Two Princetown B&B owners received praise yesterday (Thursday) from fellow B&B owners on the Channel 4 Four in a Bed reality show competition.

Nikki and Terry Hirst, who run the Ramblers’ Rest, have been in the competition which has been screened every day this week. The idea is to win a cash prize as the top B&B out of four competitor businesses when the owners judge each other after staying a night in each location. The final episode is tonight (Friday) at 6pm when the final vote is counted and the winner announced.

In yesterday’s episode it was the couple’s turn to host their competitors for one night at their accommodation which is aimed at hikers and others enjoying the great outdoors on Dartmoor.

The pair said they watched the episode (for the first time) with fellow villagers at a packed special screening in the Prince of Wales pub.

Nikki said: “We were really pleased to see such lovely views of Dartmoor and the village in the episode.  I think knowing that it could be cut many ways has worried us but as the week has gone on, we could see who looks the most ‘villainous’. 

“We were quite shocked in some of the earlier episodes when our peers made comments that they may not want us back and suggested we broke their macerator in one of the B&Bs.

“But we also see that the others have also had quite a rough ride.  We also feel that the Ringstead B&B was so amazing, with a swimming pool and not everyone can see that you literally walk out the back gate onto the beach and there is an abundance of fossils.  We were so happy to see our rooms looking lovely, albeit a few faults!  We understand why other B&B hosts may not want to believe you can provide accommodation without a cooked breakfast, but we do have cafes in the village guests can use.  Our guests don't need to travel far to eat out for any meal if they want but equally they can organise food and drinks themselves. “We loved seeing one couple make a breakfast of beans on crumpets and are thinking of changing our category from Guesthouse/B&B to Bed and Beans. “We actually felt so proud of our lovely village, surroundings and our brilliant rooms. We loved sharing the experience with our friends and neighbours but had to watch it over again to pick it all up.”

Although their self-catering business model was not for all the other competitors, the majority of the other owners admitted to enjoying the somewhat novel experience and all said they would like to return. One of the guests said she had the best night’s sleep out of all the other sites and also enjoyed the hot tub or spa the Ramblers Rest offers.

Only one B&B owner said self-catering was not for her and suggested reviewing the idea, but the others entered into the spirit of their stay and made their own breakfasts with their own food with relish.

Nikki and Terry Hirst won over their competitor B&B owners on Cannel 4's Four in a Bed yesterday.
Nikki and Terry Hirst won over their competitor B&B owners on Channel 4's Four in a Bed yesterday. (Channel 4)

Three years ago Nikki, a former teacher, and Terry, a carpenter, traded in their careers for the dream of owning a ‘charming’ getaway on Dartmoor and bought the former Railway Inn to change to a B&B.

Nikki, with her experience in hospitality, marketing, and business, took the lead on guest relations, online presence, and managing the rooms.  Meanwhile, Terry's carpentry and building skills became invaluable in renovating the property.

They cater for those seeking a touch of rustic luxury after their outdoor adventures. 

Terry said: “We had a fantastic time filming.  Meeting the other proprietors was a highlight – there's always something to learn from fellow providers, and we definitely made some new friends along the way."