We spoke to Ellie and Gillian from the Heritage Bed & Breakfast who have been shortlisted for ‘Most Beautifully Presented’ at the upcoming eviivo awards! 


Tell us more about your property? 

Our property is a period listed building in Calne, Wiltshire. It’s a gothic, Victorian building built by an eminent gentleman who had a factory in the town many years ago. Built two centuries ago, it was left in a very poor state. Then we bought it and we renovated it. The renovation took 3 years – but it is absolutely stunning now! When we came here and we were making our plans, our buzzwords were opulent and elegant. So everything we chose to go into the house, had to be those things. And the other thing was that we both had to love whatever it was. If only one of us liked it and the other didn’t – we didn’t get it. 


So what else went into the design of your property? 

Well it had to be the very best of what we could get, we didn’t spare any expense. The design was very important, in that it had to be all period colours in keeping with the house. We wanted to keep everything that was traditional – for example the windows are dark stoned marine and were painted over the years. So we had all the paint stripped off and we’ve had the stones renovated. That type of thing was really important to us- to have a really good finish. It’s the thing that makes people say that our attention to detail is so obvious everywhere in the house. We wanted the design to be preserved but bring the house to the modern century with the luxury element. Mixing the two eras together but not loosing the old. It’s not overpowered by the new. The things that we’ve added like pictures ect, they are of a traditional modern design. It’s very unique, you have to see it to understand it. We get guests at the door and the first thing they will say is ‘wow.’  We love it!


So what about your online presence, how easy is it to convey that wow factor to you website? 

It’s quite difficult, we learnt by our mistakes. We bought a new camera and thought that that would do us in terms of taking some lovely photographs and everything. And we just couldn’t get it. We put them on the website and it just wasn’t coming across right. So we had to just bite the bullet and pay for some professional photos – and it made the world of difference. I would recommend anyone to do the same. It’s not worth trying to take that shortcut, like we did. I spent £180 on a camera and as the photographer explained, just one of his lenses cost that – so you’re paying for the quality. We still do get people who arrive and say that it’s even more beautiful than the photographs. 

Do you have any memorable guest stories? 

We once had a very nice couple turn up, and they had a lovely romantic stay with us. And in the morning when they left, we found some underpants on the floor with ‘love god’ written all over them! 

To read more of our customer stories click here