I don’t think it’s possible to appreciate the luxury of a boutique cottage without having first experienced camping out in a tent. As I enter Cathedral Cottage and stand in the warmth of the marble floored hallway it is this comparison with my last camping trip which springs to mind.
It is pouring with rain, and late in the season so it’s already dark when we get there. The rain has saturated my coat and clothes leading me to strip down to my underwear and as I bend over to knock a peg into the ground sheet, I get a sense of someone watching me from behind. I turn and notice that the dad from the next tent has come out to “offer his help”: how long he’s been standing there I have no idea. Of course, I declined his generosity and continued to ship dozens of bags from car to tent whilst my daughter remained in the car drawing unhappy emoji faces in the condensation. No! camping is not for me, but cottages: now you’re talking!
Cathedral Cottage, set in the very heart of St Davids, is a home of beauty. I say home because that’s exactly how St Davids Escapes want you to feel. A few days ago I received a welcome email from Rachel, the owner of St David’s Escapes, providing me with directions and arrival instructions and also plenty of insider tips for the weekend. She writes in a friendly style and it makes me feel like she’s my best friend lending me her house for the weekend. Her welcome extends to the two glasses laid out on the dining room table next to the bottle of prosecco, Welsh cakes, Bara Brith and Welsh butter fudge. In the fridge she has bought milk and butter ready for our arrival. Knowing that I’m bringing along my eight-year-old daughter, St Davids Escapes have gifted her a St Davids Treasure Hunt Trail which I’m incredibly grateful for as I know it’s going to keep us amused all weekend despite the bad weather. It’s not only these little unexpected treats that make me feel so indulged but also the quality of the accommodation.
That gorgeous marble floor hallway leads to the open plan living room/dining room where you’ll find the log burner ready to be lit and a stack of logs to keep you going all weekend. The dining room chairs are upholstered with material from Melin Tregwynt as well as the cushions on the sofas which just ooze luxury. Upstairs the bathroom is worthy of a five-star hotel and the super soft beds are made with the whitest of linens. What makes it more welcoming though are the accessories that adorn each room. There are books, dvds and games available for your use as well as a washing machine, iron and ironing board should you require it. It sounds silly, but it makes a difference having these readily accessible to you. I have heard of some cottages where you have to pay extra for the use of an ironing board or hair dryer or where you have to provide the linen and towels for your stay: rather uncongenial and not what I expect from a holiday let.
Fortunately, Cathedral Cottage isn’t like that as it’s managed by St Davids Escapes. They are a small local company and the owners love where they live. They only represent properties that are cherished by their owners. In many cases the owners have put their heart and souls into the renovations, restorations or conversions. As I sit with my glass of prosecco next to the log burner (God! I wish I had one of these in my house) I am considering the consequences of squatting in rental properties: I could quite easily see myself living here. However as squatting here isn’t an option I’m going to settle for another staycation in Cathedral Cottage and I start checking my availability. Does anybody want to buy a second-hand tent?