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Your ideal S/C holiday cottage, what would it have?

28 replies

RockingRosebud · 17/08/2003 22:22

By this I mean what features, what position, the furnishings etc.

TIA

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gingernut · 17/08/2003 22:43

Of the things you don't get by default: enclosed garden (if you have a toddler) (for older ones I imagine a place with a swimming pool or games room would be better - you often get this with a group of cottages together), microwave, freezer, washing machine and preferably tumbledrier as well, linen and towels provided (I hate carting wet towels home), 2 loos, bath AND shower, loo on same floor as bedrooms (often they aren't!), children's bedroom(s) on same floor as parents', cot (if you need one), dishwasher.

I might think of some more yet

HTH

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gingernut · 17/08/2003 22:47

Oh and as for position, I prefer it to be not too remote (2 miles down a track = a long time to get anywhere and a very dirty car by day 2) and preferably with fab views. Pub and shops close by are an advantage (especially pub ). Furnishings: as plain as possible so there's less for ds to trash!

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RockingRosebud · 18/08/2003 13:33

Brilliant, thanks. Anymore ideas anyone? What about toys and games?

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RockingRosebud · 18/08/2003 13:34

Brilliant, thanks. Anymore ideas anyone? What about toys and games?

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Zerub · 18/08/2003 13:49

A dishwasher. A stairgate. No nasty glass-and-metal coffee tables. Next door to the pub so the baby monitor reaches! Parking right outside (no lugging suitcases up long drives). Video/DVD player. Nice big sofas. Swing in the garden... No pond or stream. Well-stocked kitchen (lots of places only have silly little teacups, always take our own coffee mugs now!). Teatowels, dishwasher soap, salt & pepper and all those things - I hate having to remember to pack everything just in case.

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Bobsmum · 18/08/2003 14:02

Monopoly, Cluedo, Twister and a pack of playing cards. Bucket, spade and deckchairs(depending on location!)

A folder with leaflets on the local area, maps, good walks and useful phone numbers.

Tea, coffee and sugar waiting for the guests and an option for fresh milk to be delivered too.

Open fire and comfy rug in front ;O

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Bobsmum · 18/08/2003 14:03

That's

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Dickers · 18/08/2003 14:09

Sharp knives (for food, not DH!) toilet paper when you arrive, glasses which hold more than a mouthful of water, curtians which cut out the light (not flimsy ones made of tissue!) a non-stick pan, with the "non-stick" still attached, 2 sets of house keys, so party can do different things and a BBQ.

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gingernut · 18/08/2003 14:27

More thoughts....

Some of these things are impossible to tell from the cottage description - as someone else mentioned, it is worth taking a few bits and bobs you really hate to be without (e.g. your favourite kitchen utensils, I always take my good thick oven gloves cos I can't stand thin ones or having to use a tea towel for the job, and of course a corkscrew ). We also take a length of blackout material for ds's room because the curtains are, IME, nearly always so thin they are virtually useless. Take some pins or tape to fix it up at the window.

Re toys and games, lots of cottages have some but we just take some favourites - and just get a few toys out each day so there's something `new'. Hopefully the weather will be nice and you can get out and about and won't need much.

Another tip: see if you can get a tesco.com delivery late in the day on the day you get there - that way you don't end up carting loads of food but you also don't have to turn round and shop when you arrive.

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IDismyname · 18/08/2003 16:00

I felt very smug getting Tescos to deliver to home the night before we went away on holiday.

Imagine my surprise to see someone in the next door cottage, an hour after we'd arrived in (deepest) Norfolk, getting a delivery from tescos.

ARGHH!!

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Lindy · 18/08/2003 16:21

Comfortable beds are essential - I have had so many horror stories with s/c places - why do they seem to shove their oldest grottiest beds in?

Agree with everything else mentioned - a proper coffee maker (filter or cafetiere) - but I know now to always take my own.

We're going to a National Trust cottage later in the year, expensive but hopefully it will be better maintained than some places we've stayed in.

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lou33 · 18/08/2003 16:37

Unbreakable plates and cups for younger kids.

