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May 2023 Newsletter

Hello again, cherished friends across the continents as well as all those near and dear! It’s Laura and Nathan, thrilled to share the magic of our Dorset haven once again through our English Cottage Vacation May 2023 issue!

Spring has been incredibly generous to us here at Well Cottage, filling our lives with vibrant hues and delightful surprises! We’ve been blessed to share these moments with our first guests of the year, who immersed themselves in Dorset’s scenic wonders, historical treasures, and our signature gourmet delights.

Our garden’s putting on quite a show, with Laura’s beloved alliums leading the floral ensemble. It’s a sight that truly celebrates the magic of nature, one that we can’t wait for you to witness with us!

And if you’re a foodie, brace yourself for a taste of Laura’s culinary prowess as she shares her recipe for Prawn Tempura Tacos. Trust us, it’s a dish you wouldn’t want to miss, whether you’re cooking it yourself or savouring it at our dining table.

Looking ahead, we’ve got a summer filled with exciting local festivals and some sizzling July booking deals that are too good to pass up!

So, buckle up as we take you on this month’s journey through our idyllic English countryside abode. Let’s go!

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Imagine yourself here, in the cottage garden with a cocktail
or glass of wine in hand, sitting in the sunshine!

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In this month’s newsletter

  • A Journey to Remember: First Guests of 2023 Dive into Dorset’s Wonders!
  • Allium Allure: A Blooming Ballet in the Well Cottage Garden!
  • Nature’s Time-lapse: Garden Magic Unfolds At Warp Speed!
  • Shaftesbury Summer Splash: A Trio of Fabulous Festivals in July 2023!
  • Sizzling Summer Savings: Unleash Your Inner Aristocrat!
  • Featured Recipe: Laura’s Prawn Tempura Tacos!
  • Haven’t Heard From Us? Something’s Up!
  • Guest Voices: Reviews and Testimonials
  • FAQ: This Month’s Frequently Asked Question
  • Last Word: Laura & Nathan’s Final Thought

Our first guests of the 2023 season enjoy a tour of Oxford on their
4th day of excursions here with us, with bright blue skies and sunshine!

A Journey to Remember: First Guests of 2023 Dive into Dorset’s Wonders!

We recently welcomed our first guests of the year to English Cottage Vacation!

They explored the breathtaking Jurassic Coast and ventured on a thrilling horse ride through the lush Dorset countryside. Co-host and live-in chauffeur Nathan guided them to Thomas Hardy’s enchanting cottage, amidst vibrant spring blossoms.

Our lucky guests continued their adventure by delving into history at the magnificent ruins of Corfe Castle and the quaint nearby village. They also visited the elegant Kingston Lacy mansion, appreciating its exquisite architecture and fascinating heritage.

We still have availability for select dates in July, August, and September. Don’t miss this chance for an all-inclusive vacation at our luxurious 18th-century cottage, nestled in nature’s beauty and steeped in history!

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Durdle Door on the Jurassic Coast on a gorgeous sunny day in May!

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Sherborne Abbey, another unforgettable English Cottage Vacation excursion! 

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Kingston Lacy country house and estate near Wimborne Minster, Dorset

Allium Allure: A Blooming Ballet in the Well Cottage Garden

ecv alliums

As the warmth of the English sun caresses the verdant gardens of Well Cottage, a spectacular symphony of nature unfolds. Laura’s favourite flowers, the majestic alliums, have begun to blossom, painting the landscape with their ornate beauty. These floral jewels, with their perfectly spherical clusters of tiny, vibrant blooms perched atop slender, graceful stems, are a sight to behold.

The alliums, in hues ranging from the gentlest lilac to the deepest purple, seem to dance on the breeze, their radiant heads nodding in the soft light. Their unique architecture is a testament to nature’s artistry, a display of geometric perfection that brings both contrast and harmony to the garden.

The sight of these blossoming alliums is a captivating spectacle, a ballet of blooms that enchants the senses and uplifts the spirit. Truly, the garden at Well Cottage, with its burgeoning alliums, is a vibrant canvas of life and colour, a testament to the magic of nature!

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Nature’s Time-lapse: Garden Magic Unfolds At Warp Speed!

At Well Cottage, we’ve been witnessing an enchanting transformation! As spring unfurls into early summer, the cottage gardens have burst into a symphony of growth and blossoming life. It’s a time of year we find particularly delightful and our guests echo this sentiment, making it among the most sought-after periods for bookings.

The garden has become a living theatre, with longer days allowing for extended alfresco moments, basking in the gentle warmth. Visitors who choose this beautiful season experience the garden’s magic in a unique way. They witness, almost daily, the remarkable metamorphosis of both flowers and vegetables, their growth so rapid it’s visible during their stay!

