One of the many traits passed down from my mom is my insatiable nosiness about how other people live. I love open houses, home tours and stalking my friends homes via Facebook. When we found out we were moving to England, I spent hours online looking at rental homes and marveling at the differences between American and British decor styles.
My mom’s one request during her summer holiday was to visit a woolen mill so we gassed up the car and drove to Wales in search of all things textile-related. We booked two rooms at a guest house in Betws-y-Coed (no, I haven’t a clue how to pronounce that) and crossed our fingers that it would be clean. The reviews boasted a “150-year old Victorian property fully restored to it’s original glory.” Despite it’s age, Dolgethin House offered free wifi, private parking and tvs in every room. As you can imagine, things are a bit different in Europe so all those amenities were a major plus.
The property sat at the end of a row of guest houses and was surrounded by grazing sheep and beautiful flowers. After being in the car for four hours, Lena was ready to get out and stretch her legs so we made our way to our rooms.
As described, the house had a very old feel to it. The entry way was curious with it’s heavy maroon curtains and stained glass windows. And the house dog, Ebony, immediately won Lena’s approval despite being 14 years old and not particularly lively.
We had booked two rooms at the top of the stairs with a shared bathroom. Apparently, this is quite common for guest houses here and if you desire your own abode, you’ll want to book a room with an en-suite. Or perhaps that is common knowledge and I’m just not fancy enough to know these things.
Here’s my mom showing her excitement about her impending woolen mill tour. If that doesn’t qualify her as a senior citizen, I don’t know what does.
The rooms were quaint with fluffy down comforters, mismatched tea service and curtain canopies over the beds. Despite how it looks, the Sarge is sitting on our bed in this photo and not on the loo. Both rooms had their own sinks for washing up before bed.
Also, as you may remember from our dresser fiasco, the stairwells are extremely narrow in England. So a standard American king size bed would be unlikely to fit up the stairs. If you look closely, you can see that our large bed is actually comprised of two separate frames pushed together. Normally, you would worry about a child falling through the crack but since my 2-year-old bed mate likes to be my barnacle while sleeping, we knew it would be fine.
Speaking of my sweet daughter, she decided to take a nuclear deuce as soon as we unpacked our bags. The smell was on the verge of being hazardous to my health so I thought it would be a good idea to hide the offending nappy underneath my mom’s pillow and see if she noticed. I knew my mom would be inspecting her room to make sure it was up to par and I like to stress her out so it was an obvious choice. She also has the nose of a bloodhound so I figured it wouldn’t take her long to detect my little prank. Somehow, she laid next to the pile o’ poo for ten minutes before figuring out where the stench was coming from. I kept walking into her room commenting on the odor but apparently she was a bit gassy from the car ride and thought it was her own doing. Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore and let her in on the secret. As you can imagine, she was SUPER amused by the whole thing.
So, if you’re a nosy Nelly like me and enjoy creeping on other people’s homes, I would highly recommend booking a stay at a guest house. You get to live in someone else’s home for a night or two without any of the cooking or cleaning expected of an actual resident. Though if you’re uncomfortable sharing a bathroom with strangers, book the en-suite (and feel fancy that you actually know what that means).