The owner of stunning Lake District Arts & Craft-style hotel Nanny Brow is celebrating after being shortlisted as a finalist in the Outstanding Woman category of the 2018 E3 Business Awards.
Sue Robinson took part in a final interview with the panel of judges on May 9 and all were impressed by Sue’s extraordinary journey’ The ‘big reveal’ will take place in July at the Macron Stadium in Bolton, where 80 finalists will compete across 16 categories.
Sue has faced many challenges whilst breathing new life back into the five-star Nanny Brow. ‘Discovering’ it in 2009, there were so many reasons to walk away. Empty for seven years, the building was a wreck with no running water or electricity, but Sue had fallen in love.
Built in 1904 by renowned local architect Francis Whitwell using traditional Lakeland stone on the solid rock of Nanny Brow, the imposing country house boasts many subtle features so characteristic of the Arts & Crafts movement, including gentle motifs of animals and flowers in the plasterwork, oak paneling and leaded oak picture windows facing the valley and the hills.
In the years before they opened, living in the cold, damp, unrenovated house whilst planning the restoration, there were many nights when the family went to bed fully-clothed, even sharing a bed to keep warm, but Sue was determined to bring Nanny Brow back to its full glory.
The Robinson family moved to Nanny Brow in 2009 and since then, have worked tirelessly to create an establishment that fully reflects their desire to create a luxurious and peaceful location in the heart of the Lake District. With 17 bedrooms, 14 of which have undergone a complete refurbishment, Nanny Brow caters for those seeking a five-star experience and can also cater for special occasions, such as intimate weddings, being fully licensed.
Despite all the challenges, their doors opened in August 2011 and Sue has never looked back! Nanny Brow has become one of the most celebrated Arts & Crafts properties in the county and welcomes guests from all over the world.
However, in February of this year Sue was admitted to hospital for a standard hip-replacement operation, which left her paralysed down one side.
Demonstrating tremendous courage, she continued running Nanny Brow from her hospital bed and set about planning her life in a wheelchair.
Thankfully, mobility restored, she is now on the mend, but there can be no doubt of Sue’s extraordinary bravery during those terrifying weeks.
Now back at the helm where she belongs, Sue continues to run her successful business and also cares for her elderly parents, both of whom live on-site.
Last year Sue won a staggering five awards including Family Business of the Year at the E3 Business Awards, Best Guest Accommodation in England by AA, plus two trophies at the Bay Living Awards for Best Place to Stay and Best Boss and the Editor’s Choice Award Room with a View, from The Good Hotel Guide.
Following a shaky start to 2018, thankfully Sue is back to full health and ready to face an even more successful year.
And, she already has a second award nomination under her belt, at the 2018 Family Business of the Year Awards, the results of which will be announced in London, in June.
“2017 was undoubtedly our best year ever and we are determined to make 2018 even more successful,” said Sue. “It was a very frightening start to this year and at one point, we were drawing up plans to make our living accommodation at Nanny Brow more wheelchair accessible, so to go from that to being nominated in an Outstanding Woman category is a great achievement.”
1EM managing director Mubarak Chati said, ”Every year, the number and calibre of applicants has risen; finalists in this year's event have risen to the top a pack that was almost 300 strong.
“Each year produces its surprises, too. We were really taken aback by the strength of nominations in certain categories; so much so that we felt obliged to expand the usual number of finalists.
“This year will see a total of 80 finalists, which compares against 71 last year."