Open for Business!

This year marks our 10th season welcoming guests to the Belgravia Bed & Breakfast. Over the years, we’ve done an upgrade or two each year; things like new steps, building a back deck & pergola, refinishing the hardwood floors, etc. This year, however, it was time to do some major work.

We closed our B&B for ten days this month while our roof was being shingled. Our roof is quite large, and Gordon & Chris worked from 7:30 a.m. until 9:30 p.m. in various weather conditions to get it finished for us in just nine days! We highly recommend Apple B Construction! These two men were pleasant and accommodating. They understood that we had a tight schedule and did every thing they could to work with us, with our insulation installers, and with our solar panel installers, to make sure everything went smoothly!

In those nine days, while the work was being completed outside,  we worked away inside the house to get things ready for the season. We were spring cleaning like crazy! We cleaned all guest rooms from top to bottom, replaced cracked windows, took advantage of the scaffolding and cleaned the upstairs windows inside & out. We cleaned curtains, carpets, and furniture, painted trim, re-organized the kitchen & dining room, and donated a lot of things we never use to the Canadian Diabetes Association. We got gardening done, painted the fence and outside of the house, and got rid of a lot of junk from the basement that had accumulated. We installed new blinds and iPod docking stations in each of our guest rooms. What a whirlwind!

We’d like to thank Jason Giddens and his team at  MJM Energy, who, in three days blew 800 cubic feet of insulation into our upstairs walls and installed foam insulation into our basement walls and headers.

Thank you to Mark MacCormack and his partner Adam, of Advanced Heating  Solutions, who installed our solar hot water panels. The first day they were set up, we had a leak in a joint. We called Mark, and he drove from Springhill to Truro late in the evening (on the Victoria Day holiday) to come and fix it for us! That’s service!

We’d like to thank Kevin and Lauren at Efficiency Nova Scotia for speeding through our solar panel pre-approval so that we can apply for a rebate now that they are installed.

Thank you to Matthew of  Sustainable Housing who spent over four hours here before the work started. He worked around our guests to perform an energy audit, again, so we will qualify for rebates under the newly rolled-out energy rebate program.

Thank you to Keith, of G&G Computers for actually hanging up the telephone and coming over to set up our new wireless internet booster when only certain computers could hook-in. We now have excellent wireless internet, no matter where you are on our property. (In the past, our thick plaster walls, while great for keeping noise out, was also interfering with our wireless signal – all fixed!)

Thank you to Lori, and to my parents Dave & Deanna, for helping with things like laundry, painting, cleaning, gardening, organizing, and keeping the kids occupied while we got finished. It was definitely a team effort!

We especially would like to thank our guests for their patience while we were closed. We hated to turn people away – especially our regulars – but we feel that our guests deserve a quality experience while staying with us, and you wouldn’t have had that during the period the work was being done! (We didn’t even wash the floors for a week because of all the people tracking in and out…)

Now that all the work is completed, we are again open for business and look forward to welcoming you to the refreshed Belgravia Bed & Breakfast!

Have a Heart

We, at the Belgravia Bed & Breakfast, have been partners with the Nova Scotia Heart & Stroke Foundation since 2005. Each year, during the month of February (Heart Month), canvassers go door-to-door in neighbourhoods across the province, collecting donations.  When they are finished, volunteers drop their kits off to our property for pick up. This year, however, we are taking things a step further…

For every stay at the Belgravia Bed & Breakfast during the rest of the month of February, we will be accepting donations (cash or cheque) for the Nova Scotia Heart & Stroke Foundation. Not only will you receive a charitable donation receipt which can be used for income tax purposes, but we will take the amount of your donation off the price of your room!

For example, a:

These prices include our tasty, heart-smart, full breakfast!

Both D’Arcy & I have family members & friends whose lives have been affected by heart disease or stroke, so we are thrilled to be able to offer this special for the month of February – heart month. We’re hoping to be successful enough that this will become an annual event for us!

Please call toll-free 1-866-877-9900, or locally (902) 893-7100, to make your reservation. This offer ends on March 1st, 2012.

Have a heart! ❤

Please welcome our new part-time help!

Over the years, many people have asked us, “How do you run a bed & breakfast with a family?”

Honestly… we just do it!

Before we had the B&B, D’Arcy and I both worked in the restaurant and hotel industry, so hospitality and service are all our family knows!  In fact, the year our daughter Sarah was born, we had two rooms the night we brought her home from the hospital!  (Looking back, we do wonder, “What were we thinking?” But it was October, she was early, and we already had guests booked!   We couldn’t cancel!)  Of course, it does help that our home is large, well-built (read: mostly sound-proof) and is laid out in such a way that we are able to have our own space for our family. Our children have been taught that if they are willing to be polite and mature, they may join us around guests, but if they need to act like children, they have to go to their own areas of the house!  Also, my parents live just a bike ride away – and they have a pool – so they are not always tied here to the B&B with us.

In the eight years that we have had the B&B, our children have had many experiences, opportunities, and met many people that they would not have had growing up in a “regular” house.  They really do seem to appreciate this and we are proud to have children who are kind, intelligent, thoughtful & mature as a result.

