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A photographer's insight: Soup, Sandwiches and a Swim Spa!

The eating habits of a photographer are usually crammed in to a short break and consist of shop bought sandwiches with uninspired fillings and something sweet for energy. However when Paul and I went to shoot Oak Barn and Trefaen Cottage, the little cottage with a honeymoon suite bath in the bedroom, the hospitality of the owners, Keri and Julie and their family was absolutely wonderful.

The first day despite Paul having bought be a tuna and mayonnaise sandwich (see what I mean) Keri popped in to the Oak Barn where we were completing the third bedroom and bathroom of the day and invited us over their house for lunch.

Julie had made a truly delicious lasagne and salad with boiled potatoes. We were amazed, as no one has ever cooked us a meal before when we have been on shoots. It was a great time to be able to take a break and talk with Keri and his wife Julie and get to know them a little more.

Typical Welsh farmers, Keri and his wife Julie are hard working, hands on, family people who have thought of what they would like when they go on a family holiday, which includes bringing their parents and what would make their life easier and more comfortable.

Oak Barn is the old barn that was attached to the house and has been restored following a disastrous fire a couple of years ago. Keri and Julie’s inspiration in the house is relaxing and homely and welcoming without compromising on space.

Each of the four bedrooms has its own en-suite and includes a wonderful hand made, Oak 4 poster bed and even a downstairs bedroom with “rise and recline” twin beds that can become a super king if necessary and en-suite wet room specifically in mind as a comfortable bedroom for those with movement difficulties.

The living area downstairs is open plan to maximize on the large space and at one end is a large kitchen with a large Rangemaster stove; a great place to prepare and create wonderful meals for everyone. At the other end is a huge C shaped red sofa in front of a modern wood burning stove and a very large television with Free Sat.

Leading on from here is the crowning glory- the 16 person hot tub/swim spa and outdoor seating area…unfortunately Paul and I had not brought our swimmers (or maybe that was a good thing) so we could’ve test it out, but I can confirm that it is massive. Apparently you can also do rowing practice in it with the attachments and swim on the spot. All of this in the beautiful Welsh landscape.

The following day we concentrated on the honeymoon suite next door, a little two bed cottage which is perfect for couples with room for a child or just for the two of you to get away. The special part about this is that there is a bath in the bedroom, not something you see every day unless you tend to holiday in honeymoon suites in hotels all your life. The cottage is comfortable and sweet and the swim spa is also available to people staying here as well.

Although we spent 3 days on the two properties, we were looked after brilliantly, Keri and Julie and their family managed to fit looking after us in round their working farm life which include delivering calves and lambs and everything else that goes along with farm life. Always keen to talk about his herd Keri also showed us his newest calves and then had to leave as another one was on the way.

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