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eefs · 18/08/2003 17:03

agree stongly with bobsmum - a welcome pack with the basics (and a bottle of wine) i.e. teabags, coffee sachets, 1 litre fresh milk in the fridge, supply of condiments (salt, pepper, cooking oil, sugar) make all the difference when one has arrived late to the house. Cling film and tin foil also handy.
Enough mugs (usually there are not enough tiny teacup to go around, who even uses those dainty cups anymore) and unchipped plates. Enough cutlery and adequately equipped kitchen (unrusted tin opener, bottle opener, sharp knives etc all very handy.)
If there's a washing machine it's a nice touch to have a couple of washing tablets there - enough for maybe two washes - it's such a pain to have to buy these things and they wouldn't cost the house letter a lot to have them available.
Spare blankets & pillows in the hot press.
leaflets to local activities, directions to the local supermarket with opening times, directions to the local pub, takeaway leaflets, directions to the nearest petrol station, doctor (with surgery times), hospital, chemist. Map of local area.
Basic first aid kit.
teatowels.
TV guide if tv provided (plus instructions on how to turn it on if twenty different remotes are provided)
Rainy day activities - board games, cards.
These are all things that I've been caught without on S/C holidays and they really make the difference. The places that have most of the above are the ones I leave and plan to return to the following year.

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helenmc · 18/08/2003 19:49

a hoover that works, comfortable beds , 6 matching glasses, soundproof walls so you don't annoy the neighbours

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sis · 18/08/2003 19:56

Agree with everything else and want to emphasise the video recorder to entertain little ones who insist on waking up at 6am or earlier and to help the adults relax with a good film after the children have gone to sleep.

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RockingRosebud · 18/08/2003 20:46

What about infant care items?

If the home was brand new and a note asked you to remove your shoes on the carpet, would you? Or would you think it was cheeky?

Thanks girlies

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TheOldDragon · 18/08/2003 21:03

Broadband internet access for Mumsnet surfing?

I'd take my shoes off RR.
What infant care items did you have in mind?

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RockingRosebud · 18/08/2003 21:17

Steriliser, baby bath, push chair, high chair what have I forgotten? Oh cot obviously.

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sis · 18/08/2003 22:32

potty, bathmat (one of your faves, if I remember correctly!), colouring pencils and paper.

I'd take shoes off - but we do that at home anyway and so would not feel comfortable with my shoes on in any house that I was staying in.

On the non-child related things - a stock of cleaning products (in a childproof cupboard, of course) - not oveer the top but just toilet cleaners, bath cleaners etc.

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helenmc · 19/08/2003 22:37

and a decent power shower with no mould. and things like pan scrubbers and dish cloth and plenty of tea towels (even if you have got a dishwasher), and plastic bags and cling film and a gas hob

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Angiel · 19/08/2003 23:24

Are you planning on hiring out a cottage RR?

If you're paying this much attention to detail, I'd gladly rent it from you.

What I wouldn't want is loads of ornaments and knick knacks, in my experience they are a total pain and we normally have to clear the room as soon as we get there to stop little hands breaking anything.

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SoupDragon · 20/08/2003 07:41

Cot and high chair definitely. The others would ne "nice to haves" rather than essentials I think. If you've got a microwave, you don't need a steriliser for example, just a tupperware box.

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Metrobaby · 20/08/2003 09:12

When we rent a cottage the facilites we like are

  1. Dishwasher (essiential)
  2. Washing machine
  3. Clothes line and pegs outside, clothes airers for indoors
  4. Outdoor eating facilities
  5. Two keys
  6. Hoover, broom and other cleaning materials
  7. Washing up liquid and sponge or brush
  8. Radio cassette player is also nice
  9. Spare sheets and blankets
  10. Towels
  11. Welcome pack is always a nice touch (ie containing tea, sugar, coffee.) One cottage we stayed at even baked us a homemade cake !
  12. Clean rooms
  13. At least 1 loo roll in the toilet
  14. At least 1 spare black liner
  15. Details of the nearest shop, bakery, pub, takeaways, and thier opening hours
  16. Where outside to put the bins to be collected
  17. Child step stools in the bathrooms are a nice bonus
  18. Spare light bulbs, and fuse (just in case!)
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Metrobaby · 20/08/2003 09:14

Oh - and I forgot - another essiential that we rarely see with cottages with open fires is a fire guard

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florenceuk · 20/08/2003 09:45

I'd take my shoes off - I do anyway at home. Can I also put in a vote for no knicknacks, vases, etc for DS to trash. Decor preferably flower-free - go kitsch-free! Can't stand that pink flowery Laura Ashley look. My preferred position is somewhere quiet but within walking distance of shops, so you don't have to drive somewhere just to get milk.

If you are aiming to be child-friendly, then microwave/cot/highchair/stairgates/secure outdooor garden/plastic cups and plates/childproof locks on cupboards with chemicals. A box of old toys/books would be a nice touch as well.

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