DIGNITARIES from across Hampshire were given a snapshot of some of the thing Basingstoke and Deane has to offer during #LoveBasingstoke Day.

The Mayor of Basingstoke and Deane Cllr Diane Taylor and her consort Dr Andy Taylor welcomed other mayors from around Hampshire to the rolling countryside between Whitchurch and Overton.

Over morning coffee at Laverstoke Park Farm, the visitors enjoyed a talk from joint owner and education centre founder Clare Scheckter about the history of the farm and the success of the CarFest South event on the site.

The guests also met her husband and farm owner Jody Scheckter.

A tractor and trailer ride around the site afterwards took them to inspect the vineyard, compost site and soil lab and the dairy processing plant to watch a demonstration of mozzarella stretching.

After seeing the magnificent water buffalo close up - including new-born calves - the guests were treated to a delicious buffet lunch of Laverstoke produce, including the mozzarella, the first to be seriously produced in the UK.

Cllr Taylor said: “I was delighted to invite Mayors from across Hampshire to experience these two excellent places of interest in our borough.

"We have so much to offer in our area, and it was a great opportunity to spread the word.

“By showcasing these superbly-run businesses with their range of excellent produce, situated in beautiful countryside, I hope our guests will be encouraged to tell more people why we #LoveBasingstoke.”

The afternoon programme took guests to the acclaimed Bombay Sapphire Distillery where they took a guided tour of the distillery and rounded off the visit with a gin cocktail in the Mill Bar.

“Laverstoke Park Farm and Bombay Sapphire Distillery are two local gems and our guests really enjoyed their guided tours,” added the Mayor of Basingstoke and Deane.