Lock, stock and barrel: the Holland & Holland experience / Culture , Experiences
Lock, stock and barrel: the Holland & Holland experience

The gunmaker’s shooting grounds has reinvented a British tradition.

The gunmaker’s shooting grounds has reinvented a British tradition.

Rolls Royce. Henry Poole. Paul Smith. British brands synonymous with unparalleled craftsmanship. And making the case for gunsmithing? Holland & Holland. This century-old brand is the name whispered among the sharpest of marksmen. The Royal Warrant-holding gunmakers, set up in 1835 by tobacconist Harris Holland, is the epitome of British heritage and finesse, from their polished rifles down to their equally sleek countrywear.

And while you can run your hands over the sculpted barrels in their Mayfair gunroom, why not test your aim in the open air? Not far from the city, Holland and Holland’s 60-acre shooting grounds has offered world-class shooting tuition since 1939 – a peaceful retreat for both deadeyes and novice shots alike. After a complete redesign that transformed the lodge, restaurant, grounds and event spaces, the grounds are a change of scenery for those looking to take a breather from city life.

Finding time in between running the grounds and coordinating events, Nicolas Ollivier, Director of the Shooting Grounds and VIP Services, takes us on a figurative tour of the countryside retreat and reveals what Domus Stay guests can expect from their visit. Plus, how non-shooters can spend their afternoons on the grounds.

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The Holland & Holland Shooting Grounds isn’t just for experienced marksmen. What’s in store for new shooters?
We welcome many guests who have not shot before and each one looks forward to coming back! Our team of instructors will tailor your lesson in line with your experience. Our wide range of school guns make sure comfort is a top priority and we provide all the necessary safety equipment, too. Your instructor will show how to safely handle and mount a shotgun to get you hitting the clay pigeons on your first lesson!

And for more seasoned shots?
For our experienced shots, we offer both a private lesson or a guided round for guests with their own shotgun and certificate. Your time with us can be adapted to whatever you’d like to achieve – we have a broad choice of targets ranging from a sporting wood pigeon to the exhilarating grouse target.

The secret to finding the perfect gun is…
A properly fitted gun will work with the shooter, maximising performance in the field. The Holland and Holland Shooting Grounds has a dedicated gun fitting room with an extensive collection of try-guns. Our gun fitters are trained to the highest standards, benefitting from both their own experience and the wisdom handed down by past generations of Holland & Holland experts. After taking note everything from the shooter’s eyesight to their build and technique, they pick out the perfect gun.

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Holland & Holland have the only private non-military indoor live-round facility in the UK. What can you tell us about it?
Yes, the indoor rifle range is exclusive to the Holland & Holland Shooting Grounds. Guests can fire live rounds at moving targets projected onto a cinema screen, all under the guidance of an expert instructor. Your lesson is tailored using movies from a large library of videos, with moving and running game scenarios or static targets based on your preference.

Holland & Holland goes beyond cutting-edge shooting grounds and world-class expertise for an all-encompassing retreat. What other facilities can guests take advantage of?
The Holland & Holland experience is unique to each individual; many of our customers come to us for different reasons. Some just want to take part in outdoor pursuits, from falconry to archery. Others want to join our wine tasting classes in our stunning Wine Room or tuck into a delicious meal on our terrace or lounge. We’ve helped clients organise events, celebrations or seminars in our large event space, too. There is something for everyone at our Shooting Grounds.

Can you tell us about the on-site restaurant and Head chef Joshua Hunter? What’s your favourite item on the menu?
Dining at Holland & Holland is the ideal way to taste the British seasons. Our Head Chef, Joshua Hunter, took over at our restaurant in 2019 after working for several Michelin starred restaurants in London, including La Trompette, Murano and Kitchen W8. Joshua always serves the very best ingredients, cooked with care and generosity. He elevates comforting classics to new heights by making seasonal ingredients the focal points of each dish and creating menus that are quintessentially British, comforting and authentic. Eating well, naturally and locally are all factors incorporated into Holland & Holland’s mission of being sustainable.

It is always challenging to pick a favourite dish from such delicious menus but the Grouse last year, during the season, was particularly exquisite!

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What’s coming next for the Holland & Holland shooting grounds? Any events guests should keep an eye out for?
We are planning several events during the year, but these will be announced in due time on our social media channels and through our partners closer to the date so keep an eye out.

What three places do you enjoy visiting in London?
London is one of the most exciting cities in the world and caters to everyone. I like to have a drink at the Scarfes Bar at the Rosewood or at Claridges Bar on Brook Street when I am in the area. For dining, I am quite traditional. I like restaurants that always have a buzz such as The Wolseley, The Ivy or Chiltern Firehouse.

On sunny afternoons, I love to walk along the Thames. I usually stop at the Tate Modern for a couple of hours before continuing towards Tower Bridge. The Anchor, near London Bridge, is great for having a beer and becoming immersed in the energy of the area.

As a Domus Stay guest, you can elevate your Holland & Holland experience with the complimentary use of equipment followed by a courtesy glass of British sparkling wine. Get in touch with our guest services team to book your visit.

Holland & Holland Shooting Grounds

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