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English Cottage Lifestyle, Issue #016 -- Cottage Holiday Issue
January 26, 2013

Welcome to monthly E-zine…Inspiration and ideas to help you discover and enjoy the English Cottage Lifestyle.

Quote of the month

"I like work; it fascinates me. I can sit and look at it for hours..."

Jerome K. Jerome

Photo Of The Month: The Village Green, Widecombe-in-the-moor, Devon

In This Issue:
  • English Country Cottage Holidays
  • Holiday Cottages Devon
  • Midlands and The Heart Of England
  • Recipe Of The Month: "Breaded Monkfish"

Notes From The Editor.

Happy New Year! England started the year with an unusually warm spell but now winter has arrived. Much of the country is covered with a blanket of snow and I have been trying to get some snowy photos for you but the area where I live is the warmest in the country.

As I write, the snow is gently falling but the ground is too wet for it to settle. The hills behind my garden are snow covered but what I am enjoying the most are the birds that come to feed every day. Living right by the River Exe and its bird sanctuary I feel like I am in a nature documentary sometimes, I have grown quite fond of the sound of swans taking off for flight on the water; it’s an unmistakable, noisy affair.

If you have the winter blues why not cheer yourself up with thoughts of summer holidays in England. January is one of the best months to book your holiday cottage to find the best selection before they book up. In this issue we celebrate English country cottage holidays and coastal holidays in beautiful England.

English Country Cottage Holidays

England is a wonderful place to visit at any time of the year and if you love cottages England is a must see destination. No matter what the weather there will be plenty to keep you entertained with everything from walking in the countryside and stumbling upon a timeless pub with local brews to visiting some of the best museums and shops in the world.

There are even a few rare days when England can be warmer than Brazil, so if you have been on the fence about booking a holiday in England maybe I can tempt you to visit…

…Imagine waking to the sounds of birds, the morning sun warming the balmy air as you make your tea in your cottage kitchen, and begin planning your day, a stroll on the beach, perhaps, or lunch in a mediaeval town.

You have slept well, you feel refreshed, and no one kept you up as you have the countryside to yourself in your home away from home…your favourite English holiday cottage, after staying here a bland hotel room will never do. You feel at one with the English landscape; as if you belong right here.

There is so much to see and do you wonder if you will ever fit it all in, or maybe you could just relax or grab your watercolours and paint ‘al fresco’ under the gentle shade of and English oak tree...

Cottage England

There are so many places in England worth visiting it can be hard to narrow it down. So to help you try to make sense of it all, especially if you have never been to England before and you want to find your favourite type of cottage, why not think of England as cottage England.

What type of cottages and villages would you like to see?

If you love the charm and quirkiness of the timber frame cottage then head to the Heart of England or the South of England for some of the most enchanting timber frame cottages. If you are interested in cob cottages then Devon is a must see county for you as it’s the world home of cob and cob building.

Do honey coloured stone cottages melt your heart? Then Gloucestershire, the Heart of the Cotswolds, is the English country cottage holiday for you. Visit the Lake District, the Yorkshire moors, or the Peak District, to see stone and granite cottages. In East Anglia, Kent and Sussex you can find flint, brick and stone cottages.

The Limestone Belt of England runs from the south west coast in Dorset with Portland Limestone then moves up to Somerset with Bath Limestone, then on to Cotswold Limestone. It then moves over to Lincolnshire where the belt ends, it is draped like a sash over England and it is on this belt that you can find fine examples of limestone cottages and villages.

Where To Stay

Read English cottage lifestyles guide to English country cottages and English cottage holidays to help you choose your destination; I will be adding more destinations over time the most popular cottage holiday destinations will be added first. To help you find a place to stay I have put my recommendations on each destination page. You can find holiday cottages and Inns, B&B’s and rooms with character if you just want to stay a few nights.

Most holiday cottages book out for the week, either Friday to Friday or Saturday to Saturday depending on the booking agent you use. Try to book your cottage well in advance to get the best selection.

ECL has added links to dog friendly holiday cottages, romantic cottages for two, large group cottages, and more on the holiday cottage pages. I will also be adding a page on holiday cottages in England to ECL which will have more choices, such as holiday cottages with inglenook fireplaces and other options to make booking a holiday cottage simpler for you.

Photo: Sugary Cove in Dartmouth, Devon.
Holiday Cottages Devon.

