It was on the 11th of May in 1991 that Charles carried me through the front door from our wedding reception after an earnest year of converting our Farmhouse into our home from a 17th-century granite barn.
We had spent a year working on the main part of the building to make our home and in 1991 we put a hand painted sign at the end of our drive and waited for our first guests to arrive. Weeks went passed until finally a lady came along and reserved the yellow room – a pretty twin bedroom decorated with Sanderson’s vintage Lilly pad fabric, white washed walls, painted furniture and Laura Ashley wallpaper with a shower room unfashionably across the hall (Sorry this bedroom is now the office)
As fate would have it, our first guest was a marriage guidance councillor and I opened our guest book at the second page for her to sign in – I didn’t want her to know she was our first guest after all! I did confess to her as she left and she begged me not to let anyone else sign the book in front of her entry.
We’ve met so many wonderful people over the years and to this day I continue to hear uplifting stories that my guests share with me over Breakfast. Stories of being wounded on the Russian front or as Philichea put it “I had the good fortune to be wounded on the Russian front” to grandmothers refusing Sati to allow her children to survive and prosper. The honeymoon’s, the birthdays, the anniversaries, the special times that couples share all have come and gone and taken a little bit of Ednovean away with them.
We’ve seen many changes to B&B’s over the years, the “new” guest requirement for an en suite bathroom left the Yellow room behind and we closed it to become what now might be described loosely as an office (for which read dumping ground)
The days when “access to a telephone” for guests was so important, are now long gone as every guest carries their own mobile phone these days – the first question now is likely now to be “What is the Wifi code?”
The decline of the great British guidebooks have been one of the saddest consequences of the online age, those wonderful titles with authors who knew exactly what their readers were looking for and became a one stop shop for the converted. “Off the Beaten track”, “The Which Good Bed and Breakfast Guide” the “Which Good Hotel guide” and “The best Bed and breakfast guide” all gone now and swallowed by the internet.
One thing stays the same though – a comfy bed, a tranquil setting and a good satisfying cooked breakfast in the morning are still the backbone of every B&B!