Couple transform historic building near coast into new bed and breakfast

Kate and Oliver Trethewey are opening a new bed and breakfast in Westleton

Kate and Oliver Trethewey are opening a new bed and breakfast in Westleton - 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.

The couple gave up their jobs to open the guesthouse

The couple gave up their jobs to open the guesthouse - Credit: Charlotte Bond

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 bed and breakfast already has its first guests booked in

The bed and breakfast already has its first guests booked in - Credit: Charlotte Bond

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.

Bedrooms have been fitted out ahead of the opening on May 21

Bedrooms have been fitted out ahead of the opening on May 21 - Credit: Charlotte Bond

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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.

Argyll House used to house workers at the Sizewell nuclear power stations

Argyll House used to house workers at the Sizewell nuclear power stations - Credit: Charlotte Bond

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.

The garden of the property in Westleton, near the Suffolk coast

The garden of the property in Westleton, near the Suffolk coast - Credit: Charlotte Bond

"Hopefully it all goes well."

Mrs Tretheway said: "It has been great so far. We're very excited about this."

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