Lack of communication and so many scams made us doubtful that we would have a place to stay at all so we were relieved when we found the place at 1pm, only to be told it would not be ready for another 2 hours. If this had been communicated to us in the first place it would have been appreciated. We received no confirmation of final payment, directions or instructions whatsoever. It was no hardship though as we were thankful that we weren't stranded 600 miles from home and we simply explored the town for a while. A welcome pack which we would have assumed would be there was absent, simple things like knowing that there is underfloor heating instead of panicking there are no radiators, house rules, what to do with bins regarding recycling, taxi companies, a little history of the property and area would have been appreciated and is standard in most holiday cottages. The underfloor heating did come into its own for drying out wet walking boots! It did unfortunately make the contents of the bin smell rapidly having a warm floor underneath.
This cottage could be so much more and is looking tired. The kitchen is basic and has been appointed with frugality. Not a sharp knife in the place and the dining furniture is cheap. We weren't made to feel like guests but as lodgers in the outhouse, using the cutlery, crockery, furniture and bed linen handed down from them. The vaulted living area is lovely, appointed with beautiful tartan curtains leading out onto a balcony. It is painted white which gives it a lovely clean cottage look however the rest lets it down. The sofas are tiny and could have come straight from a charity shop and the tv is about the smallest I've ever seen. Now we don't expect a huge TV when your main aim is to be out exploring but it was so small it could not be seen easily from the furthest sofa.
Safety aspects have been missed, in a number of rooms there are blinds with cords, most notably in the bedroom with two single beds which would be most commonly used as a child's bedroom. A simple cleat to tie up the loose cord was only present in the kitchen- a quick and cheap fix. There are no plug covers in the plugs. We were warned by the owner upon arrival not to use the stairs in socks which was appreciated as they are varnished and slippy. A clear non slip paint may remedy this. Another inexpensive fix to improve safety.
Day 2- we noticed we had been joined by ants under the dining table so had to wipe up every crumb after each meal- not easy with a three year old as you have to watch where he launches each morsel! When we come to stay at a cottage we don't expect there to be food in the cupboards, however much of what was there (sachets of sauces, flour and vinegar) was well out of date and went straight in the bin. our hope of peace and quiet was shattered by our owner vacuuming his car out at 8pm whilst playing his car radio loudly (right underneath our window) for an hour. When we asked if there were local taxis we said there should be cards in there but some of them can be a bit funny? Again, a welcome pack would have informed us of this. There was one taxi company card available which we used and googled the rest. All of the taxi drivers were lovely however a note (in the welcome pack?) of the full address to guide the taxi drivers in would have been useful.
Consider- making the garage into a lounge area or another bedroom, making the vaulted room into a master bedroom/ suite. Upgrading open fireplace to log burning stove. Alternatively a sofa bed could be put in the vaulted lounge to accommodate more guests, obviously larger dining table would be required.
In most cottages we have stayed at a provisions pack of local produce( bread, eggs, butter, jam, tea, milk and samples of local soaps) has been welcomed. We stayed at eagles nest in Dorset with friend in February and this was simply perfect, by upgrading a and advertising as a truly luxury cottage you could charge more and recoup costs.
Nice touches were the tapestry obviously sewn by the owner framed upstairs however the artwork downstairs was cheap and unattractive. The downstairs shower flooded the floor every time used ( yes with the curtain drawn) and then smelled strongly of damp. Upon investigation, lift the White tray upon which the shower stood and it was thick with mould. The hot tap in the downstairs loo was barely a trickle.
Although the grass was freshly mown in the garden, appropriate maintenance of the trees would have given a fantastic view of the countryside and hills. I’m not talking major forestry clearance here, simply the removal of a Rowan. The view could be a lot nicer however the garden either side (where the logs are stored under tarpaulins and the owners side) were cluttered. Many sheds, wheelbarrows with grass cuttings left for days, crates and unravelled hoses on the house side and lots of dumped pallets and junk beside the logs.
Again on the Thursday our peace was shattered by our host vacuuming something else outside. The only sunny day and we couldn't enjoy the tranquillity of this balcony.