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May 2024 Newsletter

Welcome to the May 2024 edition of our newsletter, bursting with great news and good vibes!

Spring is in full swing, Summer is nearly here, and we’re delighted to bring you the latest updates and exclusive offers from Well Cottage! This month’s edition is packed with exciting news, special discounts, and a sneak peek at what’s in store for our valued guests.

In This Month’s Issue:

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  • Deals Galore! Enjoy 10% OFF both Thanksgiving and New Year’s weeks. Don’t miss out on these incredible savings!
  • Video Tour: Join Laura for an intimate look inside Well Cottage. Discover the luxurious interiors and charming touches that make our cottage so special then step outside to see how Well Cottage has burst into life since our last garden update!
  • Wellness Retreat 2025: Our inaugural Health and Wellness Retreat is going to be truly amazing. Request the full itinerary and book your spot for a transformative experience!
  • Loyalty Rewards: Learn about our new loyalty programme and how you can benefit from discounts on future stays and referrals!
  • Gorgeous Gallery: Feast your eyes on beautiful photos of Laura’s gourmet dishes!
  • Picnic Basket Winner: Find out if you’re the latest lucky winner of a luxurious picnic basket!
  • Telly Talk: This month, we’re featuring the classic British comedy, Keeping Up Appearances. Get ready for a good laugh!
  • Featured Saying: Explore the meaning and origins of the classic British phrase “Sticky Wicket.”
  • Featured Excursion: Take a trip to Old Wardour Castle and imagine life in the 14th century!
  • A Taste of Well Cottage: Try Laura’s Classic Fish and Chips with Tartare Sauce!
  • Guest Voices: Read the latest reviews and testimonials from our delighted guests!
  • This Month’s FAQ: Learn about our cancellation policy and how we strive to be as accommodating as possible!
  • Final Thought: A closing message from Nathan and Laura, reflecting on the joys of the season and our shared experiences.

We’re thrilled to share these wonderful updates and offers with you! So sit back, relax with a lovely cuppa and enjoy all the exciting content we’ve prepared for you this month!

Don’t Miss Out on Our Amazing Offers!

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Shared Cottage Weeks at Well Cottage

Discover the charm of our luxurious shared cottage weeks, specially designed for singles and couples who love to vacation in small groups with like-minded England enthusiasts. Immerse yourself in the quintessential English countryside experience while enjoying the company of new friends!



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10% OFF US Thanksgiving Week!
(November 26th – December 3rd, 2024)

Join our Shared Cottage Experience for a unique English Thanksgiving!

Transform your Thanksgiving holiday by celebrating in the English countryside! Opt for our Shared Cottage Experience, where you can meet like-minded travellers, or book the entire Well Cottage exclusively for your party of up to 6 people—if you act fast!

What’s on Offer?

  • Stay in our luxurious 18th-century thatched cottage between November 26th and December 3rd, 2024!
  • Choose a shared experience or book the cottage exclusively for total privacy!
  • Enjoy all-inclusive luxury with 24/7 VIP treatment, featuring mouthwatering meals crafted by our resident gourmet chef, Laura. She’ll be serving up Thanksgiving classics with a unique British twist!
  • Your stay includes tailored excursions across Dorset’s scenic winter landscapes, historical sites such as Stonehenge, ancient castles, the dramatic Jurassic Coast, and much more!
  • Nathan, your dedicated chauffeur, will guide you through unforgettable Winter Wonderland experiences in our executive-class Mercedes people carrier!

A unique Thanksgiving awaits! Whether you’re mingling with new friends or nestling with your loved ones, this week promises an incredible blend of tradition and adventure. Don’t miss this opportunity to create lasting memories in a storybook setting!

Click here to check out the incredible Winter Wonderland Itinerary!

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10% OFF New Year’s Week!
(Exclusive Whole Cottage)

New Year’s Festivities Special: December 29, 2024 – January 5, 2025

Celebrate New Year’s Eve in style at Well Cottage, offering an exclusive, whole cottage week-long getaway for up to 6 guests. Enjoy the perfect blend of British elegance and festive cheer in the heart of Dorset’s beautiful countryside!

