12 Jan Reef Cottage
Artist’s impression of where we’re staying is attached to this post (I hope). Before you get any ideas, we are tucked away at the back. See the stairs going up to the roof terrace? Well our front door is left of those and that’s our wee bit. Attached to the old farmhouse – now called Almond Reef – Reef Cottage is home for the next few weeks. Let me take you on a tour.
The front door guarded by one of those annoying chain curtains that every house seems to have here (do they keep the flies out?) leads you straight into the sitting room, square, basic, with a little natural light from a window section in the door. Sort of inlaid stone, crazy paving effect on the lower walls – truly odd but charming in a rustic way. Two sofas and a dated telly and digibox which can bring us oodles of news channels (although not the Beeb or C4) reruns of Judge Judy and MASH – so far little to tempt us although a certain pleasurable nostalgia swept over me as I heard Alan Alda’s memorable Hawkeye! We brought books.
Must be blissfully cool in here in the summer; can be a touch chilly in the winter. But there’s an electric fire to warm the place up of a night. It’s incredibly, indulgently effective and utterly naff. It pretends to be a proper wood-burning stove complete with logs and a glass door plus a substantial black flue reaching from the top up onto the wall, purporting to vent into a chimney. This flue is easily dislodged when you need to get to the controls at the back; turns out it’s just a piece of plastic that can be picked up in one hand and then popped back. “Phew”, said Jim as he realised he hadn’t wrecked the place after all!
Off the sitting room to the right is the lovely simple main bedroom and ensuite shower room. Comfy bed, a bit more crazy paving (maybe there’s a message here), but this room is a treat! At the other end of the sitting room, a door on the left to another shower room and a twin bedroom, currently storing all our clobber but will be handy if we fall out!
Outside there are 4 terraces: the Lunch Terrace, the Coffee Terrace, the Studio Terrace and the Upstairs Terrace. So far, we haven’t used the Upstairs Terrace – but if we get bored of the other 3 it’s always there in reserve. Just outside the door is the Lunch Terrace as by then the sun hits it; just across from there is the Coffee Terrace, larger, covered and facing out across the fields; and just round the corner is the even larger Studio Terrace where the artist has his easel and entertains his Muse alongside a built-in barbecue for summer guests, a traditional stone bread oven (under repair), and views to fields and hills.
The kitchen – the smallest room in the house with the most to tell. Teeny but worthy of its own blog post – coming soon.