Team Activity Day April 2024

Team Activity Day April 2024


Wednesday 17th April saw the Oval Team get together for our second quarterly review of 2024. 


Tim formally welcomed our new Oval team member Geoff Bowman before delivering a presentation outlining the business position and performance during the first quarter of 2024.


Nicola led a discussion about ways to maximise our use of our recruitment database and other recruitment tools to ensure we are all making the best use of the range of facilities that are available to our consultants at Oval.  Alicia then led a discussion on maximising our use of business marketing.  Everyone contributed their ideas on how they could best make use of the large variety of both print & digital marketing services & tools available to them.  Finally Clayton led a discussion on our business processes and how improved data capture techniques can help ensure our service is as efficient as possible.


Tim then discussed our current business strengths & weaknesses and looked ahead to Oval targets & focus areas for 2024.  The team recognised the exciting opportunities ahead and came up with lots of ideas & suggestions to enhance the services we offer to both our clients & candidates.  An action plan was produced that will ensure we are constantly innovating and adapting to our clients & candidates’ needs & defining the future of recruitment excellence.




Our Team Activity afternoon for our Q2 Meeting was a visit to Wellbeck Abbey Brewery with brewery tour and Cheese & Beer tasting.


We arrived to meet our friendly & very knowledgeable Head Brewster & General Manager, Claire Monk, who gave us a warm welcome & explained what we would be doing.  She explained the brewing ingredients and process and let us sample some of the raw ingredients followed by a short tour of the brewery facilities.         


Next it was on to the important part - the cheese & beer tasting!  The four pairings were:


  1. Skylight & Parmesan
    • The Beer: Skylight
      • 4.4%ABV. Crisp and lightly floral Continental pale
      • The Victorian 5th Duke of Portland was renowned for creating an extensive network of underground passages and rooms beneath the Welbeck estate. Many of these structures were lit through clever use of skylights rather than just lamplight.
      • Skylight is the palest of our beers, brewed with crisp British-grown lager malt. The continental hops used make this a bright and fresh lager-style beer with light floral and grassy tones.
    • The Cheese: Parmesan
      • This Parmigiano-Reggiano is delicious: a cheese with a deeply savoury and brothy flavour, balanced by a rich fruity sweetness and a luscious texture.
      • Made with raw cow's milk and animal rennet.
  2. Georgiana & Swaledale

    • The Beer: Georgiana

      • ABV 3.7%. Session IPA

      • Georgiana Cavendish (1757-1806) was the Duchess of Devonshire over at Chatsworth House, and related to the family at Welbeck by marriage. The Portland Collection holds a beautiful portrait of the illustrious Georgiana, a fashion icon and real socialite of her time. Ever the party girl, Georgiana was loved for her kindness and generosity and was the centre of attention at every gathering.

      • This highly drinkable platinum-blonde beer has a bright, crisp flavour reminiscent of lime zest and grapefruit. We think this would have been Georgiana’s beer of choice, keeping her company late into the night.

    • The Cheese: Swaledale

      • British farmhouse territorial cheese made since 1987 in Yorkshire with pasteurised milk. Suitable for vegetarians.

      • The cheese is soft and creamy with delicate notes of nuttiness and a savoury flavour. The mouthfeel is rich, with milk notes and a suggestion of sweetness balanced by a clean, yoghurty lactic finish.

  3. Red Feather & Lincolnshire Poacher

    • The Beer: Red Feather

      • 3.9% ABV. Auburn ale with hints of caramel and walnut.

      • Red Feather takes its inspiration from the emblem of Welbeck and its crossed red feathers, which represent pride in the estate’s heritage and entrepreneurial spirit.

      • Red Feather is a robust auburn ale. Plenty of crystal malt gives this beer a rich colour and combination of bold walnut and bitter-sweet caramel flavours.

    • The Cheese: Lincolnshire Poacher

      • Unpasteurised cow’s milk and traditional animal rennet. Made by Simon & Tim Jones and Richard Tagg near Alford, Lincolnshire.

      • A rich, long-lasting flavour with sweet nutty notes and a sharp tang that sometimes tastes a bit like pineapples. The texture is smooth, close, dense and creamy.

  4. Duchess & Stichelton
    • Duchess 8.4% Belgian-style Golden Beer
      • The Duchesses as a collective of women have been highly influential philanthropists, avid collectors, and naturalists. This beer is a homage to all the celebrated women of Welbeck and those that are yet to be discovered. If you look skyward, you will see an enigmatic architectural Duchess portrait dotted around the estate buildings.
      • This luxurious beer has sweet fig and raisin aromas which dominate initially, followed by a robust, sherry-like richness. Heritage Chevallier malt imparts caramel biscuit tones, and is supported by subtle herbal flavours from Phoenix hops. Fermentation with a classic Abbey yeast gives this beer fruity-ester flavour.
    • The Cheese: Stichelton
      • Made by Joe Schneider and his team right here on the Welbeck Estate.
      • A juicy acidity and toasty, biscuity notes toward the rind are the hallmarks of Stichelton, though the range of flavours this soft, creamy raw milk blue can exhibit is extraordinary: from crisp green apple right through to beef stock umami.




We were all surprised how much we enjoyed the combination of the beers & cheese as none of us had ever tried anything like this.  We all enjoyed discussing our favourite combinations and using the flavour/tasting wheel to pick out the different aromas of the beers & cheese.       

We then headed back to the office to catch up with calls & emails before an enjoyable end to our team update day in The Crown Hotel, Bawtry & Robata Restaurant .  It was great to have an activity that is so relevant to our industry and  what we do plus we all found the insights Claire and her team gave us invaluable.  We're excited about exciting innovations in the food & drink industry and ready for the work ahead.  Here’s to a fantastic Q2!