For many, the New Year is a time to put away those bad habits that we’ve acquired over the year, tighten the old belt and set ourselves on the long road to health and fitness. But that’s the New Year; we still have quite a few weeks of over-indulgence left! So what better time to introduce our next entrance to the cottage gift finder? In this entry we’re concentrating on a group that is notoriously easy to please: the wine lover.
While the wine lover may be happy with a £3.99 bottle from Oddbins, it’s hardly going to make a lasting impression once it’s empty and there’s little lasting joy to be had in sharing it. So we’ve scoured our portfolio of featured properties to bring you something a little bit special. In this festive gift guide you’ll find resplendent country retreats in the wine-producing heart of France, small vineyards in the Sienese countryside and a couple of lovely properties in Dorset – one of the UK’s most prominent wine producing regions.
Each of these properties allows the wine lover to gain a greater understanding and appreciation of what goes into their glass. And because they happen to be set in some of Europe’s most naturally stunning locations, they allow the wine lover’s loved ones (aka ‘you’) to enjoy a wonderful holiday in the process.
We’re heading over to France for our first entry; Beychac-et-Caillau is an authentic detached holiday villa of the vineyard region around Bordeaux. Not only will you find a lovely holiday property that’s been renovated and furnished to a traditional period standard but you’ll also find a billiard table on the mezzanine and your very own private swimming pool in the garden. In late summer the property – and its surrounding area – really comes into its own; the whole region smells of grapes, which creates the perfect setting for a visit to nearby Saint Emilion (notable for its wine tasting) and of course, Bordeaux itself.
Casa Laura in Siena is an equally attractive proposition. Located just outside the walls of the stunning historic town, the property is set in the grounds of a 16th century estate. While Casa Laura once hosted princes and popes it now offers a small vineyard just beyond the cool blue waters of the private swimming pool. And if you want somewhere to sample the local produce we’d recommend the lovely gazebo in the garden.
The UK is less renowned for its wine but there are some incredible bottles being created in some of the country’s more temperate climes, which makes staying there even more inviting. Take Doles Ash Farm, for example; a break there allows you to enjoy the stunning Piddle Valley and Hardy country, but also places you in an established vineyard producing fantastic English wines. And if you fancy offsetting any over-indulgence at the vineyard, there’s an indoor heated swimming pool, sauna, games barn with table tennis, snooker and table football and tennis court on-site.
Purbeck Vineyard in Dorset ticks similar boxes, but does things on a slightly larger scale. A working vineyard since the year 2000, it now offers over 3000 vines. The on-site winery enables the wine grapes to be harvested, pressed and vinified into wine that truly is chateau bottled and you can even pre-order food hampers, casks and ½ casks of local beer and wine, which is useful if you want to take full advantage of the property, as it can accommodate up to 25 guests!
If you’d like to get something special for your loved ones this year, we’re offering cottages4you gift vouchers in denominations of £10, £20 or £50 – so you can make up the amount you want to give. Give us a call on: 0845 268 9253 to order. Please note: Christmas vouchers will only be available up to 19 December!