Amongst the vibrant ensemble of blossoming life, the alliums stand tall, their beautiful blooms reflecting Laura’s love for these unique flowers. And they are not alone. Each corner of the garden is brimming with floral colour and vitality, a testament to the potency of this incredible season. As the garden thrives, we can’t help but share the joy and excitement it brings us, and look forward to welcoming our guests into this blooming haven!

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Shaftesbury Summer Splash: A Trio of Fabulous Festivals in July 2023!

Kick-off your summer in unforgettable style with an array of vibrant festivals in nearby Shaftesbury this July 2023, combined with a luxury, all-inclusive stay at English Cottage Vacation.

Start the month with the Gold Hill Festival, a two-day music and fun extravaganza on the 1st and 2nd of July. Relish the rock and contemporary music lineup on Saturday, and enjoy an eclectic mix of contemporary, folk, jazz, and dramatic performances from the Shaftesbury Arts Group on Sunday. And don’t miss the family-friendly dog show!

Next, tantalise your taste buds at the Shaftesbury Festival of Food and Drink on the 9th of July. As one of the largest one-day food festivals in the South West, you’ll have a chance to savour local delicacies, witness the quirky Cheese Races up the iconic Gold Hill, and enjoy a feast of live music.

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A spectacular performance at the Shaftesbury Fringe Festival!

Finally, from the 21st to the 23rd of July, immerse yourself in the creative energy of the Shaftesbury Fringe Festival. Celebrated as “Britain’s Friendliest Fringe,” you’ll experience a myriad of performances across over 30 unique venues.

Amplify your festival experience with a stay at English Cottage Vacation. Dedicated chauffeur Nathan will whisk you in executive comfort from Well Cottage to your chosen venue and back. After a day of festival delights, return home to a gourmet meal prepared by our resident chef Laura.

Secure your perfect summer getaway with us and experience the best of Dorset’s cuisine, culture and charm in style and comfort!

Chauffeur Nathan with guests

Co-host and dedicated chauffeur Nathan with guests all set for another exciting excursion!

Sizzling Summer Savings: Unleash Your Inner Aristocrat!

This summer, the idyllic English countryside awaits! Get ready to create unforgettable memories with our spectacular booking deals for July and August 2023

We have up to 20% OFF ALL further bookings for July and August this year. Why? Because we LOVE what we do and we want to fill our calendar with folks like you!
So check your diary and see if you can squeeze in a trip to England this Summer!

English Cottage Vacation offers three exclusive packages, each designed to provide a unique and immersive experience of Dorset’s enchanting landscapes and rich culture.

For nature enthusiasts, we have a meticulously planned all-inclusive 7-Night Walking and Hiking itinerary. Groups of 6 are priced from just US$3500 per person. Traverse through Dorset’s stunning trails and experience the lush beauty of the countryside up close.

If you prefer a well-rounded experience, our all-inclusive, 7-Night Classic Set Itinerary package offering an expertly curated itinerary that includes a mix of local attractions, historical sites, and nature expeditions. This package, designed for a group of 6, is available from just US$4500 per person.

If you’re seeking the ultimate luxury vacation, our Flagship, Tailor-Made package is the perfect choice. Starting at just US$5500 per person for a 7-night stay, this deluxe all-inclusive package offers an unrivalled level of tailoring, service, comfort, and exclusivity. If you desire a shorter or longer stay, we offer flexibility, with a minimum of 3 nights and as many nights as you wish.

Prices above are based on 6 people booking together for 7 nights. For prices for 1-5 people or for a different amount of nights please enquire.

Check out our luxurious rooms and our all-inclusive packages to see the amazing experience that awaits you here at Well Cottage!

Click here to enquire or book now!

or email –

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Nathan and Laura serving guests in the gorgeous garden at Well Cottage

Featured Recipe: Laura’s Perfect Prawn Tempura Tacos!

At English Cottage Vacation, we believe in the art of creating memorable meals that resonate with the essence of British culinary tradition. We’re also open to exploring international cuisine – often with a delicious personal twist!

Resident chef Laura masterfully crafts her dishes like these sumptuous Prawn Tempura Tacos, using only the highest quality ingredients, locally sourced whenever possible. The result? A gourmet experience that transcends the ordinary, and transports our guests to a world of distinct and delightful flavours!

ecv prawn tempura tacos

Give this a try yourself – or even better, let Laura make it for you when you’re a pampered guest!

