Cider Tours and Tipple Trails: How Rural Concierge is Building a Successful Culinary Tourism Business
Here in Herefordshire, a distinctly agricultural county in England, we have an embarrassment of riches in terms of cider and perry producers as well as wine makers, distillers and real ale producers.
The ciders and perrys of Herefordshire are an especially important draw for visitors to this area. And this, the concept of culinary tourism, the business of culinary tourism, is the subject of today’s show.
We’re going to hear from Liz Hill Hill, a tourism professional turned self-employed founder of Rural Concierge. Rural Concierge is a boutique business based in Herefordshire that puts together bespoke as well as non-bespoke guided tours, talks, holidays and days out for visitors to the Herefordshire area, as well as for local people.
A Matchmaker for Artisan Drink Producers and Their Customers
One of Rural Concierge’s specialties is trips to local artisan drink producers, particularly, but not limited, to cider and perry producers.
In this respect I think of Liz Hill as a matchmaker for drinks producers, and their customers — tourists, travellers, food and drink adventurers seeking authentic and affordable food and drink experiences that help them to engage more deeply with the local culture.
What You’ll Hear About in this Episode
In this episode of the show Liz Hill:
- describes some of the cider and perry producer tours that she has organised
- talks about how she came up with the idea of the “The Tipple Trail”
- lists some of the skills you need in order to run a successful culinary tourism business
- explains how she markets her business
- discusses how she segments her market
- describes how thinking laterally enables her to land new customers from surprising places
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Get the Show Transcript
If audio isn’t your thing, you can download a transcript of the show here: Ep #042. Rural Concierge. Cider Tours and Tipple Trails: The Business of Culinary Tourism.
You can also find the full transcript of the show at the end of this post.
Very Sound Bites from Rural Concierge
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Links Mentioned in the Show and Other Useful Links
- Rural Concierge website
- Rural Concierge on Twitter
- Visit Herefordshire
- Westons Cider
- Once Upon a Tree
- Ty Gwyn
- The Crown Inn at Woolhope
- Oliver’s Cider and Perry
- Butford Organics
- Newton Court Cider
- The Hop Pocket
- The Handmade Scotch Egg Company
- The Hop Pocket Wine Company
- Wye Valley Brewery
- Chase Vodka
- Chase Distillery
- Broadfield Court Vineyard Estate
- Tyrrell’s Crisps
- The Hereford Buttermarket
- The World Food Travel Association, a non-profit, and leading authority on culinary tourism
- Galway Food Tours
You Might Also Like…
On the show Liz mentions trips she organised to Oliver’s Cider and Perry, a world-renowned Herefordshire cider and perry producer. Tom Oliver, owner of Olive’s Cider and Perry, featured on two immensely popular episodes of this podcast, which you can listen to by following these links:
Thanks for Listening
Thanks for listening to the show. If you are a food or drink producer who would like to come on the show (it’s free) to talk about your products, or if you are an industry professional who would like to talk about your services, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me by using the Contact Form on this website or by tweeting me @FoodDrinkShow.
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Transcript of the Show
Catherine Moran: Liz Hill, founder of the Rural Concierge, welcome to The Artisan Food and Drink Business Show. Thank you very much for taking the time to talk to us today.
Liz Hill: Thank you very much for having me.
Catherine Moran: It’s a pleasure. You are in the business of creating memorable experiences for visitors to the Herefordshire area, but also for local people as well, by organising guided tours, holidays, and days out. One of the trips that you organised recently was a cider tour. Isn’t that right?
Liz Hill: Yes, yes.
Catherine Moran: That’s what I would love to talk to you about today, and I know our listeners will be interested in that. But before we talk about that, would you mind giving just a little background about what you did before setting up the Rural Concierge?
Liz Hill: I suppose I’ve got sixteen years’ experience in travel and tourism. It started originally… I trained at Hereford Tech College doing the leisure and tourism course, and then went on to be a travel agent, and I decided to… When the internet was starting, it was getting a little bit complicated for bookings, so I thought I would change my side a little bit and I went into tourism.
