Winter at Bressenden

Before you book to stay at Bressenden between the months of September and May, and especially during the darker mid-winter months, please be aware that Bressenden at this time of year can be very different from how it feels during the sunnier, drier and warmer months. Because of its location it is also very different from how a B&B situated in a city or town centre would feel. Bressenden in summer is a wonderful place for an extended holiday, but I personally would not choose to stay here in winter if I could find a cosier alternative for the same price! If you come here during the winter, it should be because you need somewhere to stay in the area for a couple of nights out of necessity. Perhaps you are visiting friends or family or attending the nearby hospital. In such circumstances, Bressenden will provide you with a reasonably comfortable base for the night and a good breakfast, but it is not the place to come to if you want a week-long break in a luxurious country house with deep sofas on which to spend the day sitting in front of cosy log fires and with staff on hand to bring you tea and muffins. These are the facts:

  • It is totally dark after sunset — there is no street lighting
  • It is remote — there are no shops or cafes nearby and a car is needed to get anywhere
  • It is cold — this old house does not have cavity wall insulation or double glazing (except in the newer East Wing), and temperatures in deep country are always a couple of degrees lower than in urban environments
  • The area is prone to power cuts caused by trees falling on overhead power lines as well as unannounced disruptions to the water supply

For reasons of cost, the central heating at Bressenden is kept to a low setting which provides background heating only. To heat the bedrooms there are electric radiators with thermostats that guests can control, which means that the bedrooms can be kept comfortably warm. The breakfast room also has supplementary electric heating. The rest of the house, however, including the stairway, hall, landing, kitchen and other public areas, will feel cold, and you will need to bring warm clothes. In an ideal world, there would be endless supplies of money to keep the central running at 24 degrees 24/7, plus staff on hand to keep the fires and wood burners going. A reasonable alternative is to bring thermal underwear and woollen jerseys.