We acquired this lovely little cottage in February 2019, with the initial intention to develop it into a holiday let for Easter 2020. Naming the cottage was the first and perhaps easiest challenge, as due to the lovely Silver Birch tree in the garden, what else could we possibly have called it. The location and off-road parking afforded to the cottage really appealed to us. Leaving the cottage on foot and turning left finds you in the quaint market town within a two-minute walk. Whereas, turning right and walking over the bridge, you will find yourself in the open countryside in less time than that.

So, with the cottage purchased, it was time to make a start, the overgrown garden was the first thing to be tackled on Paula’s list, while I removed the bathroom. We then planned the upstairs layout to effectively use the available space and create two en-suite double bedrooms. The aim was always to make it as attractive as possible for potential guests, we would leave the exposed beams for the country cottage feel but wanted to add the luxury, that we ourselves would expect. The ground floor layout was fine, but a newly installed wet room would need to be removed to allow for the lounge area. The second room was always going to make a nice dining room, as it adjoined to the extension which housed the kitchen. The major work downstairs was sanding and filling the walls to give a decent finish for the paintwork, as well as plastering the ceilings. The outside was all painted over the summer, I couldn’t believe the amount of Cornish Cream Sandex it took to cover the previously unpainted spa finished walls. At about this time Paula started raiding the antique shop at the end of the road, I think the first of many things she purchased there was the dining room mirror. If you find yourself staying at Silver Birch, it’s well worth calling in this little shop.

The plan was to do most of the work ourselves, but with working full time, this was proving difficult. So, we enlisted the help of a couple of local trades people who really moved things forward for us. We started painting the interior in October and ordered the flooring and white kitchen goods, meanwhile Paula and Eve were busy shopping for bedding etc. We finished most of the painting in December and had the carpets laid just before Christmas, we would leave ordering the beds, bedroom furniture and sofas until the January sales.

The beds and furniture arrived and the shopping to equip the kitchen etc. was all completed by the end of February. We were now putting the finishing touches to the cottage and starting to think about advertising and a website. We stayed in the cottage a few times and loved the feel of it, the easy access to the shops and particularly the takeaways were a real advantage. We had an old friend and her family stay there for a few days, they commented that it felt very luxurious. Since then we have pretty much been in lockdown and nobody else has been able to stay there. However, with glimmers of light at the end of the Covid-19 tunnel, we are launching our website and updating our Facebook page, and when the time is right, we will look forward to welcoming you to stay at Silver Birch cottage.