Spotlight on Sarah Warren, wedding co-ordinator at Doubletree by Hilton Cadbury House...
What was your first job?
My first job was at the Sidcot Arms Hotel in Winscombe. I was 12 years old and started washing the dishes. There was an amazing French chef called Jean Pierre and working there gave me the inspiration to work in the hospitality industry.
It was a big wedding venue for local people and also had 12 bedrooms. I was there for five years working my way through the business including front of house, house keeping and reception. The owners at the time were really passionate and inspirational.
It was then bought out by a national hotel chain and was to be closed for 6 months for works and so I moved to Cadbury House working part time in events while I studied at Weston College in hospitality and tourism.
I then travelled abroad and got a job as the operations manager at the Hard Rock Café in Crete working there for eight years. However I always came home to work over Christmas at Cadbury House which I haven’t missed since I was 18 years old! I have worked with some wonderful people over the years at Cadbury house and they often return as guests to some area of our business and always time for a fun story of some kind of do you remember….
Why Cadbury House?
Firstly it is close to my family.
The General Manager at the time called me in Crete to ask me if I would consider applying for the C & E role and that Cadbury House was up for sale and was finally going places!
With Nick (Taplin) involved with the purchase I knew then that the venue was going places so I definitely wanted to be part of it. I therefore moved back to the UK in 2002 and started as conference and events manager.
Since then it’s been amazing to see the transformation of the historic house into a premier four-star, boutique-style hotel, wedding venue and conference centre. It’s something I’m pleased to say I’ve been a part of even if we were still snagging phase by phase in to the early hours of the morning as a team to be ready for grand openings in the morning.
Who would like to be your ideal dinner guest?
The Duke of Edinburgh – I can only imagine the number of stories he would come out with not to mention the odd gaffe or three!
What has been your biggest achievement in your career?
No one single event really stands out because in reality there have been so many. For me it’s the satisfaction of making sure someone’s special day or event – be it a wedding, conference or special occasion – being able to praise the team and then receive the thank you letters.
On the other hand helping organise Nick’s wedding is something that I was particularly proud of – especially as it went so well. NO pressure!
Hobbies and interests?
I have a love for dining al fresco and for just generally being outdoors. I think it comes from working and living in Crete for eight years. This is accompanied of course by a nice bottle of wine!
I also love spending as much time as I can with my two boys who are three and five respectively, hence my side step from Food & Beverage Manager to wedding coordinator!