|Living room in Salt Air, Seahouses|
A last-minute short break in the UK, preferably on the coast? This should be easy to find on the internet but there is so much information out there, it can be incredibly frustrating. Even when you think you have found the perfect cottage by the sea, many websites lack full information, decent photos and, to add to the misery, in order to check availability, users have to contact the owner by filling in a form. No, I don’t want to fill in a form. I want some real time information, to see at a glance whether it’s booked up or not.
Thank heavens I came across the most wonderful holiday company, Coastal Retreats, whose website was an absolute dream. Marketed as ‘refreshingly different self catering cottages’, the properties are based in North East England and are all absolutely gorgeous. For each cottage, the website provides a short video so you can have a peek in each room, available dates are shown, plus prices for short breaks and the starting dates. It really is an excellent website to navigate.
They do a luscious brochure too, so good I took it to bed every night to pore over the pages showing stripped wooden floors and Farrow and Ball walls, log burners and ample sofas. A small family company, Coastal Retreats, together with its sister site, Country Retreats, has a collection of style-inspired properties which are really top notch. Most come with complimentary Leisure Club membership and many cottages are extremely child-friendly, offering toys, dressing up boxes and play gardens. Whether it’s a contemporary pad or a rural retreat, there is a definite designer stamp on them all.
It’s no surprise, then, that we booked a four-night stay in a two-bedroomed apartment, Salt Air, in the small fishing village of Seahouses on the Northumberland coast. It was perfect. Two bedrooms, two bathrooms, dining kitchen, comfortable lounge and not one but two balconies, one at each end, to catch the sun at every opportunity.
Just look at this view by day and by night, with Bamburgh Castle in the distance. And no, I haven’t fiddled with the filter. These are the true colours.
|View from Salt Air, Seahouses, towards Bamburgh Castle|
|View to Bamburgh Castle at night|
We took Rory and his girlfriend Juliana with us on this trip up North and we all agreed it was a superb location for a holiday, two minutes from the very centre of the bustling village with its harbour and Fish & Chip shops plus it was next door to the Crazy Golf. We all loved the property itself, so new and fresh with interiors designed by Newcastle-based Tatti Interiors. Who wouldn’t love a bedroom with a Penguin Book theme or a corridor with a wallpaper map of the area. (see below)
|Where shall we go today? Let’s plan the route on the wall!|
The owners and Coastal Retreats had thought of everything from crabbing buckets in the cupboard to electrical sockets near mirrors (hoorah!) and a welcome pack which included chocolate cake. Plenty of storage, lots of hangers, fully fitted kitchen including a Nespresso machine, landline phone with honesty box and a huge assortment of board games and DVDs.
I know as a family we have been fortunate enough to visit some beautiful hotels and self-catering properties over the years but I have to say this was one of the most wonderful holidays, staying in an apartment we just couldn’t fault. I am now taking the brochure to bed with me again to choose another one.
|Salt Air – the perfect seaside getaway?|
Disclosure: we chose this holiday ourselves, negotiating a small discount in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own. For details of Salt Air and other properties, see www.coastalretreats.co.uk