Then, thankfully, a job came up in Herefordshire Tourism, which is really brilliant. I thought, “Right, this is it. This is my job now.” And yet it wasn’t to be. It was within Herefordshire Council, and then all of the cuts came, so I still have this passion for on putting tours. And promoting Herefordshire through tours and itineraries has been with me for about six or seven years now. It’s been quietly building up. Yes, so the Rural Concierge started.
Catherine Moran: Right, and it’s a lovely name — the concept of concierge in the rural setting.
Liz Hill: Yes, it was a really good name. Again, I was trying to think of different names. Do I have it Herefordshire-based? I thought, “No, because I don’t want to limit it to Herefordshire because there’s so many brilliant things, especially having to do with food and drink, in the surrounding areas as well.” So when I saw this name come up, that’s it.
Catherine Moran: Yes, you grabbed it. Let’s talk about the cider tour that you organised. What was that all about?
Liz Hill: I suppose when I started looking at what was Herefordshire known for, obviously people want to come to Herefordshire and enjoy the local produce, which is mainly Herefordshire cider, and perry of course. There is a sort of drink drive element for that as well. Leaflets had been done for cider-cycling, but I thought, “Wouldn’t it be brilliant to have someone to drive around the different, less known, or not the big ones like Westons or Bulmers, but there’s also other little producers dotted around, and they’re all so different, they’ve all got their own story, to highlight that, so you can come and meet the producers.” That was my little idea.
Catherine Moran: Right, right. How many cider and perry producers did you visit? Was this a one-day thing?
Liz Hill: Yes. What I tried to do… I have got a general itinerary for first-time visitors to Herefordshire. You’ve got to go to Westons; you’ve got to go to the cider museum [in Hereford city]. Perhaps, one or two for a day, or perhaps for weekend, smaller producers, such as in the Westons area you have Once Upon a Tree and Dragon Orchard, and then you’ve got Tom Oliver, Oliver’s Cider and Perry. There you’ve got a really good mix of different producers. They have, again, different products as well, but again, you wouldn’t know that if you just knew cider, you probably would just know Stowford Press. It’s trying to educate to try different ones as well.
Catherine Moran: Do you know how many cider and perry producers there are currently in, say, the county of Herefordshire?
Liz Hill: That’s a difficult one. There are all dotted all around. There’s a few new ones that are cropping up. Ty Gwyn was the most recent one, which is on the Abergavenny road, so that’s a new one that I’ve been to visit recently.
I usually work on the Cider Route leaflet as well, so I work on that and do my itineraries around that as well.
Catherine Moran: Is the Cider Route leaflet… Was that something brought out by the Herefordshire Council Tourism Office?
Liz Hill: It was, and it’s now Visit Herefordshire, and they coordinate it. I think they’re getting a new website for it as well.
Catherine Moran: Specifically for the ciders?
Liz Hill: Yes. I think you have to because it is such a well-known thing in Herefordshire. So yeah they’re looking into that, yes.
Catherine Moran: So what happened on the day then, on the cider tour, that day that you organised, if you can remember [laughs]?
Liz Hill: It was getting a bit iffy towards the end! [laughs] No, the first one that I arranged was when I was within Visit Herefordshire, and I had a group of people… We advertised it on the Visit Herefordshire website. We had all sorts of people. The most far-flung was from America, and it was really good, a nice group of us.
We went around to Westons to start with. We saw Norman at Dragon Orchard, and he did a little tour of the orchard. It was a beautiful day with all the apple blossom in May. It was the best time to come as well. Then we had tastings of all of the different products there, and then we went to the Crown Inn at Woolhope. Matt Slocum obviously has got his pub there, and he makes his own cider and perry. He gave a little talk about the way that he makes his, and all of that side of it.
Catherine Moran: That’s for sale in the pub, is it, his own cider?
Liz Hill: Yes, he makes it there. He actually makes a sort of event of it. You can bring your apples and press them there, and obviously later, 18 months or so, you can try your own apples in a cider. Yes, he’s really good and really passionate about cider as well, it really just adds to it. All I have to do is arrange it, and then just take people to the experts. Then we went on to Tom Oliver’s and did a tour around there, and then headed back to Hereford.
