We have been running our b&b for over 20 years now. Back in 2001 when we first took ownership, Paul took on a massive job of refurbishing the whole house. He has been a joiner / cabinet maker for 40+ years and has put his heart and soul into designing and re-decorating. He has made some bespoke furniture, including beautiful mahogany canopies and headboards for all our double rooms. They make such a feature of the rooms and guests often comment on them, as well as the high standard of all the work that has been carried out. We are often being asked, “Who did the painting?” “Where did you get the furniture from”. Paul also liked to go to the local auction houses, to find suitable items. The house was originally finished in 1900, and so is late Victorian. It is such a lovely substantial house that we wanted to keep it in the style it’s accustomed to. During the recent lockdowns, Paul has repainted the entire house, it certainly kept him busy.
I, Michelle, on the other hand, have a catering background. I studied catering and silver service, for 2 years, at the local technical college in Banbury when I first left school. I have had a variety of jobs within catering / hospitality, which included working in a small hotel in Banbury for a few years, until I decided at the age of 30 to go back to college and study Business Administration. This worked out well, as Paul, after being made redundant from his job he had for 15 years, started up his own joinery business and I could help him with all the paperwork. This I did, whilst also starting work at the local Katharine House Hospice in the accounts department, where I worked for 5 years before we moved to Banbury Cross B&B, which is 3 doors round the corner from where we used to live. Running the b&b, involves all my catering and business admin abilities. I enjoy meeting all the lovely people that come to stay, many of them repeat visitors.
Together, we have both enjoyed making the b&b the best it can be, and we have picked up awards along the way for quality, food hygiene, and star ratings and some wonderful guest reviews.
Outside of work, we like to see our family, including 3 grandchildren, friends and travelling, as well as walking our little dog Alfie. Paul has had a love of motorbikes all his life and so he’s happy tinkering around in the garage. I passed my motorbike test when I was 40, so was a late comer, but have still enjoyed packing the bike up and travelling to Europe for our holidays.
The lockdown period has certainly been a testing time for the hospitality trade, but we are looking forward to welcoming you to Banbury Cross B&B soon.
Michelle and Paul Scarsbrook