ECL opens its holiday cottage guide with cottages in Devon, one of England’s favourite cottage holiday destinations and one of my favourite places in the world, Devon is also the county where I live. In these guides I have made it simple for you to search and book your holiday cottage right from English cottage lifestyle website with ECL’s recommended holiday cottage booking agents.

I will be updating the site and adding more cottages over time making English cottage lifestyle the place for you to book your holiday cottage. Click here to go to Holiday Cottages in Devon.

Cottage Tour Of England:

Midlands and The Heart Of England

The Midlands and the Heart of England is timber frame country and just like its name suggests it is in the centre of England and is steeped in history. Worcester is the county, where I spent my childhood, playing at the foot of the Malvern Hills and my grandma’s cottage garden where I would climb her fruit trees and eat apples, and then eat plums until my fingers were stained purple.

As a child I went exploring and would stumble across loads of old timber frame cottages with thatched roofs, alas there are less now, but the cottages that remain are beautiful. Worcester also has the Cotswold town of Broadway with stone cottages that is well worth a visit.

The entire region is great for a cottage holiday, if you like cider and enjoy rural bliss try the county of Herefordshire. Ludlow in Shropshire has a growing reputation for having some of the best restaurants outside of London, or visit Shakespeare country in Warwickshire. Famous for its canals, porcelain and food, the Midlands and the Heart of England has something for everyone...

…So get cosy with a cup of tea and travel to Midlands and the Heart of England

Recipe Of The Month.

"Breaded Monkfish baked heritage potatoes and steamed romanesco."

The National British Fish and Chips award was held on January 24th in London. My favourite fish and chip shop in Dartmouth was one of the finalists; Rockfish owned by celebrity Chef Mitch Tonks.

Not only do Rockfish have great fish and chips but they also have the most spectacular oysters, scampi and breaded monkfish to name but a few things off their menu. Their breaded scampi (using fresh Scottish langoustines) is the best in Britain in my humble opinion.

Here is my recipe for breaded monkfish but with roasted heritage potatoes and as I am not a fan of mushy peas I have steamed romanesco for a similar colour, broccoli works great too or if you can stand them use mushy peas ; )


2 British Monkfish filets, cut into 3 chunks

“Forty Fold” British heritage potatoes (try the Russell Burgess brand)

Romanesco or broccoli for a green colour (or mushy peas if you like)

I organic egg

2 cups of breadcrumbs

Salt and pepper to season

Chopped parsley for garnish


Poke the potatoes with a folk then drizzle them with rape seed oil and sprinkle sea salt on top. Put onto a baking tray and cook in a hot oven, approximately 45 minutes for small potatoes.

Prepare a bowl with the breadcrumbs and another with a beaten egg. Make sure the monkfish has been rinsed and patted dry with a kitchen paper towel. Season the monkfish with freshly ground pepper and sea salt.

Heat vegetable oil in a pan on the stove.

Boil a small amount of water in a pan for steaming add a steaming bowl if you have one.

Roll the monkfish pieces into the breadcrumbs to get a light dusting, then dip the pieces into the beaten egg and leave for 3 minutes, remove and roll the monkfish pieces into the breadcrumbs.

Put the romanesco or broccoli onto steaming bowl in the pan with boiling water, put on lid and turn down the heat to simmer to not over steam the vegetables.

When the oil is hot enough put the monkfish pieces in to the oil and fry until golden brown, turn them over and when the have an even gold colour remove them and put onto kitchen paper towel to absorb the excess grease.

Serve with the baked potatoes and romanesco, sprinkle with parsley and serve with your favourite tartar sauce, or mix tomato ketchup with horseradish cream and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, as I did, to make a spicy cocktail sauce.



The Winner of the 2013 National Fish and Chip Awards is …. Dave Hanbury, of Hanbury's chip shop and restaurant in Babbacombe, Torquay, Devon

Hopefully you can watch the video if you are outside of the U.K it’s from the BBC.


It is my sincere hope that the information I provide on assists you in finding inspiration from the English cottage and country life wherever in the world you may be.

Comments? Ideas? Feedback? I’d love to hear from you. Just reply to this E-zine and tell me what you think.

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I hope you enjoyed reading this E-zine as much as I enjoyed writing it

Yours Sincerly,

Helen Green.
English Cottage Lifestyle

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