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September 2023 Newsletter

A warm ‘Hello!’ from Well Cottage!

Autumn’s knocking on Dorset’s door, and over here at English Cottage Vacation, we’re already peeking into 2024.

Lots of you have been showing interest in visiting next year, and spots are filling up fast. So, a little heads-up, if you’re thinking of a stay in 2024, you might want to jump on that soon!

Also in this month’s edition, we’ve got a wonderful video of Shaftesbury for you — it’s just around the corner from us, and it’s a must-see!

Plus, get a feel for some of the many, many extras you can expect when you stay in our luxury 18th-century thatched cottage.

And for those of you with a literary itch, we’ve got a quick read on classic novelist Thomas Hardy’s old home which you can visit on our plethora of amazing excursions!

And, of course, no newsletter’s complete without a treat from Laura’s kitchen. She’s whipped up something special that revolves around blackberries ripe from the English countryside hedgerows. You’re going to love it!

Away we go…!

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What’s Included in this month’s newsletter:

  • Act Fast! 2024 Availability Is Dwindling!
  • Watch: A Delightful Video Focusing On Our Local Town – Stunning Shaftesbury!
  • Amenities Galore! Experience True Luxury & Comfort at Well Cottage!
  • Featured Excursion: Dive into Literary History at Thomas Hardy’s Cottage!
  • Our Luxury Dorset Hamper: The Perfect Christmas Gift (+ With US Postage)
  • 2024 Dorset Dreamscapes Calendar: Grab Yours Now!
  • Tell Us All About It! Share Your English Cottage Getaway Dream Visions
  • A Taste of Well Cottage: Laura’s Rhubarb and Blackberry Crumble Recipe
  • Awaiting Our Response? Here’s What to Do.
  • Guest Voices: Reviews and Testimonials
  • Featured FAQ: ‘Will cleaning services be provided during my stay?’
  • Last Word: Final Thought from Nathan & Laura

Laura & Nathan with guests

Reserve Now to Secure Your 2024 Escape!

It warms our hearts to see the enthusiasm and love that so many of our guests have for Well Cottage. The stories shared, the moments cherished, and the friendships blossomed have led to an overwhelming number of you wishing to return.

Couple this with the excitement of first-time guests eager to discover the magic for themselves, and 2024 is shaping up to be our most sought-after year yet!

We must highlight, with the wave of repeat bookings and the surge of new adventurers, our calendar for next year is quickly filling up. This places available reservations at a premium!

To ensure you get to experience the enchantment of a stay with us in 2024, we cannot stress enough the importance of booking early. Our mission is to provide each guest with the utmost in luxury and personal attention, but to make this dream a reality, we must limit the number of bookings we accept.

Act now, reserve your dates, and let us deliver an experience beyond compare!

Remember, the early bird not only gets the worm but in this case, an idyllic English Cottage Vacation amid the splendour of Dorset! Reach out to book before it’s too late!

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Discover Shaftesbury: A Stone’s Throw from Well Cottage

Step into the heart of Dorset with the latest video from the official ‘Visit Dorset’ YouTube channel. Just up the road from Well Cottage, the charming town of Shaftesbury beckons with its quintessential English allure. Wander through its bustling markets, explore unique shops, and experience the warm hospitality of traditional pubs.

The video beautifully encapsulates the soul of this historic town, from its renowned streets to the breathtaking surrounding countryside that frames it. Whether you’re an aficionado of architecture, a lover of local delicacies, or simply in search of an authentic Dorset experience, Shaftesbury always delivers a myriad of delights!

Treat yourself to this visual journey and get a glimpse of what awaits you during your stay at Well Cottage! As always, we are here to provide recommendations, guided excursions, or simply point you in the right direction for a day of exploration. Shaftesbury is more than just a town; it’s an experience waiting to be lived!

Experience Luxury & Comfort at Well Cottage!

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At English Cottage Vacation, we meticulously craft each moment of your stay, ensuring it radiates luxury, relaxation, and authenticity. Here’s a snapshot of just some of the premium amenities and experiences that await:

Personal Mobile Connectivity

Every room designated for adult occupants (18+) is equipped with a mobile phone, guaranteeing seamless communication at all times. So when you are enjoying days out amidst the splendour of Dorset, co-host and resident chauffeur Nathan remains just a call away! Of course, Laura is also always available to give tips and advice!

