Self catering holidays

Thinking about self catering holidays

The business side of life is advertising holiday cottages, villas and generally self catering holiday accommodation. They may be only advertisements as one would find in a newspaper but we pride ourselves on maintaining high standards and filtering out any holiday properties that might be below par. We like to listen to guest who have experienced a week or short break in the cottages and can relate whether they had a comfortable stay and a good time, or alternatively, what it was that let them down. The weather excluded.

holiday weather
whatever the weather

The weather is always on the agenda when people book holidays. It doesn’t matter where people go on holiday, the state of the weather is remarked upon. It’s usually the opening line in a postcard message ‘weather brilliant..’, although fewer postcards are sent from holiday destinations now that most tourists have mobiles for texts or email. My messages back to family are always simple and mention the weather, the accommodation, location, the food in detail and places we have visited. This is what matters most on holiday to me and I would assume many other people.

One of my sisters always takes at least four books on holiday with her which amazes me. Why pay for good quality accommodation when you have your nose in a book all the time?  Nowadays the books may be on a Kindle and more transportable but surely the pleasure in going somewhere new and different is to explore and discover?

One aspect of my job is to read about various parts of the UK and Ireland and foreign destinations. When people send me photographs of somewhere new I am often suprised and even enthralled. It is relatively recently that I found out that northern Hungary is incredibly picturesque. It’s all thickly wooded hillsides and mountains where rivers flow through the valleys, the kind of countryside where one would not be surprised to find Hansel and Gretel or the three trolls. I know from people who have been that Budapest is a beautiful city, so if you would like to explore Budapest and Hungary take  a look at these holiday cottages in Hungary that would allow you to do just that. They grow fields of poppies and  golden sunflowers in Hungary, much as they do in France. The seeds are used in cooking.

Food plays a major part in my travels. I can recall places I have visited by the food I have eaten there, especially if it was good. France stands out for that reason. What is the secret to their fabulous bread and why can’t we bake it here?  Onion soup tastes better in France, eaten at a pavement café and accompanied by a glass of rosé or two. Perhaps it is the wine that helps create these happy memories?

We have good wines in England nowadays. My neighbour ‘owns’ a row of vines and has several boxes delivered each year. The vineyards in southern England have learned from the French and hold special events and wine tastings. There are a couple of vineyards in Essex, such a remarkably good holiday destination for a lively holiday. A cottage holiday in Essex allows for gentle rambles in the countryside, sailing on the coast, sunbathing on the beaches of Clacton on Sea and Walton on the Naze,  a casino and all the fun of the fair at Southend. There are shopping centres such as Lakeside where it is possible to get lost. One highly recommended trip from Tilbury is a ferry boat trip down the Thames to Greenwich with an astonishing guided tour.

One of the most memorable times I recall wine tasting was in South Africa. Now, that is a holiday destination where everything is excellent, the weather, the food, the wine and location. The Stellenbosch region near Cape Town is stunningly beautiful with acres of neat vineyards and more growers offering tastings than one can fit into a 2 week break. But we stepped up to the challenge. Some of the vineyards also have outdoor restaurants serving the best South African fare under clear blue skies. In my opinion, South Africa is the dream location. See self catering houses to rent in Hout Bay near Cape Town.

A friend of mine recently took a cruise to St Petersburg in Russia, a dream destination for many,  and I still cannot get over her actions. She stayed for a massage on board instead of getting off the ship to tour St Petersburg! Why bother going all the way to Russia? She might as well have booked a much less expensive stay in a self catering cottage or log cabin with a spa on-site and enjoyed as many massages and treatments she wanted.

This is why it is important to know yourself and choose a holiday that offers exactly what you want. Paying extra for something that you have no intention of using is beyond belief.


Leave a Reply