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The B&B

545 of 1160 nominations


The B&B

Is this an icon?


The B&B

Where other countries have the pension and the locanda, England has B&Bs. To those not in the market for the corporate atmosphere of a hotel chain, the unassuming bed-and-breakfast guest-house is the obvious answer. A world of cruet sets and squeezy, tomato-shaped ketchup dispensers, in which each couple is given its own front-door key and everybody says “Good morning” to each other when they appear for breakfast, the B&B is often prized for its homeliness, the one thing that makes it feel least like a hotel. In B&B world, there is no calling for the manager if something goes wrong. You simply pop your head round the kitchen door. Dinner is an occasion that happens strictly by prior arrangement, if at all.

The days when proprietors took a keen interest in your sleeping arrangements, and expected you to leave the premises after breakfast and not darken the doorstep again until dusk, are (mostly) behind us now. B&Bs are coming up in the world, but largely without charging the earth or forgetting the ethos of the welcoming personal touch that has made them internationally renowned.

Photo: Reiner Kraft


Your comments

As the UK is a notoriously expensive destination, the traditional family bed-and-breakfast, which serves a piping-hot cooked breakfast each morning, must be something that most people consider when visiting England. It must also be a fine way of meeting locals all over the country, as an alternative to staying at an expensive and soulless hotel.

Rajeev Aloysius

I don't think the B&B is an English Icon as there are similar establishments in other parts of the UK. I have stayed is several in Scotland and Wales.
Diane Smith



I nominate the red pillar box.

Donna Spencer