Highlights of Your All-Inclusive Stay:

  • Exclusive Use of Well Cottage: Revel in the luxury and privacy of our exquisite accommodation!
  • 24/7 VIP Service: Our dedicated team ensures every detail is handled, providing a seamless holiday experience!
  • Gourmet Festivities: Savour scrumptious festive meals lovingly crafted by resident chef Laura, tailored to your preferences and dietary needs!
  • Chauffeured Excursions: Discover Dorset’s enchanting winter wonderland, historic sites, and natural wonders with Nathan, your personal chauffeur and guide in the comfort of our executive class Mercedes people-carrier!
  • Celebratory Options: Choose to ring in the New Year within the cosy luxury of Well Cottage or at an exclusive New Year’s Eve Dinner Dance – chauffeured door-to-door!

Book your luxury New Year’s celebration before it’s too late!

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Don’t miss this chance to kick off 2025 with an unforgettable luxury escape! Ideal for families or friends, our New Year’s Festivities Special promises a start to the year filled with joy, comfort, and unique experiences!

Reach out to us for more details! Click here right now!

Hurry, these dates will be snapped up soon!

Watch: Laura’s Latest Well Cottage Show & Tell!

Get comfy and join Laura for her latest tour of Well Cottage’s stunning interiors! Even if you’ve seen it before, there’s always something new to love!

From the cosy living room and elegant bedrooms to the gourmet kitchen, Laura will show you all the little touches that make our luxurious 18th century thatched cottage so special. Plus, enjoy glimpses of the beautiful garden and countryside views right from the windows. Check out the video below!

If its what’s on the outside that interests you more, come with Laura as she takes you on an update tour of Well Cottage Garden. Summer is nearly here and the garden is more abundant and colourful by the day!

Inaugural Health and Wellness Retreat – August 2025

We are thrilled to announce that we’ve now prepared an incredible itinerary for our first-ever Health and Wellness Retreat, coming up in August 2025!

This is your chance to rejuvenate and unwind in the serene and luxurious setting of Well Cottage. Our lovingly crafted itinerary is designed to provide you with a truly unforgettable holistic and transformative experience!

This exclusive retreat is first come, first served, with ONLY THREE ROOMS available – so hurry!!!

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What to Expect:

  • Focus: Holistic wellness, relaxation, and rejuvenation!
  • Activities: Yoga sessions, meditation, nature walks, wellness workshops, and more!
  • Dining: Scrumptious and healthy gourmet meals prepared by our resident chef, Laura, featuring fresh, local, organic ingredients!
  • Accommodation: Luxurious rooms with private bathrooms and stunning countryside views!

This divine retreat is perfect for singles and couples who love to vacation in small groups with like-minded enthusiasts!

Don’t miss this unique opportunity to experience a week of total relaxation and wellness in the beautiful English countryside. Click here to request the full itinerary and book your place fast to avoid disappointment!

NEW! Get Rewarded For Your Loyalty!

We’re thrilled to announce that we now have a Loyalty Programme for returning guests and word of mouth referrals!

Repeat clients will receive an additional 5% OFF every time they re-book, and a further 1% OFF for every new client they introduce that goes on to book with us!

So come on back to Well Cottage, and start spreading the word among your family and friends!

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Congratulations To Our Latest Picnic Basket Winner!

We are delighted to reveal the winner of our luxurious picnic basket for this month – congratulations to HEIDI WILSON!!!

Imagine a perfect sunny day in the English countryside, with a beautifully crafted picnic basket in tow. This handcrafted basket, made from the finest willow and adorned with elegant leather straps, promises to elevate your outdoor dining experience to new heights!

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Designed for enthusiasts of leisurely walks and tranquil park visits, this basket is equipped with all the essentials for a picturesque outing. It includes:

  • Exquisite china plates: Perfect for serving up your favourite picnic treats!
  • Two stylish wine glasses: Because no picnic is complete without a toast to the good life!
  • A tartan blanket: Cosy and charming, ideal for lounging on the grass!
  • A bottle opener: For all your beverage needs!
  • Soft linen napkins: Adding a touch of refinement to your meal!
  • An insulated cooler bag: Keeping your food fresh and delicious!
  • Premium stainless steel cutlery: Ensuring every bite is enjoyed in style!

