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February 2024 Newsletter

Thank you for being here! Welcome to your latest edition of our newsletter, brimming with exciting updates and offerings to enhance your English countryside experience!

This month, dive into a new video tour with Laura, showcasing the luxury and charm of our 18th-century thatched cottage. You’ll get a real sense of life as a Brit living in the lap of luxury!

Fresh from our Gold win at the Dorset Tourism Awards, we’re already eyeing future accolades and sharing our gratitude and excitement for what lies ahead!

Plus we have some amazing final 2024 dates on OFFER for you!

We’re also reminding you of the unique opportunity to join our 2025 Shared Cottage Retreat for a wellness experience like no other, and we’re spotlighting an exquisite excursion to Kingston Lacy, promising art, history, and scenic picnics.

Make sure you tune in Next Month as we announce the first of our PICNIC BASKET WINNER! It could be you! Our loyal subscriber and follower!

And with that……

Tally-ho, away we go!

ecv picnic basket scene


  • Watch! Our Latest Video
  • Golden Moment! We Won Gold At The Dorset Tourism Awards! What’s Next!!?
  • Book Now! 2024 Dates on OFFER!
  • Wellness in 2025! A Holistic Shared Cottage Experience!
  • Featured Excursion: Kingston Lacy Stately House and Gardens
  • A Taste of Well Cottage: Laura’s Featured Recipe! What is Pancake Day!!?
  • Our British TV suggestions! Only Fools and Horses!
  • Guest Voices: Reviews and Testimonials
  • This Month’s FAQ: Who Is The English Cottage Vacation Team?
  • Last Word: Final Thought from Nathan & Laura

New Video! Explore The Charm Of English Cottage Vacation

👀 Watch our latest video below to see why English Cottage Vacation is the ultimate choice for those wanting to experience life as a British, country bumpkin while immersing oneself in the lap of luxury!

We Struck Gold At The Dorset Tourism Awards!

ecv dorset tourism awards Laura & Nathan

The anticipation that built up to February 1st, 2024, culminated in an unforgettable evening for English Cottage Vacation, as we emerged victorious, clinching the Gold award at the prestigious Dorset Tourism Awards held at Weymouth Pavilion! This accolade is not just a win for us but a celebration of our unwavering dedication to delivering exceptional hospitality.

Marking its 11th anniversary, the Dorset Tourism Awards commend the crème de la crème of the tourism industry, emphasising inclusivity, environmental stewardship, and community engagement. Being recognised as the best in our category among such an esteemed group of finalists is both an honour and a testament to the hard work and passion that Nathan and Laura pour into English Cottage Vacation.

What does this mean for English Cottage Vacation moving forward? This recognition elevates our commitment to excellence, inspiring us to enhance our offerings further and continue creating unforgettable experiences for our guests. It’s an exciting chapter in our story, promising even greater achievements and a steadfast dedication to the quality that our guests have come to love and expect.

But the journey doesn’t end here! With this Gold win under our belt, we’re now propelled into the spotlight at the South West Tourism Excellence Awards in March 2024, with sights set on making a mark and potentially advancing to the prestigious national Visit England Awards!

Stay tuned as we venture into the next phase of our journey, with hopes high for success at the South West Tourism Excellence Awards and possibly at the national level. This win is for all of us — our incredible team, our cherished guests, and everyone who has supported English Cottage Vacation. Here’s to a future filled with more gold-standard moments and the joy of sharing the very best of Dorset with the world!

🥂 To many more victories and memorable experiences ahead! 🏆

Celebrate with us in person – CLICK HERE!

ECV Dorset Tourism Awards 2023 24 GOLD logo

Secure Your 2024 Stay with our Fantastic OFFERS and SPECIALS!

Looking towards a memorable 2024? English Cottage Vacation extends an exclusive invitation to indulge in the serene beauty of Dorset, nestled within our quintessentially English 18th-century thatched cottage. With limited slots available, now is the pivotal moment to plan your escape to a blend of luxury and pastoral charm.

CLICK HERE to view all of our current offers!

Early Summer Radiance Shared Cottage Experience OFFER: 10% OFF

22nd June – 29th June, perfect for basking in the season’s fresh glow. Only 1 room left! Perfect for solo travellers or couples

For more details or to book now, CLICK HERE!

ecv guests outdoors with Nathan & Laura serving

Other 2024 OFFERS and Specials:

Summer at its Zenith OFFER, book 7+ nights and get an additional night FREE, worth $2,300 USD!

