Is this Suffolk B&B the best in the UK?
PUBLISHED: 11:57 13 August 2019
An historic Suffolk B&B is in the running to be named the best in the country.
Rectory Manor, in Great Waldingfield near Lavenham, has been nominated for the 'Best B&B and Beyond' award at the upcoming Eviivo Awards.
The awards celebrate the best independent accommodation across the UK.
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And the 'Beyond' category has been created to recognise outstanding B&Bs which offer something a little more than the usual.
Rectory Manor, which was owned by the church for more than 1,000 years, is where the Book of Psalms was created in 1584 by John Hopkins.
"This reflects eights years of investment and exceptionally hard work", said owner Frank Lawrenson.
"Our occupancy has more than doubled in the last four years alone which is very much a testament to the dedication and warm welcome offered by our team.
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"It's nice that not only do we get the accolades but our guests seem to rate us so highly.
"We are certainly not resting on our laurels. It's all down to our team - we have a rule that only employ happy people.
"When you're sharing your home with your guests, and they are very much guests not customers, it's so important it is a happy place and not just rolled up in formality."
The B&B is planning on building upon its success and growing reputation with a series of new investments.
There are ambitious plans to increase its investment in Suffolk by becoming a full service country house hotel and increasing guest rooms from seven to 14.
The business has been offered a grant from the Rural Development Agency for £170k and is currently seeking to raise the balance.
Mr Lawrenson, a former cabinet member for Babergh District Council, added: "We have enormous faith in Suffolk and Lavenham in particular. We believe it deserves hotels which can rival the best in the country whilst also becoming destinations in their own right".
The winners of the Eviivo Awards will be revealed in October.