We decided not to go abroad this year. I could pretend that it’s because we were worried about the huge carbon footprint of flying, but actually, it’s more because we’re a bit scared of all of the potential hassle that would come from travelling abroad with two toddlers. So, this summer, we spent four nights at Finches Cottage near Mayfield, East Sussex**.
Finches is a three bedroom cottage in the grounds of a little garden centre called Whites. It’s two miles from the historic village of Mayfield, and roughly a 15 minute drive from Royal Tunbridge Wells.
The cottage itself is comfortable and spacious. The three bedrooms are all light and airy. There is one double, one twin and one room with bunk beds. There is one bathroom, with a separate toilet. The furniture in the cottage is comfortable, but quite dated. This is fine, but we did find that the drawers in the bedroom stuck, and doorknobs came off in our hands! Obviously they screwed back on easily enough, but a little bit of maintenance would be welcome. We stayed in August, but the cottage was a comfortable temperature.
The living area was a pleasant L-shape, with a lounge, kitchen and dining area. There’s even a piano! The owners have provided a wide selection of DVDs, but we took our Amazon Fire TV stick*, which simply plugged into the HDMI socket on the back of the television, allowing us to watch Netflix and Amazon Prime. Although to be honest, we mainly took it with us so that we could have CBeebies on tap, for those moments where we needed to pack up the car or prepare dinner.
There was also a large chest of board games in the living room, and a little doll’s house and selection of children’s books in the room with bunk beds. M enjoyed selecting her bedtime story from the books on offer. When we arrived, we were welcomed with a bottle of fizz, a sharing packet of crisps and some fresh eggs from the on-site chickens. There were also bottles of fresh milk and local apple juice in the fridge. These little touches set the tone for a lovely stay at Finches Cottage.
Outside, there is an enclosed rear garden with outdoor seating and a barbecue, with parking for a car next to the games barn at the front. The games barn is equipped with table football, air hockey and a pool table. M enjoyed joining in with a family game of pool using the mini cue and stool that were available for her. There was also a high chair and travel cot available for use in the cottage.
While staying at Finches Cottage, we made the most of the easily-accessible attractions in the local area. During our stay, we visited Eastbourne (you can read about our day out at Eastbourne Miniature Railway Adventure Park, here), Brighton and Blackberry Farm Park, near Uckfield.
Of course, finding gluten free places to eat in East Sussex was important for us. While in Eastbourne, we enjoyed gluten free fish and chips on the beach, purchased from Trident Fish Restaurant’s takeaway in Old Town. In Brighton, we ate gluten free pizza and the best butternut squash salad at Fatto a Mano. In Tunbridge Wells, we enjoyed Turkish cuisine at Zorba Mezze Grill, who were brilliant at catering for my needs and fed me the nicest grilled halloumi I think I’ve ever tasted. Closer to Finches Cottage is of course the Middle House, a beautiful pub/hotel in Mayfield that serves amazing food.
We booked our stay at Finches cottages through the HomeAway website, but in writing this post I’ve actually found it cheaper on HolidayLettings**, so I’d advise booking through them if you’d like to stay there!
*Affiliate Link – I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.co.uk.