Feedback was really good. I’m still in contact with the chap from America as well. He’s going to come back now, because, yes, there are other places that he can come and visit. It’s really good. It’s built up a rapport with people to come back and visit, and do other things in Herefordshire as well.
Catherine Moran: To go back to Tom Oliver, who was actually a guest on the podcast — we did two episodes, actually. An absolutely wonderful speaker.
Liz Hill: Very much so.
Catherine Moran: Yeah, he’s terrific. Tom actually has a shop on site, doesn’t he, a sort of cider-tasting room?
Liz Hill: Yes, yes.
Catherine Moran: Can you buy some of his ciders and perries there?
Liz Hill: Yes. He’s open Saturdays 10 until 4. I took a group there in October. He was sort of busy talking to them, and this, that and the other, and I ended up in the shop serving.
Catherine Moran: Oh, great!
Liz Hill: Yes, it was helpful. Yes, it was really good. Again, yes, he’s got all of his own ones there, but other people’s as well, that he sells.
Catherine Moran: Oh, okay, so a selection?
Liz Hill: A selection, yes.
Catherine Moran: Yeah, very nice.
What do you think, just from the perspective of the whole organisational skills required to run a day like that, what do you think made it as big of, it sounds like, a success? What made it successful?
Liz Hill: I think, obviously, you have to do the research; going to these different premises as well, because obviously we had a minibus, but there are places that are a bit more difficult to get to. It’s having the local knowledge, doing the research, visiting the premises, knowing the different producers and operators as well. Just discussing things through. You couldn’t do that for, example, if I was a big organisation in London, bring in a 50-seater coach, it wouldn’t really work. They don’t have the rapport built up there. That’s my unique selling point, really, the fact that I have got the local knowledge, I know the people, a lot of them are my friends as well. It works, so hopefully I’m just bringing people to the experts.
Catherine Moran: Sure, yeah. That’s exactly what the people, the consumers, want. They want the contact, don’t they?
Liz Hill: That’s it, yeah. Herefordshire is rather quirky as well, so I want them to be educated, but also they need to see the essence of Herefordshire, which is a little bit quirky. It will be something that you can go home and tell your friends and neighbours, and hopefully they’ll want to come back and want a quirky experience as well.
Catherine Moran: Yeah, of course.
What do the cider makers think of the experience of the tour?
Liz Hill: I think they enjoy having people, because obviously they’re so passionate about it as well, so they enjoying telling people about the different products and the story of how they got to where they are. Hopefully they enjoy me bringing a busload of people to them. Obviously it’s all pre-booked, so we don’t just turn up on en masse, unannounced. Yes, we all enjoy it.
Catherine Moran: How many people at a time would you take along?
Liz Hill: I think ideally probably around 20 is… That’s not all the time, because I do a lot of bespoke ones, so if there’s a family coming to visit… For example, I did my first holiday in October, they came out from Spain, and I pretty much left them to their own devices, they had a car, so I did the whole itinerary for them. I went and met with them on the first evening that they arrived, and they were just left to their own devices. I gave them OS maps, showed them where to go, found out what they were doing for each day, and left them. There were four of them. That was a really good one, and that’s what I want to build on, as well, the fact that you can come and have a Herefordshire experience, and sort of do it for yourself and find out all of the different places to go.
Catherine Moran: What about the food side of things? Have you spotted much interest in the food in Herefordshire?
Liz Hill: There is, yes. I have put an itinerary together, it’s just trying to get it at the right time. It’s probably going to be more of a harvest time, that’s probably a good time to go and experience it. I’m hoping now, when I put my holidays together, that I can put a couple of local producers in and experience… Come and meet the lamb producer, the pork and the apples, the whole experience.
Maybe it could be like Ready, Steady, Cook [a hit UK TV programme]; it could be like Ready, Steady, Cook in Herefordshire, you go around to the different producers, and then at the end you could make something, I don’t know. I’ve got ideas in there somewhere, but there are lots of different things that we can do to make it a quirky experience.
