From the moment we arrived at Colenso House we were enchanted - which is somewhat of a feat for two world-weary parents and two twenty-something daughters (not to mention the two dogs)! We walked across the little bridge with the stream running underneath and it was like walking into a fairytale.

Jane greeted us with a warm welcome at the door and ran through various details about the house. Once having looked around the property, admiring its character and history, I found my eyes were continuously drawn towards the Aga; I have wanted one ever since childhood but have been somewhat daunted by them. Some owners make you feel as if it’s a club you cannot join; the exclusive “Aga Society”, but not Jane! She gave me a quick lesson and off I went, relishing the chance to cook-up a hearty breakfast on this awe-inspiring kitchen appliance. I left it to gently cook away whilst I retired to the window seat in the corner. With the window open, I felt the gentle breeze on my face and listened to the stream trickling past. Was I dreaming? I had to pinch myself to check this was all real. Without a shadow of a doubt this was one of the best meals I have ever tasted - I think it was a combination of the beauty of Aga cooking and the gorgeousness of the surroundings which made it particularly special.

The sheer relaxation I felt whilst staying at Colenso House was immeasurable. Each morning I would come downstairs, make a cup of Earl Grey tea and tiptoe across the decking to my favourite steamer seat. Jane had mentioned that Frenchman’s Creek was nearby and that inspired me to read the book, a copy of which was in the house. Every morning I would sit there enjoying the unending peace and tranquillity as I read the book. It was magical; there is no other word for it.

One morning, my daughter and I were sitting out on the decking marvelling at all the wildlife in the garden, when a Kingfisher landed on a rock in the stream - it was our first time seeing one and we both just sat in silence, absorbing the natural beauty around us.

The house itself is a unique mixture of old and new, and it manages to pull this off with no problem at all. My favourite room had to be the kitchen. It was flooded with light in the mornings and the farmhouse-style table with cosy window seat made an idyllic place for us all to congregate. It was the heart of the home and we enjoyed some real quality time here, from home-cooked meals to late-night talks and board games a plenty (Cluedo was a particular favourite, even though I never won)!

Colenso House was perfectly placed for visiting the many local beaches and attractions. We simply could not fault it at all - there was not one thing about our stay we would have changed, well maybe one thing… we only wish we could have stayed longer!