Travel with Nathan:

Traverse Dorset’s picturesque landscapes with Nathan at the wheel. His expert chauffeur services guarantee comfortable commutes to wherever your heart desires, ensuring your days remain completely stress-free!

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Dining Delight:

Whether you prefer the serenity of al fresco dining in our sunlit garden with the Dorset countryside as your backdrop or the refined ambiance of elegant indoor dining, we offer both experiences to cater to your mood and preference. Whichever you choose, culinary excellence is guaranteed courtesy of your own personal gourmet chef, Laura!

Accommodation Offerings:

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Bedroom One: A haven of tranquillity, this room boasts a US King-sized bed, double-aspect windows offering a panorama of the garden and vast countryside. With its exposed ceiling beams, natural light, and private en-suite shower room, it’s a truly luxurious sanctuary!

Bedroom Two: Step back in time with the oldest bedroom of the house, characterised by its US Queen-sized bed and enchanting double-aspect windows. One gazes upon the garden and stretches of countryside, while the other offers views of grazing horses and cattle. Despite its rich history, reflected in the stunning 18th-century chimney breast and the room’s overall character, it doesn’t skimp on modern comforts, also offering guests a fabulous en-suite shower room.

Bedroom Three: Flexibility meets luxury in this room. Guests can opt for a US Queen-sized bed setup or twin beds. Overlooking the picturesque front through its ‘chocolate box’ dormer-style window, this room also has a brand-new custom wardrobe and a private bathroom situated adjacent to it.

CLICK HERE to see all of our beautiful bedrooms!

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Outdoor Pursuits: Embrace the great outdoors with an array of amenities at your disposal. Engage in lively garden games, cycle through the idyllic country lanes on our bicycles, or enjoy a sunny beach day with our parasols and picnic blankets. And for those English showers? We’ve got you covered — literally — with umbrellas, raincoats, Wellington boots, and so much more! Every moment at Well Cottage ensures you’re well-equipped for any adventure!

Your stay at English Cottage Vacation ensures an unparalleled blend of traditional charm, VIP service, and the soul-soothing allure of the English countryside. Book your English Cottage Vacation today!

Featured Excursion: Journey Into Literary History at Thomas Hardy’s Cottage

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Nestled amidst the lush Dorset landscape lies an enchanting thatched cottage, a place steeped in literary history. It is the birthplace and childhood home of the renowned English author, Thomas Hardy. Preserved in its original state by the National Trust, it stands as a testament to Hardy’s humble beginnings and the inspiration for his acclaimed novels.

Right in the heart of Hardy country, Well Cottage offers the perfect starting point for this journey into the past. Co-host and resident chauffeur/guide Nathan will first whisk you away in the executive comfort of our Mercedes people-carrier to the awe-inspiring vistas of the Jurassic Coast. On the return journey, you’ll take a detour to the past, stopping at Thomas Hardy’s Cottage.

Here, you can spend a couple of enchanting hours stepping back in time, visualising a young Hardy drawing inspiration from the breathtaking surroundings. It’s easy to imagine scenes from Tess of the d’Urbervilles, Far from the Madding Crowd, Jude the Obscure and his other timeless works unfolding right here.

Afterward, retreat to the comfort of Well Cottage’s library, stocked with many of Hardy’s novels, and enjoy a quiet read by the crackling inglenook fireplace or out in our idyllic gardens!

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Next month, we’ll transport you to the extraordinary natural limestone arch of Durdle Door on the magnificent Jurassic Coast. Explore all of our amazing excursions right now!

Our Luxury Dorset Hamper: The Perfect Christmas Gift (+ With US Postage)

Recently at the Wildwood Exposition in Florida, we introduced a small slice of English charm through our raffle prize – a luxury Dorset Hamper. The response was overwhelming, urging us to extend this delightful bundle of joy to our friends across the pond! Now, even if you can’t grace us with your presence at Well Cottage this winter, you can still savour a curated English experience from the comfort of your home!

