This year’s HME summer social took place at Denbies Wine Estate in Dorking. The Denbies vineyard was planted in 1986 and has now become one of the largest wine producers in the whole of the UK. 

The team enjoyed a few bubbles in the office before setting off in the late afternoon to make the most of the August sunshine. Special mention to bus trip quiz winners Quiz Queens (Chloe, Megan, Tom and Guy). They had some challenging categories to contend with, such as a broad general knowledge round, music, drinks advertising slogans and a picture round. Rather embarrassingly, one of the highest scoring rounds was a ‘Love Island’ round – perhaps it’s better to label the category ‘popular culture’ and keep things vague.

Upon arrival at Denbies, we took a train ride through the vineyard and soaked up the views ahead of soaking up some wine. Against the backdrop of panoramic views of the rolling Surrey hills, we listened to the history of the vineyard and the family behind it. Denbies has been graced with royal visits and subsequent prestigious plantings and we also discovered it is not only home to England’s first Sauvignon Blanc but also the surprising resting place of a rare WW2 tank that was recently excavated. 

The train stopped at a scenic spot in view of the family home and with a perfect vantage point to enjoy the warming sunshine, the breath-taking views and of course, (a) great company! The team toasted and celebrated with delicious canapés and award winning sparkling cuvee before taking a trip to The Gallery for a scrumptious three-course dinner, more wine, plenty of gin and more views of a thriving vineyard perfectly framed by stoic trees, sunset and birdsong. 

The question now is where the next social will be!

Devneet Toor