Prawn Tempura Tacos

  • Serves: 2
  • Preparation time: 15 minutes
  • Cooking time: 15 minutes


  • 200g tempura prawns
  • 6 soft taco wraps
  • ½ red onion, finely sliced
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • ¼ tsp clear honey
  • 75ml soured cream
  • ½ tsp ground chilli
  • 1 tsp finely crushed garlic
  • 1 extra-large ripe avocado, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped coriander
  • Pinch of salt
  • 100g finely shredded pointed or green cabbage


  • Preheat the oven to 200°C (gas mark 6). Arrange the prawns on a baking tray and cook for 12 minutes, until fully cooked through.
  • In a bowl, mix the red onion, juice of 1 lime, honey and a pinch of salt, then set aside to lightly pickle.
  • In a separate bowl, mix the juice of 1 lime, soured cream, ground chilli and crushed garlic.
  • In a third bowl, lightly crush the avocado with a fork, stir in the remaining lime juice and the chopped coriander; season with salt.
  • Arrange the taco wraps on a large baking tray and add to the oven for the final 2 minutes of cooking time.
  • Divide the taco wraps between plates. Spread with the crushed avocado, top with the prawns and a small handful of shredded cabbage, then drizzle with the chilli soured cream.
  • Finish with the lime-pickled onions and serve immediately.

It’s simply divine – enjoy! And watch this space for Laura’s upcoming cookbook!

Haven’t Heard From Us? Something’s Up!

We always respond to enquiries within 24 hours and usually much sooner. Occasionally we don’t receive any further response from enquirers. This could be for a number of reasons and sometimes it is because our emails get sent to spam folders.

If you are still waiting for a response from us please check your spam/junk folder as we may be stuck there or please get in touch with us again. We’ll never simply ignore an inquiry!

Guests enjoying a stroll around the Well Cottage gardens

Guests take an evening after dinner wander around the cottage garden.

Guest Voices: Reviews and Testimonials

Do you know the best part of our job at English Cottage Vacation? Reading the glowing reviews from our delighted guests who’ve had the time of their lives staying in our luxury countryside retreat!

These heartfelt testimonies are the real deal – they’re our guests sharing their unforgettable experiences. They’re also the reason future visitors like you can trust us to deliver a top-notch vacation.

Wondering where to find these rave reviews? We’re happy to make it easy for you!

Website Reviews
Google Reviews
Tripadvisor Reviews

Of course, your peace of mind is our top priority. That’s why we offer a secure and flexible agreement, complete with a considerate cancellation and rescheduling policy. If you need that extra bit of reassurance, feel free to look us up – we’re Appanage Vacations Ltd – on the UK Government Website ‘Companies House’.

And hey, we’re looking forward to adding your upcoming rave review (because we know you’re going to have a fantastic time!) to our collection after your dreamy Dorset getaway!

To read the heartwarming reviews and testimonials guests have kindly shared, just head over to our website, where you’ll also find our Google reviews.

And don’t forget, we prioritise your peace of mind by offering a secure and flexible agreement, complete with a considerate cancellation and rescheduling policy. For that extra reassurance, you can even look up our business – Appanage Vacations Ltd – on the UK Government Website ‘Companies House’.

We can’t wait to share your (inevitable!) glowing write-up after you’ve experienced an unforgettably amazing time with us here in divine Dorset!

ecv Guests in the back of our luxury people carrier setting off on an excursion

Featured FAQ: This month’s Frequently Asked Question

Q. What amenities and services are included in my English Cottage Vacation booking?
A. Every booking at English Cottage Vacation offers a luxurious, all-inclusive experience that immerses you in the quaint allure of the English countryside. This includes:

  • A beautifully appointed, fully furnished 18th-century cottage with all the comforts of home and more
  • Delectable, home-cooked gourmet meals prepared by our resident chef, Laura. We can cater to special dietary requirements with advance notice
  • Dedicated chauffeur services in executive comfort for local excursions, allowing you to explore nearby attractions without worrying about transportation
  • Comprehensive housekeeping services to ensure your stay is incredibly comfortable and your surroundings are always pristine
  • A secure and flexible booking agreement with a considerate cancellation and rescheduling policy.

Plus so much more! And remember, the more people in your party and the longer your stay, the better the deal!

If you want to view our other Frequently Asked Questions, simply click here to visit our dedicated page!

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Our Final Thought…

“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.” – Saint Augustine

How true! We have had our noses in that book for as long as we can remember, our hearts fluttering with each new chapter we explore.

Through our travels, we’ve felt the powerful impact of warm, dedicated hosts who turn great trips into extraordinary ones. Now, it’s our turn to be your guides in our beloved Dorset, to help you make lasting memories for all the right reasons.

Here at English Cottage Vacation, we’re not just offering a stay – we’re offering an unforgettable journey, an enchanting new page in your book of world travels. We can’t wait to welcome you!

Much love as always,

Nathan & Laura

See it for yourself – learn more about our fully-catered, luxury,
all-inclusive, tailor-made English Cottage Vacation here!