Priced at $500 including US shipping, we’re sure this hamper will spark a yearning for a quaint English getaway among you and your loved ones! Inside, you’ll discover a wealth of locally crafted treasures and souvenirs, all personally selected by us from neighbouring Dorset establishments, many of which are highlights of our holiday packages.

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Inside Your Luxury Dorset Hamper

  • English Breakfast Tea: Drinking tea is a part of British culture. It is woven into our cultural identity. We love to drink tea all day long but best of all we prefer it in the afternoon with a scone topped with jam and clotted cream!
  • Dorset Coffee: The Dorset Coffee Company is the oldest independent coffee roaster in Dorset. Self-taught enthusiast and Roastmaster Nigel Green has a true passion for coffee which can be tasted in every sip!
  • Cheddar Cheese Straws: From the Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company – this is the ONLY Cheddar actually made in Cheddar! It’s aged to perfection in the Cheddar Gorge Caves, just 1 hour from Well Cottage and also home to the Wookey Hole Caves.
  • Handcrafted Candles: Started in 2014 by Amalia Pothecary and James Osborn, The Botanical Candle Co. Ltd is a home-grown business that is founded on the core principles of quality, fairness and transparency. From a kitchen table sideline to an established business in the local community, the team now pour, pack and despatch thousands of candles every month from the studio and shop space in Shaftesbury, Dorset, just 4 miles from Well Cottage!
  • Dorset Chocolate: Delicious artisan chocolate made by hand in Dorset using only the finest ingredients.
  • Liquorice Comfits: In the Middle Ages, liquorice root was used to treat ailments such as coughs, sore throats, and constipation. It wasn’t until the 16th century that liquorice began to be used in confectionery. English apothecaries coated liquorice root with sugar to make it more palatable and thus gave rise to the first liquorice sweets. You’ll love these ones!
  • Clotted Cream Fudge from Dorset: Although fudge doesn’t originate from the UK, the clotted cream variety does and it doesn’t get much better than local hand-made varieties!
  • Dorset Apple and Blackberry Jam and Dorset Real Ale Chutney: ‘From Dorset With Love’ is a true family business. moving production from their home kitchen to a converted stable on the outskirts of Milton Abbas in 2013. They have gone on to win many awards over the years including the most elusive 3 Star Great Taste Award in 2014 for their Dorsetshire Sauce. They also won Best Food Producer in the 2014 Dorset Food, Drink & Farming Awards (of which we were also finalists in 2015 and 2016!). This is why we chose 2 of their products from their range for you!
  • Pack of three Dorset-made Bramley products – Hand Cream, Bubble Bath and Body Lotion: The Bramley range was created for the bathrooms at the creators’ first pub, The Beckford Arms, in Wiltshire. A pub that we list as one of our top dining out experiences within our vacation packages! The Bramley Products team wanted something that would really enhance the guests’ stay and capture the essence of the beautiful countryside around them. Everything they use is natural and that’s why their products are a must for our guests at Well Cottage!
  • Hartgrove Honey: Just up the road from Well Cottage is the quaint hamlet of Hartgrove. Here lives Bee Keeper Ray Long who has turned his hobby and passion into a thriving business and we are so glad to share with you his wonderful honey!
  • ECV Notepad, Pen, Mug and Chef’s Apron: Some beautifully made souvenirs from Nathan and Laura at English Cottage Vacation!

Please tell all of your family and friends about our luxury vacations, and we hope to see you here at Well Cottage in Dorset, England in the very near future! REACH OUT to order your hamper right now!

2024 Dorset Dreamscapes Calendar: Limited Edition!

After our teaser in the last newsletter, the demand for our 2024 Dorset Dreamscapes Calendar has been staggering! This limited edition keepsake, set for just one print run, has captured many hearts. Don’t miss out!

Celebrate Dorset’s majesty monthly with scenes of its tranquil coasts, charming villages, and iconic landmarks. It’s not just a calendar; it’s a daily journey through southern England’s enchantment.

Perfect for adorning your space or gifting a touch of wanderlust!

Available sizes:

8″x 8″ Desktop Calendar – Buy It Now For $20.00 USD
8″x 8″ Desktop Calendar – Buy It Now For $26.00 CAD

*Prices inclusive of shipping!

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A3 Wall Calendar – Buy It Now For $32.00 USD*
A3 Wall Calendar – Buy It Now For $42.00 CAD*

*Prices inclusive of shipping!

