Stay a Stone’s Throw from the Beach
You won't wish for anything - expect may be good weather!
Just one hour after leaving Stone Throw Cottage in Mundesley, I’m in Looses Antiques Emporium in Norwich looking for natty items for my home. Rarely does somebody’s style and taste affect me so much that I’m willing to spend Saturday afternoon in a ‘shop’, bored four-year-old in tow. But it’s raining – and I’m feeling inspired.
Despite being a fairly run-of-the-mill red-brick Victorian terraced house on a narrow street, Stone Throw Cottage’s great use of space and retro/on trend style is so ‘me’ I am instantly enthused.
Scouting the cosy lounge, with its grey tongue-and-groove-clad walls, Scandinavian-style sofas with Canary yellow cushions, industrial copper lights and fab choice of pics/posters, I spot several things I also have at home: the 1960s teak wood coffee table, the use of baskets to store wood/books/etc, the stripped wood internal doors and the white/grey colour palette.
The focal point of the lounge is a chic wood stove which is so easy to light (and keep alight) that I manage to leave it on all evening without constantly having to get up and give it some encouragement (“come on little fire, you can do it,” etc).
Owner Kate has some great ideas for keeping the place clutter-free: attractive stripped wood doors are everywhere, hiding anything from children’s toys and vacuum cleaners to pantries and microwaves. Where there aren’t little cupboards, there are shelves and where there aren’t shelves there are rails or hooks – I love the little baskets hanging from the row of coat hooks in the child’s room, while, in the lounge, Kate uses large pebbles (presumably from Mundesley Beach – although I wouldn’t attempt to throw these) as book ends.
The lounge leads to a long galley kitchen which has more grey slate, industrial-chic lights and Scandinavian-style chairs. I’m stupidly taken with the pale grey kitchen cabinets with metal grab handles (I clearly need a life!).
To the right of the kitchen is a small dining area with table and chairs, more stylish posters and cupboards, and an amazing wet room with metro tiling and copper piping. If I ever manage to do my loft extension (don’t ask!), I will show the builder this exact picture of the bathroom so that they can mimic it (sorry Kate!).
A door at the end of the kitchen leads to a little garden, which is well thought out – think white-washed walls, bulb-style lighting, tables and chairs, Chiminea and low-maintenance astro-turf ‘lawn’. South facing, it’s a great spot for an early-morning coffee or a glass of wine in the evening. There’s also a BBQ and a large plastic box containing a surf board, picnic blanket, bucket and spade, etc. Kate really has thought of everything.
There are three bedrooms upstairs – two doubles and one single – the largest with a walk-in wardrobe, the smallest designed as a children’s room with age-appropriate books on a shelf and baskets of toys under the bed.
Arriving at dinner time on a Friday evening (Norwich traffic: you can do one!), I sink chilled glass of wine (the best thing Kate thought of was to leave a bottle of white wine in the fridge for me) while my daughter plays with the little toy thoughtfully left for her. At 6pm, we head off to explore Mundesley, a seaside town with some real gems.
First stop: The Ship, a pub-cum-restaurant with a beer garden set on a cliff top overlooking the beach (don’t worry, it’s perfectly safe). The large wooden playground is the ideal for kids – parents able to enjoy a Sunday roast or an early-evening pint while watching the waves roll in.
Next up: chips with curry sauce from the little fish and chip shop on the high street. I might get into trouble here but, as someone that hails from The Wirral, I am of the opinion that not many ‘southern’ establishments can make decent curry sauce. This one isn’t bad at all.
Back at our lovely cottage, I tuck daughter up in bed and head downstairs to put the fire on and scout Netflix for a Friday night movie – packet of choccie bics and the rest of the plonk to hand. As evenings in other people’s houses go, it’s pleasantly relaxing.
The next morning, I make a pot of coffee and enjoy the sun on my face in the garden while deciding if I can be bothered to make pancakes (a Saturday morning ritual in our house!). Will I even be able to find scales to weight the flour, I wonder? (yup – like I said: Kate has thought of everything). Pancakes made (and perfectly-flipped I’ll have you know), we head to the beach, which is a pleasant two minutes’ walk away through a large playing field.
Rows of brightly-coloured beach huts sit handsomely before a long stretch of caramel sand and a little row of amenities, including a café, a shop selling ice creams and buckets and spades, and public toilets (perfect for washing the sand off your feet if, like me, you forgot to bring a towel).
We spend a pleasant couples of hours making sandcastles, paddling in the sea (fricking freezing!) and eating ice-cream before being driven to the café by huge spots of rain. A bacon sandwich that size of my torso and a steaming mug of tea set me up nicely for the drive home.
I get to stay in a lot of lovely places courtesy of Muddy Stilettos (I know, I know) but this cute cottage, with its loving touch and proximity to the beach, will stick in my memory long after the tide has come in. Lovely.
Stones Throw Cottage, 24 Victoria Road, Mundesley, Norfolk, NR11 8JG. Tel: 07786 374088. stonesthrowmundesley.co.uk