How Bed and Breakfast Accommodation Became a British Institution

September 21, 2018Bed and Breakfast

The great British institution of Bed and Breakfast accommodation is something to be celebrated. Nowhere else in the world does B&B quite like the Brits, and this beloved genre of holiday accommodation is held in high esteem by all those who covet a warm welcome in the comfort of a real family home. But how did a genre of accommodation infiltrate our culture and become something so beloved and so typically, British?

A Potted History of the British B&B

Britain’s transportation industry evolved back in the 1700s and the first roads opened creating a network throughout the UK connecting villages and towns all over the country. As a result, coaching inns and trading houses sprang up to provide lodgings for weary travellers and stabling for their horses. This early type of roadside accommodation was a very humble start for the B&B, but quickly became a way of life for travelling tradesmen and families moving from one location to the next in the UK.

The Georgian interest in health and well-being inspired the uprising of British spa towns. This meant that there was a need for accommodation so enterprising individuals began to open up their houses to offer private lodgings for wealthy visitors.

Victorian Britain

In 1871 another great British institution – the bank holiday – was introduced in the UK and Victorian workers began to have a real interest in leisure time and holidaying. With the advent of steam trains the seaside became more easily accessible, and it became very en vogue for the middle classes to flock to the coast at every available opportunity. Guesthouses and seaside lodgings became a necessity to provide accommodation to the masses who visited the coast in summertime, and the coastal B&B was born.    

victorian seaside holidays and bed and breakfast accommodation

Swinging Sixties

In the 1960s the humble Bed and Breakfast was worlds apart from the stylish comfortable Bed and Breakfast accommodation you find here at Trevigue today. Bed and breakfasts were easy fodder for stand-up comedians and the parody of battleaxe landladies with coin-in-the-slot electric fires and less-than-delectable breakfast offerings is reminiscent of the sixties B&B era. Post-war Britain was a frugal place to live, and B&Bs reflected that culture with paper-thin towels and threadbare sheets being the norm. Even so, complaints were made at your own risk!

Thankfully by the end of the 1980s, B&B accommodation in the UK began to reflect the nation’s yuppy aspirations, and bedrooms had the addition of (avocado) en suite bathrooms, with B&B proprietors jostling to offer the most luxurious B&B possible to guests with a more disposable income (and finer tastes).   

Cheap European Travel

Over the next few decades the introduction of budget airlines offering cheap European flights meant that holidays to Spain, France and Greece became the norm for many working class families and the popularity of holidaying in the UK waned. Bed and Breakfast accommodation had to up its game if it were to attract the attention of holidaymakers, and bed and breakfast establishments started providing more than “just” a bed and breakfast.

B&B owners started to pull out all the stops to revive their industry with the introduction of Egyptian cotton linen, locally-sourced organic breakfasts and handmade toiletries infused with aromatics. The (now not so humble) B&B saw a resurgence in popularity and Bed and Breakfast accommodation gradually became a popular and beloved way of holidaying in the UK once more. The ‘Staycation’ was born!

bed and breakfast accommodation cornwall

Bed and Breakfast Accommodation in Britain Today

Television shows revealing the beauty of Britain’s coastline, wildlife programmes and newspaper articles detailing adventures we can have right here on our own doorstep have all lead to the nation’s affection for the British B&B being rekindled. More people than ever before are enjoying the British B&B and today there are in the region of 25,000 B&Bs and guesthouses all across the UK.

Until the 2000s if you were looking for B&B accommodation you would have to flick through AA accommodation guides, the Yellow Pages (remember that?!) or look on notice boards in the local village shop to find a place to stay. Since the revolution of technology we hold the world in our hands (quite literally) with the invention and widespread use of the smartphone. Thanks to technological advances and the internet influencing our lives more than ever before, we are now able to do our own research and read reviews from others using Bed and Breakfast accommodation all over the world. This has opened up the door to many new apps and technological developments in the B&B industry and being a B&B owner is now (seemingly) as easy as 1-2-3.

Trevigue B&B in North Cornwall

Whether the rise of technology is positive or negative for the Bed and Breakfast accommodation industry (that debate can lead to a whole series of blogs in itself!), here at our clifftop B&B accommodation in North Cornwall we know that good old fashioned attention to detail is crucial. That is why all our bedrooms are lovingly adorned with fine white bed linen, fluffy duvets and cloud-soft pocket sprung beds which promise a blissful night’s sleep. When choosing to stay at a B&B like Trevigue you are welcomed into a real family home where a friendly and welcoming ambiance is created courtesy of homely comforts. A warm welcome comes as par for the course, and we like to think that our insider knowledge and personal tips of things to do whilst staying in North Cornwall add to your Cornish holiday as much as the B&B accommodation itself. And of course, when staying at Trevigue you will wake up to the most lip-smacking homemade breakfast to set you up for the day.

With Breakfast Just How it Should Be…

With lip-smacking options such as smoked salmon served alongside the yellowest scrambled eggs (provided by our lovely hens who live in the corner of the mowhay on the farm), or creamy porridge slowly cooked on the Aga before being topped with fresh fruits, agave syrup and seeds, and of course the crowning glory – our famous Full English; the breakfasts we serve at this award-winning B&B are utterly delicious. They are one of the reasons why our guests return time and time again and we can’t wait to welcome you to show you why…

Bed and Breakfast in Cornwall

Get in touch now to book your stay at Trevigue Bed and Breakfast accommodation in North Cornwall.

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