First Impressions of Banc Cottage… wow!
Deep into West Wales, we were on the last leg driving through Pembrokeshire national park, getting excited, knowing that there was only a couple of miles to go. Absorbing all the sights of the luscious green countryside, the peace and tranquillity really setting the scene of what to expect, before descending down into Moylgrove. Upon arrival we parked up in front of this group of old stone cottages overlooking the rolling hills opposite, as you can tell, we were not disappointed! What a view!
What a wonderful welcome with dinner & wine upon arrival
Within seconds of arriving, the owner Jacqui appeared from the main house to greet us, what a welcome! Immediately we felt that she wanted to help us get settled, as she took us on a quick tour around the cottage and gave us the lay of the land and the local area.
She was extremely friendly, very knowledgeable and appeared interested in us making the most of our week away.
We’ve have stayed in many cottages over the years and whilst most are as you’d expect, with little welcome packs consisting of milk, tea, coffee and the odd item of local produce. Jacqui was a clear cut above the rest, there was a bottle of red wine, two glasses and she had baked a cheese and leek quiche, with eggs from the chickens in the opposite field.
There was of course the usual milk, tea, coffee etc but she had basically prepared a meal for us to simply unpack and relax, without any worry. As part of the welcome, she had instructed us that the quiche was at it’s best warm, to which i can attest. I could not wait once we arrived and nibble a small segment, which was tasty, but nothing compared to it re-heated. My goodness it was delicious!!!
So what to expect inside in the holiday cottage
The interior is perfect for that small cosy old cottage feel, with the stone brick walls, real wood beams and a large inset fireplace, complete with a functioning Rayburn.
They have put real thought and effort in to furnishing the cottage, with well made solid furniture giving that real feeling of comfort and cosiness.
The kitchen is equipped with all the essentials we would both expect and hope for, although we took with us our kitchen knives and our cafetiere, as every cottage we have stayed at, generally has fairly blunt knives and they never have a cafetiere.
We are always hopeful, but have learnt to take them with us these days, which was a pleasant surprise to see that the owners had considered this. We literally both looked at each other in amazement, which immediately resulted in a star!
You can keep connected whilst away from home
Sometimes you just want to escape the world of technology, the constant connection to the outside world, but if you wanted to check-in you could.
Mobile 3G or 4G connections are extremely flakey being you are in a valley on the outer reaches of Wales, but on most occasions you should have access to GPRS if you’re lucky. However, they have a Wifi hotspot wired in, although the connection is around 2mb pipe, it sufficient for most tasks, unless you are bandwidth demons who consume a lot of streaming video.
There’s a modern flat screen TV with Freeview, complete with HDMI/USB/DVD for all your entertainment needs. They have a small collection of DVD’s available, though it looks like maybe their son’s old collection looking at the titles.
So you could hook up your Amazon fire TV stick into the TV’s HDMI and give it Wi-Fi access, though don’t expect to watch it in HD without a healthy buffer. We took our WD TV box with us, but never really used it for TV, as it does not support Amazon Prime by default.
Comfortable and roomy, more than enough for us
There’s one double bed and two smaller single beds in the open plan bedroom (a cosy loft conversion) which was obviously perfect for a family with two young kids. The larger Badger Banc Cottage had plenty of space for a larger/older family with 2 bedrooms, for which Jacqui kindly gave us a guided tour before the guests arrived. It was absolutely lovely, obviously food for thought if we decide to continue exploring Pembrokeshire in the future.
However, Banc cottage was more than enough space for Sherrie and I, with Aspen (our little dog) in toe. The bed’s were comfy and we slept well, though they are never as good as your own. Plus there’s a small vanity table at the end of the room, which Sherrie made useful (they also had a hair dryer).
Bring your pooch! yes the cottage is dog friendly
One of the reasons we picked Banc cottage, was that they were dog friendly with a small enclosed front garden from which Aspen could sit, without us worrying about ‘the great escape’. Though if your dog is big enough, it could probably clear the wall in one bound.
For the small extra cost to take your dog, its worth it really. Especially if you walk your dog like we do ours each day! (4-8 miles a day) She spent every night passed out on the carpet in front of the Rayburn.
The paddock opposite is ideal for taking them out to do their business. Apparently they do get night time visits from a the local Fox or Badger, though we were not fortunate enough to see any.
Location, location, location – Yes, what a location!
As I touched on earlier, it is unspoilt, very quiet and has the most picture’esq views right from your front door. You can literally lay on the couch and gaze through the front door across the neighbouring hills without moving a muscle!
Though when we go away, we walk for miles everyday exploring the coastal paths, footpaths, remote woodlands and beautiful little villages en-route. The first morning we were up and out the door with backpacks on off to explore Moylgrove and Ceibwr bay, a lovely walk!
When you do venture out of your door, your smack bang in the heart of Pembrokeshire coast national park, either way you drive your in a beauty spot. So don’t leave without a clean memory card and a pocket full of CHARGED batteries for your camera!
Garden centre with view?
There’s a lovely a garden centre a steep walk away, or a short drive called Penrallt Garden Centre. Which has a wide range of choice, though i would suggest taking a car being that you are most likely to walk out with more than you can ‘literally’ carry. We sampled their local milkshakes and clotted cream scones, scrumptious!
Maybe you’re a golfer?
If you’re into your golf, you are in for a treat with two courses nearby. To the North there’s Cardigan Golf course at 10.9 miles and to the South, Newport Sands only 4.9 miles. We cannot comment on either course, apart from the stunning views along the coastline from which are in abundance.
Aren’t there any negatives staying at Banc Cottage?
Well to be honest, if I had to be critical then I would say that there were a fair few hard to spot cobwebs in between some of the beams and in the corners of the room, which is no big deal in our eyes.
Some of the plates, knives and forks weren’t washed up very well (no dishwasher), but that could be the previous guests. The workspace for the washing-up was a little cramped, but if you kept up with it, that was no problem.
The fire-alarm was super-sensitive if you were grilling or frying, but that’s hardly a bad thing in our book, just feels a little embarrassing when grilling your sausages.
Otherwise, we both struggled to find anything else negative to say.
Money, money, money! Is it worth it?
Really for what you receive, I would say the price we paid was very competitive and we both felt ‘real’ value for money. Sometimes if you scrimp on your accommodation budget, the holiday properties can often reflect that price, especially when compared to the ‘deluxe model’, well not with Banc cottage!
“Luxury on a budget in our opinion”
To surmise our review of our holiday at Banc Cottage
We were looking for a cost effective week away to explore the beauty and majesty of Pembrokeshire, in a cosy but remote location. We found it!
Without question we would concur with all of the lovely comments written in their guest book, for which we contributed our own.
Banc cottage was perfect, definitely a place we would happily go and stay at again, in fact we are considering spending one Christmas away there. Jacqui’s welcome really made a big difference, knowing that your host makes an effort for your arrival after travelling for hours, is a major plus.
We both had a lovely time and think this holiday cottage is deserving of top marks, 5 stars!
Jacqui thank you!