Born in Rhineland I started my hotel career as a bell boy at the Kempinksi Hotel “Vier Jahreszeiten” in Munich. From there I moved on to the world famous 5 star Brenner’s Park Hotel, Baden-Baden where I was trained in service, kitchen and reception. If you should ever get a chance to go to the Black Forest, you have to visit Baden-Baden. and must pop into Brenner's Park Hotel where the English footballers' wives stayed during the World Cup 2006. It is such a wonderful place.
I then decided to come to England professionally for the first time and I went to the University of Surrey, Guildford, reading a Bachelor of Science degree in hotel and catering management. These most enjoyable 3 years were the founding for my love for England.
Between then and the day I moved to Lymington, I worked in various places, among them the fabulous 5star Chewton Glen Hotel & Country Club, New Milton. Other stops were Mövenpick Restaurants, Hanover, the Savoy Hotel, Cologne and Hollington House Hotel in Newbury.
Then in 2000, I decided to set up my own business and I very luckily found Britannia House here in Lymington, historically and architecturally a real gem. Unbelievable, but true, it was the very first house I looked at in my search for the perfect house in a prime location.
In 2009 I got married to Fabienne from Switzerland, whom I met at the front door of my Bed&Breakfast, at Highcliffe Castle, Christchurch, 20 minutes driving distance from here - a must see during your stay at the South Coast – and had two great kids whom we are delighted to bring up in such a beautiful part of England.
The beginning of 2019 bore a great surprise when I received a letter from the AA who have been rating me now for more than a decade. I was informed that Britannia House had been shortlisted for the AA Friendliest B&B of the Year 2019-20 Award. Although I did not win it, Britannia House was one of 20 Finalists from more than 2,000 AA rated B&Bs and 25,000 B&Bs in the UK. A very happy achievement.
About the B&B
Britannia House is ideally located in the heart of Lymington Town and has five en suite guest bedrooms. It was originally built in 1865 as “The Britannia Commercial Hotel”, closed in 1972 and reopened as Bed & Breakfast Guest Accommodation in November 2000 by myself.
What has been the most memorable experience while running the B&B?
Over the years there have been many memorable moments, like loyal return guests turning friends, welcoming ex-employers and hosting celebrities. However, the most memorable one was welcoming my future wife Fabienne in October 2001. Truly a life changing experience.
What is the most unusual item left behind by a guest?
A walking stick which I had to wrap up and send back by post.
What do you feel gives your B&B the competitive edge?
I run Britannia House by myself giving me the opportunity to look after my guests from start to finish, from arrival to departure, making sure that “my home is their home”.
What do you believe makes your B&B worthy to be considered to win the title of AA Friendliest B&B of the Year?
I don’t know whether Britannia House is the AA friendliest B&B and I am the friendliest host of the year, but many guests who “came as guests, have left as friends”, because I treat them as if they were my family. Nothing is too much trouble.
Your host, Tobias Feilke