How honoured were WE? Organising the Opening Ceremony of the Peony Pavilion…complete with Ministers and Chinese dignitaries.

When your speaker line-up includes the Rt Hon Jeremy Wright MP, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport; Rt Hon Nadhim Zahawi MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children and Families; Lord Hertford and ministerial representatives from the People’s Republic of China and Jiangxi Provincial CPPCC. And the opening ceremony is outside, in a park, in England with performers, musicians and live translations. Well, you take one very big gulp…and crack on!

OK. So, how come all these very important people were coming to a park in Stratford upon Avon? I’ll rewind a little for you. It’s quite a story.

Shakespeare’s Birthplace and Shakespeare’s New Place will be completely and accurately re-created in the People’s Republic of China under an exclusive Co-operation Agreement between the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and Fuzhou Culture and Tourism Investment Company Ltd. So there will soon be a mini Stratford upon Avon in China. And as a thank you, they gifted this stunning Peony Pavilion to the town.

After the last photos had been taken (and believe me, there were a LOT of photos) we took our visitors on a quick tour of Stratford-upon-Avon. Squeezing in a stop at Anne Hathaway’s cottage. With the gardens in full bloom – you just have to pause and drink in those floral scents!

WE ended their day with a Champagne Reception (kindly sponsored by Pragnell, the fine jewellers) and Friendship Dinner at Ragley Hall. The ancestral seat of the Hertford family for over 300 years, set up upon a hill just outside of Stratford with it’s far reaching views of the rolling Warwickshire countryside – we certainly ticked the ‘Best of British’ box there!

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