Couple transform historic building near coast into new bed and breakfast
- Credit: Charlotte Bond
A Suffolk couple have taken a "complete shot in the dark" and given up their school jobs to open up a new bed and breakfast in Westleton.
Oliver and Kate Trethewey purchased Argyll House in Westleton, near Southwold and Walberswick, "slap-bang in the middle" of the initial Covid lockdown last year.
The couple, who have four children, said they had been looking to open up a guest house since the end of 2019 and searched for a suitable property across the country.
Mr Trethewey, who used to teach at Thomas Gainsborough School in Sudbury, and Mrs Trethewey, a former biology technician at Woodbridge School, were delighted to see the property in Westleton come on the market.
The building was built in 1749 and has had a number of uses over the years, including as a shop and a block of flats for workers at the Sizewell nuclear power stations.
The couple described the property as a "complete wreck" upon their first viewing - but it has now been transformed into a three-bedroom B&B.
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Mr Trethewey said: "It's a complete shot in the dark for us. We gave up our jobs to buy this place, which was a complete wreck.
"We looked across the British Isles and it was by chance that this came up on the market.
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"When we moved in it was almost inhabitable. It took a long time, but we managed to complete the deal last July. It was slap-bang in the middle of lockdown.
"We're now putting the finishing touches to it."
Despite the pandemic, the couple have said they are confident of making the new business a success - and have already lined up their first bookings ahead of the opening on May 21.
Mr Trethewey added: "We're at that sort of age where you get itchy feet. We wanted a challenge and to be our own bosses.
"We never doubted ourselves that we could do this. We've got a good set of bookings and social media has been very good for us.
"Hopefully it all goes well."
Mrs Tretheway said: "It has been great so far. We're very excited about this."