Friendly landlady Jan in award’s final

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A SUFFOLK landlady, whose exceptional hospitality has included ferrying guests around and helping them find wedding outfits, is in line for a top award.

Jan Copeman, who runs Kiln Farm, in Elmswell, with husband Dave, is in the final of the AA’s friendliest landlady award.

More than 3,000 bed and breakfasts were inspected and rated by the AA’s team of hotel inspectors.

A shortlist of just 25 finalists has now been drawn up – the winner will be announced at the AA’s Bed and Breakfast awards at the Royal Horseguards Hotel, in London, on May 16.

Finalist Jan said: “This nomination came out of the blue. We are here to ensure our guests have the best time possible, whatever their reason for staying.

“We are both family people and I think what we have tried to do is to make it so people feel at home here. We try to let people just come and go as they need and when they are here we anticipate their needs whether they are elderly or a young family.

“We get a lot of repeat business and have got fabulous comments in our guest book. It is so great to be nominated for an award for doing what we love doing.”

The couple have only been running their guesthouse for five years. Jan was previously a midwife while her husband gave up a career as a banker.

“We both got to 50 and we thought our jobs are so stressful – there was just too many targets and cut backs, too much aggravation and stress. We did a stall on a farmers market for five years and did catering, and then started looking for a suitable property to take it forward,” said Jan.

Over the years, the couple have endeavoured to go that extra mile for their guests, even driving them about to venues and picking them up for the railway station.

“One guest was particularly distressed as they had left their little girl’s outfit on the bedroom door at home. We ran her into Bury so she could get another outfit and she was so grateful,” said Jan.

Kiln Farm has seven double rooms and five pitches for caravans. The guest house is pet friendly and can be contacted on 01359 240442.