“I’m so grateful for the life Lanhydrock has given us”

Seamus Rotherick
By Seamus Rotherick March 28, 2024 11:41

In the space of two years in the early 1990s, Clare and Graham Bond had two children and the family-owned golf club they run, opened. Here they reflect on the last 30 years.

Clare and Graham Bond, owners and directors of Lanhydrock Hotel and Golf Club in Cornwall, last year celebrated and reminisced upon 30 years since they first opened their doors in 1993.

Clare commented: “It’s certainly been one crazy, incredible roller coaster, especially raising our two sons, Oliver and Christian, amongst it all, but I’d not have it any other way. I’m so grateful for the life that Lanhydrock has given us over the past 30 years, and more specifically to Graham’s father and uncle, Hermon and Martin Bond, who first bought the club. Without them, Graham and I would have never had the business.”

Hermon was a farmer, and this love for agriculture has remained in the family.

Graham at this time was running Looe Golf Club, and took on the project at Lanhydrock that required substantial investment, including a new clubhouse.

In 2006, Graham and Clare built and added the hotel to the business, transforming Lanhydrock Golf Club into the Lanhydrock Hotel and Golf Club we know today. Further facilities including staff accommodation and a fitness suite have been added since then.

Golf fell in popularity at the turn of the century, so the addition of the hotel was a must as Graham and Clare felt the need to diversify. It was something they’d both wanted to add to the club for a while.

Clare commented: “Graham and I are both foodies, and we love staying in different types of hotels. I’m always interested to see different types of service and what makes the hotels unique. It’s a passion we’ve been fortunate enough to build a life from.

“You could say the interest in running hotels and bed and breakfasts runs in the family. Both of Graham’s grandmothers actually ran bed and breakfast businesses. Graham’s father used to tell stories about himself and his brother, Martin, having to go and sleep in an outhouse in the height of summer so their rooms could be used for the  bed and breakfast. Martin used to say to us, ‘mum would be so proud of you, building your hotel’.”

Clare and Graham’s two sons, Oliver and Christian, were born in 1992 and 1994. Oliver is currently serving in the Armed Forces, and Christian, after years spent working and fulfilling his passion for cars, has now joined the family business and is working as part of the golf department.

“Both Oliver and Christian have taken up an interest in golf, and they’re absolute naturals,” Clare explained. “Their grandad taught them to play when they were little, and they never really forgot it.

“There’s certainly never been a dull moment with the boys around! I was in a meeting in the clubhouse one day when Oliver and Christian came in, one on a ride-on tractor, the other on a tricycle – I think one of them had no clothes on! I was in an important meeting for the business, focusing on business growth and development, and I turn around and see this scene unfolding. Graham was meant to be looking after them, but there they were in all their glory…

“Graham and I have definitely had our moments too. When we joined the hotel on to the clubhouse, Graham told me he was going to redecorate the bar area. I remember walking in, and he had a dumper truck right in the middle of the place, he’d ripped the whole thing out! The bar went, the ceilings were down… He’d absolutely gutted the place and told me it was just a spot of redecoration. I could have killed him!”

There are a few members of staff, golf members and other significant individuals who have been part of the Lanhydrock family for a long time, some since Graham and Clare came to Lanhydrock three decades ago.

Clare said: “We’re so fortunate to have had so many wonderful people around us over the years; as staff members, as golf members, as mentors and as good friends – Brian Liggat, Martin Morgan, Annie Gowan, Clare Carhart, Pat Hone, Andrew Jenkinson, Alister Tawse, Simon Ashworth and David Webb, who’s sadly since passed away. I could go on and on, there are so many special individuals to thank.”

Graham and Clare would also like to thank all of their suppliers, some who have been with them since day one for all 30 years.

“All of our suppliers have been amazing over the years – The Brian Etherington Meat Company, Vincent Tractors, Mason Kings, MJ Baker, Bill and Rachel Clark from Trewithen Dairy, and many, many more.”

Graham and Clare admitted that the recent pandemic has been the hardest challenge of the 30 years by far, but that they are thankful to have emerged from it in a place of strength and positivity.

They both look back on their time at Lanhydrock with great fondness and affection, delighted to now be celebrating their 30th year milestone, and excited to spend many more years doing what they love in the beautiful part of the north Cornish countryside they call home.


Seamus Rotherick
By Seamus Rotherick March 28, 2024 11:41
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