A Taste of Kentish Life

Myself and Sarah Jeffery with Melissa Jacques at the GTOA AGM

Myself and Sarah Jeffery with Melissa Jacques at the GTOA AGM

I and my colleague Sarah Jeffery were delighted to attend this year’s Group Travel Organisers’ Association AGM and Conference weekend in Ashford at the end of January. A regular event on the GTO calendar, the three-day programme was one of the best yet, with Visit Kent doing a fine job organising a choice of familiarisation trips.
I got to enjoy a tour of the Shepherd Neame Brewery, somewhere I have always wanted to go but never had the chance until now. I can highly recommend the guided visit here, which ends with a tutored tasting, and gives you a real insight into the background of the oldest family-run brewers in the country and their brewing methods. Brogdale Farm was also part of this trip and our group enjoyed a fascinating talk about the literally thousands of different fruit varieties that are grown here – the largest collection in the world.

King Henry II from Dover Castle takes time for a picture in Ashford.

King Henry II from Dover Castle takes time for a picture in Ashford.

The regular exhibition that takes place during the weekend was bustling with GTOA members and local attractions, including a royal resident from Dover Castle, as you can see in the picture above! We were also treated to an excellent display of vocal talent from Melissa Jacques, one of the original West End cast members from Mamma Mia!, as part of the event.