Frequently asked questions
We hope that you will find all the answers you need in Frequently Asked Questions below. If we have missed anything, please just give us a call or send us an email by using the enquiry form on our contact us page and we will do all we can to help.
- How do we get to No.fifty6?
- It is very easy to find our Bed and Breakfast. We are an hour and a half's drive from Calais in the village of La Boisselle on the D929 Bapaume to Albert road. There are good rail links from London (via Lille to Albert) and Paris. Those flying in find we are accessible from Paris Beauvais, Paris CDG or Brussels airports. Further directions can be found via our Contact Us page.
- Covid 19. What precautions are you taking?
- Rooms are cleaned and aired every day. Hand gel and masks are available in all areas. Our airy dining room is large and allows for social distancing at our dining tables. We are happy to advise on requirements for going out in France following any latest Government regulations.
- Can you cater for Vegans?
- Yes! Plant based food available for breakfast and dinner. In fact whatever your dietary requirements, vegetarian, coeliac, allergies, keto, intolerances, we can cater for anyone. Simply let us know so you can enjoy your food worry-free.
- How can we book a room or check availability?
- You can easily check availability by checking the availability calendar on our website then reserve your rooms with us, by phone or email or use the Contact Us facility on our website. We do get booked up quickly so please contact us as soon as you have dates in mind so we can reserve your preferred dates.
We do not require a deposit.
If you need to cancel your stay with us, please give as much notice as possible.
- What are the bedroom facilities?
- Each bedroom comes with its own tea and coffee making facilities (something of a rarity in France). We will keep it stocked up throughout your stay. Every room also has a private, en-suite shower room, toiletries, Egyptian cotton towels and bed linen, free WiFi, extra pillows and individually controlled radiators.
- What is the 'Walk with me' Battlefield experience?
- The ‘Walk with me’ Battlefield experience is an additional service we offer. An opportunity to explore this amazing area with David's local knowledge and passion for the events which took place here. David and Julie are associate members of the International Guild of Battlefield Guides and the European Tour Operators' Association. We also research family connections and make your Walk With Me as personal as possible. Please contact David or Julie directly for more details.
- Do you have parking facilities?
- We have private parking in a courtyard with spaces for up to 8 cars or motorbikes, free of charge to residents. Whilst the area is very safe, and our gates are locked at night, owners’ vehicles are left at their own risk.
- What do you offer for breakfast?
- Breakfast is as hearty and or healthy as you like, with a full English breakfast cooked to order or a continental breakfast with juice, fruit, cereal, yoghurts and more. If you have any special dietary requirements, please let us know so that we can cater for your needs. All ingredients are sourced locally where possible.
Breakfast times are flexible. If you need to eat early or late, please let us know so we can try to accommodate you with a packed-breakfast or room service.
- Do you accommodate children?
- This is a child friendly Bed and Breakfast. We have one family room with double bed and bunk beds.
- Do you accommodate pets?
- As much as we love animals, we are unable to accept pets in fairness to all guests.
- When do we have to check-in/out?
- We are completely flexible. All we ask is that you let us know an approximate time of arrival and departure.
- Do you provide an Internet Connection?
- Our B&B provides free WiFi throughout the house, including bedrooms. Please ask us for the login details to connect your own devices to our secure wifi.
- What is available for lunch and dinner?
- We can recommend many wonderful restaurants in the local area, just minutes away from the B&B to suit all tastes and budgets. We are happy to book tables and taxis for you.
Julie is happy to cook using fresh, local ingredients if you are interested in a home cooked meal. We can also provide scrummy packed lunches for your day's explorations. Just let us know.
- Is there a minimum stay period?
- There is no minimum stay at No.fifty6. We will just be delighted to welcome you.
- What is your smoking policy?
- In line with current French legislation, the accommodation at No.fifty6 is non smoking.
- Do you have a Green Policy?
- We are passionate about protecting our local environment and reducing our carbon footprint. All our supplies and breakfast ingredients are locally sourced where possible. We recycle most categories of waste to ensure the minimum amount goes to landfill. We are delighted that we have been awarded a Trip Advisor Green Leaders Award for our environmental policies.
31st August 2021
Where did August go? No sooner it seems we were welcoming August in with its promise of warm days and golden fields and now it’s over!
There have been some golden, sunny days, but there has also been rain, wind, grey skies and a chill in the evening air. We had rain in early August like we have never seen before in summer. Rain that flowed in muddy rivers through the fields and along the tracks of the Somme. This delayed the peak harvest time for our friends the farmers. La Moisson – The Harvest of wheat finished just this week, 20 days later than last year. The farmers say the quality of wheat is not as good because of all the late rain and to expect the price of bread to go up in the autumn as wheat is in such demand. You cannot live here and not connect to the cycle of nature and how the climate affects everything so much. This area of France produces more wheat than any other in France, the land playing such an important role in providing for a nation.
So thank you to the farmers for toiling day and night to bring in the harvest. We would watch the headlights of the harvesters as they toiled up and down Mash Valley in the dark to get it done. Our bread will never taste better than in harvest month.
There is something mesmeric about watching he harvest take place. The unison of man, land and nature. The land giving up its treasures to feed us. So different to 105 years ago when the land was ragged, torn, and blood soaked, absorbing such loss. Now the peace and beauty of this landscape dotted with its scars and memorials has the ability to heal and nurture.
As we ourselves have walked the tracks of the Somme this month, our footsteps took us many times to The Sunken Lane. The rain had turned the Lane to a gravelly river bed in places. We remember the men who sat on its banks awaiting their destiny. Think of The Lancashire Fusiliers and your mind takes you to that shadowy lane where they are fixed in time.
So it seemed appropriate that the poet who inspired us this month is not well known, but he served with The 19th Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers. Geoffrey Bache Smith, born in 1894 was a good friend of JRR Tolkien, both pupils at King Edward’s School, Birmingham. Their friendship endured. During the war, Geoffrey corresponded with Tolkien, describing the situation in France as an “orgy of death and cruelty”. He arrived at Bouzincourt, where Tolkien was stationed, on 6th July 1916. The friends talked frequently, discussing poetry, the war and the future. In mid-November, Geoffrey’s Battalion was shelled and he was mortally wounded by shrapnel. He died, on 3rd December 1916, aged 22. He is buried in Warlincourt Halte British Cemetery. Tolkien never forgot his old friend. In 1918, Tolkien arranged for the publication of an anthology of Geoffrey’s poetry, “A Spring Harvest”. In addition, he wrote two poems in memory of Geoffrey, entitled “GBS” and “Companions of the Rose”.
This by Geoffrey himself:
“Let us tell Quiet Stories of Kind Eyes”
Let us tell quiet stories of kind eyes
And placid brows where peace and learning sate:
Of misty gardens under evening skies
Where four would walk of old, with steps sedate.
Let’s have no word of all the sweat and blood,
Of all the noise and strife and dust and smoke
(We who have seen Death surging like a flood,
Wave upon wave, that leaped and raced and broke).
Or let’s sit silently, we three together,
Around a wide hearth-fire that’s glowing red,
Giving no thought to all the stormy weather
That flies above the roof-tree overhead.
And he, the fourth, that lies all silently
In some far-distant and untended grave,
Under the shadow of a shattered tree,
Shall leave the company of the hapless brave,
And draw nigh unto us for memory’s sake,
Because a look, a word, a deed, a friend,
Are bound with cords that never a man may break,
Unto his heart for ever, until the end.
So, what else is new or has inspired us this month?