B&B News


Here we show some excerpts of when we've been in the press or on tv.

June 30, 2012: We were on Channel 4's "Four in a Bed"

See the TV show and watch us on Channel Four's: 'Four in a Bed' a reality tv show where different bed and breakfast try out each others accommodation.

Friday, June 08, 2012: Featured in the South Wales Evening Post

evening post

See the full article in the South Wales Evening Post.

At first sight, David Lewis and Giles Baeton are just like any other eager-to-please guesthouse owners.

Proud of their imposing house in Mumbles, they clean frantically, turn out perfectly cooked breakfasts and delight in positive feedback from guests. So when they rather tentatively entered Channel 4's reality competition Four In A Bed — in which rival owners stay at each other's B&Bs and judge the business — they were confident of at least some praise, if not a win.

But this is reality TV.

They were maybe a little naive. What they didn't realise was how they would be subjecting their Langland Road home to such intense scrutiny and playing up to the cameras as moaning, disgruntled guests when they visited three other bed and breakfasts.

"We thought long and hard about taking part," they say.

"But when we received an email to go on the show we thought we would give it a go," David says.

"We had to have a telephone interview and then researchers came to visit us.

"When we were accepted for the show we were delighted and thought it would be fun. But as we watched the show and saw how bitchy it was, we did start to have our doubts and considered pulling out.

"But we went ahead with it and despite feeling like we were under a microscope and being treated like performing puppets by the programme makers, we enjoyed the experience."

The story of their B&B begins some five years ago when David and Giles bought 17 Langland Road with a view to renovating the private house that had fallen into disrepair. That aim was eventually achieved and the property became their home.

"After a time the question was whether to continue with it as a private house, sell it on or find another use for the space," explains David.

"We started looking at flats but they all seemed so small compared to our house which we had been living in for over three years. We used to enjoy having friends over to stay and I think the idea came from there.

"At the time, both David and Giles had other full-time jobs and they initially juggled the running of the fledgling business with their jobs.

David, originally of Brithwen Road, Waunarlwydd, worked in the legal department at Swansea Council while his partner Giles, 40, worked as an hotel manager.

"At first Giles was unsure about the idea as it meant after a day looking after guests at work he would have to return home to look after our guests.

"But he came around and we decided to let out one room out. We set up a website and it went from there.

"Our first guests were a couple from London who wanted to stay for the weekend. When we received their phone call reality set in and we were really worried. But it went well and it gave us confidence to continue with the business."

Both owners are now fully employed running the B&B that is attracting customers from all around the world. And it has already been granted four-star status by Visit Wales.

Number 17 Langland Road now brands itself as "a tastefully restored three storey Victorian villa."

And that is exactly what it is. "Our B&B is complemented by our easy going and laid back approach," says Giles. "The decor reflects our personalities and we want guests to treat the B&B as their own home."

But all this was put to the test when Channel Four arrived to film Four In A Bed.

The premise of the programme is that four owners of B&Bs, small hotels or restaurants with rooms take it in turns to host to one another.

They then fill in forms assessing the performance of each establishment on a variety of criteria including hospitality, facilities and cleanliness. At the end they indicate whether they would ever stay in that establishment again. They then place into a sealed envelope the amount of money they think their stay was worth. At the end of the week the envelopes are opened and the competitors are placed in order of merit based on the percentages of their room tariffs the guests judge the experience as being worth.

In March this year David and Giles filmed for the show. The opposition was provided by a traditional B&B, a small hotel and a restaurant with rooms in Felixstowe, Cheshire and Colwyn Bay.

As part of the overall experience the competing businesses were also expected to provide some form of leisure activity.

David says: "We were the first to host and we didn't know what to expect. We were told we had to provide an activity for the guests but we didn't really have a clue, so we took them to Go Ape in Margam. They hated it! A few of the guests were a bit old for it.

"In the evening we took the guests to Langland Brasserie. The food was great, the weather couldn't have been better and even the tides were with us.

"When we visited the other B&B's we were told to expand on everything negative we said.

"The programme is so staged but I suppose that is what makes good television.

If we made a throwaway comment it was magnified. If we said something negative we always tried to put in a positive comment too. In the end we were afraid to speak! Who knows how we will come across on television!"

David and Giles have stayed in touch with one couple from the programme and were pleased with the response of the competitors.

"It was quite flattering as we are relatively new to the business and some of them have been trading for up to 25 years," says Giles, 40.

"The competition agreed that our location was by far the best of the four. Two of them also commented on the presence of so many delightful independent shops in the Newton Road area."

Catch the show on Channel 4 later this summer.

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