Catherine Moran: Yes, because culinary tourism is quite a bit growth area, isn’t it?
Liz Hill: It really is, yes, and I think it’s getting more, and more. Just watching the TV, there’s more and more programmes that are promoting local produce and how it’s so much better for you. Herefordshire, you’ve got to come here, haven’t you, because we’re full of it.
Catherine Moran: Yeah, yeah, it’s still a very close-to-the-land and agricultural county…
Liz Hill: Very much so. People say about sustainable tourism how green it is, but just naturally, that’s what it’s like here.
Catherine Moran: Yes. What advice would you have for somebody thinking about setting up, without giving any of your trade secrets away, for setting up a business like yours?
Liz Hill: Well, that’s a good question. I suppose you’ve got to have perseverance, patience, and you have to have local knowledge, you’ve got to get on well with different people of all sorts. You’ve got to be customer facing, and sort of business-to-business as well. You’ve got to be thinking about that side of it.
You obviously have got to be reasonably good with figures, because it’s got to be good for the customer at the end-point, but obviously at the end of the day we’re all trying to make money out of it as well. It’s got to be good for everyone involved. Marketing as well, because that’s the tough one, is trying to let people know that people when they come to Herefordshire, yes it’s brilliant, but it’s trying to get them here in the first place. It’s the difficult part.
Catherine Moran: Right. How do you market your business?
Liz Hill: I’m going to… I’ve been going for three years now to tourism exhibitions, which I’m doing a few more of this year. Also I’m learning about SEO on the website, exciting stuff [laughs], doing things like that. Again, it’s word-of-mouth so that the people that do come tell their friends, signing up to newsletters, do they want to come back and do different trips, that sort of thing. It is a difficult one, but I just think that if I just keep plugging someone’s going to pick up on in [laughs].
Catherine Moran: Yeah. I know you’re on Twitter. You’re fairly active on Twitter.
Liz Hill: Very much so.
Catherine Moran: I presume you’re Facebook as well?
Liz Hill: Facebook as well, but Twitter’s much better for me. I did actually have my first Twitter booking. That was in the summer. That was really good. We had a German couple that wanted to come. They loved cider and loved local produce as well, so that was ideal for them. They had a really good time.
Catherine Moran: Good, excellent. They approached you via Twitter?
Liz Hill: Yes, yes. I’ve now said that they’re Herefordshire locals, they’ve got to come back and enjoy some more experiences as well.
Catherine Moran: Have you ever considered reaching out to cider producers, for example, or perry producers, in other countries, because there’s a great camaraderie between cider businesses, not all cider businesses, but a lot of them, particularly the smaller ones? They don’t seem to see each other particularly as competitors.
Liz Hill: Yeah, it’s sort of exchanging ideas, isn’t it? That’s quite a good idea. I suppose that the family that came over from Spain, they had an orchard that they didn’t know what to do with, which was why they were coming over here, to be educated to find out more about making cider, the whole process. I suppose it’s finding more people like that to come over here because there’s a lot in France as well.
Catherine Moran: Yes, yeah, it’s a pretty big tradition over there, as well as Spain, actually.
Liz Hill: Yes, of course, so whether coordinating something like that would be a really good idea.
Catherine Moran: Yeah. Do you know, off the top of your head, if any of the local cider and perry makers run courses on how to make cider and perry?
Liz Hill: Yes, well, again going back to the Spanish family, they booked on Butford Organics in Bodenham [in Herefordshire]. He had a course on Thursday, which was brilliant timing. We organised that for them. I think that they do do workshops and things like that, but it’s mainly in Pershore [a renowned horticultural college in Worcestershire], and they run a lot in there. That’s another one that I want to tap in to, but they’re so popular though, so obviously there’s a market for it, so if anyone else wants to do it, just carry on.
Catherine Moran: Absolutely. What would you do differently? What have you learned from the tours and cider and perry-related events that you’ve done so far? What have you learned?
