Tuesday, 17 May 2011


Myrtle is such a wonderfully old fashioned sounding name and conjures up images of cottage gardens, kitchen's filled with homemade biscuits, bread and cakes and a roaring fire in the living room. The popularity of this name has waned, but the evergreen shrub is said to be a symbol of love.

When we recently visited my Auntie in Appledore, North Devon, we were lucky enough to spend the afternoon at her largest holiday home. It was just the seaside cottage I have dreamed of and the garden is the essence of an English country garden. I'm sure that I would be happy to spend endless summer days there amongst the peonies, bluebells, buttercups and lilacs. There is nothing more beautiful than the sweet smell of roses.

The house is huge and has three amazing double bedrooms with the most spectacular antique beds. It was almost impossible to choose which was my favourite: the one with a side view of the garden and the chest of drawers that reminded me of the one in which Grandma kept her sewing bits; the one with the most enormous bed or the room with the window sills that are perfect for sitting on and reading a book and the gorgeous tiled sink.

Myrtles adjoins to the next cottage through the children's room and is the perfect size for a family party. The living room has a piano and  an open fire, but my favourite was the fabulously large old wooden dining table and the sense of it being at the very heart of a family home.

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