The Studio B&B is a romantic self-contained stone cottage surrounded by a pleasantly riotous garden of night-scented tobacco plants, old-fashioned roses, lavender, fruit trees and a giant buddleia.
Step through its french doors and the fresh, sunny hideaway – decorated in cheerful shades of yellow and blue – charms instantly.
Along one side of the living room is a kitchenette piled with supplies for a healthy breakfast – a crusty country loaf, quality muesli, free range eggs and bacon from the local butcher and apples fresh from the orchard. More immediately, a bottle of well-chilled sparkling wine awaits, and a creamy brie.
Along another wall is a bookshelf crammed with an eclectic assortment of reading matter – books on Venice and Provence and works by the serious moderns – V.S. Naipaul, John Pilger, Isaac Bashevis Singer and Graham Greene – most of the titles we’ve all intended to read but not found the time to so. In one corner, a staircase spirals to a sunny loft with a couch perfectly placed to catch the late afternoon sun and distant water views.
There’s nothing in the least restrained about The Studio’s decor. Owner Carole Fitzgerald has filled her retreat with curios and the little house proclaims her talents as a decorator. Everywhere the eye settles on small vignettes – a collection of teddy bear cushions, a neat grouping of blue and white china, the old-fashioned hamper, thermos and tartan picnic rugsitting in one corner, ready for the call of duty.
A step up from the living room is a delightful bedroom with a white-painted iron bed and handmade chocolates on the pillow. A lace cloth decorates an antique pedal-powered Singer sewing machine, and sliding french doors open to the verandah. A staircase leads to a cosy loft bedroom for one. In a garden behind the kitchen a hammock swings and a teak lounging chair is parked beneath a shady tree. The Studio is a refuge in the true sense of the word – quiet, calm and made for total relaxation.