Paul and I are often asked if we have any children.
As a happily married couple who are well into their sixties, many people assume that we’ve had our kids, sent them on their way and are now enjoying our twilight years with not a care in the world. The truth is, although our own parents were very keen for us to start a family of our own, both Paul and I were too enamoured with our jobs to bear the thought of leaving them for the sake of raising kids. Thanks to both of us earning a good wage for the majority of our lives we were able to take (relatively) early retirements and enjoy our years of retirement.
We’ve spoken frankly about this decision with another and have always come to the conclusion that we made the right decision, however there’s no easy quick way to communicate this to new acquaintances without going through the whole rigmarole. As much as we love getting to know hosts and fellow guests at B&B, we have got used to running through the same old small talk questions every time we meet some new, well-meaning people. We’ve come to expect these questions now, but struggle to answer them with any kind of enthusiasm. So we were pleasantly surprised when we arrived at the Cherry Brook B&B to be greeted with an altogether set of questions.
“So how long have you had your dog for?” “Where’s your dog?”
You see, The Cherry Brook B&B provides ‘truly dog-friendly accommodation’, something which we’d noted before booking the room but had chosen to forget. There are 7 rooms in this handsome B&B, all of which are dog-friendly whilst offering some spectacular views across Dartmoor. This 200 year-old farmhouse is a real treat for country lovers, whilst offering every amenity that you’d expect from a 21st century Bed & Breakfast. There might not be any conservatory roof to relax under, but there is excellent WiFi throughout the building, a cosy bar to relax in during the evening, and you can even order evening meals.
The place was fully booked whilst we were there, despite there being 8 dogs staying along with their human owners, the Cherry Brook was surprisingly quiet for the entirety of our stay. Over breakfast we got to know our fellow guests and were quickly asked where our own furry companion was, how old he/she was, what breed they were – unfortunately we couldn’t give them any satisfying answers! Regardless, this made a nice change from the usual small talk and for once we were never asked if we had any kids.
The breakfast itself was a robust affair featuring delicious fresh salad bowls, toast with excellent local preserves, as well as some lovely local sausages that Paul had to inquire after (we made sure not leave Dartmoor before buying a pack to take home). All of this food came from an unbelievably tiny kitchen, which explains why they needed some advance warning if they had any extra guests wanting dinner.