To all you self caterers out there(89 Posts)
I rent out a couple of self catering properties and wondered if i could get ideas from you kind mn folk
What is useful in a s/c house , is there anything that makes the holiday better?
I was wondering about buying slow cookers, would that be useful on holiday or do you just stick to take aways. What would you be pleased to find in the kitchen (apart from a maid-i'm not providing that!)
Anything else, games for the kids, dvds,
I would expect the kitchen to beextremely well equipped. We stay in Hugh end places usually 2 dishwashers, washing machine, tumble dryer. Yes to games and dvds.
Appreciated extras have been hot tub, bikes, trampoline, firepit, gas bbq, piano, table tennis table, croquet etc
Have had midweek clean at some places. Even centerparcs have a maid service!
A friend of mine runs a self-catering business & she always makes sure that there's a small shop of bread, milk & butter in for each new guest. I've always thought that it's a really thoughtful little touch - can't tell you amount of times we've ended up somewhere self-catering after a long journey only to have to trek out to shops for basics.
Good point last place we stayed had cake, tea, jam, bread, butter, Eggs
Sharp knifes, chopping boards, a selection of dishes for serving as well as plates and bowls for guests. If you're providing a dishwasher (holiday essential for me!) Then at least double up on plates/ mugs/ glasses and cutlery to guest capacity. A few plastic bowls for picnics and leftovers and lided containers are really useful too.
Buy bulk standard styles, like IKEA so you can replace individual pieces easily. Lots of mishmashed stuff is naff.
I like a cafettiere if you're not providing a coffee machine.
Heat mats also useful if you dont want burnt sides/ tables.
Pack of playing cards, dominos etc always fun to have in.
I quite like a guests info book that guests are invited to add too. Its like a physical trip advisor and interesting to read, with a compulsory glass of wine, what others have found interesting locally.
Good fluffy towels
We usually get a tesco delivery to the property. Some places let you have it delivered before you arrive (they tell you which time slot to book) and put it away for you. That's a nice touch.
I just need the basics in a kitchen. A cafetiere is nice so you can make decent coffee. I like very clean with comfy beds and soft towels then I am happy. I also like the little touches of a bottle of wine as a welcome gift. So many places does this you notice if people don't.
Thanks for all the ideas, so far most of the stuff i have, cant run to hot tubs though
I do the guest book and get visitors to give local recommendations (takes the pressure off me!)
Hadnt thought of plastic boxes for take out food, will do that
Also hadnt thought to double crockery for dishwasher
A welcome pack on arrival ( tea/coffee/milk/ sugar maybe even a small pack of biscuits), tea towels, oven gloves, takeaway menus, information about bins, washing up liquid/ kitchen towel. Decent size and selection of baking trays/ saucepans. Board games/ card games. DVD's or something like Netflix available. Cleaning stuff so I can give it a wipe over before we go. Spare keys
Yy to a welcome pack too. Esp homemade cake
Decent sized mugs (I have been known to go out and buy mugs are on holiday, can't drink out of tea cups all week!)
Cake tins for baking
Outside of the kitchen:
King size bed if it will fit, and the best mattress you can afford to supply.
Decent pots, pans and oven dishes.
Serving plates - a lot of our holiday teas are 'help yourself' style
Decent amount of loo roll
Wouldn't be fussed by a slow cooker - I'd tend to make slow cooker teas in advance and bring them in Tupperware.
Don't bother getting DVDs - a tv with Netflix may work out cheaper and be more appreciated.
I like having wifi - even when I'm getting away from it all, it's handy for quick directions or checking what time the local pub serves food to.
YY to board games and maybe some garden games if apropriate.
A few dishwasher tablets assuming there's a dishwasher.
iPod docking station/speakers
Actually the main thing I'd be happy to see is Washing up liquid and sponge for our washing up. It's the number one thing that I as a visitor always pack cus I know it WONT be provided... But why not?
More than enough cutlery/Plates not just the minimum.
A small selection of baking items is good to have such as kitchen scales, measuring jug, mixing bowl. We have sometimes wanted to bake a cake to find there is nothing to make it with.
We stay in 5 star places and never yet had a slow cooker. I have taken my own in the past for our winter holidays.
Wine glasses -some places only have tumblers. Yes to mugs!
Nice touch is a snuggly clean throw on the sofa.
I also take bird feeders and bird food. One of the joys of rural holidays is sitting watching the birds.
Lots of tea towels and somewhere to hang them
Cosy throws or blankets or fleeces in a nice pile in the lounge
Ice cube tray
Always washing up liquid and sponges in mine, also provide tea , coffee, sugar, loo roll and dishwasher tablets. Used to do welcome pack but found it became rather expensive and tricky to organise (limited shops near me) but may rethink that now
A warm throw for the living room,
Something to put my feet up on when I'm sat on the sofa (a pouffe / footstool),
Plenty of cushions on a comfy sofa
Wifi that works
A radio in the kitchen
A clothes drying rack
Local guide books and maps
Some tupperware tubs
A decent tin opener that works
Big mugs, not piddly little ones
Decent wine glasses
A tray to carry things on
A few board games
Basics such as washing up liquid, wash up sponges, loo rolls, dishwasher tabs, bin bags, tea towels etc
A few store-cupboard essentials such as veg oil, salt, pepper etc are much appreciated - and the knowledge in advance that they are there!
Nice lighting - plenty of small lamps around the place that I can have on or off as I please, including a reading light beside the bed.
If there are steps or uneven ground outside the front door, then an outside light please.
Furniture that is reasonable quality i.e. not the nasty ultra cheap folding dining chairs, or uncomfortable sofas that feel like charity shop reject sofa..
Minimum of ornaments and knick-knacks and no framed family photos
No bossy notices stuck on walls
Privacy. Don't just turn up unannounced to check if things are ok....ring first. I may be in my pyjamas.
Sensible check out time...don't ask me to clean the house and be out by nine am...
At the last cottage I stayed at I much appreciated finding a pack of tampons in the bathroom cabinet as I was caught short, and it was a long way to an open shop...although I suspect that those were left by a previous guest, but I would leave some if it was my cottage.
Don't forget how useful it is to be able to access a correct list of what will be there before you go. Eg if there's a DVD player I'll pack some DVDs and not my portable DVD player, if there's a cafetiere I might bring coffee appropriate for it, but if it's a capsule machine (hate them!) I'll also pack a drip filter and some papers, etc.
Good suggestions above. I'd love to find salt, pepper and olive oil, ie things that are very useful but that you can't finish in a holiday. And I'd love to find a stack of teatowels, not just one: at home I use at least one a day, and can't cope with one for a week - but if I know in advance there'll only be one, I'll bring some.
Oh god please decent knives. I've been known to take our knife sharpener on holiday
More baking trays than you think someone might need.
Two milk (ie small) saucepans, not just one.
As said before - big mugs! Most pretty mug sets are too small.
Sharp knives, maybe re-sharpening between handovers?
Dishwasher tablets and binbags.
A decent sized kitchen bin.
Defrost any freezer regularly.
If supplying gadgets (slow cooker, coffee pot, even down to the cooker) please make them simple to use. Not everybody knows how an induction hob is meant to work.
Doors that close and stay closed, with firmly fixed handles that don't pull off. (Can you tell we've had problems?)
A screwdriver or two would be useful. We now take our own, you never know when you might need one (c.f. the door handles above!)
If you have recycling collections, please leave clear details of pickups & containers. I had to google the local Council on our last holiday, no mention of recycling at all but they did a weekly mix bag collection.
We appreciate salt and pepper, cooking oil, tin foil, cling film and kitchen towel.
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