Tudor Barn Eltham
Tudor Barn Eltham is a fully restored Tudor Barn run by Suzie Bailey. The barn is situated on 13 acres of award winning parkland boasting a historic moat. Having started trading on the August bank holiday weekend in 2009, we got in touch with Suzie as the barn turns five to find out what the journey has been like and what makes her tick.
Big Red Cloud:
Tell us about Tudor Barn Eltham, it seems really unique.
The barn is a fully restored 16th century Tudor Barn situated on 13 acres of award winning parkland that has a historic moat. We’re open seven days a week featuring a downstairs bar and restaurant and an upstairs venue space which hosts an array of events including weddings, gala dinners, conferences and private parties. We also have two al fresco dining areas to take advantage of our unique setting. As Managing Director, it’s my job to ensure the smooth running of the business.
Have there been any particular challenges along the way?
Whilst we were still under our renovation programme a client came to us asking if we could host their wedding day. The venue would have only been open for one week but with no commercial kitchens we at first declined. The couple were at such a loss that we then decided to help them. We contracted an outside caterer to do the food and worked for seven days (and nights!) to get the upstairs room ready for their special day. It was very touch and go until the last minute but in the end the couple had an amazing day. 160 guests enjoyed a perfect wedding! We are still friends with the couple now five years later.
If you had one piece of advice for someone starting up in business, what would it be?
Make sure you have a solid business plan which is for the first five years – this gives you direction, goals, forecasts and most importantly makes you put your vision on paper rather than keeping it in your head.
Who is your favourite business hero & why?
I have always admired Richard Branson. He is a creative who comes up with ideas which sometimes don’t work out but I see that as the fun part of being in business. He surrounds himself with people who make it happen which free’s him up to keep the ideas flowing.
What is your favourite app on your smartphone?
Spotify because I can listen to any music at any time anywhere and I love it! Music soothes my soul, lifts my spirit and makes me smile.
Favourite film and why?
One of my favourite films is Working Girl. The main character Tess is feisty, and she’s never content to sit back and let life pass her by. No matter how many obstacles are in her path, or how many people doubt her, she keeps going until she gets what she wants. She doesn’t take the safe route either – she takes chances and risks losing everything for the chance to ‘make it’. It’s OK to break the rules sometimes – you never know what can happen on the other side.
How has Big Red Cloud been beneficial for your business?
Big Red Cloud enables the company to be accessed at any time, anywhere by anyone. It’s an easy to use, great accountancy programme which is fantastic for SME’s
You can find more out about Suzie and her unique Tudor Barn at tudorbarneltham.com