Liz Hill: I’m learning all of the time, actually. I’m learning… You have to give a little bit more time for groups, than if you’re just doing it just two of you on your own. Obviously, timing I’ve sort of polished up a little bit now. That was a big learning curve, because there’s nothing worse than being rushed, because, again, that’s spoiling their experience. That was a good one.
Also, for your minibuses and coaches, you’ve got to have the right coach operator as well, because some of them don’t want to be driving around in dirty tracks and things like that.
Catherine Moran: Oh, really?
Liz Hill: Yes, yes. You’ve got to have ones that… I’ve got a good relationship with quite a few of them now, so I sort of know that, “Oh, we’ll be going down that farm track there.” So that’s fine. I did arrange a group to Newton Court Cider. It was a 50-seater coach, and the coach driver took a picture and he put it on his Facebook page and said, “Look where the guide is getting me to go now!” I said, “Come on,” I said, “you get combine harvesters down there, you’ll be fine!” [laughs]
Catherine Moran: [laughs] It’s a working farm, isn’t it?
Liz Hill: Yeah, exactly. It’s like, “Put your foot down, you’ll be fine.” [laughs]
Again, we had a lot of people, and they had a really good experience, and they had cider and cheese as well, so they had a really good experience there. Again, from that, a lot of people said, “Oh, I love it here, let’s come back,” so that’s what I’m trying to achieve there.
Yeah, timing is a good one. I suppose what I learned when I first started, I thought that there were going to be people flocking to Herefordshire and they’re going to be booking on these trips. I was far too keen when I started, and then I had to be a little bit more real, and say, “Actually, let’s do it a little bit different.” People can contact me, and I will arrange something for them, sort of more bespoke, rather than having all sorts of people. They will come, I just have to be a little bit more patient about it.
Catherine Moran: Right. It sounds like you’re doing this throughout the year, is that correct? You’re running these tours and events?
Liz Hill: Yeah, I can do it sort of any time. I suppose wintertime is a little bit quieter. In the summer I do not just food and drink tours, but all sorts of like history and all of that side of it for local people as well, because living in North Herefordshire they probably don’t know about south, and vice-versa, and there’s so many different stories around that they probably don’t know. I try and do that more in the summer.
Yeah, it’s a year-round… Obviously looking at Christmas breaks, there’s lot of Christmas markets and things on… That’s sort of more of a winter clientele as well, so that would be a different market again. It’s just trying to work to the different markets to suit the different things that they’d be interested in.
Catherine Moran: Depending on where we are in the year, what season…
Liz Hill: Exactly, yes.
Catherine Moran: Can you tell me a little bit about the Tipple Trail?
Liz Hill: Yes. This was sort of moving on from people that have been on the cider and perry tour, and wanted to come back to Herefordshire to find out a little bit more about what drink is in the area, and of course, we do have rather a lot, in one area as well, which is quite strange. I think it’s more… I meet people in The Hop Pocket at Bishop’s Frome.
Catherine Moran: Which is in Herefordshire?
Liz Hill: Which is in Herefordshire. We travel along, and we head on the A417, so that’s heading towards Bodenham. There we have-
Catherine Moran: Sorry to interrupt you, Liz Hill, but what… We should say what The Hop Pocket is.
Liz Hill: Sorry, yes. The Hop Pocket is a garden centre, it’s a café, restaurant, they have local businesses there. You’ve got The Handmade Scotch Egg Company. You’ve got The Hop Pocket Wine Company, and they don’t just sell wine, they sell all sorts of local drink there. They also do wine tastings that you can have, or different things they put… They allocate a room for you so you can go and have wine tasting there with Paddy, and he’s very knowledgeable. We can start there, and then we can head then to Oliver’s Cider and Perry, he’s along that trial. You’ve got Wye Valley Brewery, you’ve got Chase Vodka, you’ve got Broadfield Court Wine; just along there, you can get very drunk.
Catherine Moran: Within a few miles, really. It’s phenomenal when you point it out, you’re absolutely right. It’s pickled with drink producers.
