I’ve just remembered a DIY breakfast establishment, jostled from the grey matter of my memory by my previous post.
Hubby and I were taking a B&B holiday break, traveling round and stopping where we fancied, so we didn’t actually book anywhere specific.
We didn’t have any problems finding a room for the night as we didn’t have a dog then, but we certainly had some interesting breakfasts!
Most of the places we stayed in provided simple rooms and had the use of the family bathroom down the hall (one had a padded see-through toilet seat with plastic fish inside which we found hysterical).
All were clean and comfortable in their individual style, from the old lady with her white cotton sheets, umpteen blankets and candlewick bedspread to a self-contained converted garage with en suite.
Our old lady was a gem.
On arrival we were offered tea and biscuits, even though there were tea making facilities in our room. She asked if we wanted a full English breakfast the following morning and at what time, then bid us goodnight.
The bed was wonderful, with a mattress that almost wrapped itself around us in a warm embrace. We had clean fluffy towels that smelt of sunshine, and little bars of soap for our personal use.
Next morning, we had a choice of cereals, tea by the gallon, and our cooked breakfast was first class, 2 rashers of bacon, 2 eggs, fried bread, tomato, mushrooms, black pudding, and 4 chipolata sausages as she’d run out of ‘proper bangers’, followed by as much toast and marmalade as we wanted.
All for £14 each. Not bad, eh.
Another landlady provided a comfortable room decorated in full Laura Ashley, with wallpaper, sheets and a duvet to match.
Again tea making facilities were available, and we used the guest bathroom at the top of the stairs (posh flowery loo roll too).
Breakfast was good, cereal, and the works, but no fried bread, black pudding or mushrooms, and beans instead of tomato. Loads of toast though. Cost £16 each.
The old boy we stayed with had a converted barn providing 2 guest rooms, both with en suite and tea making facilities, including biscuits.
We had single beds in ours and all of his guests shared a large round table in the kitchen for breakfast.
There was plenty of cereal choice, a full cooked platter with a single but HUGE mushroom from his own garden, and two pieces of toast.
His charges were also £16 each.
The converted garage was very nice, with tea making facilities and a toaster.
The ceiling was paneled in tongue and groove pine, and the en suite had a shower, loo (no padded seat or flowery loo roll) and wash basin.
The shower was so hot though, we could have used the water to make the tea. We couldn’t adjust the temperature, so made do with giving each other very hot all over washes (we hadn’t been married very long 😉 )
The bed was comfy with a duvet and throwover, but the tea provisions consisted of 4 UHT milk pots, 4 tea bags, 4 phials of coffee and 6 sachets of sugar.
For breakfast (and after we’d parted with our cash), our hostess explained that she didn’t cook and didn’t like strangers in the house, so we would find a bottle of milk and a loaf of bread on our doorstep at 7am.
We found the cornflakes in a plastic container in the cupboard, along with four individual butter pats but no jam or marmalade.
Shame she didn’t have this hanging up outside, as at £40 for the room, we didn’t think this was good value for money, especially as the ‘loaf’ consisted of 6 slices (no crusts) and the carton of milk so small it didn’t stretch to cover 2 cups of tea AND our cereal.
Obviously, we didn’t go back, and years later when we were passing that way, the property had been demolished and replaced with a block of flats.
These days, the traditional old dear making a few bob with paying guests is rare due to the introduction of red tape, legislation and rules they have to follow.
Also, established B&B rooms are all expected to have en suites, TVs and WIFI as well as tea making facilities now.
We came unstuck with our plans as although the property we’d purchased was in an ideal position on a main road, the interior layout was considered ‘unsuitable’ to be advertised in the tourism books that mattered because we did not (and could not) provide en suite facilities, our bedrooms were off a communal room, and we only had one bathroom.
On our trips, all we wanted was a clean comfy room, a restful night’s sleep and a good breakfast to set us up for the day.