Find out more about our Managing Director Naomi Cornelius-Reid from her recent interview with Hampshire Living.
What would be your perfect day out in Hampshire?
It would start with a good lay in on a miraculous day when the children don’t wake up with the lark! We’d have a late breakfast of eggs benedict in or around Stockbridge. The Longstock Park Farm Shop, is a regular haunt but I’m dying to try out the newly renovated Grosvenor Hotel on the main street. Then we’d swing into Winchester for a spot of browsing and maybe a little retail therapy – I find it hard to resist the wonders of the Hambledon. Then there’s all the lovely clothing stores and independent boutiques...
I’d definitely come home via Fickle Pickle just at Cottonworth, which is only open at weekends but is the best hidden gem I know for fabulous interior finds. We’d round off the day with a stroll in the Stockbridge water meadows before heading home to a roaring log fire.
What would you say is the finest view in Hampshire?
I have been walking up and around Danebury Hill all my life. This iron age hillfort is my favourite and some of my earliest memories are of playing there in the autumn leaves on sunny afternoons. These days I enjoy bringing my own family and dog here, to clamber up the hill and enjoy the uninterrupted, sweeping 360 views as we walk around the top of the ring and back down through the fields. The views out over the surrounding countryside are always breath taking, but especially in the late afternoon sun this time of year.
What is your proudest achievement?
I’m incredibly proud of our business and the wonderful people we support. Working in care is demanding but immensely rewarding and I have grown up with and have a huge appreciation for the elderly. The lives lived and the stories to be told are often times inspiring, always moving. To be a part of a company which cares for those who have given so much, and to work with such a fantastic group of people, some who have been with us for 30 years, feels very special. To be leading the company into its 50th year is amazing and I look forward to the next 50!
Who has been your inspiration?
Without a shadow of a doubt my mother. A true pioneer and force of nature. She was living proof that anything is possible if you set your mind to it and are prepared to work hard to achieve it.
Where is your favourite place to eat in the county?
The Hawk at Amport is a family favourite. We’ve done some serious Sunday lunch research over the years and we covet theirs above all others. It’s cosy and charming inside in winter and wonderful to eat out on the terrace overlooking the meadow (running down to the river) in summer. The atmosphere, setting and service are just right and we have spent many, many happy afternoons and enjoyable evenings dining out here.
Many famous faces hail from Hampshire, who do you think is the county’s favourite son or daughter and why?
If you asked my two small, machine-obsessed, little boys they would say the creator of Thomas The Tank Engine, Rev Wilbur Awdry. In fact, it’s not only my boys who are grateful for the joy he has brought to small children. However, as a book lover myself, I’d have to run with Charles Dickens.
If you had to summarise the county in one word what would it be?