Etiquette Tuesday: 5 Things I Learned About Staying at a B&B

[ 0 ] December 17, 2013 |

The thought of staying at a Bed & Breakfast (B&B) never dawned on me until I visited the Virginia Eastern Shore. The Cape Charles region of the Eastern Shore encourages one to go the Bed & Breakfast route versus the traditional hotel stay. Cozy, inviting and family style is the vibe that this area exudes. This is also the energy that a B&B exudes. My stay at the Cape Charles House B&B would devirginize my typical vacation accommodations and shift my view of the unknown.

DSC_0511Arriving after midnight into what looked like someones home was the first culture shock for me. Unlike the hotel industry, B&B folks need their rest too and retire at a certain point in the evening. I would have to wait until the morning to meet the owners of the B&B but they did not make me wait for my R&R. Wine, cheese and crackers were left out with a sweet note greeting me and my guest. I love this place already! This would be the first of many things I would learn about the B&B way of life over the next 48 hours. Below are five things I learned about B&B’s:

  1. Bringing your own toiletries i.e. soap, lotion might not be a bad idea. It was not until the next evening that I learned that B&B’s are not automatic with providing these things. You have to request them. They were totally accommodating once we requested them so it is not like you feel inconvenienced, but if you come in after midnight like I did, you might want to have your own in tow.
  2. Breakfast is served in a family style dining setting minus the shared plates. Everyone received their own plate of food during my visit but we sat together at a dining room table. It was helpful that my fave foodies were on this journey with me because I do not know what my conversation or attitude would have been like with people I did not know before coffee.
  3. Alert the B&B to any allergies that you may have in case there are foods, pets or other random things your body will not respond to well. I had this issue after sitting in the family room on the first level, which is obviously also where the house cat spends a lot of their time. I am highly allergic to cat hair. You would think I have a sudden case of the flu if you saw me around it, which is what my B&B housemates got a view of after 30 minutes of being in the family room I had to resign to my room for the evening. Resigning resulted in flu-like symptoms that I might have avoided had I known this was the cats hanging spot.
  4. The rooms do not typically have televisions in them. This is a good thing. I have a television in my bedroom at home and this is probably the reason I spend most nights dreaming about buses that fly. Having a restful night was one of the best parts of my time here and I also could actually pull out a book instead of being distracted by visual moving images.
  5. This is essentially (typically) someone else’s home. The etiquette that is reserved for a B&B is entirely different from a hotel stay. You wake up in a hotel or come in ridiculously late and there is no expectation to interact with the staff except when it is time to check in or check out. B&B’s are more like visiting a family member or friend versus the isolation of the hotel world. If you end up in one where the owners are extremely nice and accommodating like at Cape Charles House, then this is definitely a vacation plus. If you end up, however, with not-so-nice house mates or owners, then this is could be a bad look.

These are five things I learned and five reasons I will revisit the B&B scene. It is the home away from home without the chores of being at home. Make sense?

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Category: Etiquette Tuesday, Food.Fun.Stuff., Reviews, Travels, VA, Virginia Eastern Shore

About the Author ()

Johnna French is a Harlem NY native with deep roots in Panama, Washington, DC and North Carolina. All four places have heavily influenced her life and the foods she loves today. After graduating Howard University School of Law and beginning her life as a young professional in the city she was led to start Johnna Knows Good Food in November 2007 to keep family, friends and colleagues updated on where to go and what to eat while dining in the nation’s capitol. French, who still practices law, leads a team of three writers to cover the ever expanding Washington, DC food scene. French has been featured in print and television, appearing in Washingtonian Magazine and is a regular contributor to various local TV affiliates including WUSA 9, FOX 5 DC and WJLA (ABC Affiliate) News Channel 8. During the 2016-2017 football season, Johnna aired on Comcast Sports Mid-Atlantic (CSN) show, Redskins Life, as the weekly tailgate host. Johnna is currently a regular contributor to the FOX Baltimore Weekend morning show.

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