Liz Hill: It is, yes. I suppose what we should probably try and do is find some food producers along there just to sort of soak it up. Maybe if we could slot it a bread-maker or something… [laughs]
Catherine Moran: [laughs] Yeah, that would be handy.
Liz Hill: It would be very handy.
Catherine Moran: Is this one of your ideas, the Tipple Trail?
Liz Hill: I don’t know where it came from originally. I think I was just doing a little talk about cider, and I was going along that road and I thought, “Oh, look, there’s all of these different producers here as well.” I don’t know where it came from.
Catherine Moran: It’s a lovely idea, great idea. Part of that involves going to the Chase Distillery?
Liz Hill: Yes, yes.
Catherine Moran: I’ve never been, but I bet that’s quite interesting.
Liz Hill: It’s really interesting. The story of how he started with the crisps, and branching out to Chase Vodka as well. The whole story is brilliant, and you can see how it developed over the years. It’s a quality product; you can see it in London and things like that. People who are coming from London, they can come and see its source. It’s a really good idea. There’s some really knowledgeable guides there. I think they do tours on Fridays that you can go to anyway, generally without being in a group. That’s definitely worth a visit.
Catherine Moran: Yeah, yeah, very good. You have given me a good idea there. That’s lovely. I love that idea of the Tipple Trail. People can book it through you, just get in touch with you and book?
Liz Hill: That’s it, yes. If you have an idea, if you have a group of friends, or if you have, I don’t know, if you’re in some sort of book club group, for example, you can contact me and I can put the whole itinerary together for you. If you’re outside of Herefordshire, obviously I can do it if you want to arrive by train, I can do a whole week’s itinerary with accommodations, depending on where you wanted to be. I can do the whole holiday experience. That’s what I want to do in my future years. I suppose 2016 is going to be more of a year for putting holidays together, creating a great experience, that’s one thing that I’ll be doing more of this year.
Catherine Moran: What new business ideas have you got?
Liz Hill: One of many is… What would be a brilliant idea, which is a brilliant idea, is obviously the farmers’ markets that are regular in our cities and towns… Residents, on a regular basis, go and meet so-and-so to buy their different produce, their bread or meat, or whatever. How about, I’m sort of thinking of the tourists, but how about the residents of Herefordshire, they may not know where so-and-so lives or the whole story… How about going to visit them on their own doorstep, on their own turf? Going to meet how the whole process of the bread making, of the cheese making.. Go and meet the lamb, the Hereford cattle, whatever.
Having that as an itinerary, and I think linking it with the farmers’ markets, that would be really good experience for… As I said, thinking about tourists, but no it’s for residents as well who, perhaps they don’t have a car, perhaps they don’t want to drive down the dirt tracks, or whatever. It’s having this confidence to get on the trip, and then travel to these different places. That’s quite a nice day out, as well, isn’t it?
Catherine Moran: Absolutely. This is something that you’re going to explore in the coming year?
Liz Hill: I think so, within the year, doing the research for it and seeing if it can practically work as well, because obviously logistically, Herefordshire you think it looks like a small county on a map, but when you’re traveling on a bus down these muddy lanes it’s quite a long way. From Hay-on-Wye to Ledbury is over an hour’s distance, so you’ve got to think practically. If we can link up really good, interesting days out there, I think that’ll be a really good idea.
Catherine Moran: Yes, very exciting. It’s a matter of watch this space.
Liz Hill: Watch this space, yes, there’s always different ideas floating around my head.
Catherine Moran: It’s good to have lots of good ideas.
Liz Hill: Yeah, plenty, yes.
Catherine Moran: Okay. You mentioned SEO a little while ago, and the whole website side of things. You’ve got a blog on your website?
Liz Hill: I will have a blog on my website. Yes, yes, I have done blogs. I have actually done a cider one. I’ve done all different ones. Again, it just sort of adds in a bit more to the website to sort of show what I can do. Hopefully, you’ll be able to read that as well on my website.
Catherine Moran: That’s what I was going to ask you. Why blogging is important? Why do you think it’s a good investment of your time?
