Time for another British Invasion? Can New England B&Bs stack up? Here is a Vermont contender
My favorite Brit tells me that the UK has the best B&Bs in the world. I don’t doubt it, but as a New Englander, and former inn-keeper, I have to defend my own. While the Bed and Breakfast industry in Vermont is not the £2 billion ‘cottage industry’ it is in the UK, Vermont B&Bs are nothing to sneeze at.
For several years I was co-proprietor with my husband John K. Nelson of the Swift House, a Middlebury landmark. Of course it still ranks high on my list of fabulous Vermont B&Bs. There are hundreds of notable B&Bs in Vermont. Vermont Bed & Breakfast Inns provides links to most of them.
Ye Olde English Inne on the Mountain Road in Stowe comes to mind. An English couple on vacation in Stowe, Chris and Lyn Francis fell in love with Vermont and decided over lunch in 1983 to become innkeepers. To this day, Ye Olde English Inne brings Old and New England together in a wonderful inn and pub.
If you are a B&B connoisseur, you probably already know Pamela Lanier’s Bed and Breakfast Inns website. She lists B&Bs all over the world, including those in Old and New England. Compare her list of Vermont B&Bs to those in the UK, and it is easy to see that the Brits win on numbers of B&Bs (and yes the Beatles are probably better than the Monkees).
But B&Bs are one of the glories of the British tourist industry, precisely because real people run them; Vermont is also famous for real people (think Patrick Leahy, Ethan Allen, Rudy Vallee, Robert Frost, John Irving), so we can compete when it comes to character.
And it certainly takes character to run a Bed and Breakfast; I met many in Middlebury at the Swift House.
While I don’t currently have any B&Bs for sale in Middlebury, I do have a spectacular lodging property in Shelburne: It is a handsome Queen Anne Victorian and listed on the National Register of Historic Places…The Heart of the Village Inn is a centerpiece in the Village of Shelburne.