At the Hôtel Baudy, with its iron beds and cotton coverlets, there were no luxuries. The maids, scarcely trained but willing young girls from the country, carried water pitchers upstairs for the guests’ toilette, knocked on the doors and announced, "Warm water, Monsieur !" Oil lamps were used until 1902, then came gas. ’Me inn was well-kept, the food excellent, and the owners’ benevolence proverbial. Madame Baudy was good to her boarders even when they could not pay their bill. She often had to give them money for train fare -Dawson Watson was an example at the end of his last visit. They left paintings in lieu of money (car. 90, 92, 93, 94, 95).
Clearly this adventure fascinated the Baudys and, as extreme evidence of her dedication, Madame Baudy became an agent for the well-reputed company, Lefevre and Foinet. On her premises one could buy paint, canvas and brushes. New rites were introduced at the Hâtel Baudy, a village inn specializing in foreigners, particularly Americans. As temporary inhabitants of Giverny, young artists far away from home were treated like members of the family. Great care was bestowed upon the fragile Robinson, and Madame Baudy learned to make their favorite recipes. Christmas pudding was procured, and Thanksgiving was celebrated there just as it was in America.
Early on, Monet came to the hotel to visit his American friends. He welcomed the very first arrivals to his home (a photograph shows him in his garden with Madame Hoschedé’s daughters and in the company of Bruce, Taylor and Breck). However, he soon became alarmed at the growing number of artists in the village, especially since he had come to Giverny looking for tranquillity, and refused to entertain guests or – as always - to give lessons. His visits to the Hôtel Baudy became less frequent, then stopped altogether. Nevertheless, one of Cézanne’s hotel bills reveals that Monet did come to have a glass of whiskey with him. There were too many people, too much noise, and probably a generation problem.