Heidi, please reach out to us to confirm your sign-up email and delivery address so we can send this delightful prize your way! We can’t wait to hear about the lovely moments you’ll create with it!

For everyone else, don’t lose heart! Every other month, we offer our newsletter subscribers the chance to win a fabulous prize. Stay tuned and make sure you’re in the running for our next exciting giveaway! And don’t forget to tell all your friends and family members to sign up to our newsletter for their chance to win!

Remember, every picnic is a chance to create cherished memories. Here’s to many more delightful days under the open sky!

Great British TV: Keeping Up Appearances

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This month, we spotlight the classic British comedy, Keeping Up Appearances. Created by Roy Clarke, this beloved sitcom aired on BBC1 from 1990 to 1995, capturing the hearts of viewers with its brilliant humour and memorable characters.

The Premise

At the centre of Keeping Up Appearances is the unforgettable Hyacinth Bucket, played by Patricia Routledge. Hyacinth is an eccentric, overbearing social climber determined to prove her superiority and gain the acceptance of those she considers upper class. Despite her lower-middle-class origins, she insists that her surname is pronounced “Bouquet” rather than “Bucket.”

Hyacinth’s life revolves around impressing others with her perceived refinement and affluence, often leading to farcical situations. She hosts “executive-style” candlelight suppers, visits stately homes, and brags about her possessions, including her “white slimline telephone with automatic redial” and her Royal Doulton china with “the hand-painted periwinkles.”

The Characters

Hyacinth’s tireless efforts to maintain appearances often make life difficult for those around her, especially her long-suffering husband Richard (Clive Swift). Richard, initially a council employee who reluctantly accepts early retirement, endures Hyacinth’s schemes with patient resignation, even as he navigates her extravagant and unnecessary purchases.

The sitcom also features Hyacinth’s hapless neighbours, Elizabeth Warden (Josephine Tewson) and her brother Emmet (David Griffin). Elizabeth frequently becomes a nervous wreck in Hyacinth’s presence, often resulting in broken china and spilled coffee. Emmet, a musician, dreads encountering Hyacinth, who is convinced that his fearful reactions are due to his infatuation with her.

Adding to the chaos are Hyacinth’s less refined relatives: her sisters Daisy (Judy Cornwell) and Rose (Shirley Stelfox, later Mary Millar), Daisy’s slovenly husband Onslow (Geoffrey Hughes), and their senile father. Their regular, inconvenient visits are a constant source of embarrassment for Hyacinth, who goes to great lengths to avoid acknowledging them in public.

Cultural Impact

Keeping Up Appearances achieved immense success both in the UK and internationally. It became BBC Worldwide’s most exported television programme, entertaining audiences in the US, Canada, Australia, and across Europe. The show’s popularity endures, with reruns on various networks and streaming platforms.

The sitcom’s humour stems from the conflict between Hyacinth’s delusions of grandeur and the reality of her modest background. Each episode brings a fresh set of humorous predicaments as Hyacinth strives to maintain her social standing, often with disastrous results.

Fun Fact

Hyacinth’s manicured world frequently clashes with the real world, providing endless comedic material. One memorable aspect of the show is the battered Ford Cortina driven by Onslow, which always backfires loudly, much to Hyacinth’s mortification.

For fans of British comedy, Keeping Up Appearances remains a timeless gem, showcasing the talents of its stellar cast and the sharp wit of its writing. If you haven’t yet experienced the antics of Hyacinth Bucket and her quest for social perfection, now is the perfect time to dive in! Watch some of the funniest moments below!

Featured British Saying: “Sticky Wicket”

This month’s classic English saying is “sticky wicket,” a term originating from cricket, describing a challenging situation caused by a damp and unpredictable pitch. When the cricket pitch is wet, the ball’s behaviour becomes erratic, making it difficult for batsmen to play effectively. Over time, this phrase has entered everyday language to signify any tricky or precarious predicament.

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At English Cottage Vacation, we ensure your stay is never a “sticky wicket”! With our thorough attention to detail and commitment to comfort, we guarantee a smooth and enjoyable experience!

So, leave the “sticky wickets” to the cricket players and enjoy the seamless, delightful escape that awaits you at Well Cottage. We’re here to make sure your holiday is as relaxing and carefree as possible!

