One of the fascinating features about staying at a B&B is that there is always a story…whether that of the structure, or, of the innkeeper(s). I recently discovered the oldest bed and breakfast in Hanover, New Hampshire, which is home to the Ivy League’s Dartmouth College. Just a few miles from town, along an old county road, nestled among sixteen lush acres is the Trumbull House. This B&B has been greeting guests since the mid-90s, using its country setting as a lure for those wanting to escape the sensory overload of city life.
The Trumbull House was built in 1919 by a gentleman named, Mr. Trumbull. The property was purchased in 1991 by the Pridgen family to raise their large family. A few years later, after a divorce, an entrepreneurial mother of five decided to turn the family home into a business as a B&B. By 1995, half the home had been converted…making way for five distinct guest rooms…with a separate detached structure remodeled into a carriage house. It was apropos to use the name of the man who built the home. I asked Hilary, the owner, what it was like to raise a family, while running a B&B at the same time. She said, “it was actually the best of both worlds…I could be close to my kids, while still being able to provide for them.” Hilary also told me about the strict family rules of the house…there was never any yelling or commotion allowed, and, after 8pm, nothing but a whisper was to be uttered as to not disturb any of the guests.
The kids are all grown now and Hilary is still at the helm of the oldest and one of the nicest B&Bs in town, along with the help of Lloyd, her innkeeper extraordinaire. In addition to the six lovely guest rooms, there is a swimming pond, basketball court, and, a babbling brook on the property. Hiking enthusiasts can even access the Appalachian Trail from the back of the property.
During my visit, the oasis in the center of the property (also known as the swimming pond) was calling my name. One morning before breakfast, as steam slowly rose from the surface of the water (an indication that it was a tad chilly outside), I decided I would take a dip. As I got a running start and leapt off the jumping-rock, my teeth clenched tight, bracing for what I thought would be a cold and rude awakening…I broke the stillness of the water with the gracefulness of a cannonball. To my surprise…and, with great jubilation, the pond was actually quite temperate. After assessing the safety, and learning that the pond is 16 feet deep, I decided to have another go of it…this time with a dive. As I penetrated the water like an arrow, I thought it was a decent dive; unfortunately, the French judges were not so forgiving and only awarded me a 6.5 (watch the video and judge for yourself).
If you stay at the Trumbull house, you can expect a relaxed and homey feel with comfortable accommodations that blend well with the country setting. The bathrooms and the technology in the rooms are a bit dated, but the bedding, pillows and towels are uber luxurious.
Breakfast each morning is a bit different than most B&Bs…the word that comes to mind is…flex’icious (yes, I made that up). You pick the time, and, the entrée. Whether you prefer sweet or savory, Lloyd will prepare a delicious meal to get your day started off right. Prior to your entrée you can enjoy a fresh fruit cup and freshly baked muffins with a great cup of coffee.
After breakfast you might enjoy a leisurely stroll around the property. For those interested in something more vigorous, there are a series of trails that can be accessed at the back of the property; one as I mentioned, links to the famed Appalachian Trail. Or, you can do what I did a few times during my stay…sit in one of the Adirondack chairs by the pond, or at the back of the property looking at the pond and house, and enjoy a good read.
There are three towns/communities nearby, each just a few miles from the next, so there are plenty of dining options, museums and other activities to enjoy.
If you’ve stayed at the Trumbull House, please leave a comment below and let my readers and me know what you like best.