Hard-To-Come-By B & B

The New Cabin 1977

The New Cabin 1977

In 1977, not long after moving into the house, I decided I needed a workshop so built a small cabin about 100 feet behind the main house.  Over the years it functioned quite well as a workshop and also became a playhouse for our three daughters and occasionally a storeroom for stuff.

By 1994 the house was more or less holding together and the garden was looking pretty spiffy.  We got to thinking that we were surrounded by such beauty, wouldn’t it be fun to share it.  It would also give me some purpose to push mowing the lawn for three hours each week.  By then the cabin wasn’t being used for much so we thought, let’s start a bed and breakfast.

I added a small bathroom to the cabin and some quite major renovations and the workshop became the Hard-To-Come-By Bed & Breakfast.

Hard-To-Come-By B & B

Hard-To-Come-By B & B


We put my great grandfather’s sleigh bed in and that took up most of the floorspace but left just enough room for a couple of chairs and a table.  


We opened in the summer of 1995 and for the first year I made brochures that we placed in the Chamber of Commerce.  I then thought that, because we wanted guests but didn’t need guests, it would be interesting to make it a little more ‘hard to come by’ by only advertising on the Internet.  I made a website and from then on all our guests came either by word-of-mouth or through searching on the Internet.

It didn’t take long before we were quite busy and we were getting queries from all over – Europe, the USA, Asia, etc.   We had lots of young couples who seem to have captured our vision of lifestyle and many became long lasting friends.  The response was a very pleasant surprise.   It was suggested to us that we build additional cabins but we weren’t interested in expansion.  We wanted our guests to be doted on and to have a quiet experience in our beautiful forest.

Baked French Toast (1)_watermarked

Breakfast ready to be delivered – Baked Berries & Cream French Toast

I cooked the breakfast and my wife laid out a beautiful breakfast setting on an antique butler’s table.  We would carry breakfast out to the cabin and set it up either inside or outside, depending on the weather. 

Nightshot (3)_watermarked

We ran the bed and breakfast until 2006.  By that time the grandkids were on the scene and the cabin soon became a retreat for tired mothers while we took care of the kiddos.  The B & B was a wonderful experience, we met some incredible people and all our experiences were good ones.  I would recommend it to anyone to give it a try.

Baked Berries and Cream French Toast
(4 servings)

10 slices 1⁄2” thick French bread

1 1/3 cups light cream
2 tbsp. jam (match jam and berries)
4 eggs slightly beaten
4 tbsp. melted butter
1 tsp. vanilla

For garnish and topping:
½ cup yogurt with 2 tbsp. jam
1 cup fresh berries or sliced fruit
10 or so chopped hazelnuts lightly roasted in fry pan

Preheat oven to 450°

Mix ingredients.
Dip bread in but don’t soak.
Place on WELL greased cookie sheet.
Bake 8 – 10 minutes (middle rack) on one side.
Turn and bake other side 5 minutes
(watch it doesn’t overcook!)

Garnish with:
Fresh berries

Topped with:
Yogurt mixed with 2 tbsp. jam Sprinkle with chopped roasted hazelnuts



      • I was wondering if I could pick your brain for a moment? When you added on the bathroom, did you do all the work yourself? Is it tied into the plumbing system of your main house? Is it a toilet, sink and shower, and what are the dimensions? What did you put in the cabin for a heat source?

        Sorry for the 20 questions. When I first read the post I thouhgt it was cool, then I had my husband read it, then we had the “AH-HA!” moment when we thought of our 200 sq ft “shed” that is essentially unused that is out in the Gulf Islands. We were eventually going to turn it into a studio but something like this would make financial sense.

        Any information you could share about the renovations, including pitfalls, would be greatly welcomed.

      • Well, thanks for your enthusiasm – it is wonderful that we can still be an inspiration! I think it might be best if I email my response later today rather than use this format. It sounds like your “shed” has real possibilities though.

  1. Beautiful! I love that you incorporated the recipes in your post. What a nice little cabin space. 🙂 Great work!

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