Oxfordshire's Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons is one of Britain's finest hotels and restaurants.
It was created by celebrated chef Raymond Blanc OBE who has held two Michelin stars since opening in 1984.
Raymond expects only the highest standard throughout the business, be it in the hotel, restaurant or gardens and the latter are in the capable hands of Anne Marie Owens, Head Gardener, who has worked with Raymond for over thirty years.
Belmond Le Manoir grows its own organic produce for the kitchens and it follows the demand for only the finest ingredients extends to selecting the best garden machinery and tools to maintain the gardens and grounds. Regular weddings and events, afternoon teas and garden tours require the lawns to be kept immaculate and Anne Marie's choice of garden tractor for maintaining them is the British manufactured Countax.
Having had one for eight years she knew, when she came to celebrate her 30th anniversary with an upgrade, she would again choose a Countax. This was very much on the grounds of not only keeping the lawns looking flawless with professional striping but also to help keep the hotel and restaurant free of grass clippings.
The Countax has the ability to cut and collect, even in the wet, with contra-rotating blades throwing the grass clippings to the rear of the cutting deck, where spinning brushes sweep them into the collector. A versatile machine, the Countax also drives accessories such as a powered scarifier and can be fitted with a snow plough for winter clearance.
Anne Marie chose a Countax C80 and, with the factory near to Belmond Le Manoir, she was shown over the controls and dashboard features by Iain Lane from the company's Research and Development team.
She was very excited try it out and, with its superior cut and collect, proclaimed it a worthy successor to her previous Countax.