At Huntsham Court we are all about being the best and most flexible Devon party, wedding or civil partnership venue in the South West and facilitating a luxury and relaxed grandeur; but trying to do it in a responsible way in terms of sustainability, environmental responsibility and localism.
All our water comes from our private well pumping water from the water table right under the house. We then purify and filter it so that every tap in the house pours top quality mineral water with no chemical additions- whether it’s for your bath or drinking water.
As you can imagine with 35 bedrooms and large parties we get through a lot of towels, bedding and linen all needing laundry. Almost all our laundry is processed by Buckleigh Linen Services who are recognised nationally as one of the most energy efficient laundries in the country. The have a huge emphasis on building efficiency with a purpose built facility harnessing natural light and heat. For a great many years all of Buckleigh’s water came from its own wells and, together with water recycling and heat extraction from the waste effluence, it ensures the best and most efficient use of this resource.
We have about 500 lightbulbs in the building from huge chandeliers to floodlights and ambient side lighting. We are in a 10 year programme to convert all our visible bulbs to LED bulbs and concealed bulbs to low energy fluorescent bulbs so the lighting will still look pretty but will also reduce our lighting energy consumption by 90% compared to standard incandescent bulbs. With some of the specialist bulbs retailing at £40 each it is no small investment.
We recycle wherever and whenever possible so have a special rubbish collection system that recycles as much a we can which includes about 20,000 glass bottles a year. Also, instead of landfilling we send all our old bedding to pet rescue and rehoming centres; we donate left over canned goods to food banks; and help the homeless where we can.
We have an amazing team at Huntsham Court and our principle is very much driven by four factors: (1) providing a life work balance commitment for our team (2) nurturing people to find the best fit for them and us (3)sharing and development of skills (4) source local people as much as possible to bring revenue into the area. In real terms this means that we have a huge spectrum of people with different skills and we take huge effort in trying to give them opportunity, access to bettering their skill set where they want to develop and us being flexible around their family and other commitments whilst providing clients with the consistency, reliability and expertise of a professional service delivered on time.
With any historic building their is a quicker and cheaper way of doing something or a better long term solution which inevitably is more expensive. In the end the house when we took ownership was very rundown and we feel that as custodians of one of Devon’s finest Victorian buildings we have a responsibility to both the building and our clients to secure this piece of heritage for years to come. As much as is financially possible we also try to find solutions which are the most appropriate long term fixes. To that end we have a reinvestment policy at Huntsham so that we are always doing both repair and preventative works such as replacing like for like lead work on the roof, improving our wiring and fire precaution and monitoring equipment or restoring the interior decoration.