I’m very pleased with the poetic title for this post. I’m even more pleased with the fact I’ve actually finished the seaside holiday cottage renovation project I’ve been working on* and the romantic little Dorset Nook is now available to book!
Think lazy walks down to the beach for a picnic on a sunny day, think longer, blustery walks along the south-west coastal path to take in the stupendous views along the Jurassic Coast (this is my favourite activity); think massive slabs of apple cake with clotted cream, trips to the Gelato hut, seaside fish and chips (the best kind). Think long lunches at creaky old pubs and then back to the gorgeous, cosy cottage for a warm bath and a glass of wine in front of the fire.
Yes, the cottage is finally ready for bookings. After a very prolonged renovation period (do I need to even utter the word pandemic?) and a seemingly endless era of zipping up and down to Dorset to decorate and furnish, this gorgeous hideaway is available for beautifully lazy summer holidays, crisp autumnal long weekends and snug winter breaks.
I’m going to go into “travel agent mode” to tell you a bit about it – I feel as though I need to wear two hats at the moment because I have to be this professional holiday-let owner when I get enquiries and not write the word “lol” in my email responses and also deal with things like lost keys. Which is very different to the hat I wear the rest of the time when I’m doing things like dressing as a wizard (see here).
So here we go: let the brochure begin.
The Dorset Nook is an 18th century cottage in the picturesque village of Eype that sleeps two adults in very stylish comfort. (If I may say so myself. Sorry – popping in with the other hat on!)
There’s a kingsize bedroom upstairs (the staircase is through a little doorway in a panelled wall, it’s very secretive) with deep window seat and a lovely, soothing vibe. It’s so quiet and so dark at night, it’s a true romantic hideaway up there.
Downstairs there are two lovely living areas; the cosy, ancient living room with exposed stone walls and woodburning stove and then the light-filled open-plan space with kitchen, dining area and reading nook.
The living room is perfect for cuddling up in if the evenings are chilly but I actually love it at any time of the day – it feels so atmospheric in there with its window seat and thick stone walls.
The open plan living area (below) was originally a series of small, dark rooms but now they are knocked through into one space it is filled with light all day long – it’s also surrounded by the little cottage garden so that you can throw the windows open and listen to the birds.
There’s a fully-equipped kitchen, a dining area with antique farmhouse table and chairs and a lovely reading nook with squidgy sofa and cushions and throws.
It’s really hard not to fall asleep here in the afternoon. I always planned to write a novel from the kitchen table, but that hasn’t quite manifested itself. Maybe somebody else will!
The sweet bathroom downstairs has a bath with a shower over it and lovely traditional sink and fittings, and then there’s the little cottage garden that wraps around the cottage with space to dine and deckchairs to kick back in.
There are amazing walks straight from the garden gate, there’s an incredible beach a third of a mile away (I march down there in a matter of minutes, you can amble at a more leisurely pace if you prefer!) and the views from the south-west coastal path are just stunning.
You can find loads more information about the cottage on the website here – there’s a whole page on amenities and interiors and another on location and things to do and places to eat. I’ve really fallen in love with both the cottage and the area and I’m hoping that everyone who visits will too.
It really is such a lovely spot and the cottage is tucked away (it can only be accessed on foot and isn’t suitable for pets or children) so it feels like a proper holiday from the world as soon as you step through the garden gate. And the cottage with its crisp, beautiful bed linens, vintage furniture finds and old oak beams feels so welcoming and atmospheric – it’s a joy to land back there at the end of the day. Or just not leave it at all.
*Just in case some of you missed the intro to my latest venture (I do like to keep them coming!); it has been a long-term plan of mine to renovate a little holiday cottage somewhere, off the beaten track, fill it full of gorgeous bits and pieces and let it out to nice people who appreciate lovely things. I did record some of the process on the Instagram page here if you’d like to take a look.
I’m thinking about doing a renovation post on how we transformed the cottage, so let me know if you have any questions in the comments below. It was actually quite a drawn-out process, in the end, and took a lot longer and cost a lot more than I anticipated. (Mainly because I am an eternal optimist and didn’t think that trying to manage a renovation that was an hour-and-a-half away would be an issue. With two small kids. And a job. You live and learn!)
Long-term readers could, I am sure, rattle off a list of my favourite Beauty Pie skincare products by heart. Over the years they’ve become staples in my beauty routines – the brilliant balm cleansers, the potent retinol range, the moisturisers that seem to inject near-impossible amounts of hydration into your skin so that it feels swelled with it, almost wobbly, like one of those waterbeds from the eighties. (Here’s looking at you, Japanfusion Power Elixir Moisturiser.)
And I’m never sure which I’m more a fan of: Beauty Pie’s perfectly-pitched formulas, with their potent active ingredients and crowd-pleasing textures, or Beauty Pie’s unique business model, which sees luxury beauty products made at the world’s most premium beauty labs sold direct to the customer, without the usual gigantic mark-up.