  • 31st July – 12th August, choose any combination of dates to suit you!
  • Exclusive, Whole Cottage experiences for up to 6 people!
  • Ideal for adventures amidst Dorset’s splendour plus experience the Inaugural, ‘Golden Age of Aviation‘ Compton Abbas Air show as part of your package!

Thanksgiving Gathering Special!

  • 26th November – 3rd December
  • Offered as a Shared Cottage Experience
  • Possibility to book exclusively for your party of up to 6 people!

New Year’s Festivities Special!

  • 29th December 2024 – 5th January 2025
  • See the New Year in with the Brits!
  • Celebrate in style, comfort and luxury within our festive haven or at an exclusive New Year’s Party!
  • Exclusive, Whole Cottage experiences for up to 6 people!

CLICK HERE to request more information and receive a personal response from Nathan and Laura about these 2024 options.

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Venturing Into 2025 And Beyond

Anticipating a future visit? With only 14 weeks available for booking per year we are over 50% FULL for 2025! However, we’re delighted to accept reservations with a modest $1,000 deposit, to secure your enchanting escape to luxury and peace and giving you ample time to tailor your perfect English Cottage Vacation!

Check our availability for your preferred dates:

To explore more about our cottage and confirm your stay, simply CLICK HERE and scroll down to view our availability calendar. Act swiftly to ensure your preferred dates are secured for an unparalleled stay at Well Cottage, where every visit is steeped in luxury and the tranquility of the divine Dorset countryside!

Reserve your spot today for an unforgettable journey to the heart of English elegance and countryside bliss!

Reach out now to avoid disappointment!

ecv wellness retreat collage

Did You Catch Our Exciting News Last Month? Unveiling the 2025 Shared Cottage Retreat!

In case you missed the announcement in our last newsletter, we’re over the moon to share once again our newest venture into wellness and relaxation: the Shared Cottage Retreat, set to launch in the summer of 2025!

English Cottage Vacation invites you to a journey of self-discovery and rejuvenation, all within the charming embrace of our luxury 18th-century thatched cottage with 24/7 VIP service!

A Sanctuary in Dorset’s Countryside

Imagine a week filled with the luxury of time and space to focus on your wellbeing, surrounded by the serene beauty of the Dorset countryside. Our retreat offers a blend of holistic activities, self-care practices, and the tranquility of nature, promising a truly transformational experience!

Tailored to Your Wellness Journey

From engaging excursions, workshops and soothing meditative practices to yoga and nature explorations on foot or by bike, this retreat is designed for flexibility. Whether you’re seeking solitude or communal activities, you have the freedom to pick and choose the activities you want to take part in!

Gourmet Cuisine & Indulgent Spa Treatments

Dive into a world of culinary delights with garden-fresh, personalised meals prepared by gourmet resident chef Laura, and pamper yourself with luxurious spa treatments. It’s all about prioritising your wellness, enveloped in the comforts of our boutique cottage setting!

Designed for Everyone

This retreat welcomes individuals, couples, or friends, offering an intimate setting with three luxury rooms and a cosy, exclusive environment for just six guests. It’s a rare opportunity to step into a new frequency of well-being and connection!

We Want to Hear From You!

Your insights are invaluable as we shape this wellness retreat. By participating in our brief survey, you not only help us create this experience but also ensure early access to more details and the chance to secure your spot for our first retreat in 2025. Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity to be part of something truly special!

Please fill out our short survey and let us be part of your wellness journey. Your adventure into mindfulness, health, and the richness of English culture awaits!

🌿 Share Your Vision! 🌿

Featured Excursion: Kingston Lacy

Kingston Lacy

Embark on a journey back in time with an English Cottage Vacation excursion to Kingston Lacy, an exquisite country house nestled near Wimborne Minster, Dorset – only half an hour from Well Cottage!

Once the cherished seat of the Bankes family, this stately home, with its Venetian Palace resemblance, offers a glimpse into centuries of history, art, and spectacular landscapes.

Kingston Lacy houses an astonishing collection of artworks by renowned artists such as Rubens, Van Dyck, Titian, and Brueghel, making it a treasure trove for art enthusiasts. The estate’s dynamic history, from its origins through the transformative efforts of William John Bankes, is as captivating as its opulent interiors. Bankes, who lived in exile, remotely transformed Kingston Lacy into a marvel of architectural and artistic splendour, including the breathtaking Spanish Room.

