THE IRISH BED and breakfast is a national institution. It is the backbone of our country.
Sure you wouldn’t stay at the hotel when you can stay down the road for half the price with breakfast?
Here is how you’ll know you’re in the right place.
1. A statuette of Pope John Paul II
Acceptable substitute: a marriage certificate for the owners, signed by Pope John Paul II.
Unacceptable substitute: Any other Pope
2. Paper-thin walls
So you can hear the conversation of the middle-aged German hikers next door. Or worse.
3. Heating on an erratic schedule
- When you first arrive at 4pm: Arctic
- When you return from evening out at midnight: Arctic
- 5am-6.30am: Tropical Borneo
- When you get up at 8am: Arctic
4. An owner who is somehow both nice and not-nice, all at the same time
Does she like you? Does she curse you behind your back? You never know *quite* where you stand. That’s how you know you’re dealing with a professional.
5. Hallucination-inducing carpets
6. And furniture
7. Mysteriously isolated location
Ideally combined with idiosyncratic directions. “Go through the village and then another three miles on the Kilmacthomas road. Left opposite the stile, and then a mile along the track and it’s the house after the Flynns.”
8. Man of the house who appears only when you need a lift
9. And who you may have to awkwardly ring at 2am to pick you up from the wedding
10. An intimidating array of family photos
All eyeballing you from an elaborate sideboard, interspersed with GAA trophies. As you sit eating your breakfast in…
Over breakfast. While you desperately think of things to say that won’t make you sound like a psychopath to the silent couples at other tables.
12. Breakfast served very early in the morning
“What time would you like breakfast? It’s six to seven thirty.” Obviously you always get up for the breakfast, no matter how recently you got in from the wedding/stag/hen. You’ve PAID for it like.
… that you feel somehow obliged to eat all of
“Did you not like it,” the hostess will ask with hurt in her voice as you struggle through the second white pudding slice, wanting to die of lack of sleep. THIS IS A MATTER OF HONOUR.
13. And a visitor’s book that you have to sign on the way out
It’s compulsory. “So quaint, lovely stay – Jed and Eileen, Denver, Colorado.”