They each have various chores that they do to help out with the B&B, but this summer, we’re happy to have Evan helping us in an even larger, official capacity!

You can't tell in this photo, but he's drying the dishes for me!

Evan is raising money to participate in a two-week school exchange to Brazil next winter.  He’s been mowing lawns for neighbours (and his grandparents) and as of this summer is also is the official lawn-mower at The Belgravia Bed & Breakfast!  This morning, while D’Arcy was in Halifax attending a conference on adolescent mental health in schools, Evan was my breakfast sous chef!  We served omelets.  Evan was in charge of cooking the bacon and helped me serve our guests!  He has also capably taken reservations and records some of our book-keeping work for us.

In his spare time in the summer, Evan plays both baseball and golf.  The Truro Golf Club is just on the other side of our block, so he can be found there most sunny days.  He is an excellent student and in the winter, he is a curler, plays basketball, and is in both the Intermediate Band and the Jazz Band as a percussionist at his school.  He loves geography & travel, wants to see the world, and has future plans to be a cartographer.

We’re happy to have you working along side us  Evan – we hope you love it as much as we do!

New photos

This summer, we had a very special bride & groom stay with us. The bride stayed here the night before the wedding, got ready here, had photos taken here, and then she and her groom spent their wedding night with us. They had their wedding photos taken by the lovely & talented Johanna Matthews of Portraits by Johanna.  The following photo is one of my favourites:

And this is another one of my favourites:

To see some more of Carolyn & Garret’s wedding photos, please visit Johanna’s blog HERE.

Carolyn & Garret were so gracious. As a token of thanks for their stay here, after the wedding they brought us a gift certificate to have photos taken by Johanna, which we used this fall.  Here are two of my favourites:

We highly recommend Johanna for weddings or any other photo occasion you might have!

Victoria Park – Exposed & Untouched

I received the link to the following video of Truro’s Victoria Park from Shannon Blaikie-Antonucci, a former schoolmate and friend of mine.

In her own words, she describes,

Nestled in the beautiful town of Truro, Nova Scotia, Victoria Park, a natural woodland park of roughly 400 acres, remains a glimmering jewel of untouched paradise in the center of town. Two magnificent sets of waterfalls flow through a steep, tree-covered, rocky gorge, and several walking trails follow closely along the brook, allowing a unique view of this ancient setting. The park boasts interesting geological formations in the gorge and river bed area, and beautiful stands of hard and softwood trees, particularly hemlock, on the cliffs and uplands. The upland area beyond the gorge contains a walking trail, approximately 1.6 kilometers in length. The ravine area also contains the Holy Well, a replica of a well in the neighbouring Bible Hill area where early Acadian settlers baptized their infants, and a Wishing Well. Victoria Park is a truly magical and mystical place for all to enjoy.”

We are so lucky to have this beautiful park right here in Truro for all to enjoy, and we always encourage our Bed & Breakfast guests to visit while they’re here.

Thank you Shannon, for putting this together – it’s beautiful!!

Best B&B in the Best of Colchester

We’ve been nominated in the “Best B&B” category of the Truro & District Chamber of Commerce’s “Best of Colchester County” contest.

This people’s choice awards event recognizes the outstanding achievements of local businesses during the 2009/2010 calendar year. The Best of Colchester Awards Gala will highlight community favorites in twenty-five (25) business categories, using an online voting system to determine the winner in each award category.

Voting has been taking place from May 20th and ends tomorrow,  June 3rd. At the end of the voting period, the Chamber will be announcing the top three vote-getters in each category, with the winner in each category being announced at the Best of Colchester Awards Gala on June 17th.

You can vote as many as five (5) times per IP address. However, please note that once you hit submit, that will be counted as one round of voting, whether you voted in one category or all 25. The Chamber is encouraging voters to vote in all categories, but it is not required.  (Especially if you’re from away and have only visited certain businesses – like ours!)

To vote, please click on the following link:  Best of Colchester Awards and Belgravia Bed & Breakfast is listed under the “Best B&B” Category!

Thank you for your support; we are among some tough competition!  We’ll let you know how it goes!

Celebrate Valentine’s Day at the Belgravia Bed & Breakfast

With Chef Daniel Creelman

Saturday, February 13th and Sunday, February 14th, 2010

7 p.m.

5 Broad Street, Truro, Nova Scotia


MENU

To Start

Atlantic Lobster Cake

Drizzled with Roasted Red Pepper Cream

Salad

Mixed Greens

With Roasted Pear & Blue Cheese

Soup

Butternut Squash Bisque

Entrée

Haddock Stuffed With Scallops & Asparagus

Served with Shrimp Cream Sauce

Or

Chicken Stuffed with Crab

Served with Saffron Cream

Or

Beef Tenderloin

Served with Wild Mushroom Demi-Glace

Dessert

Whiskey Chocolate Fallen Cake

Coffee & Tea

$ 55.00/Person + 15% Gratuity

Reservations Required – please call (902) 893-7100 or email Belgravia@eastlink.ca

Room Package including one night’s accommodation for two, five-course dinner for two, breakfast for two and a bottle of Jost Winery’s “Prost” Sparkling Wine $239 + HST

www.belgravia.ca