A Lincolnshire B&B owner has spoken of his pride after winning Channel 4’s Four in a Bed with an impressive final bill average of 98%.
The Channel 4 show sees B&B owners throw open their doors and take turns to stay with each other, as they compete to be crowned best hosts. Last week’s competition began with Village Limits Pub & B&B on Stixwould Road in Woodhall Spa, where owner David Coulam took centre stage and showcased his business to the other competitors.
David owns Village Limits with his partner Leigh, who didn’t appear in the show as he was getting the business ready after the relaxation of coronavirus restrictions. David was instead joined on the show by his best friend of 23 years, Kim Goodman.
Filming took place last summer, about nine months before the show was aired on Channel 4 last week (February 28 to March 4), so David had to keep the outcome a secret for a long time.
Reflecting on being crowned as a winner of the show, David told The Lincolnite: “It has still not sunk in. People saw camera crews in Woodhall Spa last year and have been asking us how we got on. It was hard to keep it quiet and knowing what to say.
“I’m probably one of the biggest fans, so to be on the show was absolutely amazing. It was very diverse and to be fair every place was different which was nice.
“To then find out we’d won, as I thought we had finished second, gave me a sense of pride, and it shows off Village Limits and Woodhall Spa.
“You see the show in a different light. It’s long days with the filming and it was surprising that it was done over two weeks. On the last visit you sit around a table, in the same clothes and with the same hair style so it comes across that it was all done in one day.”
The Lincolnshire business was up against three other pairs – Zoe Walton and her daughter Mia from The Old Mill in Yarm, Martin McDade and Iris Anderson from The Elan Hotel in Rhayader, Powys, and Spencer Braydon-Phillips who runs The Royal Oak Inn in Luxborough, Somerset, who was joined by his friend Gavin Reece.
There are six rooms available for up to £100 at Village Limits. Upon entering the spacious accommodation the feedback from the other three pairs in the competition was largely positive. All three pairs said they would happily stay at Village Limits again.
When the results were revealed on Friday, Village Limits received a full payment of £100 from Zoe and Mia. They received under payments of £2 (from Martin and Iris) and £5 (from Spencer and Gavin), but that didn’t stop the Lincolnshire firm from running out worthy winners with a final bill average of 98%.
Zoe and Mia from The Old Mill finished in second place with a final bill average of 92% after two full payments from two teams, and an underpayment of £45 from Spencer and Gavin.
The Elan Hotel finished in third, originally with a final bill average of 74%, but this dropped to 56% after tensions boiled over between two teams.
Martin and Iris received three underpayments, but it was the £40 below the asking price from Spencer and Gavin which caused the most frustration, so much so that they refused to accept it, causing a drop in score and accusations of “game playing”.
The Royal Oak Inn run by Spencer Braydon-Phillips finished fourth with a final bill average of 54%, including two underpayments and problems with the hot water, and him refusing to accept Martin and Iris’ £40 underpayment.
Although David was happy with how the show was edited from his perspective, as he says it showed him being himself, he thinks people’s perceptions of some of the others may be different to the reality.
He said: “It was tense [the disagreement between two of the teams], but they didn’t put everything in the show. It was a bit of a strange one, but they are all lovely people and I’ve kept in touch with Spencer, and Martin and Iris.”
He received some criticism after the show for his choice of activity – taking the guests to the Bubble Car Museum near Boston, which is not in Woodhall Spa – but he has since explained this was chosen by Channel 4 and Studio Lambert, rather than him.
What caught the eye during his guests’ visit to Village Limits, and caused some debate, was the breakfast hamper delivered to everyone’s doors rather than the guests having a cooked breakfast together. The breakfast hamper contains homemade croissants, fruit juices, cereals, and a hot element which can include a bacon roll.
The guests all enjoyed the food and praised its quality, but the overall consensus seemed to be that the guests would have preferred to sit together for a full English.
David has since revealed they do usually offer a full English inside the pub, but due to coronavirus guidelines at the time of the visit to his business, they decided to do the hamper.
He believes it worked well and will now be kept as an additional option for people to choose when staying at Village Limits.
The 42-year-old has big plans for the future of his business and told The Lincolnite: “I honestly think the experience was everything I wanted it to be, with the icing on the cake of actually winning.
“We have had people ring up and congratulate us, and we’ve had more bookings come through for the rooms. If you see the rooms, to look at from the outside it looks like a motel, but now it’s been on TV and people saw inside they can see how nice they are.
“We have just taken on a new chef and will be having a whole new menu. We want to build an orangery on the side of the pub to give us more seating.
“Woodhall Spa is renowned for golf and the 1940s weekend, but hopefully this will help put it on the map. It’s a beautiful place to live.”