Covid hospitality for a B&B during the Corona Pandemic is a bit like trying to reinvent the wheel. The B&B wheel that is so very familiar for hosts and guests alike but no longer relevant or safe in the new reality.
So we’ve changed our familiar habits and nervously set out to recreate a functional wheel of hospitality, fit for a world that sometimes feels like a disaster movie. So how are we coping when offering holidays here at Ednovean farm? Well touch wood our guest have all felt Uber safe so far but as they used to say on Blue Peter “Don’t try this at home”
Welcome to our home
Greeting our guest feels a little strange now without handshakes or hugs from our regulars. Personally I now adopt the “Zoom wave” and try to be in the car park for check in time (handily beside the stables – so don’t feel too sorry for me!)
I’ve laid a trail of hand sanitiser out around our home for our guests to use, before leading them at a discreet distance around to their respective front doors.
In the grip of Covid we decided that our guest safety would be at its greatest, if we routed one couple down one path through the parterre courtyard one side of the house and the second couple through our French inspired sunken courtyard behind our home. So never the twain would meet…… in theory anyway, with a whole house in between.
I must say I have fun making the new entrance for our Apricot bedroom ready for this. – A little retail therapy with the pious feeling that I’m helping the economy by spending money – it always lightens the gloom doesn’t it! Anyway I digress.
After that it mask and gloves time, to serve a welcoming pot of afternoon tea (or coffee of course we’re not purist about that sort of thing!) These days I’d swear those little blue masks are reproducing around the house as they now litter most surfaces “just in case”
Breakfast in bed?
Breakfast is in a constant evolution now too and I’d say the choices of our guests fall roughly into two groups.
- Those who enjoy the Continental version of fruit yogurts muesli, croissants, toast and maybe some scramble eggs and ham or smoked salmon are largely amongst the younger continental group.
- We now have a daily order of freshly baked croissants from Baker Tom especially for this option and one of our guests declared them to be “better than Waitrose”
- And then our regulars who prefer a table laid on the lawn for the traditional full cooked breakfast even if they might need a brolley. “It’s clearing up now Christine!” one of our regulars said as the fine early morning sea-fret eased. Nothing comes between a British gentleman and his holiday bacon and eggs in the morning after all!
- In the lock-down we discovered a great local butcher in Viv Olds. who now delivers some awesome locally made sausages too theses days.
After a couple of attempts I’ve settled on our Christmas silver entrée dishes for the cooked breakfast. They are perfect for keeping breakfast warm on its daily commute across the garden – pretentious for a B&B maybe but practical? You bet!
Either way I’d swear its done wonders for my waistline as I tramp up and down our stairs with laden trays each morning.
Well sufficient to say our first attempt took from 10.30 until 3.30 just to do one bedroom! Every door handle and light switch, surface and carpet needs deep cleaning and shampooing. We splurged on a new Vax carpet and steam cleaner ready for the occasion.
I do love to use my gorgeous white bedspreads in the summer even if I do have to constantly push them into our washing machine for each change over at 60 degrees.
So maybe our B&B is quite as normal but we’re hoping for a steady journey through the season doing our best and adapting where we can. Government advice varies too of course as the situation changes. “Masks should be worn in public areas in B&B’s and hotels but not pubs and restaurants. Guests travelling for Holidays from lock down areas can be taken but encourage parties of four to cancel.” All hidden away in vast impersonal documents for the geeky connoisseur!
I think we all need to be more Spud (see diary of a Hospitality cat) and we’ll continue with two entrances, social distancing, face masks and breakfast trays! The Covid-hospitality recipe for us right now!