Daily Life for a Lake District B&B owner
When we first moved to the Lake District we did the usual thing and threw open our doors to all and sundry with the aim of setting up the perfect Lake District B&B. Luckily the arrival of a son and a dog (in no particular order) brought us rapidly to our senses. However I know there are many out there who still harbour the dream of setting up in business and living a nice chilled life frying eggs and making the odd bed. Dream on! Here is a rather caustic but hopefully entertaining and possibly even enlightening example of the daily routine from our life in the Lake District B&B fast lane. Enjoy!
06:30 Alarm goes – another day in paradise begins!
06:45 – having crept around the bedroom trying not to make too much noise in case you wake the guests/family (in that order) head for the kitchen to do an early breakfast which seemed like a good idea at the time.
07:00 prepare some packed lunches for which you’re getting paid less than they’re costing you.
07:15 check you set the tables correctly the night before in the dining room, put out the butter/cups and anything else you forgot.
07:20 Light up the oven, start preparing sausages, mushrooms, and all the other ingredients of the full monty.
07:45 Get your first guest arriving for breakfast “I’m not too early am I?” “No of course not…”
08:00 -09:00 The bedlam that is breakfast – taking orders, explaining that you can’t cook waffles and hash browns to your American guests, trying to get fried eggs to stay in one piece during plate transfer, ensuring toast is as un-carcinogenic as possible.
09:05 – Find yourself on the phone ordering a taxi, enquiring about some attraction, or otherwise offering a service to your guests when all you really want to do is get the washing up done.
09:30 – Dining room and kitchen cleared – waiting for guest to do likewise from their rooms so you can get on with the cleaning.
10:00 – first guests depart, having “forgotten” their pin number and spent 10 minutes looking for their cheque book
11:00 – politely knock on the door of the other guests asking if they will be leaving soon
12:00 – Finally prise the ones who were at a wedding the night before out of their rooms and close the front door on them
12:15 – Enter the guest rooms with fingers crossed hoping for a nice neat and tidy room
12:16 – Bitter disappointment once again as you realise your guests must have had an all night party with at least 200 other people in the room to create such a mess. Dread entry into the bathroom.
12:30 – Strip beds, rearrange furniture, don biological warfare suit to tackle the bathroom, consider ringing environmental health but realise you will be shut down (is this a bad thing you wonder?!), decide to hold your breath and go for it.
13:30 – One room down, only a few more to go. Get first load of washing in the machine.
14:30 – All rooms done (if you’re lucky) – hoping to grab some quick lunch and sit down for five minutes when
14:31 – Ding Dong – the front door bell goes – it’s your first guests “we’re not early are we..?”, ”no of course not, do come in…”
15:00 – keep the washing going, start the ironing, in between answering the doorbell to more guests.
16:00 – more washing, ironing and in between answering the service bell to sort out your guests “needs” – “Do you have any ice?”, “Do you have WiFi?”, “Is there a bank nearby?”
18:00 – finish the ironing, set the table for the next days breakfast
19:00 – Ring Ring – your last set of guest are ringing (a nice touch you will learn to appreciate!) to say they’ll be late – should arrive “sometime in the next few hours..”
21:00 – Find you have a load of packed lunches to prepare, remember you haven’t eaten yourself since finishing off the cold sausages from breakfast, make a sandwich
22:00 Ding Dong – last set of guest arrive “Hope we’re not too late?” “Well actually you are, so goodbye”, “No of course not”. “Great – what time’s breakfast , do you have some ice, and can I order a packed lunch?..”
23:00 Pass out ready for another day
23:30 Woken up by guests falling in from the pub – remember to oppose 24 hour licence for local pub in strongest possible terms, then pass out
06:30 Alarm goes off….
This piece was originally written for a more in depth and useful article on setting up a B&B in the Lake District. As the proud owners now of our pet friendly lake district holiday cottage, you may also be interested in what we had to say about setting up a Lake District Holiday Cottage.