Featured Excursion: Old Wardour Castle

Ready for a historical adventure just a short drive from Well Cottage? This month, we’re taking you to the fascinating Old Wardour Castle, a stunning 14th-century ruin nestled in the Wiltshire countryside. Less than half an hour away, Nathan will whisk you there in stylish comfort. Plus, he can set up an elegant picnic table and chairs, perfect for enjoying Laura’s gourmet treats and your choice of drink amidst the castle’s enchanting surroundings!

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Discover the Rich History

Old Wardour Castle, built in the 1390s, is a marvel of mediaeval architecture. Originally constructed by Baron Lovell, this unique hexagonal castle was designed for both defence and comfort. Over the centuries, it has witnessed battles, sieges, and the ebb and flow of history, particularly during the English Civil War when it was partially destroyed.

As you explore the castle, you’ll step back in time and imagine the lives of its former inhabitants. The Arundell family, who owned the castle for generations, left their mark with impressive renovations and additions.

Wander through the remains of the great hall, peek into the charming banqueting house, and stroll the grounds where history whispers from every stone.

A Scenic and Serene Experience

Nathan’s got your transportation covered, ensuring you arrive in style! Once there, you’ll find that Old Wardour Castle isn’t just about history — it’s also a fantastic spot for a picturesque picnic. Imagine sitting under the shadow of ancient walls, with the stunning Wiltshire landscape stretching out before you. Nathan can set up a lovely picnic area, complete with a table and chairs, where you can indulge in Laura’s delicious creations. Think artisanal cheeses, fresh salads, and perhaps a slice of her famous Dorset apple cake. Pair this with a crisp white wine or a refreshing elderflower cordial, and you’ve got a perfect English countryside lunch!

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Activities for All

Before or after your picnic, there’s plenty to explore. The castle’s central courtyard, once a dark and claustrophobic space, is now an open and inviting area perfect for leisurely walks. Climb the remaining towers for breathtaking views, explore the grotto built from the ruins, or simply relax on the grassy slopes and let your imagination run wild.

For those with a keen interest in history, the castle offers a glimpse into mediaeval life and the turbulent times of the Civil War. Kids will love the sense of adventure as they explore the nooks and crannies of the castle ruins, while adults can appreciate the architectural beauty and historical significance.

Plan Your Visit

Visiting Old Wardour Castle is like stepping into a historical adventure novel, but with all the comforts of a modern-day outing. Nathan’s impeccable service ensures a smooth journey, and Laura’s culinary delights make it a truly special day out. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the magical moments of this enchanting excursion!

So, pack your sense of adventure and prepare for a delightful day exploring Old Wardour Castle. With Nathan and Laura ensuring every detail is perfect, you’re in for an unforgettable experience!

Next month, we’ll feature another gem of the Wiltshire countryside: Salisbury Cathedral. Stay tuned for more details about this iconic landmark and another exciting day out!

In the meantime, click here right now explore all of our amazing excursions!

Featured Recipe: Laura’s Classic Fish and Chips
with Tartare Sauce!

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Indulge in a quintessentially British treat with Laura’s Classic Fish and Chips, served with a homemade tartare sauce. This delicious recipe, perfect for two, combines crispy golden chips with perfectly fried fish fillets, all complemented by a tangy tartare sauce. It’s a comforting dish that brings a taste of the seaside to your home. Follow Laura’s simple steps to create this classic meal that’s sure to impress!

Serves 2


  • About 1 litre sunflower oil for frying
  • 2 thick skinless fillets of whiting, ling, pollock, haddock or cod (about 150g each)

For the chips

  • 2 large Maris Piper potatoes
  • 1 tsp malt vinegar, plus extra to serve

For the batter

  • 75g self raising flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 25g cornflour
  • Small pinch of ground turmeric
  • 125g cold lager or fizzy water

For the tartare sauce

  • 4 cornichons
  • 1 tsp capers
  • 1 shallot
  • Handful of parsley leaves chopped
  • 5 tbsp mayonnaise


