A weekend in a pretty cottage, the antidote to city life.
As city dwellers, we needed a well deserved weekend away from the grind and noise of our busy London street. The heat of the summer had finally lifted its unpleasant scorching stickiness but its effects were still present - not only on our tired bodies but all around us. The beautiful green of the fields had turned yellow and the flowers had died before their time. Even so, it was a solace to be away from buildings and into fields. Driving through the pretty lanes, admiring all those wonky yellow stone cottages that make you scream “Yes, here, I want to live here!”, we were getting closer and closer to our destination. And, boy, were we not disappointed when we finally saw it! Old Walls cottage was everything we expected it to be. The old stone wall with the picket fence, the sloping slate roof, the friendly little windows peeking through the trees. We unpacked our car and, before we knew it, we felt like this was our own home as we
foraged flowers from the garden and picked all the fallen apples to display in each room. Autumn was almost here and you could feel it slowly creeping into the air. This is a beautiful time of the year, when summer goes and the new season takes its place. The colours are bright and, as blooms begin to fade, there is a sense of preciousness in the few that remain.
The modern conservatory adjacent to the kitchen looks into the garden and it was the perfect setting for our first country breakfast. We were generously supplied with goodies by the Thyme hotel which owns the cottage. The basket was filled with delicious warm crusty bread, creamy farm milk, butter, homemade jams, and freshly laid eggs. We took pleasure in setting the table with the whimsy blue polka dot pottery, odd jugs and flowers, freshly made coffee and we let the day lazily unfold.
The traditional country style fiend in us was not disappointed with the interior either. The living
room has a large open fireplace, interior shutters, window seats and oak floors. Although the decor is somewhat austere, and a little dated, some delightful French antique painted pieces have been added here and there, and do mix well with the English darker tones. Indian embroidered pillows adorn seats and the curtains are made of heavy floral fabrics. There are two upper floors, and two double bedrooms with bathrooms and a single bedroom so there is space for your tribe. Even dogs are welcome. Sadly, not cats and yet, funnily enough, on our last night we had a feline visitor. He just turn up out of nowehere and he quite clearly felt rather too much at home in the cottage as he wandered inside without asking for permission. We had to ask him, politely, to leave and he nonchalantly obliged. The master bedroom, with its blue and grey tones, is simple and comfortable. A portrait of a young boy is a reminder that this was once a family home and not just a retreat for city folk looking to reconnect with nature for a few days. Or was it? Wasn’t I actually looking into the local estate agent’s window already?
Country living We leapt at the chance to pick flowers from the garden and forage for apples that had fallen from the trees