There’s Much Ado about Something at The Bard and Breakfast. First, this is a terrific B&B at the price though you do share a bathroom with one another room. Now I know that most of you prefer an en suite or private bath. However, I’ve picked it because it’s a perfect set up for two singles, two couples travelling together, parents with older children, or for those who have difficulty with stairs since it’s at ground level. As for us, no one else was there when we stayed and it was like having our own little cottage.
Host Elizabeth Forrest and husband Al gutted and reconfigured the house especially for bed and breakfast. Sadly, Al passed on in the summer of 2007. Elizabeth tells me she is thankful to be kept busy with the B&B and says, 'the guests are just wonderful'. The uplifting colours throughout are blue, yellow and white and the original mouldings were reinstalled to lend character. My friend was especially enamoured of the glassed-in sunporch furnished with comfortable wicker which overlooks a front garden of grasses and wildflowers. There’s also a guest lounge with dining table, sofa and chairs, and a refreshment corner with small fridge and other amenities.
The two bedrooms are somewhat small but cleverly designed for bed and breakfast guests. We had handy benches at the bottom of our twin bed arrangment in what can also be a king room. The compact wardrobe had a full-length mirror on the door. There was a yellow slipcovered chair in our room, a family piece from the Forties, which came complete with intact springs. The other room has a queen bed and is similarly furnished. The bathroom, with its rather small shower (no tub) is between the rooms and all are separated from the guest lounge by a short hall. The location is pretty good too. It’s on a residential street that runs parallel to the Avon River and the backyard garden backs onto town property. Walk down the street and through a park and you can be at the Festival Theatre in ten minutes. The other theatres are towards downtown Stratford; the farthest being the Avon, about half an hour away on foot.
Next morning for breakfast we had fresh fruit (grapes, cantaloupe and strawberries) and perfectly moist homemade raisin bran muffins. Then on to a baked egg inside a nest of shaved ham topped with a bit of whipping cream and mozzarella cheese and sprinkled with basil. Tea, coffee and OJ completed the repast. After, I learned that the house has been Elizabeth’s family home since 1944 (it was built in 1923) and that she’s been a Festival-goer since she was ten. She’s collected many a stage door signature and remembers getting rush seats for $2. Her first job was at the Festival Theatre and another of her summer jobs was working for an English couple at a guest lodge. She liked it so much she remembers suggesting that her mother run their place as a tourist home. Mom demurred, but told her, ‘You can do it when you grow up’. Funny how these things work out.
Note 2 to reader: I appreciate your support of the continuation of my research by letting the hosts know you read my review of their bed and breakfast on this bbontario website. Many thanks! - Janette Higgins, Travel Writer