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It's official. On telly so true!


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I was watching 'Question Maison' on Arte this afternoon and they had an article on about running a B&B.  (Apparantly there are 30,000 in France with 1,500 new ones every year.)

Did you know it started in Bretagne?

Anyway, this bloke who goes around staring them said that NOBODY makes any money from it and it was just a hobby. The couple he chose as an example spent 12,000€ doing up each room and they had five.  Each room at 45€ a night brought in 3000€ a year....

They said it was like living in a gilded cage as they always had to be there.

I'm going to phone 'em up and tell 'em about me being security officer for Miki when he takes The Satchel to the bank.  That will grieve 'em!

I must say, the rooms and house looked absolutely-bloody-fabulous.

I thought that there would be more than 30,000.  Perhaps 29,950 are in Bretagne.  Near me.[;-)]

I don't always listen with my full attention - I was reading OK magazine, admiring Posh's new hair cut - so feel free to correct my figures if you watched it more closely.

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Hi Alexis,

There have been a few on lately about Gîtes and Chambres d'Hôtes but I never

saw that programme. They spoke quite correctly; one has to watch whatever one

does or says. The French are of course, for the greater part, OK but every now and again

you  will get some !"$£"%&* git

who wants to complain about the most ridiculous things. We had one last night

in fact and it was the very first time this has ever happened.

We have a Chateau not far from us (2km's) where Marriage celebrations etc are

held. Yesterday two folks turned up here early, for the marriage and the

function afterwards at the Chateau  (all too often pretty normal and

without informing us, thus at least giving us a chance to say, oui ou non 

!) They proceeded to shower and get ready, then when they came down, Tina asked

them if it was a marriage (obvious really !) and they of course said yes. As

ever, we tell all our guests the time of breakfast, which she did, Madam, threw

her head back and said they would be late in and would sleep until mid day at

least !

Tina then said that we were sorry but leaving time is at 10h30 but we make

allowances for marriages when possible for 11h00 departure. I then heard Madam

and then Monsieur raise their voices, so went to see what was happening. They

told me that Tina was being disagreeable and that they had always been able to

stay until midday or beyond when in hotels or B&B's. I said we were sorry

but being just a small B&B, we were unable to carry out our jobs if people

were still in bed after lunchtime. We needed to clean, wash, change the beds

and a million and other things and that’s apart from having lunch and  rest before the new guests arrive ! So as has

happened for donkeys years, we simply had to refuse. Our emails tell guests of

departure time, as well as arrival time, so they are aware of this for the

greater part but as ever, they want to make the rules

That was it, in to one she went. We saw them go upstairs and come back down

with their case and a huff and a puff said they could not stay under such circumstances...I

tried to reason but she was adamant that we were totally out of order in not

allowing them time in bed to get over their evening !

This morning I rang 8 of our local B&B's (all French) who we work with to

see how they would have handled it and to a person, said they would have also

said the same thing and told us not to worry. Well should they complain to G de

Fr, I really will gets stroppy if we are not backed up them. It states quite

categorically in the regulations that guests must remember they are not staying

in an hotel but in the house of a family (chez l'habitant !) and guests must

respect their property and their regulations.

So that is how they had better see it and if the 'orrible people complain about

Tina being disagreeable, then this morning all the other French staying said

what a good meal and what a good night they all had, I had to force them but

that doesn't count……………. as Ricky Gervais would say !

Oh what I was coming to was, the satchel has broke and we have just a plastic

bin now, it is OK, it doesn't look so professional but it holds more dosh


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Miki, I read your story just after reading something in the Sunday Times today - an American complaining about a B&B in Ireland, run, apparently, by a Frenchman.


I would say that if your guests do get uptight, they are lacking the proverbial leg to stand on.

For those in France who cannot access Times Online articles, here is the text (with all due acknowledgments to the source - Readers' Rants, Travel section, Sunday Times, News International, Rupert Murdoch etc etc)

SEVERAL MONTHS ago, we booked a room at the Green Gate, in Ardara, Co Donegal, which The Sunday Times has listed as “the greatest little B&B in Ireland”. Only a couple of weeks before our scheduled arrival, the owner, Monsieur Chatenoud, called to say he would not hold a room for us because we are American. He said that several Americans have failed to honour reservations. I offered to pay the full rate in advance. He refused, and hung up. Needless to say we were disappointed (and offended).
Steve Fink, New York

Paul Chatenoud of the Green Gate replies: “It’s not me that doesn’t like Americans, it’s Americans that don’t like me. I’ve recently had 10 American couples who decided, once they saw the B&B, they didn’t like it. Most didn’t tell me to my face; they said they were going into town for a drink, then called up and cancelled, refusing to pay. The cottage is exactly how The Sunday Times described it: remote and basic.

It’s got low ceilings, brown water — but is in the most beautiful place in the world. Some Americans love it, most seem to hate it. They want an old cottage that is actually brand-new. It’s only Americans that this happens with and I can’t take the risk any more. I have revised my website to warn that the Green Gate is the opposite of the American way of life. I advise Americans to come and look first, but not to book in advance.”

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They not only paid for the shower but they had paid in full for the room some 6

weeks ago. All one night bookings pay in advance (if time allows) and it is the minimum

amount we accept for bookings up to 3 days, after that, it is 25% of

the total.

