My worry about going to an unfamiliar B&B is that it will be too prissy. I imagine walking with muddy boots on a gleaming real-wood floor and barely missing the antique cupboard of porcelain teacups as I drag my sticky-wheeled suitcase across Persian carpet.
My concern was unfounded at the Hunt House Inn in Sudbury, MA. Staying there was more like visiting an aunt who no longer has the energy to clean or pick up much.
When we asked for a room with a real bed rather than the one with the Murphy bed that we were given, the owner was happy to change our room, but warned us that the initial room had the nicer bathroom. It took only a quick glance at the yellowed plastic shower stall and rust-upholstered radiator to surmise that we had been given the nicest room in the house. It did have a fine location, on the ground floor, near the front door.
Some of the chairs and desks placed randomly in the halls suggested pre-consignment elegance, but the scraped and stained walls, stacks of papers and tools in the unused dining room, and the uncomfortable patio furniture in the sunroom/breakfast room distracted one from noticing their charm.
As the proprietors assumed that they were welcome to pull up chairs at our breakfast table and share their life stories, the staying-with-one’s-aunt analogy seemed even more fitting. The only polite choice was to gulp down the predictable egg casserole and not linger over the surprisingly good coffee.
The best to be said of this B&B is it was close to the event we were attending.