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Share Your English Cottage Getaway Dream Visions With Us!

In case you missed it in our recent newsletter, we’re keen to know about your idyllic travel desires. Take a moment (just 2 minutes!) to log your interest and share your dream vacation visions with us.

Your insights will guide us in tailoring our offerings, ensuring each visit is even more enchanting.

Delve in and define your future getaway. Understanding your wishes is our top priority, and we’re excited to see how we can elevate your next experience. Let’s co-create your ultimate English Cottage Vacation!

CLICK HERE to complete our very quick form!

Featured Recipe: Laura’s Rhubarb and Blackberry Crumble!

ecv recipe laura's rhubarb crumble

Recipe serves 4


  • 500g rhubarb chopped into small chunks
  • 100g golden caster sugar
  • 3 tbsp port
  • 250g fresh blackberries

For the crumble topping:

  • 140g self raising flour
  • 85g butter chilled
  • 50g muscovado sugar
  • 50g chopped walnuts


  1. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6
  2. Put rhubarb and sugar into a saucepan with port, if using
  3. Cover and simmer on a very low heat for 15 mins, adding more sugar if you want. When soft (but still holding its shape) and sweet enough, pour into a medium baking dish
  4. To make the topping, rub 140g self-raising flour and 85g chilled butter together with your fingers until you have a soft, crumbly topping
  5. Add chopped walnuts and muscovado sugar and mix together
  6. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the rhubarb and blackberries and bake for 30 mins or until golden brown on top.

Serve with custard, ice cream or single cream.

Awaiting Our Response?

We strive to reply to every inquiry swiftly, usually within a day, if not sooner! Yet occasionally, our responses might not reach you. A possible cause? Our emails ending up in your spam folder!

If our reply seems overdue, do skim through your spam/junk section. If nothing’s there, please drop us another note or get in touch directly via live chat on our website. We value your questions and ensure no query ever goes unanswered!

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Reviews and Testimonials

Listening to our guests share their memorable stories and experiences is truly the heart of our mission. Confirmation that we played a part in their cherished memories is our greatest joy!

Each feedback is a testament to the English Cottage Vacation experience, underscoring our commitment to ensuring an extraordinary stay for every visitor.

Delve into genuine remarks from our past visitors. These insights offer a sneak peek into the unparalleled journey you’re about to embark on:

Your confidence in us is our priority! Our seamless booking process, coupled with flexible cancellation and rescheduling terms, ensures peace of mind.

Further, for your assurance, our business entity – Appanage Vacations Ltd – is verifiable on the UK Government’s ‘Companies House’ website.

Become a part of our esteemed guest community. We’re confident you’ll soon be adding to our collection of 5-star reflections! Immerse yourself in the magic of an English Cottage Vacation amid Dorset’s enchanting backdrop!

Frequently Asked Questions: Featured FAQ

Q: Will cleaning services be provided during my stay?

A: Absolutely! Not only do you benefit from the luxury of your own personal chef and chauffeur during your stay, but we also take care of all room cleaning services for the entire duration of your visit. Your comfort and convenience are always our top priorities!

View our other Frequently Asked Questions!

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Our Final Thought…

“Begin doing what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand — and melting like a snowflake.” – Francis Bacon

In the tranquil hush of Well Cottage, nestled amidst Dorset’s breathtaking beauty, moments are more than fleeting passages of time — they are jewels of existence. Each glinting second holds within it an opportunity, a call to truly live, to relish the unparalleled, to dare to dream and dance with destiny.

When you step through our doors, it’s an invitation to seize life’s moments, to make them count, and to let them shimmer in the canvas of your memories. From the sunrises you greet on the horizon to the evening tales shared under a canopy of stars, every instance at Well Cottage becomes a piece of a greater narrative, a story that’s uniquely yours yet beautifully interwoven with the tales of others.

It’s not merely about the stay, the scenery, or the sumptuous feasts. It’s about the moments seized, the chances taken, and the life truly lived. And in the grand tapestry of existence, it’s these moments — these stars you hold in your hand — that illuminate the way.

To life’s endless possibilities and the promise of unforgettable memories,

Much love as always,

Nathan & Laura

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