  • Cut the potatoes into chips and soak in cold water for 5 mins, then wash until the water runs clear. Tip into a pan of cold water with a pinch of salt and 1 tsp malt vinegar. Bring to a simmer, then turn down the heat and simmer gently for 10-12 mins until cooked through but not falling apart. Drain gently, then place on a tray in a single layer and chill until needed. Can be prepared a day ahead.
  • To make the tartare sauce, finely chop the cornichons, capers and shallot, then combine with the parsley, mayo and a pinch of salt. Will keep chilled for up to 24 hours.
  • When you’re ready to fry, prepare the batter. Tip the flours and turmeric into a bowl with a pinch of salt, pour over the beer or fizzy water, and mix quickly until everything just comes together to the consistency of double cream – do not over-beat, a few lumps are fine. Keep chilled.
  • Pour the oil into a deep, wide pan or heat a deep-fat fryer to 180C (356F). If using a pan or wok, ensure that it is no more than two-thirds full with oil. Heat the oil until it is simmering and carefully lower in the chips using a slotted spoon. Fry for 8-10 mins, gently stirring occasionally until golden and crisp. Transfer to kitchen paper to drain.
  • Put a little flour in a dish, then bring the oil you used to cook the chips up to 185C (365F), if you have a thermometer, or until a drizzle of batter sizzles and crisps in less than a minute. Working quickly, dust the fish in flour, then dredge through the batter. Hold the fillet above the batter to let the excess drip back into the bowl, then carefully lower into the oil. Fry the fillets for a minute until the batter is just starting to set, then take a spoon and drizzle the fillets with extra batter to create an even crunchier, wispy coating. Fry the fish for about 4 mins, turning once, until deep golden and crisp. Lift onto some kitchen paper to drain for a minute, then serve with the chips, tartare sauce, and plenty of salt and vinegar.

Enjoy! Better yet, book your luxury English Cottage Vacation and let Laura make this plus many other scrumptious gourmet meals for you!

Guest Voices: Reviews & Testimonials

Don’t just take it from us – here’s what our guests have been saying!

Website Reviews
Google Reviews
Tripadvisor Reviews

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Featured FAQ: Why do we prefer to have a chat in person
about your interest in an English Cottage Vacation?

Because it’s personal and it’s what we do! Our luxury, all-inclusive, tailor-made vacations exude award-winning, 24/7 VIP service, clear communication and genuine care, plus we like to be transparent!

Your enquiry about our vacations comes straight to us, Nathan and Laura. We are the only people you will ever speak to and we are also the people that deliver your vacation when you come to stay so your first impression of us is extremely important!

Having an in-person chat with our guests offers them an insight into who we are as hosts and individuals, something that is hard to adequately convey via email!

We like to offer to have a chat on the phone or depending on how busy with guests at the cottage we are, we may even try giving you a call. We absolutely don’t mind emailing but sometimes we need more information. Plus, with so many options, packages and experiences to choose from, it’s important that you receive all of the relevant options available to you yet aren’t confused by options that won’t fit your needs. You can then make a decision that’s right for you safe in knowledge that you haven’t missed something!

So please do consider chatting with us to find out about our vacations. We will always find a time that suits you. We will never try to pressure you into booking, because we know that you will book if and when the time is right for you!

To view our other Frequently Asked Questions, click here!

Our Final Thought…

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“Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.” — Henry James

As we transition into the golden warmth of summer at Well Cottage, we are reminded of the simple pleasures this season brings. The gardens are in full bloom, the days are long and lazy, and the countryside beckons with its lush green beauty. It’s a time for outdoor adventures, leisurely picnics, and creating lasting memories with loved ones.

Every guest who steps through our doors adds a unique thread to the rich tapestry of experiences at Well Cottage. Your laughter, shared stories, and moments of tranquillity enrich our home and remind us why we do what we do. We are dedicated to crafting a haven where you can relax, recharge, and connect deeply with nature and each other.

Looking ahead to the summer months, we are filled with excitement for the adventures and special moments that await. Whether you’re joining us for adventurous excursions, simply seeking a peaceful escape – or equal measures of both – we are here to ensure your stay is truly unforgettable.

Here’s to a summer filled with joy, exploration, and the timeless beauty of the English countryside. May your days be as bright and delightful as a summer afternoon at Well Cottage!

With warmest regards,

Laura & Nathan

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