The lab-direct pricing alone would be enough of a pull for most (it’s usually up to 75% off a typical retail price) but when the products are so good they instantly become repeat purchases it’s kind of an unbeatable combination. And Beauty Pie are ever-expanding, with haircare and bodycare and home fragrance and now supplements, too.
For me, Beauty Pie as a brand have become synonymous with quality, high-performance and amazing value for money. It’s luxury beauty, made in the “luxury” labs, but because you’re cutting out the retail middleman you’re not paying for insanely expensive packaging and store fit-outs and all the other markups that creep in. You’re getting the contents of the luxury bottle, pot or tube but in a very simple (but I must say incredibly classy!) bottle, pot or tube.
To give you an example (I like doing these – I can’t mention specific brands when I do comparisons so you can just shout them out silently inside your head):
Plantastic Apricot Butter Cleansing Balm, which is genuinely one of the most gorgeous balms on the planet, has a retail price of £50. This sits it alongside a number of cleansing balms from very well-known premium brands. The Beauty Pie price to members is £19.18, online here.
The aforementioned Japanfusion M3 Power Elixir Moisturiser, which seems to do just miraculous things on dehydrated skin, glossing it and sealing in moisture without any greasiness whatsoever, has a retail value (equivalent luxury face creams) of £70. I would very truly pay full price for this moisturiser if I had to – but Beauty Pie thankfully sell it to members for £15.70, online here. One of the very best moisturisers you can buy, hands down, and it’s just over fifteen quid.
So: the members part, before I get onto a very exciting new launch! You sign up here (use the code RUTHSENTME for £10 off the £59 membership) and this gives you access to the huge range of Beauty Pie products at Beauty Pie prices. If you want to try before you commit, there’s also a 60 day free trial running – here – that can be cancelled at any time before the trial ends.
Potent, effective products without the markups.
Now talking of potent and effective products (behold my smooth segue into the new launch): Beauty Pie have just released their most advanced skincare formula to date – fifteen active ingredients at very concentrated levels, each selected to help tighten and brighten and firm the skin to make it appear more youthful. It’s a veritable cocktail of potency and it’s called:
Not The Cocktail of Youth, which I also quite like as a product name, mainly for its Death Becomes Her vibes!
Designed to firm and tighten and to visibly soften lines it’s formulated for all skin types and is simple to slip into any skincare routine. Beauty Pie say that every ingredient in Youthbomb has been selected for its ability to support the skin in how it reflects light – so we’re talking about ingredients that smooth, brighten and hydrate.
It features the exclusive Biolog-Elastic (TM) Complex, which is one of my favourite beauty industry trade marked formula names to date, it’s like a double-barrelled Klingon surname! There’s also a powerful blend of proteins and peptides, all in a serum that has a weightless, non-sticky feel.
I have to say that the first time I used it I actually felt the tightening effect. Then because I thought I might be imagining things (or perhaps willing them to happen) I decided to test it around the eye area and can absolutely confirm that there’s an immediate sense of de-slackening. It’s a nice touch, because although it’s the long-term effects you want from the ingredients, the instant tightening feel is very optimistic and energising.
It’s easy to fit Youthbomb into a routine, too. It’s not going to react with any of your other actives, so you don’t have to worry that if you apply it before X or after Y you’re going to self-combust as you’re walking to the bus stop. Apply it after cleansing and before your moisturiser – here’s a good morning routine:
Japanfusion Pure Transforming Cleanser (£8.58 here, retail £25)
Super Retinol Eye Cream (£12 here, retail £60)
Youthbomb 360 Radiance Concentrate (£44 here, retail £185)
Super Healthy Skin Ultimate Anti-Aging Cream (£15.90 here – equivalent retail price £100)
Featherlight SPF50 (£12.34 here, retail £35)
The Featherlight SPF50 is excellent, by the way – non-drying, non-greasy, just barely-there sunscreen that sits well beneath makeup. It’s here online. And the Super Healthy Skin Cream is a new discovery for me and might be one to rival the Japanfusion – I’m currently doing a week-long test using Super Healthy on one half of my face and the Japanfusion Power Elixir on the other. I’ll update you.
In summary, I think that the Youthbomb Serum is a very exciting new product. It’s an all-in-one powerhouse that helps to boost everything from radiance to firmness yet it’s foolproof and suits pretty much everyone.
You can slide it into any existing routine and it’s not going to pick fights with your other products – you can even use it alongside retinol (I’d use it afterwards, waiting a bit before applying).
Find more info on the new launch here – the sign-up page for Beauty Pie membership is here and there’s the option of the free 60 day trial or, for the keen, jumping straight in with both feet and becoming an instant bona fide member. (Use RUTHSENTME for the tenner off!)
Are you already a Beauty Pie member? What’s on your repeat buy list?