B&Bs aren't always the first option with kids – and indeed, many have lower age limits of eight, ten or higher, and some don't accept children of any age. It's often easier to countenance taking your offspring somewhere larger, when they won't stand out or spoil the peace…
But some B&Bs do actively welcome kids, and the award-winning B+B Belgravia a short walk from London's Victoria Station is one of those. Winner of a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence, it also differs from many other B&Bs in this country in that, behind the facade of the listed Georgian townhouse it occupies, it's blissfully chintz-free, with stylish contemporary furniture that will put you in mind of a boutique hotel.
The prices won't, however: family rooms sleeping 3 or 4 will set you back about £150–190, including an excellent and hearty breakfast, free coffee and tea 24 hours a day, and free Internet. That's not as cheap as a youth hostel or a Travelodge or some of the other budget chains around the British capital, but it is decent value for the standard of accommodation. And unlike in the chains, guests can make use of a bright, cosy round-the-clock lounge with an open fire, magazines, books, a DVD player, a laptop and a hot drinks machine, plus, in fine weather, a small garden with tables and chairs.
Our room was clean, bright and excellent in all respects – bar some early-morning clattering in the hallway, which provoked an premature awakening. The location itself – an affluent residential district – is generally pretty quiet by night. Breakfast is served in a lovely airy extension overlooking the garden, and includes a full English for those who can manage it, or else locally baked pastries, fruits, cereals and yoghurts. Many of the ingredients are organic. If you're travelling with very young kids, highchairs can be provided, as can cots in the guestrooms, and B+B Belgravia is also pet-friendly.
B+B Belgravia also has Studios@82 just along the same street, with eight studios each sleeping two (two of them interconnecting), plus a basement Garden Apartment sleeping five, with two double beds and a single sofabed. All have a compact kitchen with a fridge and microwave, and the Garden Apartment has a patio. An in-studio Continental breakfast is included in the rates.
We'd very happily stay at B+B Belgravia again, and we'd happily check out its sister properties in Weymouth in Dorset and in Edinburgh, both of which are equally if not even more family-friendly.
Read more about and book B+B Belgravia, or read our family destination guide to London including things to see and do with kids and other family-friendly places to say.