1. HISTORICAL ACCOMMODATION
"The dressing-room ambitiously was turned into the "General's Bedroom", on account of a bed with one real sheet. For the rest, stretcher beds and blankets provided more facilities for sleep than a leave-goer required, or than a returning officer expected. Those were the days of simplicity."
When on December 11th 1915 Talbot House opens up its doors as a Recreation Club for soldiers, it also offers "bed & breakfast" for officers in wait of their leave train for 'Blighty'. On 18 May 1916 up to 76 residents are accommodated...
Since the House re-opened in 1931 it again offered accommodation - but this time for hundreds and thousands of pilgrims to the Flanders' Battlefields. For their sake a bath house was built in the midst of the garden.
Out of this long tradition today's accommodation facilities are grown. Being a resident in the House offers you a unique chance to experience the place as a historical place of rest and relaxation, where you can meet people from all over the world. A voluntary British warden adds to the unique atmosphere of the house.
Here you'll find all practical information regarding accommodation.
"The smallest room of the House (6 feet by 4) held just one bed. But this bed, however, was beyond compare: throughout the war we had one pair of sheets that belonged to it by right (though one sheet must be in the wash)."
In the whole history of accommodation at Talbot House, the "General's Bedroom" has a very particular meaning. As it used to be the only room with a bed and sheets, it was reserved for officers. Not really because they were officers, but rather because as an officer they were able to pay quite well for it, and so raised funds for the Every Man's Club.
The histories on the "General's Bedroom" have been compiled into a marvelous brochure. Any one staying in this room shouldn't leave without a copy of a Bed with Real Sheets as a most meaningful souvenir.
"And beyond that again, at the far end of the garden, is the two-storey shed, whence was retrieved in 1915 the worn Carpenter's Bench which, from the opening day, has been the altar of Talbot House."
- Barclay Baron
In the garden shed, where in December 1915 the carpenter's bench was found, a dormitory holding eight beds was arranged in 1936. This brought the accommodation of the Old House up to thirty-three beds...
Nowadays the Garden House is refurbished into a cosy residents' place. There are three rooms with two beds each, and a common bathroom.
The house is all down the garden, under the giant copper beech that used to offer shadow and refreshment to hundreds of weary Tommies.