Cellars, dungeons & beach huts

Uncategorized   |   May 31, 2017

Following my last blog many of our friends and family have messaged, encouraging us to keep going and not to have second thoughts. I must stress that, under the poetic licence given from writing, those doubts were quite a while ago. We are now firmly on the plan, but I have a year of experiences to catch up with!

Our very first viewing last year was in Paignton – a lovely guest house with ten rooms and direct sea views looking out over the colourful beach huts. We were hooked! It had a small bar in the corner of the lounge, so that was Andy’s evenings sorted. Propping up the bar serving the ‘many’ guests, while I went to bed early ready to be on breakfast duty the next morning. But someone else must have had the same idea and that one has now gone to another potential publican. Cheers to them!

One thing we have seen time and time again is no matter how perfect the guest areas look the owners accommodation often doesn’t reflect this perfection. Cluttered corridors full of headboards, travel cots, ladders and other spare necessities. Cupboards bulging with bedding and towels. Peeling wallpaper, damp, worn carpets and some very unpleasant smells! So far from my spacious perfectly decorated home, but back room perfection doesn’t make money.  One particular guest house that comes to mind had the largest Alsation I’ve ever seen in the small owners flat. Andy wanted to run a mile! The ‘house-keepers’ dungeon in the basement had a damp mattress on the floor and not much else. OK, there were some positives – the grand piano in the lounge being one and the sunny terrace being another. But the very strong doggy smell throughout the house, along with water pouring through the ceiling in the entrance hall knocked that one on the head.

Cellars and basements are a common theme. Beautiful sea-views from large en-suite bedrooms for the guests, but basement living with low ceilings, steep narrow stairs and no natural light for us. I don’t think so! Even we can’t be that creative, although believe us we do try. Working through every combination to try and make these dark basements work for us, when the rest of the house looks ideal. Another in Brixham with beautiful views over the harbour had a dark, postage-stamp size sitting room. A bathroom with the bath placed under the stairs, just the head end poking out and a similar cramped space upstairs for us. No windows, no views and no storage – where would all my handbags and shoes go?

We did visit a couple of properties in Bournemouth – nearer to home and year round trade. But those within our price range felt like we would be living in the Ghetto.  We nipped into a nearby restaurant for a quick lunch whilst there to be advised by the waitress – avoid that road over there. We were too embarrassed to admit there were two in that road that we had the details for in my handbag! Drunken hens and stags all have a place and I would never want to dampen their spirits, but they have no place within the living space of our little innocent lovely. We know finding the perfect home and business will involve compromise but there are some areas we can never compromise on and others that I’m sure we will have no choice – probably parking!





Leave a comment