A Valley View Bed and Breakfast is situated on 55 acres of land and about 20 minutes from the notable cities of Stratford to the northeast and London to the south. The bed and breakfast itself is a one-bedroom guest house with a living and dining area and a full kitchen. Ingredients for guests to make their own breakfast are provided in the kitchen by the owner, Jacqui. These ingredients are enough to make “a full breakfast and light lunches,” according to the property’s website. Jacqui describes the guest house’s location as “a good middle base for people,” as a number of attractions are in fairly close proximity. In the town of St. Marys are a number of boutique shops that guests many enjoy, and the city of Stratford is home to four theatres, The Stratford Festival Theatre, Tom Patterson Theatre, Avon Theatre, and Student Theatre. Lake Huron is also a 40-minute drive from the property.
A 55-acre plot of land between the towns of Stratford and London from Lake Huron is the location of A Valley View Bed and Breakfast. According to Jacqui, the owner of the bed and breakfast, the property is a “good middle base for people” who are in the area for attractions. Aside from being near equidistant between Stratford and London, Lake Huron is around a 40-minute drive away and has a number of public beaches that people can visit during their stay. Closer to the bed and breakfast is the town of St. Marys, which features a number of attractions such as boutique shops and restaurants, the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, and the St. Marys Community Players. The latter attraction is highlighted by Jacqui as the main draw for people to the area, especially during the summer when the troupe is putting on shows.
With regard to the accommodation, it is a single-bedroom guest house with a combined living and dining area and a “full modern kitchen.” In the bedroom, there is a double bed, and an extra queen-size sofa bed is found in the living room. Other amenities offered to visitors include access to a washer and dryer and private controls for heating and air conditioning. In the full kitchen, ingredients are provided each morning for patrons to make their own breakfast. The property’s website explains that the kitchen is “stocked with supplies for a full breakfast and light lunches.” Some of the items that are most commonly supplied are bacon, eggs, bread, butter, tea, coffee, juices, and light snacks. Should someone have allergies or dietary restrictions, Jacqui asks that they contact her prior to their stay to inform her of their needs.
The rest of A Valley View Bed and Breakfast’s 55-acre site is open for guests to roam, with the exception of Jacqui’s house. Trails are located across the premises varying in length, which people can walk at their leisure. One path leads visitors to Fish Creek, a creek that runs through the back of the acreage. Much of the terrain is varied between open fields and more wooded areas. Near the building, there are also gardens that guests can walk around and observe. Upon request, some lawn games can also be provided free of charge, ranging from lawn darts to cornhole.
One of the goals Jacqui has for guests of A Valley View Bed and Breakfast is that they will feel at home and relaxed. She strives to provide them with the experience of “getting away from the city and getting back to nature,” as the bed and breakfast is located in a rural area that is typically quiet. One of the aspects Jacqui likes most about running her business is being able to share her property with people who otherwise may not have been able to experience a more removed setting from a city or town. While she enjoys talking with guests who are interested in learning more about her and the building, Jacqui will generally give her patrons privacy during their stay.
Many people who have stayed at the bed and breakfast have left positive reviews about their experience there. A number of these mention Jacqui’s hospitality and assistance with their stay. One person explains that “Jacqui is a gracious host, a wonderful source of information, and a true pleasure to talk with.” Another says that they “enjoyed chatting with Jacqui and admiring her artworks.” Other reviews mention the grounds, noting that a “wide variety of wildlife came to visit” near the house, referring to animals that are known to cross through the property. On the topic of animals, Jacqui says that some guests enjoy birdwatching on the grounds. A number of species can be spotted here, including bluejays, goldfinches, cardinals, and red-breasted grosbeaks. A guest remarks that they “were entertained by the birds and squirrels looking through the windows while we had our meals.”
According to Jacqui, a sizable portion of her patrons are from the United States and Canada, although she has started to see more people coming from other countries, such as Germany. The bed and breakfast is open year-round, with the busiest time of year occurring between June and August as many visitors are coming for shows put on by the St. Marys Community Players in St. Marys. Jacqui reports that the bed and breakfast is suitable for "romantic getaways, anniversary celebrations, and just to rest, relax, and rejuvenate."
While the guest house of A Valley View Bed and Breakfast was established in mid-2003, the main house was originally constructed over 150 years ago. The first owners of the establishment were the Radcliffe family. A book was written detailing the history of the property that guests can read during their stay to learn more about specific events that occurred there with the Radcliffe family and other owners of the land. Jacqui has owned the property for 60 years and decided with her husband to build an annex to the main house to act as an apartment for her mother in the late 1990s. Following her mother’s transition into a retirement home in the early 2000s, Jacqui decided to open the apartment up as a bed and breakfast.