Jun 21st 2018

A day in the life of Ellie Barnes

A day in the life of Ellie Barnes

As operations director at the Taylor Lynn Corporation (TLC), Ellie Barnes plans private parties, corporate events and weddings all over the globe for clients including, Take That’s Gary Barlow and Howard Donald, international football clubs, Michelle Keegan and Mark Wright, and even one or two Royal occasions! So, is it all glamour and champagne? Ellie Barnes gives us an insight into her working day.

 Day in the life of Ellie Barnes


I know the perceived party lifestyle is someone who’s out all night and in bed ’til noon, but I’m very much a morning person. For this job it’s important to make an early start because the event is the finishing touch. The icing on the cake of a lot of hard and detailed preparation. To make the most of the day I’m usually up at 6.30am and out of the door by 7.15am. I live in Hale, so at this time I generally beat the traffic and make it in to TLC’s headquarters ready to start work for 8am.

I love the variety my job brings. No two days are ever the same, but there are still things that need to be done regularly to keep everything organised and running smoothly. Getting in the office early allows me a head start on the day. Checking emails and contacting clients and suppliers in other time zones across the globe. This morning I had early calls to the both USA and Venice.



Since my appointment as operation director, my role has grown dramatically.  I manage a team of six event planners and the busy day-to-day operation of a business that organises around 50 events a year. So, it’s a huge role that I love.  I also manage my own portfolio of business and private clients, making every day different and challenging.  For me its key we all have the necessary information to make the best choices for our clients.

The first job is a 30-minute team meeting to brief everyone on the priorities of the day. I’m lucky to have such an amazing, supportive team around me. Their can-do attitude always leaves me feeling upbeat. One of the best parts of the job is getting to discuss our favourite music and fashion and incorporate our ideas into a range of different events. It always feels fresh, exciting and fun and helps to build our strong working relationships into genuine friendships.



By mid-morning I’m usually out of the office and on my way to meet a client or a supplier. Today my meeting is in Manchester city centre to look at a birthday party venue with a client, but yesterday I was drinking coffee in the garden of a Cheshire country estate talking baby showers. The day before that I took the Virgin train to London where yes, I did have a glass of bubbly – although this job demands certain restraint – if I said yes every time I was offered, no work would ever get done!

Related Content: Day In the Life of a Party Planner


My taste-buds are constantly tempted in this job too and today is no exception. Lunch involves a menu-tasting for private party where the client has is looking for a feast with a twist that guests will remember. It’s great when clients are open to new ideas because it helps keep the job and the industry innovative and vibrant. My husband is a chef so I instinctively know how food can inspire not just the catering but the whole feel of an event. At one private party with a beach theme, we used mannequins dressed in gorgeous floral bikinis as food stations, with canapés served on large waist trays. The experience impacted on so many senses; it was a talking point for weeks afterwards.


The managing director and owner of TLC, Liz Taylor is over in Barbados at the moment. A glamourous business trip it may be, but she is there to check-out wedding venues for a client. She is currently five hours behind UK time, so an afternoon Skype call works brilliantly for both of us and I look forward to telling her the outcomes of the morning’s meetings. I’m interviewing for a new event manager and an intern this afternoon, so I also want to run a few details by Liz. As a small team it is essential to attract people who share our values, work ethic and attention to detail. Recently we’ve worked with some incredibly keen interns who are hungry to learn the business. It feels good to be able to offer them the opportunity get started in this exciting industry as part of a successful team.



My job is by no means a 9-5. Often in the evening I’ll head out to check everything is in place for an event, and the working day frequently ends at 2am! Tonight, I’m heading home to be spoiled in the kitchen by my culinary genius of a husband. We’re both on an early flight tomorrow to Ibiza. It’s where we got married because we love the music scene and buzz of the island. It’s a long-earned break for both of us, but I’m taking some cards along just in case I see a great DJ or band we could work with. Talent is everywhere, and Ellie Barnes never misses an opportunity!

Hope you have enjoyed reading our Day in the Life of Ellie Barnes! 


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 Jun 10th 2018

Outdoor Party Cocktail Ideas

Outdoor Party Cocktail Ideas


Summer parties often involve a move outdoors.  The British weather is nothing if not unpredictable though.  At TLC, we love planning an outside party but always have one eye on the weather conditions. A Plan B is essential.  If you do have to re-group to an inside venue, bring the outdoors inside.  Take inspiration from the surrounding landscape, and create your own summer garden in a marquee or event space.  A large part of that, will be giving people a taste of summer too.  With the five Outdoor Party Cocktail Ideas, you can capture a little of the ‘long hot summer’ feeling in a glass:

Five al fresco party cocktails
Vodka-Thyme Lemonade

Firstly, and as the saying goes, all good things come to those who wait. And for those of you willing to invest a little time in preparation, this refreshing long-drink, created by world-famous chef, Jean-Georges Vongerichten is well worth it. The time-consuming part is making the lemon-thyme syrup. Mixing the ingredients over a saucepan takes only ten minutes. To bring out the best flavours though, the syrup is best left to stand overnight or at least two hours. Once made, however, it will stay fresh for up to five days. Shake with ice and vodka, before serving in a highball glass, topped with soda. Garnish with a fresh thyme sprig for a sensational, seasonal treat. Visit foodandwine.com for details.

RELATED CONTENT: Top Summer Cocktails

Deep Pleasure

For rum lovers, the rich, deep and luxurious flavour of Dictador is a pleasure to be savoured. Produced in the beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site of Cartagena, Colombia, the rum has a romantic origin.  The company has created a drink book to spark ideas for how to enjoy its luxury brand. Our favourite is Deep Pleasure. A delicious combination of Dictador, Luxardo Maraschino liqueur and fresh pineapple chunks.  Consequently, it makes a rich and fruity choice for a Spring/Summer evening. You should download this and other recipes from www.dictador.com.

Cucumber –Honeydew Freeze

Third on our list of Outdoor Party Cocktail Ideas, is a cool one. When the temperatures soar (we hope), nothing satisfies like a frozen cocktail. Striking for its lime-green colour, this icy delight combines the cooling flavours of cucumber, melon and lemon and spices it up with a splash of gin. Blended with honey and ice it is sweetly refreshing.  Serve in a wine class, lightly coated with sweet fennel salt and a wedge of lime. Or in our case, decant into lovely copper cups for a more rustic feel. See foodandwine.com for the recipe.

hip summer cocktails

White Nun

From frozen delights to comforting warmers, when it comes to British Spring/Summer time we need to be prepared for any weather. Across the Atlantic, bar tender, Isaac Shumway from Tosca Café in San Francisco has come up with the perfect solution to heat up a damp and drizzly evening. His hot version of a White Russian swaps the traditional vodka base for brandy, mixing with coffee liqueur, coffee syrup and cream. Top with frothed milk. Delicious! See Saveur.com for details.

Orange and Cranberry Spritz

Finally, often we spend so long crafting our show-stopping mixes that as a result, our alcohol-free guests are left with few interesting choices on the drinks menu. Thankfully celebrity chef, James Martin has stepped in to save the day for all those resigned to an evening of orange juice or water. His orange and cranberry spritz is a long, cooling option that takes only five minutes to prepare. A quick mix of orange juice, cranberry juice and sparkling elderflower, serves up a sophisticated fruity fizz. See BBC Good Food for details.

Outdoor Party Cocktail Ideas

If you love our five outdoor party cocktail ideas, also take a look at this for Gin-spiration on our top Gin based cocktails!

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