The Hippo’s Bed & Breakfast

Already when you enter through the gate to Södergatan 37, you can guess that my little Bed & Breakfast has something to do with a certain aquatic mammal. A hippopotamus can be glimpsed in the paving of the parking lot, and if you look up at the ceiling, two conspecifics watch from the chimneys. The fence is also adorned by a blue somewhat chubby hippo, and once inside the sheltered leafy garden, a very bright blue life-sized hippo graze. 

The house was built in 1875 by painter Carl Emil Rothoff. Many wooden houses in town had burned down in the great city fire of 1863, and therefore most of the low wooden houses in the inner city are from the time after. But my house was built on a vacant lot. Rothoff lived here with his wife and four children. The wife Christina had been granted rights to trade in clothes. She died far too soon in 1891 of ileus. At the same time, a bricklayer family Söderberg with three children also lived in the house. When I have now renovated the house from the ground up, I hope that I have managed to preserve its soul and retain something of the feeling of an older house that has stood for almost 150 years.

When you see hippos everywhere, you’ve come to the right place.

Why Bed & Breakfast?

The idea of having a small B&B in my private home was already born when I moved here in 2014. On the second floor lived two girls who went to the riding school in Varberg, so there was a possibility to have boarders. From experience, I know that there is a great demand for summer accommodation here in Varberg. Hotels, hostels, Bed & Breakfasts and Airbnb are usually fully booked during the holiday periods. Yes, not only during the summer months. Varberg has its charm and appeal throughout the year. And why wouldn’t I dare to venture?

The bathroom and the rooms were not in the best condition, so to create a nice and cosy Bed & Breakfast, a major freshening up was required. All said and done… I thought this would be a piece of cake, but alas I was wrong. Once you start rooting around in an old house, it turns out that there is a lot that needs to be fixed, water pipes, electrical wiring, roofs, downpipes and gutters. The worst was probably when we had to dig ditches of 2.5 m around the entire house to get the drainage in order. When the bathroom was to be redone in the basement, there was a constant pool of water after the cement floor was removed! The house was repainted out of sheer speed!

En stor blå flodhäst under ett blommande magnoliaträd i trädgården på Flodhästens Husrum & Frukost.
This hippo had to be lifted by crane over the house to its place in the garden.

Second floor

Now, when you walk up the creaky winding stairs to the second floor, you are greeted by brightly painted wood panelled walls, nooks and crannies, two carefully renovated and cosy rooms, a mix of heirlooms and new, auction and flea market finds. The outer walls turned out to be insulated with old newspapers and we have kept parts of these newspaper walls. The bookshelves are filled with carefully selected books, both classic and new. Books that are selected from a large number of boxes of books we receive from a second hand store every week. As a guest, you are welcome to furnish yourself.

On the walls hang, among many other things, my uncle Folke’s paintings, both originals and reproductions. The important thing for me is that it is a mix of pictures, furniture, colours and books that I like! Simply a restful atmosphere where every thing has its meaning. All overseen by a host of hippos and old portraits of my parents! As a guest on the second floor, you share a bathroom, toilet, and kitchenette with the other guest room.

Angles, nooks and crannies and a lovely flood of light characterize the second floor.

One floor down and the cottage

Instead of going up the stairs, from the guest entrance you can also go down one floor, where I have two more rooms for travellers. Here, two rooms share a bathroom with shower, toilet, and bathtub. If you feel like taking care of your own breakfast, you can store it in the fridge/freezer which is found together with the sink and microwave outside the rooms. Although we are now talking about a basement, it is nice and warm with newly installed underfloor heating!

If the weather is nice, you can enjoy breakfast surrounded by chestnut, pear, and cherry trees in the private garden. In the garden there is also the “Cottage”, a small, detached cabin with a kitchenette, bedroom, and bathroom. All in about 15 square meters! Enjoy your morning coffee in the shade under the lilac just outside the door.

A cigar-smoking Che Guevara peers out over the garden.

Regardless of which of my rooms you choose to spend the night in, I hope that you will enjoy your stay and that the feeling of homeliness and tranquillity that I have strived for will be present during your stay.

A warm welcome home to me and the Hippo!