Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

There's No Substitute for Home Comforts When Holidays Call; Columnist

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

There's No Substitute for Home Comforts When Holidays Call; Columnist

Article excerpt

Byline: Tom Gutteridge

THERE'S nothing quite like an English country holiday, especially if, like us, you're staying in a luxury establishment.

The scent of the roses outside, crisp linen on firm, comfy beds, superb cooking, with vegetables plucked fresh from the chef's garden: that's my idea of a good time. An informal, relaxed home-from-home.

I'm writing from one of the most beautiful tourist areas in the United Kingdom.

Although it's well past 11am, Jo is deciding whether or not to order breakfast. There are beaches and hills close by, acres of wild heathland within strolling distance, the food is wonderful, there's a playground for Izzy. In short, we're having a ball.

We only made the decision last Friday to take a week off. Jo said that July was so gloomy, we should have a proper break, just the three of us. Somewhere remote, without internet or mobile There '' phones, but fairly near the sea, with nice country air. and acres of wild within strolling And no more than a three-hour drive from home. Izzy and long car journeys don't go together. Jo first suggested a B&B. In the United States, they're like boutique hotels, with four-poster beds, luxury furnishings and bed linen, and free wine and cheese at 5pm. Then I reminded her of our experience on Arran.

The sheets were pink polyester, the tiny pine wardrobes could hardly contain our belongings, the bed was soft as a sponge and the landlady tut-tutted loudly outside our door if we were a minute late for breakfast. Porridge is punctual, she said. Never again.

Besides, we wanted to bring the dogs, so we opted for self-catering. Although we only needed one bedroom and a cot, as we were booking with just a day's notice, we didn't expect to be spoilt for choice.

It says something about the recession that there were several options, mostly tiny converted farm cottages or wooden chalets with balconies.

I used to own a holiday let. The furniture was 20 years old and when we bought a new sofa we'd send the old one to the rental property. …

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