Clive and I are celebrating this week as we have been the proud owners of Cumberland House for nine years!
Nine years, where does the time go?
My first job at the tender age of 12 was at a B&B in Ireland called Ardmeelish House where I was a chambermaid with my sister during the summer holidays. This was my first taste of B&B life and I loved it back then.
Later on in years when I moved to Horley and while the children were small, I worked at an Airport Hotel here at Gatwick and also in one of the local B&Bs and it was then that the dream of owning my own B&B began.
It Was Really Hard Work In The Beginning
Clive and I became the proud owners of Cumberland House on 24th March 2005 and boy were the first 18 months a challenge.
Working in a B&B and owning one was a completely different story! In the early days, when one thing went right another seemed to go wrong. The money seemed to flow out faster than it came in with unexpected renewals and repairs of fridges, freezers, water heaters, the roof, cookers and the dishwasher to name but a few things!
Thankfully all that is now behind us and we now have a great maintenance and renewal plan in place – together with coffers in the pot to cover the unexpected!
Clive and I really feel that our 9 years as B&B owners have been a blessing. We’ve thoroughly enjoyed our time so far. We have met some wonderful people from all over the world and from all walks of life and it is amazing to see the different ways people choose to spend their time off, from fishing in Canada to church bell ringing in Europe – we’ve even welcomed a whole brass band that were going on holiday together and playing along the way!
The boys were in their early teens when we first came to Cumberland House and now they are both grown up and have flown the nest. But they weren’t the only youngsters at Cumberland House who have grown up. It’s been lovely to see our amazing weekend staff grow from young teenagers to young adults now at University and putting their careers into play.
So much has changed at Cumberland House over the past nine years
It’s been a continual refurbishment programme and it’s a far cry from the property we bought all those years ago. From a new roof, windows and a new balcony to the complete renovation of the breakfast room and all the associated furnishings and fittings. There has also been an ongoing refurbishment programme of the bedrooms and ensuites, which is now almost at completion stage. Two more bedrooms were refurbished in February and we’ve got the last two planned for refurbishment at the end of this month. Then the redecoration of the hall, stairs and landing will complete the project. However, something tells us that Cumberland House is going to be just like the Forth Bridge as we’ve got plans to start from the beginning again.
But it’s not just the property that’s been renovated – we’ve recently launched our new website, had new signage created and have also purchased a brand new car for the 24/7 free airport transfers that we offer.
Clive and I look back on the past nine years with great pride, fondness and with a smile and we are both looking to the next nine years and beyond.
Some of our guests have recently shared their stories about Cumberland House – if you’ve enjoyed staying here and have good memories then we’d love to hear them.
We’d like to take the opportunity to thank you for your valued custom, your friendship and your support during our time as B&B owners and we hope that we can welcome you back to Cumberland House again soon.
Carmel and Clive
An Example Of Guest Stories
“I have returned to Cumberland House for the first time in nearly 5 years. I have always enjoyed staying here, but in my time away, the improvements made have enhanced what was already an excellent B&B. The welcome is as friendly as ever. The services offered are extremely good. I look forward to staying here more often in the future.” Dave Houghton, Plymouth.
“We have been staying at Cumberland House for several years now and have always been thoroughly satisfied with the accommodation, food and warm welcome we receive. Over the years Carmel and Clive have been steadily upgrading all the rooms and have re-sited the kitchen and dining room to the ground floor with vastly improved facilities. The improvements have made this Bed & Breakfast one of a very high standard and yet still maintaining a warm and homely feel about it. We would thoroughly recommend this establishment to anyone wishing a first rate feel good factor.” Chris and Beryl Bolt, Ely, Cambs.