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Black-Owned Celestine Bed & Breakfast is a Very Good Reason to Visit Florida’s ‘First City’ Pensacola

Black-Owned Celestine Bed & Breakfast is a Very Good Reason to Visit Florida’s ‘First City’ Pensacola

Craving the “soft life,” a lush life or a beautiful life experience in Pensacola, Florida? The Celestine Bed & Breakfast is a pretty good place to start. Located in the historic North Hill district, the Celestine is an exquisite homage to the owner’s great-grandmother (and late family matriarch) Celestine Elizabeth Tolliver Harrison, who was born in Pensacola. It also gives honor to the district, the people and Black heritage. 

Owned by Cornelia Marie Robinson Edwards, husband Bronson Edwards and brother Gerald Robinson II, the Celestine’s rooms are named for all of Celestine and Vandybilt Harrison’s children and two of their grandchildren they raised. Each room has a distinctive design dedicated to some aspect of the family’s history, which continues at the B&B as a jointly owned venture but also as the site of Cornelia and Bronson’s wedding. Cornelia and Richard conceived the project as an extension of their real estate business. They wanted the B&B to reflect the kindness and generosity of Celestine, who was a hardworking woman and community servant that kept an open door policy at her home. 

Photo by Craig Obrist

One of the most stunning and thoughtful elements of the Celestine’s decor is the custom-made wall covering found in the hallway and stairwell, designed by Cornelia. It is a toile with illustrations of family photos, Pensacola landmarks and personal mementos. Not only is the wallpaper fitting for the Victorian house built in 1888, it is also a juxtaposition to the wealth accumulated by the original owner, a prominent white banker. [You can view the intricacies of the wallpaper HERE.] 

Photo featuring toile wall covering: Celestine Bed and Breakfast

The Celestine Room is so-named for Cornelia’s great-grandmother. Warm and inviting, the blues used in the design make for a soothing and calming environment to have a conversation with a friend, read a book or to gather one’s thoughts as we imagine Celestine had to do from time-to-time. 

Photo: Celestine Bed and Breakfast, Facebook

The dining area reflects Florida flamingos, regal colors and lots of texture. Cornelia makes many of the B&B’s meals from scratch and her menus come with vegetarian and vegan options. 

The Celestine is an impeccably designed B&B with all of the features of a luxury hotel. Amenities include Wifi, a smoke-free property, hypoallergenic rooms, grocery delivery, meeting rooms, Continental breakfast/breakfast and more. For a full list of amenities, visit their reservation site at CloudBeds.com

Follow Celestine Bed and Breakfast on Instagram (@celestinebedandbreakfast) to learn more, view discounts, and catch upcoming events. Follow, if for no other reason than to daydream about the perfect, luxurious getaway, honeymoon or babymoon, and how family history and heritage inspired a dream. 

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Robin Caldwell

Robin Caldwell is the blogger behind freshandfriedhard.com and academic researcher focusing on Black history, heritage and culture. Public historian primarily in Black American historical foodways: antebellum and regional.

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Robin Caldwell

Robin Caldwell is the blogger behind freshandfriedhard.com and academic researcher focusing on Black history, heritage and culture. Public historian primarily in Black American historical foodways: antebellum and regional.

Find me on: Twitter/X | Instagram | Facebook

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  1. August 19, 2023 / 12:14 pm

    This bed and breakfast are so pretty. I have been looking for places to travel that are black owned and are close to where I live. Thank you for sharing.

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