the great british bed + breakfast
Growing up, I must've walked past the blue and white Georgian facades of Weymouth's B+Bs a thousand times but had never seen inside. It was time to step over the union flag welcome mat and take a rummage around the Great British B+B. Each one I visited was a unique vision of the proprietors, a curated trove of trinkets, bunting, biscuits, chocolate treats, swan towels, frills, net curtains, patterned carpets, paintings, photos, place settings and themed bed sheets.
The full-English breakfast was the must-have, heart-busting-beat to start the day. That American import, the hash brown had largely replaced fried bread and black pudding was sidelined to an off menu request. The ramekins used for keeping the baked beans separate divided opinion and families. The cereal was usually boxed, the condiments plentiful.
Some of the places I stayed I wasn't comfortable getting under the bed covers naked of walking bare foot on the carpet, I lost good pairs of socks.
The proprietors were often from landlocked towns and cities in the midlands and chose to run a B+B in the town they fell in love with on holiday as kids. They were married, often childhood sweethearts, white, with no-nonsense names: Roy, Ray, Ruth, Tom, Tim, Kevin, Alun, Sue. Many had taken early retirement from honest professions: fire-fighter, teacher, banker, miner.
It's a strange life inviting strangers into your home for a week or weekend. Judging by the walls of thank you cards, they didn't stay strangers for long.
A full edit of the reportage is available from Getty Images
Shot on OLYMPUS