Converted horse box business takes off for Waterlooville equestrian centre with plans for parties in the paddock
AN EQUESTRIAN centre in Waterlooville has been converted into a party paddock – and comes complete with fully-stocked bar-cafe operating from a converted horse box.
Customers can hire the paddock, in Catherington Lane, which Angie Othen and her husband Paul own, for private parties, picnics and musical gigs.
The mother of three said the idea was born during lockdown, but she has big plans for this year including summer sundowns, barbecues, pizza picnics, afternoon cream teas, sunset bars, fairyland parties, plus more.
She said: ‘Our original idea was to convert the centre into a place where weddings could occur.
‘Unfortunately, due to the lockdown restriction on wedding ceremonies, we had to come up with a different plan.
‘We decided to convert the area into a venue where people can enjoy food and beverages surrounded by horses.
‘We had to think outside the box so we set the box up in a paddock.
‘It was fantastically received and is now affectionately known as The Picnic Paddock by day and The Party Paddock by night!’
Angie used to work in traffic control, but she lost her job during the pandemic and decided to focus on her equestrian business instead.
She had started renovating the centre in 2019, and had sent a horse box off to be converted into a mobile bar for use at functions.
By the time it arrived back, lockdown had brought all events to a halt, so she opened the horsebox as a cafe called the Filly & Fox. operating from a paddock, and the business took off, becoming popular with walkers.
Angie said: ‘We debated whether to proceed with the conversion because not only was it unlikely that any hires would be made for the 2020 season, but we still had to weigh the financial consequences.
‘The customers have been very supportive and helpful. They visit our paddock with their families and friends and bring their horses as well.’
During the lockdown, the horses at the paddock have been taken care of by the regular staff.
Angeline, who has grown up surrounded by horses all her life, said: ‘The horses are doing alright. The care for them did not stop during the lockdown, and our staff has been very good at taking care of them.’
The party paddock offers a range of non-alcoholic beverages and snacks and has a fully stocked bar. It is also available for private functions of up to 120 people.
On bank holiday Monday, a craft fair is taking place at the paddock from 10.30am until 3.30pm where 12 local independent business will showcase their wares.
Through this event, Angeline wants people to support and spread awareness about the local and independent business.
For more information go to fillyandfox.online or call 07909006789