The 8,500-acre estate invites exploration with its Iron Age hill forts, vibrant heath land, and picturesque water meadows. It’s home to the world’s oldest pedigree herd of Red Ruby Devon cattle, adding to the estate’s unique charm. Stroll through the Japanese Garden, witness the restoration of the Victorian Kitchen Garden, or enjoy a summer picnic on the south lawn.

Speaking of picnics, Nathan, your dedicated English Cottage Vacation chauffeur, elevates the experience by setting up a luxurious picnic with table and chairs amidst Kingston Lacy’s enchanting landscapes. Indulge in gourmet offerings from Laura’s kitchen, making it a dining adventure far beyond the ordinary picnic!

After a day immersed in art, history, and the beauty of nature at Kingston Lacy, the comfort and luxury of Well Cottage await your return, rounding off a truly memorable day.

Stay tuned for next month’s featured excursion to Stourhead House & Gardens, where more enchanting landscapes and historical wonders await!

Explore all of our amazing things to do – CLICK HERE!

ecv picnic at Kingston Lacy

Recipe of the Month: Laura’s Traditional English Pancakes

Here in England we celebrated Shrove Tuesday on February 13th. On this day it is tradition to eat pancakes and in my family we always had them as a desert after dinner, sprinkled with sugar and lemon juice!

These days you can have whatever topping you like, and there are many! I often serve English-style pancakes to my guests as a breakfast option and on this occasion I fold them with layers of fruits, yoghurt, honey, nuts and seeds!

Check out this video below if you want to know more about Shrove Tuesday!


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • ½ cup cold water
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
ecv pancakes1


  • In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour and salt.
  • In a measuring jug, combine the milk and cold water.
  • Crack the eggs into the dry ingredients, and gently whisk to begin combining.
  • Once the eggs are broken and beginning to incorporate into the flour, gradually add the milk and water to the mixture, whisking the whole time until you have a smooth, runny batter.
  • Whisk in the melted butter and allow to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  • Heat a lightly oiled frying pan over medium-high heat. Ladle the batter into the pan using approximately ¼ cup for each pancake. Tilt the pan quickly with a circular motion to spread the batter, coating the surface of the pan evenly.
  • Cook the pancake for about two minutes, until the bottom is lightly browned. Loosen with a spatula, flip and cook the other side for a further two minutes.
  • Pancakes can be stacked on a warm plate in a low oven until ready to serve. Enjoy with freshly squeezed lemon & a dusting of castor sugar and start rolling into a sausage shape before cutting into bite-size pieces.
  • Try out my breakfast topping combo as in the photo below if you wish!
ecv pancakes2

Our Featured British TV Suggestion! Only Fools and Horses

Our guests often ask us about our recommendations for great British television programmes and we are lucky to say that we have some extremely entertaining ones! Many are easily accessible in the States and Canada and many you are probably familiar with yourself!

However, we know how much you folks enjoy our wonderful sense of humour, stiff upper lip and cockney rhyme and slang so we thought we would start to recommend some lesser known TV ‘Sitcoms’ that you may not have heard of!

This month we are starting with Nathan’s childhood favourite, ‘Only Fools and Horses‘. It stars some very interesting and hilarious characters and is deemed as a real British classic – see Wikipedia’s low-down below:

“Only Fools and Horses…. is a British television sitcom created and written by John Sullivan. Seven series were originally broadcast on BBC One in the United Kingdom from 1981 to 1991, with sixteen sporadic Christmas specials aired until the end of the show in 2003. Set in working-class Peckham in south-east London, it stars David Jason as ambitious market trader Derek “Del Boy” Trotter and Nicholas Lyndhurst as his younger half-brother Rodney Trotter, alongside a supporting cast.

“The series follows the Trotters’ highs and lows in life, in particular their attempts to get rich. Critically and popularly acclaimed, the series received numerous awards, including recognition from BAFTA, the National Television Awards, and the Royal Television Society, as well as winning individual accolades for both Sullivan and Jason. It was voted Britain’s Best Sitcom in a 2004 BBC poll.

ecv only fools & horses

“Lennard Pearce appeared in the first three series as Del and Rodney’s elderly grandfather. After Pearce’s death in 1984, a new character was introduced—Uncle Albert, the boys’ great-uncle played by Buster Merryfield—to replace Grandad. From 1988 onwards, the show featured regular characters in Del Boy’s and Rodney’s love interests: Raquel (Tessa Peake-Jones) and Cassandra (Gwyneth Strong), respectively. Other recurring characters included car dealer Boycie (John Challis), road sweeper Trigger (Roger Lloyd-Pack), lorry driver Denzil (Paul Barber), spiv Mickey Pearce (Patrick Murray), Boycie’s wife Marlene (Sue Holderness), and pub landlord Mike (Kenneth MacDonald).

