best bentley drives: sarah simpson
In our latest feature series, Best Bentley Drives, we asked a number of key members of the Bentley team to share their most memorable drives with us.
In this feature, Regional Director for the UK & MEAI, Sarah Simpson, takes us on a road trip from the UK to the Swiss Alps:
"The drive was in a Bentayga V8 in 2016 when the car had just launched; it was one of the first Bentaygas to be seen in the UK and was an exciting time for Bentley. I was hosting an 'Extraordinary Drive' event where 12 couples who own Bentley products, drove in convoy from the UK to our final destination, Verbier. A convoy of Bentleys ranging from the Continental GT right through to the pinnacle of luxury, the Mulsanne, making their way through stunning landscapes, and turning many heads along the way.
"Our journey started on the south coast, where we embarked on an overnight crossing from Harwich to the Hook of Holland. On our arrival, the driving adventure really began, driving in convoy to our first stop the Atomium in Brussels – a 102-metre-high building, built in 1958, with panoramic views across the Belgian capital. Our next leg of the journey was a wonderful drive to Hautvillers for lunch in the middle of the champagne vineyards, followed by a tour and tasting at the legendary Abbaye de Dom Perignon. We continued the exhilarating drive to Château Les Crayères, where our guests spent the evening as the private guests of Moët et Chandon, Epernay, for a once-in-a-lifetime Dom Perignon dinner at the Trianon Residence.
"After following a carefully chosen route through champagne vineyards and rolling mountains, with a quick lunch stop in the Jura, we arrived in La Chaux-de-Fonds. The Swiss city has a tradition of watchmaking going back several hundred years, and is home to the Breitling Chronométrie. Our Bentley guests had a rare opportunity to see behind the scenes at this high-tech facility. The exclusive tour allowed us a glimpse into the fascinating world of watchmaking and the intricate art of producing these highly sought-after chronographs.
"Along the way to our hotel for the evening in the lakeside city of Neuchâtel, the heavens opened to a spectacular downpour of snow, which made for stunning scenery. The Bentayga did not disappoint in ensuring we arrived at our destination safely.
"The following day heading ever closer to the slopes of Verbier, our first stop was the medieval town of Gruyères at the foot of the Prealps. Before heading on to Verbier, some 40 miles away. The weather continued to close in with heavy snowfall, but this made the journey even more fun. The power of the car is extraordinary and we made our way up into the mountains with ease. Not only did the car impress our Bentley guests, as it was one of the first Bentaygas to make an appearance officially on the road, and in particular as it was seen in some of the most challenging terrain, up in the Alps, the Bentayga attracted a great deal of attention as we passed by. The first luxury SUV in the world was making light work of the treacherous conditions and looking superb against the backdrop of the snowy mountains. Complete with enough space to carry much of the luggage and ski equipment required for our guests.
"Sharing the driving experience with so many passionate Bentley customers and prospects, and hearing their stories about why they loved the Brand and our product so much was fascinating. By the end of the trip the group had become a huge family who continued to keep in touch and organise future Bentley drives."
Download images from Sarah’s Alpine Extraordinary Drive below and be sure to check back for future features from some more of our Bentley team on their memorable drives. Share your memorable drives and tag us on Twitter @BentleyComms using #BestBentleyDrives for a chance to feature.