By John O’Ceallaigh
Conditions weren’t ideal for our trip to theOld Monterey Inn B&B. The rain that day was so heavy it threatened to splinter the windscreen of our rental car, and we arrived weary, waned and later than expected.
The inn’s receptionist should consider a career in marketing though, because a few well-chosen words from her and all was well again.
The storm that raged outside meant we could cuddle up in front of the fire, she pointed out; and there was a double-size bath in our cottage, perfect for soaking in if the drive had left us stressed, she commented. They were good points, but it was the warm, respectful welcome that made the biggest impression on me. I have always favored hotels to B&Bs, partially because I had assumed some might be less receptive to gay couples, but at Old Monterey Inn we felt immediately at home.That’s partially because the property itself is a home, and we were to learn all about its history from an elderly lady also staying that night. Her grandparents built the gorgeous old country pile to resemble an English Tudor-style house, and it remains much the same as it was when she was a child. Our cozy little cottage was once a tool shed, it transpired, and even then the garden was a defining feature. Its focal points, now, are a huge old tree with low-slung branches, and vividly colored pockets of fragrant flowers. We met that lady again at breakfast.
Everyone dines together at one long table and we were lucky to have an engaging, quick-witted group. We debated and discussed as staff busied themselves serving that morning’s menu: peach and cherry cobbler with vanilla ice cream, and an asparagus and sun-dried tomato frittata. It was all delicious, of course, but it’s the interaction and homely, intimate atmosphere that I most remember. I’ve become a B&B convertee.
Originally published in GPS.OutTraveler.com.