SUMMER IN ST. FLORENCE WITH COASTAL COTTAGES
The weather here in Hampshire is just dismal – and after a fun case of pleurisy and chest infection I’ve been sorting through our photographs of last August’s break away in Welsh paradise with the very lovely people at Coastal Cottages. We headed to St. Florence, Pembrokeshire for the final week of the Summer holidays courtesy of Coastal Cottages following a chance meeting at the Online Influence conference where I was speaking with BrandContent about working brand/blogger relationships. Coastal Cottages asked if my family and I would like to come and stay in one of their beautiful properties – and how could we refuse? I love working with holiday companies as it gives our boys opportunities that they wouldn’t normally have – and I’m very thankful for every opportunity that comes our way, particularly in school holiday time.
And so, we were headed to Welsh paradise with the promise of glorious Welsh weather. At 5am on departure day, me and the mister bundled three sleeping boys into the car and headed off towards our holiday destination. My parents always did this when I was little, I was laid on the back seat [which always reminded me of a chocolate cake] of our huge Princess car as my parents drove off in the early hours to spare us the boredom – and them our nagging.
Anyhow, after a couple of hours of driving, we stopped at a Costa outlet where much mirth ensued after daddy ordered an espresso and I had hot chocolate. Seeing the teeny cup in comparison with my huge glass mug, the boys couldn’t decide whether mommy had ordered daddy a small cup to be sneaky, or whether daddy made a mistake and bought a baby cup. Either way they were in stitches.
As we met no traffic for a change, we stopped for late breakfast in Carmarthen, and again to the boys hilarity, Daddy ended up with the wrong breakfast and after I switched it, they decided he had ordered two breakfasts and took to calling him “Fatty Bum-Bum” for the rest of the drive.
We arrived early at our holiday home and as I wasn’t in a presentable state following the drive, we popped into the local garden centre for a cup of tea, met my parents who were also holidaying with us, and after 3pm we finally stepped through the door of Rosemary Cottage, a beautifully located and presented property for 8 people. Situated at the end of a cul-de-sac, as soon as we pulled onto the driveway, the view from Rosemary Cottage was took our breaths away – over the fencing to the left of the house stretched the greenest, lushest, landscape with the bluest skies. It was as though we were transported from a neighbourhood to the middle of the glorious Welsh countryside in seconds.
We parked our car as Granny and Grandad drew up, unfolded ourselves out of the car – and as soon as the front door to Rosemary Cottage was opened, six little feet set off to explore the house and find their bedroom – and they were all gorgeous. Bright, airy and with pastel hued linens and furnishings, I was completely in love with every one. Finally after much running up and down the landing [we were so glad that the cottage was detached at this point – nothing like starting your holiday by annoying your neighbours!] Hero and I took the master bedroom with an ensuite, the mister took the room next door so that he could hear the boys in the night. There was a stairgate downstairs in the cupboard but we didn’t want them wandering about confused if they awoke in the night and so we thought it best to stay nearby. The boys had a twin room, whilst Granny and Grandad had a quiet room in the opposite wing of the house. As if the bedrooms and furnishings upstairs weren’t beautiful enough, downstairs we were greeted with a vase of fresh flowers in the kitchen at the breakfast bar, and a fridge stocked with essentials. Outside in the hallway the boys were shouting that there was a “ginormous basket full of food” – and sure enough, there really was, from the very lovely concierge service. Welsh tea, Welsh chocolate, Welsh preserves and cake – and tickets for our family to visit Anna’s Welsh Zoo. It was the best start to our holiday that we could have imagined. The luxurious care and attention given to us as guests arriving that day at the house made everything feel as though we were actually on holiday, as opposed to renting a property for the week. The cottage felt loved, cared for and so very welcoming. The fresh, rolled towels on the beds, flowers in vases, laundry tablets and new tea towels – everything carefully thought through. In the event that if you arrived in the night, there would be no mad panic to head to a supermarket in the dark for essentials – and although we arrived in the afternoon, we were able to relax, unwind and enjoy the cottage before we actually needed to make a trip for groceries. So, we thew open the French patio doors in the living room and whilst the boys ran free over the grassy garden, we had a well deserved cup of tea and marvelled at the gift basket whilst trying to decide what we’d see that week in Florence.
After bringing in our cases, when the boys had finally calmed themselves down by running to and fro, we spent the rest of the night playing table tennis in the double garage, and the men all relaxed on loungers in the garden whilst me and Granny headed out to Tesco nearby to buy our supplies for the week ahead. When we returned and unpacked, there were three little boys wandering about in cosy pyjamas though they’d always been residents of Rosemary Cottage, showing me where the “secret toilet” was and asking me if I had ever played Croquet.
Up next: Our first full day in St. Florence. You can see wide angled photographs of Rosemary Cottage on the Coastal Cottages website – and every single thing that is mentioned in the description of the property is true. It’s a truly beautiful holiday destination with very attentive owners, and perfect for families – especially with the location, which you’ll see as our week unfolds.