Liz Hill: It really is, because obviously, the website is brilliant, it says exactly what I can do, what tours that I can put together, but again, it adds in a bit more of a little extra touch, isn’t it? The more finer details of that trip… Why did we do that trip? Why have I thought of putting that trip together?
Again, the history of Herefordshire as well, Hereford cattle as well. All different things, there is so much, because Herefordshire is so hidden. It’s just trying to sort of coax out the gems as to why I’m putting these trips together. Obviously, I think apparently it bumps up your SEO, so I’m told by people who know that sort of stuff.
Catherine Moran: Absolutely, yes, absolutely. As well as your website, you’ve got a physical location in Herefordshire, in the city of Herefordshire as well, don’t you?
Liz Hill: Yes. Last February I had a little store in Hereford Butter Market, which has been really good for me. Obviously, it’s brilliant having a website presence, but I’m pretty much… I love the public and customers and things like that, so to have that presence has really helped. It’s also helped, obviously not just for residents of Herefordshire, but for people visiting through, obviously the closure of the Hereford Tourist Information Centre last June was a huge blow for visitors to Herefordshire. I decided to put up a, not quite the same size, I’ve got a couple of leaflet displays there.
Tourists coming through the Butter Market, and they do have tourists coming to the Butter Market, because that’s where people go. Tourists always go to tour the market, so I’ve been able to speak to a lot of people there on holiday, not knowing what to do. I sort of tell them that… The leaflets they can do now, but I say, “Why don’t you come back?”, and I can tell them about different day-trips and tours that I can put together, and holidays as well. That’s been a really huge benefit to have the premises there. There’s some really good characters in Herefordshire.
Catherine Moran: Quirky comes to mind.
Liz Hill: It’s quirky, yes. That word springs up quite a lot. We’ve got so many well-established businesses there. You’ve got the fishmongers, he’s been there, I don’t know, years and years, decades, along with these two butchers there as well, in really well-established businesses, which you come into Herefordshire and you just don’t think about. It’s really good to pop in there and see all the different things, there’s a haberdashery and get all sorts of cheese. Yeah, it’s an amazing place.
Catherine Moran: It’s good for people to be able to meet you too, isn’t it? If they want you to… They’re going to trust you to organise something?
Liz Hill: Exactly as well. That’s it, because you can look on a website and you say, “Oh, this looks good, but I’ve got this little question, I’ve got this little question, so perhaps I don’t want to phone, but see someone face-to-face.”
Catherine Moran: There’s nothing like it, really.
Liz Hill: There’s nothing like it. The website is brilliant, but I’m sort of more face-to-face.
Catherine Moran: Yeah, yeah. Okie-dokie. Liz Hill, where can people find you online?
Liz Hill: My website address is www.rural-concierge.co.uk, email is firstname.lastname@example.org, and Twitter is @RuralConcierge without the dash.
I’m found quite a lot on Twitter as well, so if there’s anything that you want to ask me about, Herefordshire, food and drink, anything like that, I’m always happy to help.
Catherine Moran: Absolutely wonderful, Liz thank you very much for your time.
Liz Hill: No, thank you for having me. It’s been brilliant.
Catherine Moran: Thank you again to Liz for coming on the show and giving us an insight into this exciting business area. Speaking of which, just two weeks ago I had my own first experience of culinary tourism when I savoured some of the food and drink delights available in Galway city, on a tour curated by Sheena, from Galway Food Tours. There’ll be more about that experience in a future episode of the show.
As Liz just mentioned, you can visit the Rural Concierge website at www.rural-concierge.co.uk and Liz is on Twitter as @RuralConcierge.
All links mentioned in the show are available at the show’s website, which is myartisanbusiness.com and you can download a free transcript of my conversation with Liz there.
To get updates on when I publish new episodes of the show, subscribe to my email list and I’ll let you know when new episodes are live. So that all at myartisanbusiness.com.
You can find me on Twitter as @FoodDrinkShow, so please do get in touch if you have any comments or questions or suggestions — you can always reach me there.
Until next time, I’m Catherine Moran, happy cooking, happy brewing, happy fermenting, happy distilling and thank you for listening.