Wee Tam's Review
In the sheltering arms of rugged, curved cliffs we find a beautiful, hidden beach, pebbles and rocks giving way to pale, flat sand as the tide recedes, late afternoon sun slanting across the water and colours wavering with the movement of the swell. Looking down on the beach the neat, pretty stone mill cottage Tore View is perfectly placed for a relaxing seaside holiday. I take a few moments to soak in the lovely new landscape, to slow down and let go of all thoughts of work and obligations and to be pulled completely into the moment. The sea is my element and I love to be near, on or in it so I couldn't be happier with this lovely Banffshire holiday cottage.
We grab our hand luggage and step across to the cottage to find some refreshment - on goes the kettle and how lovely to find that all we need is here – tea, milk, even home made chocolate brownies, still warm from the oven. Lynn (or was it Bill?) must have baked them to coincide exactly with our arrival. We settle down with steaming mugs and take in our surroundings – we're in a large, bright kitchen furnished in rich colours and warm wood; behind us is a hallway with doors opening off to other rooms and stairs leading intriguingly up to another part of the house.
Revived by tea and brownies, we are ready to explore a little before unloading the car and unpacking our things. The tide is nearly out and we walk across the sand to dip our toes in the water while Wee Tam skitters about chasing wavelets; from here we can see around a headland to a larger beach fronted by a row of quaint, white houses, the tiny, picture-perfect harbour village of Pennan. Later we'll find ourselves sitting in that same harbour, enjoying good, wholesome pub food while looking out on perfect blue skies and seemingly endless sea. Some of the scenes in Local Hero were filmed here and I'm told that everyone who visits makes a call from the red 'phone box by the shore.
The rest of the cottage is in the same vein as the kitchen, furnished with well chosen antiques, local tartans brightening the upholstery and windows. All three bedrooms are charming and have lovely views – ours has a lovely iron bedstead complete with knobs and the cutest window peeping out on the hills, so that I can lie on the bed and look out. In the upstairs living room too, ingeniously placed windows make the most of the views and the light and it's a treat to sink into the deep, leather sofa and take it all in at our leisure. Bill and Lynn have done a beautiful job of converting the old mill into holiday accommodation, leaving some walls bare and beams revealed, allowing the natural colours and textures to complement the furnishings and adding lovely details such as the antique lamps that hang from ceilings and sit at bedsides and original cast iron radiators.
We are in a quiet, undiscovered part of Scotland, so we have had beautiful beaches all to ourselves, sat quietly watching for seals and dolphins and listened to waves on the shore, sometimes lapping gently, sometimes crashing wildly and I've left the wee window by the bed open at night, just for the treat of being lulled to sleep by the sea's soothing rhythm. What a perfectly relaxing way to end a day.