Sunday, 12 October 2014

Renovation project - Our first B&B season is over

Renovation project - Our first B&B season is over

Well summer is over, and it has been the best summer yet, the sun has shined on a daily basis, we have been full at the B&B and everything is going well.

It is going well that we are now number 2 on Trip Advisor!

We can not believe how busy the B&B has been and the wonderful people we have met.
it has not been what we expected, I thought it would not bother me in the slightest and that John may have had a problem with people in our home but actually it was the other way around.

It is something you don't actually consider. But something you should think of before doing a B&B, you do not have any real privacy, there is always somebody in your house, you do not get any lazy mornings, any lie ins or just slob in front of the TV of an evening, your house has to be immaculate all day, every day, and those that know us well, will know that we are not always the tidiest of people!

We settled in to a routine quite quickly though.

I was responsible for the bookings and making sure that the website was up to date and that was kept up to date and John was responsible for doing the room changeovers and cleaning.

we also used AirBnB, again there are many warnings about this company, but we found them to be great.

I will write a separate post about how to use and AirBnB with the pro's and con's.
The easiest way to work it, was to get the breakfast tables ready of an evening and then I would get up and stroll to the bakery to buy fresh breakfast ingredients. We provided a traditional French breakfast of fresh orange, coffee, breads, croissants and jams with cereal and yoghurt.

This went down really well, we do have some friends that suggested that we provided a cooked English, but we are in France and to be honest when we go away, we want a local breakfast, it seemed to work well.

The biggest surprise we had, was that we did not have any English people stay with us, we had mainly French, Spanish and Belgium guests, which did make breakfasts fun. My French classes really helped and I was able to speak to people in the morning, this was amazing, but also fun when we had people from other countries who also had a spattering of French and English. The conversations were hilarious!

One of the other things we did (when we remembered) was to take a photograph of our guests to add to our face book page, this gives us and them a lovely reminder of their stay.

Some people really stick in our mind as they were just so nice or funny, but I will give some anecdotes later in the week.

All I can say is, if you are thinking of doing this, go for it, it is an amazing experience! But remember to book a day off for yourself or you may become exhausted!

Top tips

  • be prepared for no lazy mornings during the summer
  • make sure you book a night off every so often to recharge your batteries
  • learn your host countries language (and how to say hello in every other language imaginable)
  • decide who is responsible for doing what and stick to it
  • enjoy your self and have fun meeting new people


  1. What a great review of your 1st year, you have some really sensible and practical advise to share. Glad to hear you had a busy season and good luck for the next one...

    1. Thanks Jackie, I intend to put up a lot more posts with all the tips we now have :)

  2. That's great! It sounds like you are really enjoying your new life with the b&b. A while ago I considered letting one of our bedrooms through Airbnb. I think it's a great idea. Unfortunately Chris was dead set against the idea of other people wandering about in our home. I think he was right. What we are conserving now is letting out our UK house maybe through airbnb whilst we are in France renovating the farmhouse. I'm looking forward to your review. Have a great week. Maggie x