“The show was not an immediate hit with viewers and received little promotion early on, but later achieved consistently high ratings, and the 1996 episode “Time on Our Hands” (originally billed as the last episode) holds the record for the biggest UK audience for a sitcom episode, attracting 24.3 million viewers. The series influenced British culture, contributing several words and phrases to the English language and achieved a cult following amongst people from the countries of Yugoslavia, where it peaked in popularity during the Yugoslav Wars. It spawned an extensive range of merchandise, including books, videos, DVDs, toys and board games. Episodes are frequently repeated on UKTV comedy channel Gold.”

Check out some of the Only Fools and Horses best moments below!

Discover the Charm of Well Cottage: Guest Testimonials!

At English Cottage Vacation, we find our greatest motivation in the stories and reflections of those who’ve stayed with us. Each review is a unique insight into the unforgettable moments and deep connections made within the cosy confines of Well Cottage.

Dive into their experiences!

Website Reviews
Google Reviews
Tripadvisor Reviews

Your confidence in us is our highest priority! We’ve streamlined our booking process for seamless and flexible arrangements to ensure your peace of mind. For further assurance, our business, Appanage Vacations Ltd, is officially listed with the UK Government’s ‘Companies House’, underscoring our credibility.

We warmly invite you to join our cherished community of guests. Your journey through Dorset’s enchanting landscapes and your own memorable narrative could soon enrich our collection of 5-Star testimonials!

ecv guests outdoors with Nathan & Laura serving2

Frequently Asked Questions: Featured FAQ

Q: Who is the English Cottage Vacation team?

A: At the core of English Cottage Vacation are co-hosts, married couple and business owners Laura and Nathan, your personal concierge and connection throughout your luxury, tailor-made, all-inclusive countryside vacation journey from the moment you enquire! Yes its really Nathan and Laura that personally answer all your questions prior to and after booking and who also take care of your every need during your stay!

Laura, our resident gourmet chef, delights guests with culinary masterpieces, transforming local, organic produce into sumptuous dishes.

Nathan, not just your dedicated chauffeur and guide across Dorset’s landscapes, also serves as an expert sommelier, elevating your dining experience.

Together, they ensure your vacation is immersed in luxury, culture, and unparalleled hospitality, from start to finish!

Nathan designs all of your itineraries and Laura works behind the scenes to market the business across Canada and the USA!

However, they couldn’t do it all without the love, support and immense help from their parents who spend many days, during and pre season, helping to prepare the cottage the gardens and vegetable patch, ensuring everything is in tip top condition, in abundance and over flowing with beauty upon your arrival. This truly is a family affair and you will feel the love that is poured into our vacations as soon as you walk through the door.

To view our other Frequently Asked Questions, CLICK HERE!

ecv Well Cottage front

Our Final Thought…

“The best is yet to be.”

In the glow of our recent accolade at the Dorset Tourism Awards and the continuous stream of 5-star testimonials from our guests, these words by Robert Browning resonate deeply within the heart of Well Cottage. It’s a reminder that, despite our achievements, the journey of excellence is ever ongoing.

As we bask in the success of our award, we are reminded that the true gold lies not in the accolade but in the relentless pursuit of excellence and the joy of surpassing our guests’ expectations. Each review, each smile, and each moment of wonder shared by our guests fuels our commitment to not just maintain, but elevate the unparalleled experience that is English Cottage Vacation.

Let this year be marked by our collective aspiration to reach new heights, to explore undiscovered paths, and to continually enrich the lives of those who step through our door. With every dawn, we renew our pledge to not only be better than we were yesterday but to ensure that for our guests, the best is indeed yet to come.

Here’s to a future where we continue to strive, grow, and embrace the endless possibilities that lie ahead. May our journey together be filled with more milestones, more laughter, and endless moments of joy.

With gratitude and the promise of brighter tomorrows,

Laura & Nathan

ecv the well at Well Cottage