A HEADTEACHER who gave up the classroom to run a guest house just three years ago is hoping that her B&B will be named the best in the region.
Sally Craigen took early retirement from Wallsend’s Western Community Primary School in 2009 to open Martinaeu Guest House in Tynemouth Front Street.
And it is now in the running for the title of Bed & Breakfast / Guest Accommodation of the Year in the North East Tourism Awards.
Sally, 59, said: “Running a guest house has been a dream really, but not one that I thought I would fulfil.
“Someone said to me, ‘if you weren’t teaching, what would you do?’.
“I said I had always wanted to run a guest house and they said ‘why don’t you? If you say it’s the money then you don’t really want it’.
“That got me thinking that if I didn’t do it I would probably regret it.”
She bought the property at number 57, naming it after journalist Harriet Martineau, who lived there in the 1940s.
Sally uses as many locally-sourced ingredients as possible, including specially made sausages from Rothbury Family Butchers, Craster kippers and smoked haddock from North Shields fish quay. She also offers a full vegan and vegetarian breakfast menu.
She will find out next week, whether she has beaten off competition from St Cuthbert’s House in Seahouses, and Low Urpeth Farm in Chester-le-Street.
“It’s so exciting,” she said. “When the judges came round I just treated them like they were guests.
“What I wanted to get across was that this is not a job to me, it’s a way of life.”