Corporate Days Out

Working from sunrise to sunset for the local landowner, trading by barter, being raised on ale… could your staff survive the middle ages? Find out first-hand on a Joustabout day out

Ever long for the time when there were no emails, instant messages or even phonecalls constantly interrupting you? Or perhaps you’ve occasionally wished your business was a little less dependent on technology? Roll back the clock several hundred years on a Joustabout day out and see how your staff fare being thrown into the 14th century when Loxwood Meadow, a secluded country idyll, is transformed into a storming medieval battleground and settlement.

Just for a day, guests will leave technology behind and get a fully immersive taste of the middle ages: its clothing, way of life, food, weapons, battles and smells. They’ll learn time-honoured skills that connect them with their ancestors and strengthen team relationships far away from the lure of backlit screens. And at the centre of the day’s entertainment is the joust, where mounted knights battle it out in full armour in a white-knuckle tournament that pits courage and skill against the forces of luck.

Hang on, it’s not panto, is it?

Far from it. The joust itself is performed on real horses, using real armour, with the same steely resolve as it was in the middle ages. Either rider could be thrown by his steed, and one spear in the wrong place could send him flying onto the hard ground with a sickening crunch. It’s as nail-biting as Game of Thrones, except nobody gets their kit off (at least, none of our crew do).

As well as the joust, there is the opportunity to get caught up in the drama of a full battle re-enactment, where two opposing armies meet with cannons, muskets, pikes and swords on the battlefield with bloody resolve. Based on real events from the area, this is your chance to be part of history in action.

So it’s the new paintballing?

Not quite – you will not have to brandish a pike and run screaming towards the sales team with the rage of a Viking beserker. The fighting is done by professional re-enactors, with the help of your participation from the sidelines. There will be lots of other opportunities on the day for breaking the ice among your staff and bringing them together in a fun and unconventional way.

Want to enhance staff skillsets? Give them the opportunity to learn some medieval crafts such as basket-making, scribing, artisan candle-making and blacksmithing. There is also the chance to learn archery and non-contact sword-fighting – because nothing brings a team together like 4lbs of steel in the hands of the office intern.

Any other entertainment?

At Loxwood, history doesn’t just happen on the battlefield. Around the site, you’ll find a number of characters from the middle ages who will delight in telling you about what their lives were really like back then. The Medieval Housewife, for example, can fill you in on the fashions of the day, tell you how to cook, how to treat family ailments, and how to be a perfect new wife. The Executioner will explain the workings of the legal system (or lack of), where justice was measured in confessional quotas, and punishment had to be doled out as demonstratively and creatively as possible.

Let our skilled falconers demonstrate the meaning of working relationships as their birds, including eagles, sparrowhawks and owls, perform spectacular feats of ornithological skill at a word’s command – climbing several hundred feet before plummeting into breathtaking dives and soaring across the crowd. Nominate a team member to handle and fly a bird, or see who has the nerve to lie down on the ground as one flies over his or her head.

No party is complete without music, and in the enchanted woodland you can listen to your choice of skilled musicians from our pool of seasoned performers. For example, you could get pulses racing with The Sultan’s Sirens bellydancing troupe, or laugh at performance artist Lancelot the Bald. Or simply relax to the genteel sounds of female trio Avon Faire, mediaeval minstrels Portcullis or the platinum-selling Mediaeval Baebes, who will mesmerise you with their divine voices and wild rhythms. Whatever vibe you’re going for, we’ll find the right soundtrack to match it.

What about the catering?

At the centre of any work jolly is the food, and that’s why we go the whole hog at a Joustabout day out. Seated as guests in a medieval nobleman’s house, you’ll participate in a full-blown medieval banquet (or hog roast lunch) with entertainment, hosted by the local lord and lady – two character actors and skilled compères who will ensure everyone is seated, comfortable and having a good time.

For the food, we’ll draw up your ideal medieval menu and entertainment, whatever your budget may be. Choose from a calm, low-lit dinner with troubadour accompaniment on period instruments, or a rumbustious knees-up, complete with drinking songs, juggling and a high-flying medieval barn dance. Or, pick from elements of each: the choice is yours.

Do we have to dress up?

It’s your party: you decide. With all our crew in costume, you will have the opportunity to roll up your sleeves and participate as though you are actually in the medieval period – but it’s not expected. We find that throwing in a prize for Best Fancy Dress usually gives enough of an incentive, and we’ll help you prepare by providing guidance on typical medieval costume, before the whole office starts googling ‘chainmail’ and crashes the historical replication websites.

How do I book?

Contact us to arrange a consultation, we’ll put together a sample programme for you, and we can go from there.