My wife and I stayed at the Swallow's Nest in August of 2001 for a simple overnighter. When we arrived we were met by the lady of the house, Mrs Stemo. While not overtly discourteous, we didn't get the warm welcome that we'd come to enjoy at other B&Bs we'd stayed at in the past. She gave us a tour of the house, and showed my wife and I our room. Right next to our room was a laundry room. Now, some B&Bs have options for using laundry facilities, and I asked her if we were allowed to use them there. She got this funny look on her face as if I'd just asked her some completely off the wall question and curtly asked "well, how much did you want to wash?" Sensing that I'd obviously crossed some unseen line here we said not to worry about it, we won't be using the laundry. She showed us the rest of the house and pointed to where she and her husband's private residence was, and said she would appreciate it if we didn't venture into that space. At the end of the tour we asked when breakfast is served because we had to leave at 9:00 to get to the airport by 10:30, to which she responded 8:30...
perfect. Finishing her tour, she left us. Her reaction to my laundry question left us befuddled, you can't tell me that we were the first lodgers to ever ask that question before, if she didn't want lodgers using the facilities that's fine, but don't act as if I'm invading your personal space by asking a simple question.
Anyway, the rest of the day was pleasant enough, and we got to meet Mr.
Stemo. He was quite a nice fellow, showed us some of the antique items in the rec room. My wife, being from Georgia, has a nice southern belle accent and the owner was tickled at hearing her speak (a common occurrence when we travel in the north). We had quite a nice conversation with him and ended the day on a good note. We also met several other boarders and thouroughly enjoyed conversing with them as well (they also loved my wife's accent).
The next morning everyone was downstairs by about 8:20. The uncooked food was out in the kitchen. 8:30 came and went. 8:40. No one was showing up to prepare breakfast. One of the other boarders asked her husband if he thought we were supposed to make our own breakfast. At 8:45 another boarder commented that maybe we should find the owner and make sure everything was alright. My wife volunteered to look for Mrs.
Stemo and went down the stairs to find her while I waited in the kitchen with everyone else. A minute or so later my wife and Mrs. Stemo came up the stairs... Mrs. Stemo pointed at me, then at the table and said "sit there, your breakfast will be ready in a minute". My wife sat next to me and she was close to tears. I asked what was wrong. She told me that she went down and knocked on Mrs. Stemo's residence door to ask if everything was alright, and that everyone was waiting in the kitchen. Mrs. Stemo opens the door and says in a very rude manner "this is a bed & breakfast not a restauant little Miss Muffet. You have to learn patience!" Unbelieveable! My wife is from Georgia, where they practice respecting elders to a fault, and someone that she'd been nothing but sweet to treats her like dirt. I stood up, told my wife to get her things, we were leaving right then and there. We went upstairs, got our things, and packed the car. My wife waited in the car while I went back in and said goodbye to the other guests. Mrs. Stemo was nowhere to be seen. When the other guests asked why we were leaving I told them Mrs. Stemo had insulted my wife and we weren't going to stay.
They were sort of stunned but they understood. I went back back out, started the car, and began backing out. Mrs. Stemo came out and asked if we weren't staying for breakfast. I asked if she'd insulted my wife and called her "little miss muffet", to which she said that my wife had come into her private residence. I responded that my wife had merely knocked on the door to her residence, and absolutely nothing justified the rudeness she had shown. I continued backing out and we left. We ate at a truckstop breakfast buffet on the way to Madison to catch our plane. I'd be curious as to how the conversation went at breakfast at the B&B that morning.
When we arrived back in Florida I wrote a letter to the B&B saying how totally unsatisfactory our stay was, and stated everything I've mentioned here. I also wrote that it seemed quite reasonable that I receive at least half of our money back since we only had half of the "bed and breakfast". Mr. Stemo wrote us back the following week, very apoligetic, with a check for the full amount we'd paid. He stated that he had to run some errands that morning and couldn't be there that morning to help his wife. We felt marginally better, but he wasn't the one who needed to apologize, right?
Anyway, based on our experience, I'd recommend keeping as far as possible from the Swallow's Nest. It was an incredibly bad stay at an establishment in a business renowned for good hospitality. Zero stars.