A few weeks back, I found myself with a coat over my pyjamas, bobble hat pushed firmly down over my bed-hair, wellies sinking slowly into the mud as I tried my hardest to capture the spectacular beauty of a rural Welsh sunrise. Seed heads were waving merrily in the breeze, the sun was forcefully pushing its way through the clouds and the only sound I could hear was the chirping of grasshoppers. As the wind whipped through my tangled hair, I thought, ‘I could get used to this’.
I don’t start every Sunday morning outside in my pyjamas, but then I (sadly!) don’t start every Sunday at Bryncyn in Camarthenshire. Owned by the wonderfully friendly Dorian, this little haven started life as a delapidated old stone cottage; nowadays it’s a building where the traditional meets the contemporary, combining original features and lime-washed walls with an impressively light and airy modern extension which houses the kitchen. And we were lucky enough to be spending the weekend in it.
We loved Bryncyn, every inch of it, every second we were there. The huge sofa that we all gathered on to watch a film and read our books, wrapped up in blankets, heads sinking into the cushions. The fire which crackled and danced and entranced the kiddos, throwing shadows on the wall and enveloping us in that glorious warmth that you only get from a real fire. The vastness of the kitchen and the space for a proper Sunday breakfast, boiled eggs and coffee bathed in dappled sunlight. The details; dried seed heads and dusky hydrangeas arranged in stoneware vases, coupled with vintage reels full of string and twine, just begging to be used. The beds that we sank into at the end of the day. (And on a more practical note, the heated towel rail – a small piece of unexpected but very welcome luxury!)
We did everything I could possibly have wanted to do while we were there; we explored the local area, driving down some of the hairiest roads and sharpest bends I’ve ever seen, before rewarding ourselves with fish and chips. We ate them in the car, parked on the quay as the sun set over the water, seagulls whirling overhead; hands damp with vinegar and smeared with ketchup. We sank into the sofa together, watched films on our laptop and enjoyed just being in each others company – two small blonde heads nestled contentedly between Ali and I, tiny toes curling in the heat of the fire, fingers sticky with chocolate. I knitted and crocheted, turned the pages of Modern Rustic magazine in between chapters of I Capture the Castle, not noticing the time ticking by; there was no traffic, no internet, no television and no hurry for anything. Just quiet.
On the morning we left, Ben cried. He didn’t want to leave, he said, he loved it there. I felt the same, and we decided to make our normal life a bit more like our weekend at Bryncyn; more time for each other, less time for the noise of the outside world. It was our stay here that prompted my break from blogging and social media recently – I realise now that although I love the internet (who doesn’t?!) I need to step away from it regularly to stay sane, and to keep on top of things. I’m just gutted that I can’t do it every weekend in the Welsh countryside!
We were generously invited to stay at Bryncyn for the purpose of this review, however as usual, all words and thoughts are my own. I really can’t recommend the cottage highly enough – if you want more information, head over to The Welsh House where you can find out more and make a booking.