sport and am impressed by her love of hockey and enjoyment of being physically fit. She plays for Suffolk under 15s as well as her school and being on the sidelines gives me a chance to catch up with the other parents.
If theres no hockey we head off with David and the labradors Sam, Hector and Hugo out shooting. We have a wide network of friends involved in agriculture and enjoy getting some exercise and fresh air away from offices and kitchens.
As Woodbridge School parents we like to be involved in supporting school activities, including the wonderful Seckford Theatre which continues to have a great line-up of entertainment, so on Saturday nights we frequently take in a play or concert and feel relieved we are not having to travel into the West End to enjoy some culture.
We also feel passionately about supporting local charities that benefit so many people in the county, so if there is a Suffolk Foundation or Suffolk Punch Trust ball or event at Trinity Park, well be there.
Sunday is our real chill-out day but one where three strong personalities in the family all have their own ideas for activities so weve found a perfect solution. A long wind-swept walk with the dogs on Dunwich beach, at Snape Maltings or Aldeburgh keeps the four-legged members of the family and me happy, while the chance to pop into Butchers for another great tweed jacket or pair of trousers suits my husbands need for retail therapy and Charlotte, despite having a chef for a father, loves fish and chips from the Aldeburgh chippie.
Sunday night we all eat together. David cooks and at this time of year it is usually something that he has shot himself and roasted. Then well light a fire, sit down and read the weekend papers and round off the day relaxing watching the television weve all been hooked on Downton Abbey.
Christmas is my real two days off and fortunately for me always filled with celebration and surprises, which I love. Living with a chef has its rewards. Charlotte and I will spend Christmas Eve frantically looking for the tree decorations, now re-housed since we developed the house, and attempting to get the tree straight in the bucket! David will cook for the family on Christmas Day .and Boxing Day, as it is also my birthday, is always one big surprise.
Christine Bond is commercial manager at Trinity Park, the 300 acre parkland home of the Suffolk Show that includes the RIBA-award winning conference and events centre, the Trinity Rooms, outdoor cattle buildings and a caravan site.
She can be contacted at Trinity Park Events on 01473 707121.