Looking for the perfect idea for your next staycation? You've come to the right place as we're here to tell you that 2023 is all about booking a holiday cottage with an impressive kitchen.
Traditionally, the kitchen isn't the first thing we look for when when scrolling through photos of a holiday cottage, especially if it's a beach cottage where the view is important, or a treehouse stay that needs to be quirky enough for a birthday treat. But think beyond these aesthetics and you have something functional – and stylish – that can provide the best memories.
What's more, putting the kitchen at the top of your rental must-haves can save you money, too.
Recent research from holiday rental website Vrbo found that half of UK travellers are using cooking to cut down on costs this year. By cooking in your holiday home instead of eating out or getting takeaways, you can save an average of £417 on your next next trip.
Money matters aside, it's an excellent way to gather your friends or family and spend time with them over food. Whether it's a multi-generational family break, where the kids can enjoy baking, or a trip away with multiple foodie couples who like to take it in turns to cook, an impressive kitchen is the way forward for self-catering breaks in 2023.
Surprisingly, location is no longer the most important factor and 60 per cent of UK travellers looking for rentals with family and friends say that a well-equipped property with great amenities matter as much or more than the destination itself, according to Vrbo.
With this in mind, we thought we'd take the travel trend for a spin and checked in to a cottage with a stunning kitchen, just outside the Cotswolds...
Teacher's Cottage: The accommodation
Set in the pretty village of Great Wolford, between Shipston-on-Stour and Moreton-in-Marsh, Teacher's Cottage is a glorious home from home, whatever the season. Book a stay in the summer and you can socialise over alfresco BBQ dinners, or go during the winter months and the dining room will keep you toasty with its crackling fire.
With four bedrooms spread over the two upstairs floors, the Vrbo cottage is ideal for four couples, a family of eight or a group of friends to rent for a few days. Its guest book is filled with travellers from all around the world who booked Teacher's Cottage for a birthday celebration, to catch up with loved ones or simply escape from the daily routine with their favourite people.
Whether you're spending entire days at the cottage or making the most of the local walking routes, the sitting room is the cosiest place to retire at the end of the day. Complete with a roaring fire (the attentive host leaves all the wood, kindling and matches you need for a few days) and enormous leather and bespoke sofas, it's an excellent spot for a night cap. When you need a little me-time, head to the top floor where the freestanding bath tub awaits. We spent many an hour soaking up the serenity of the cottage from the deep tub.
The place where we spent most of our time at the cottage, the kitchen caters for every cook. We ate breakfast, cooked dinner and enjoyed coffee and champagne catch-ups, all in this fabulous space. At the heart of it is the kitchen island, a functional one that serves as a casual place to dine together, with six comfortable bar chairs. We had many meals at the kitchen island, even opting to dine as we watched a private chef cook us a sublime three-course dinner one evening.
One of the most well-equipped holiday cottage kitchens we've seen, Teacher's Cottage's kitchen has a larder to store your edible essentials, a large American-style fridge-freezer, a range cooker that allows you to bake, roast and sauté for a group... and there's so much more. You'll find roasting and baking tins, all the cutlery and utensils you could need, glasses for any type of beverage you're serving, as well as steel pots and pans, multiple chopping boards and all the desired appliances, from a Nespresso coffee machine to a four-slice toaster.
There is even a TV on the kitchen worktop, ideal for watching Nigella or Raymond for inspiration. The double Belfast sink with a pull-out spray tap makes washing bulky cookware a breeze. Of course, there's a dishwasher that does most of the work and the Vrbo host supplies dishwasher tablets so no need to add these to your pre-arrival shopping list.
Just off of the kitchen, the dining room is a stunning space for group meals and more formal dinners. Both the kitchen and dining room have wooden shutters and doors opening out to the delightful garden.
Owner Mary was one of the most thoughtful holiday cottage hosts we've come across. From her welcome basket (we loved the Cacklebean eggs, smoked salmon, locally baked bread and glass-bottled milk) to providing the self-catering essentials that count (wood for the fire, matches, toilet roll, soap, dishwasher tablets and washing up sponges, to name but a few), she went above and beyond to ensure we had a luxurious break.
Whether you want to find out more about a cottage before you book or get the details after you've secured your stay, Vrbo allows you to keep in touch with a host throughout the process. Most owners will have recommendations for nearby places so you can really get to know the area like a local before you've even stepped through the door.
We asked Mary if she knew a private chef who could cook dinner for us at Teacher's Cottage one evening and her recommendation turned out to be one of the best foodie experiences we've had in and around the Cotswolds. Charlotte Turner, who had cooked at the cottage before, arrived with all her supplies and knew where everything was in the kitchen.
We decided to make the most of the experience and dine at the kitchen island so we could have a chef's table dinner, watching the dishes being prepared and feasting on them. Charlotte's menu included delicious tuna tataki and white crab canapés, a sea bass ceviche starter and succulent Cornbury Estate venison with Jerusalem artichoke puree. With just a couple of pointers of ingredients we liked or didn't, Charlotte created the perfect menu, ending with a gorgeous poached pear and frangipane tart.
While Teacher's Cottage was one way to experience the holiday cottages with amazing kitchens trend, it's not the only impressive rental to make the most of foodie-amenities. Here are four more holiday cottages with beautiful kitchens you can rent for your next escape...
Located in Moreton-in-Marsh, this honey-coloured Cotswold cottage sleeps four people in two bedrooms and offers a cosy home from home. The open plan kitchen, dining and living space features a cookery book library to inspire gourmands before they visit the local farm shops and producers in the area.
With its outstanding loch views, this cottage in the quaint village of Aldochlay, next to the village of Luss on Loch Lomond, offers a fantastic location. There's room for seven people to spread out and the kitchen is well equipped with space for dining, too. We love the dark wood and sleek interiors of this stylish holiday cottage.
A holiday cottage with an outstanding kitchen and a hot tub, this one really aims to please. The detached rental in Huntingdonshire has five bedrooms for a group of 10 to stay. The kitchen has a De'Longhi coffee bean machine, a large cast-iron Aga stove and two other conventional ovens.
A UK holiday cottage that has more of a Mediterranean vibe, this breathtaking rental in Crowborough comes with an outdoor kitchen with a BBQ, pizza oven and covered dining area. There's a heated swimming pool and hot tub at the cottage for 14, and the interior kitchen is a superb, light-filled space for a group to dine together.
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