The report by Bill should go a long way to explain why we take that

stance. Some people think they can book a few places, have a look, see what

one is OK for them and sod the rest. This can happen with folks who

travel long distances, some will book somewhere for half way and also

3/4 of the way to you, then decide on the day where they can manage to

get to !!

With payment already in our pocket, they can

arrive.................. or not !!

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[quote user="Miki"]

This can happen with folks who travel long distances, some will book somewhere for half way and also 3/4 of the way to you, then decide on the day where they can manage to get to !!


I think you're absolutely right to do this Miki, but I have to say that this is why we book Etap/B&B hotels rather than chambres d'hotes for overnight stops. We often have 2/3 reservations booked for the journey and decide about 6 ish how far we're going to get and cancel the others. It takes a great deal of strain out of the last couple of hours of the journey.


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We had a similar incident last weekend with a wedding party which had been booked in since late last year for the Friday & Saturday nights only - paid usual deposit etc & understood Ts&Cs... When such parties book all our rooms we do offer an extention for breakfast till 12pm with check out straight after & until last week it has worked well - also gives us a welcome lie-in...... Any other guests we have booked in to arrive on the Sunday we ask to arrive after 4pm & state the reason why.  This party however broke all the rules from the start - arrived at midnight with an 'extra' child - why do they do that? so I stated the usual policy that we would be charging extra for the additional bed - unfortunately said child slept with parents on last night & wet the double bed which has no waterproof mattress protector - something I did not discover until after departure............ On Saturday they did make breakfast 'just' by 11am (15yr old & girlfriend arrived at 11.30 when others were still there.....so they exceeded our normal hours, but they had booked all the rooms, so went along with it )They then proceeded to 'bank' their sleep during the day until the wedding at 5pm, so unable to clean rooms till the evening - convenient as it turned out it was also a double gite changeover day, so we just abandoned them all to their beds.  Needless to say no-one was back before 4pm - what do they find to do all that time?????? Sunday morning they eventually started to appear just before midday, & I thought 'great - they will eat & go'.  However, & this is the 1st time it has happened, they all returned to their rooms.......eventually at 2pm when someone emerged to ask for tennis racquets we knocked at Mum & Dad's door to find they had gone back to bed......so OH had to be his diplomatic self & ask them to leave PDQ.........they stated that 'normallement' they are allowed to stay all day to 'recover' for the journey back.............I have never heard of this, unless arrangement is made to pay for an extra night - something they were not willing to do......so guess what? our T&Cs have just been added to - again...........at least the wedding season is over for another year - already have 2 booked for next though.......

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betoulle & Miki - sympathy vote from one who has had several wedding parties this year who have really hacked me off.  One lot woke up entire neighbourhood coming in at 4.00 am, smoked in bedrooms (non-smoking) and ate pizza in bed!!! Yuck.  Had nasty run in with another lot who wanted to arrive at 6.00 am on Saturday but did not want to pay for Friday night (they did in the end) and have had two parties with supplementary children - how do you 'forget' that you have a 5 month old baby??? 

Unfortunately the wedding parties are a 'nice little earner' in the summer so mostly feel I have to grin and bear them, but had enormous pleasure in turning down one lot for end of September as we are already full for the weekend.  Mind you, we are full with a party of over enthusiastic Aussies (I know as they have been before) so perhaps I'll end up wishing we had kept the wedding guests in the end![:)]



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Blimey, you B and Bers are a right bunch of old whingers.  You'd be moaning heck of a lot more if you didn't have any guests, be them good or bad.

No doubt saying this will rattle some cages, but if you where me reading this thread you sound like a bunch of old washer women.

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Five months off and a nice long holiday, Xmas with family and friends

puts us right, then we can get back to the whinging again ! Mind you,

if you have never done it, you have no idea [:)]

All the washer women around here are good time gals and loads of larfs......[:D]

Anyway, we don't want badderns, we only want gooderns !

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I only wish I had someone to bet with as I knew you'd be the first to reply. [:D]

You are right I haven't ever done it and I bet its right hard work.  I have the collection of Fawlty towers on DVD and the kids as well as me love watching it over and over again.  As much as Basil is an annoying s o d, you can't help but feel sorry for him.

Are you a Basil, Miki?  If not which t.v character are you most like?

Sorry should that go into the Lounge?



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Basil for sure.......Hard work, hard bludddy work, I get up at 07h00 and

I am still working on this bluddy computer at nearly midnight...hard

work......you don't know the half of it.

....................and Tina is a ringer for Sybil.

Whinging is like a relief valve, we have to let off steam, or the guests would get it in the neck  !

Schhhh don't shout about it but I believe Cassis is like Captain Mannering [;-)]

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Yes but for the hard of comprehending, I gave it phonetically. I am sure Mr Smith has spotted that and understood.

Take a black mark Tresco.....

Phew, I think I might have got away with that load of tosh

Jonesey...yes Will quite right................ Well spotted


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This bit about Capt Mainwaring reminds me of of a real bank manager I once had the unfortunate experience to be associated with.

Must have been back in the 80's: last of the breed, dead spit for Arthur Lowe's character, used to get me in to bollock me for being three & fourpence overdrawn.

"You've got too big a mortgage - better reduce it & sell your house."  "Who granted you that mortgage and extended your facility to that extent?"

"Well ............. you, actually".

Then follows classic Mainwaring blustering errumphs.


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