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The Ivy Cottage Bed and Breakfast, located in Stawell, England, features three guest accommodations that are available throughout the year. Two of the rooms share a bathroom, while the other has an en-suite. The owners—Diana and Chis—hope that those staying at the cottage can feel welcome to be in the common areas such as the kitchen, gardens, and reception rooms. Roaming the home are the couple's two ginger cats, one named Peanut and the other named Feargal, who, according to Diana, is very friendly to visitors. Outside, there is a hot tub that patrons of the establishment can use for an added charge. There is also a garden that those staying at the property can enjoy. Each morning, breakfast is served continental style with fruit salad, yogurt, toast, bagels, croissants, juice, tea, and coffee available daily. Diana and Chris hope that guests can feel "at home" during their stay. The owners strive to help visitors have this experience by "treating them like real people," according to Diana.
Ivy Cottage Bed and Breakfast, a 19th-century farm cottage, has three guest rooms available to visitors. The cottage was originally built in 1850 and, according to the owners, has been updated while "retaining its charm and idiosyncrasies." Two of the rooms, both located upstairs in the home, share a bathroom. The third room is located on the ground floor and has its own bathroom. This room also has a television in it, as opposed to the other rooms which do not. Common areas are available to all visitors to the bed and breakfast. These areas include the kitchen, gardens, and reception room. The kitchen is available for guests to make meals throughout the day. The owners hope that patrons know "they don't have to stay in their room" and are free to be in the common areas throughout the day.
The exterior of the property features a garden area, as well as a hot tub. The hot tub is available for patron's usage for an additional cost. There are also patio areas outside that have chairs so visitors can sit and enjoy the garden areas.
Each morning at Ivy Cottage Bed and Breakfast, a continental breakfast is served. Some of the items served include fruit salad, yogurt, toast, bagels, croissants, juice, tea, and coffee. There are also a variety of jams available, from raspberries, strawberries, and plums grown on the property. Chris and Diana—the owners of the establishment—strive to have an "eco-friendly" bed and breakfast, and, in an attempt to operate this type of business, they purchase their milk from a local farm located a few miles down the road from the bed and breakfast. For those with food restrictions or allergies, accommodations can be made. Additionally, as the owners are vegetarians, they ask their guests not to cook meat or fish at the bed and breakfast during their stay.
While staying at Ivy Cottage Bed and Breakfast, the owners hope that guests can feel "at home." As such, Diana, one of the owners, notes that "if [guests] want a cup of tea, they can come down to the kitchen and make it themselves." She hopes that patrons can have a "home away from home" experience. To help provide an atmosphere conducive to the experience they are hoping for guests, the owners strive to treat those staying at the bed and breakfast "like real people." Diana and Chris try to engage with their visitors and have conversations with them. Additionally, when people first arrive, they are offered a cup of tea or coffee. Diana and Chris strive to "impart local knowledge" to visitors, such as giving them information on local eateries and places of interest.
Open year-round, the busiest season at the cottage tends to be during August and the holiday season in December. Many guests visit during August, according to Diana, due to the warmer temperatures. A unique feature of the business that the owners note is that during the holiday season, the prices of rooms stay the same. The owners don't raise the prices of their rooms throughout the year depending on if they are busy or if there is an event in the area. They strive to keep prices the same to show respect to their patrons.
Some policies that visitors should be aware of while staying at the bed and breakfast include a vegetarian policy. Diana is vegetarian, and she asks that her guests not cook meat or fish in the house during their stay. Additionally, the establishment does not cater to "small children." If guests book all of the rooms of the bed and breakfast, however, small children can stay at the home. Otherwise, guests must be at least teenagers to stay overnight. There are no pets allowed at the establishment, as the owners have a pet cat named Peanut. Lastly, quiet hours are from 11:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.
The owners note that the business is most known for treating visitors "like family" while they are staying at the home, as well as for the coffee served at breakfast. Those who have stayed previously at the cottage have noted that the establishment is clean, the owners are hospitable, and the area around is open and peaceful. One former guest said, "On arrival, I was warmly welcomed. The cottage was clean and located in a nice quiet village. Access to and from the motorway was quite close. The room was spacious and the bed was comfortable."
Some areas of potential interest to guests are Glastonbury Tour, Wells Cathedral, Cheddar Gorge, and the multiple nature reserves that are nearby the bed and breakfast. The city of Bristol is also located close to the establishment, and Diana says that many patrons of the business visit the city during their stay. Some eateries that the owners generally recommend include the Sheppy Inn, Ring O' Bells, and The Duck Inn.
Diana and Chris have lived in the Ivy Cottage Bed and Breakfast since 2005; however, during that time, it served as their private residence. In 2017, they decided to turn the home into a bed and breakfast to let out some of the extra rooms that the home had. Before opening Ivy Cottage, a bathroom was added to the guestroom downstairs as well as adding new doors to the rooms and across the house. Additionally, they planted the garden outside and repainted the home.
In the future, the couple hopes to keep the bed and breakfast similar to how it is now. "We've got it as we want it," Diana said. They do hope to add a pagoda over the hot tub to allow it to be used throughout all the seasons of the year.
Bed and Breakfast
Diana and Chris