Toulson Court B&B, Scarborough: Yorkshire B&B named best in the world by TripAdvisor for second year running

A Yorkshire B&B has been recognised as the best in the world for a second year running in the 2022 TripAdvisor Awards.

The Toulson Court, in Scarborough, has been named the best-rated B&B for the second consecutive year in the 20th annual Travellers’ Choice Best of the Best Awards for Hotels, announced today by Tripadvisor.

As the B&B gears up for a busy summer, owners Angela and James Rusden have kept hold of their title after first winning the coveted accolade last year.

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The couple’s B&B, which is located close to the seaside town’s Peasholm Park and a short walk from Scarborough Beach, “is not the Ritz or Savoy,” said James who took over the B&B with his wife in 2016.

The B&B is a modest Victorian house and it is also ranked higher than The Ritz London and Savoy Hotel on booking.com.

“We never thought we’d get to number one in Scarborough or top ten in Yorkshire, let alone in the world. It’s absolutely amazing and we thought we’d be put on a pedestal last year,” said James.

The hotel has clocked up a staggering 1,765 positive reviews on TripAdvisor, 4.9 rating on Google and a 9.8 out of 10 on booking.com (with the Ritz and Savoy trailing behind with 9.4 ratings).

He said they never expected to be number one for two years running.

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“It’s absolutely unbelievable,” he said. “We’re just an everyday Victorian House, it’s a lovely clean place. We are value for money and we won’t be putting up prices as a result of winning.”

For this reason James said  the B&B is full with regulars this week. “We’re a home away from home and we make an effort to get to know all of our guests,” added James who is dubbed ‘The Singing Chef’.

Their value-for-money offering includes a “proper” full English with black pudding and fried bread, “unlike Gordon Ramsay,” added James who was shocked to watch the chef on TV serve up a Full English without these.

James cooks all the breakfasts for the guests as well as offering eggs benedict and a vast continental breakfast.

“There aren’t many bed and breakfasts left around here, most are just room only and you have to pay extra for breakfast which I don’t think is right,” he added.

James’ wife is also known for whipping up complimentary home-made cakes for their guests who they see as “family”.

But people don’t just flock to The Toulson for the food - it’s for James’ vocals too.

“I had only ever sang karaoke for our foster kids,” said James, who started humming to self-soothe his anxiety.

The couple, originally from Ackworth near Wakefield, decided to move to the seaside resort for a stress-free life.

Initially the couple were going to foster in Scarborough and then decided to set up the B&B. James began singing while cooking and as guests started writing glowing reviews about “The Singing Chef,” so he has carried on singing ever since.

“Singing makes me happy. It started as humming and now I sing all the time,” said James who talks openly about struggling with his mental health after having been diagnosed with two brain aneurysms, one inoperable, and experiencing a mild stroke when he was made redundant from his corporate career.

The couple made the hard decision to leave their three children and nine grandchildren behind in Ackworth to set up the world’s number one B&B.

After a celebratory visit from the town crier and “maybe a glass of bubbly,” it’s straight back to business for James and Angela who need to clean and prepare for tomorrow.

Yorkshire is home to four of the UK’s top 25 B&Bs including The Toulson Court, Franklin Mount Boutique Guesthouse in Harrogate, Stow House in Aysgarth and Mill Croft Bed and Breakfast in Goathland who rank tenth, 12th and 17th in the UK respectively.

Another notable Yorkshire winner of the Tripadvisor awards is Yorebridge House in Bainbridge which placed 24th in the UK’s Most Romantic hotels list and 25th in the Luxury category.

The 2022 Travellers’ Choice Best of the Best Awards are based on the quality and quantity of traveller reviews and ratings posted on Tripadvisor over the 12-month period from 1 January, 2021 through 31 December, 2021.

The awards include 11 subcategories of accommodations to reflect the tastes and needs of a broad range of travellers.