CAIRBRY HILL (Managing Director)
Cairbry’s career began back in the mid 1990s with his days spent studying Microbiology and Biochemistry at University College London and nights spent working behind the bar in Dicks Bar at the recently opened Atlantic Bar and Grill.
Over the next few years Cairbry was fortunate to be involved in a number of major bar openings including The Flamingo Club, Cobden Club, Met Bar, Che, Colmillo (Mexico City) and Black Bird (NYC).
In 2000 Cairbry co-founded and ran Alchemist Management Services, an operations and consultancy company. Projects included bar management contracts with Hilton and Thistle hotel groups; operating its own joint-venture club in Bristol (Nocturne in partnership with Bristol band Massive Attack) and negotiating and running the agency for sales and marketing of Patron Tequila in the UK.
Prior to establishing Strange Hill Ltd in 2009 Cairbry held the position of Global Brand and Event Manager for Stolichnaya Vodka working as part of the Pernod Ricard group of companies.
CRAIG LANCASTER (Creative Director)
Craig has been an Art Director and Designer on some of the UK’s leading magazine titles including, Ministry, Esquire, Q, Tatler, Harpers Bizarre, Candy and Quarterly for over 25 years.
Moving on from the world of magazine publishing, Craig went on to work for Show Media where he re-branded Stolichnaya vodka and Six Senses spa resorts meeting and workign with Cairbry Hill.
Having worked with Cairbry on these projects, Craig was invited to join Strange Hill in 2011 in order to set up and lead the creative and design department of the business.
NICK STRANGEWAY (Creative Director)
Nick began bartending in the early 1990’s (whilst studying at The Courtauld Institute of Art) under the tutelage of Dick Bradsell at Fred’s Club in Soho. Nick went on to work alongside Dick in numerous seminal establishments including The Flamingo, Detroit and Atlantic Bar & Grill. In 1998 Nick became bar manager of new St James bar and restaurant Che. During his time there, Nick won numerous awards including the inaugural Evening Standard ‘Bar of the Year’.
In 2003, he moved into the world of drinks consultancy working on venues such as Floridita, Boisdale, Harvey Nichols and The Hospital and with global brands Beefeater, Havana Club, Stolichnaya and Absolut Vodka.
In 2006 Nick opened The Hawksmoor steakhouse, which quickly became the recipient of many awards for both food and drink, including Best Restaurant Bar in 2006. Nick has become known the world over for both his innovation and his deep understanding of the history of mixed drinks.
In 2008, he was awarded the prestigious title of International Mixologist of the Year at Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans. Nick has established a long term working relationship with a number of high profile chefs, most notably Giorgio Locatelli and Mark Hix.
TRUDI SCHEMEL (Office Manager)
Trudi has worked in the restaurant industry for over 20 years. She kicked off her career working in the much loved Mexican restaurant Cafe Pacifico in Covent Garden where she spent three years as a hostess, waitress and manager. After a short stint back in Australia working for Armani in Sydney and a wine bar and grill in Brisbane, she returned to London where she became Events and Sales Manager for the private rooms at the highly respected Browns Restaurant. Her last stint in restaurants before Strange Hill was 3 years working for Caprice Holdings, managing the private rooms at the exclusive Ivy and Scott’s restaurants where high-profile clients included the likes of Warner Brother, Cartier, Diageo, Universal Pictures and PWC.
Here at Strange Hill, she works closely with the three Directors overseeing the financial, logistical and overall running of the business. Essentially she makes things happen and makes it look easy on a daily basis.
ROB JONES (Senior Designer)
Rob graduated in 2008 with First Class Honours in Graphic design.
He then went on to co-create the print publication and food culture magazine, Eat Me which he worked on for the next two years. Over the next 8 years that he built his career as a designer working both with agencies and freelance work. His clients were a number of high profile names including EMI Music (Lily Allen, Bat for Lashes), Visit California, Discover USA, Hamleys.
As part of the design team at Strange Hill Rob looks after the creative work under Craig Lancaster.
HARRY WINTERINGHAM (Associate Designer)
Harry studied Graphic Design at Camberwell College of Arts which he graduated from in 2012. He went on to take up a position within the design studio at Camberwell College of Arts where he provided design work for the Arts and Affiliates programmes. Projects ranged from book to exhibition branding and it was here that he developed his design, photography and branding skills.
After a year, he moved on to be the designer for PositiTEA, a yoga/Chakra based tea brand where he designed and managed all the artwork and promotional material.
As part of the design team at Strange Hill, he works alongside Rob and together they look after all the creative work under Craig Lancaster.
OLIVER BLACKBURN (Head of Research and Development)
Oliver cut his teeth in hospitality 15 years ago in Nottingham at World Service Restaurant as Restaurant and Bar manager.
From there he moved to London where he ran and opened some of London’s leading establishments including The Gilbert Scott with 2 Michelin-starred Chef Marcus Wearing, the world renowned Claridge’s Bar in Mayfair, and Soho House Group’s 76 Dean Street. Over the years he has taken pride leading training programs, award winning cocktail lists and successful brand partnerships, creating drinks for Chivas Regal, Hennessey Cognac, Remy Martin amongst others. Oliver was invited to create and present bespoke cocktails for the Society of French Perfumers, which earned him an honorary lifetime membership.
His next move was into a different facet of the drinks industry as The UK brand Ambassador for Grey Goose Vodka. Leading the UK drinks strategy for Grey Goose, whilst also hosting prestigious events such as The Elton John Aids Foundation Charity Balls, the Toronto film festival and the BAFTAS.
Oliver looks after the research and development ensuring that Strange Hill maintains it’s renowned reputation within the drink and service industry. He also represents Wise Head Productions and Ramsbury Vodka as their UK Brand Ambassador.
LOUISE CORBIN (Content and Marketing)
Louise started her career in the drink industry in 2011 when she landed a role at BarChick, a leading online publication and bar guide. Over the next four years her role developed into managing commercial partnerships with some of the worlds leading drinks brands including Peroni, Ballantine’s, Gin Mare, Patron and Santa Teresa.
It was throughout this time that BarChick gained awards including The Telegraphs top 500 must-have apps, Londons most influential People 2013 & 2014 and was nominated as Best Cocktail Writing 2012 & 2013 by Tales of the Cocktail. She also contributed to copy writing for major online and print publications including the Evening Standard, The Spirits Business, Huffington Post, EasyJet Traveller and the Daily Mail.
She has covered numerous cocktail competitions including 42 Below World Cup in New Zealand, Havana Club Grand Prix in Cuba and Gin Mare Mediterranean inspirations in Ibiza. In 2015 she was selected to be a Ballantine’s Finest Advocate along with four other whisky journalists.