We Stay in a Cottage in Ireland. There is No Pie.

Posted on
Oct 16, 2012

Rows and rows of cottages.

Folks, I am ill, ill, ill. I was supposed to leave for California this morning, but changed my ticket last night. It was around that time that my nostrils decided to be The Blob for Halloween (they like to get started on their costume early, it seems).


All energy has been sucked out of me and replaced with mucus.

But I feel I need to reply to some of the comments on yesterday’s post, during which several lovely folks noted that Castle Leslie seemed more like a manor than a castle. There was a bit of protesting about the lack of a moat, and there was certainly no drawbridge, and from my vantage point, I saw absolutely zero people wearing crowns and making decrees.

And because I love pouring gasoline on a fire, to those folks I say this: you are going to be even more disappointed with our cottage.

Don’t get me wrong: it was lovely. It had a gigantic kitchen, and a nice living room with plush couches, and there were no less than four (FOUR!) bedrooms.

This bedroom remained empty because it had a pair of twin beds in it, and none of us wanted to spend the weekend pretending we were a TV couple from 1953.

But when I was told we were staying in a cottage, I had imagined a tiny little place with a thatched roof and shuttered windows, occupied by the occasional runaway princes who was trying to pass for a commoner.

So I was taken aback when I saw the sheer enormity of the place.

So, I guess it’s a jumbo cottage?

Team Handsome was meeting just outside.

I certainly did not anticipate that it would have a CD player/alarm clock that also played white noise and babbling brook sounds on command.

We got ourselves a swank cottage is what we did.

It wasn’t all good news, though. We had a few sad revelations. Like, that there was no pie. NONE WHATSOEVER. Aren’t cottages supposed to have pies baking in little woodstove ovens at all hours of the day? And little birds that fly in through the window and do your hair for you?

Needless to say, I had to do my own hair. I was disappointed substantially by this.

The sign out front, however, met my cottage-y expectations:

I want one in front of our place that says, “Everywhereist … Unemployed Professional Dessert Eater.” Because I live up to a title like that.

I had to ask what a scullery maid was, and everyone explained (because my friends, it seems, know the hierarchy of household maids by heart) that she’s the lowest-ranking of maid in a household. She would have to do a lot of the grunt work in the kitchen, like scouring the dishes and cleaning the floor and making sure the stoves were lit to heat water before everyone else got up.

Oh, and if it was her birthday or something, she’d get to do something fun like scale a fish or pluck the feathers off a chicken.

The sign was all for show, of course. I’m fairly certain the cottage we stayed in was quite modern, and no scullery maid had ever lived there. But I can’t help but think that I might consider scaling a fish or three if it meant that I got to stay in a place like that.

I’d just have to supply my own pie. Fortunately, I usually travel with a couple on me. And a peach cobbler. Just in case.

Leave a Comment

  • Colleen

    That would be amazing–a sign announcing who I was and what I do. Not as a scullery maid, because having to announce that I am the lowest on the chain of command in household duties is NOT COOL. Also, it totally sucks you couldn’t go to California.

  • I love reading your posts! It’s so funny and sounds similar to my stream of thoughts…I’m just not as good about posting them. Ha! I would be disappointed about having to do my own hair too. 🙂

  • Wait- the cottage is the scullery maid’s? WOW they get paid more than I thought 😉

    Go swim in an ocean of tea and sympathy and feel better! xoxo

  • Hope you’re feeling better! At least you are staying some place nice while you’re sick.

  • Now, brace yourself, this is going to be something of a shock for you, and a major disappointment, but cottage pie is actually a savoury dish… like shepard’s pie, only with a quainter sounding name. Start mashing sole potatoes….

  • Yep, the sad truth of the matter is that cottages are a far cry from the likes of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ and castles often have no turrets. If you came to Nottingham Castle (expecting Robin Hood to jump out from behind a draw bridge) you’d be really disappointed. It is just a grand looking old mansion sitting in the place of what was a medieval castle many years ago. On the plus side there is a pub nearby that has truly wonderful pies…

  • Sammi

    Well there’s nothing like a bit of stereotyping, hey?

    Castles only have moats if they were built as a defensive structure rather than, you know, housing queens, kings or the aristocracy.

    That is kind of like saying it wasn’t really a castle because there wasn’t a dragon protecting it.

    Cottages can be massive, there is one in our village that has 6 bedrooms, but it does have a thatched roof 🙂

  • I’m sure that back then the castle was enormous compared to other structures. But, yes, by today’s standards it just looks like a manor house. I’ve never been one to question why one place is called a manor house and one is called a castle. Maybe I’ll have to look that up.

    Hope you start feeling better!

  • CatCatAttack

    So, the cottages are oversized to compensate for the undersized castle sans moat, turrets, knights and such?
    I guess it’s kinda the same in Germany. Some castles fit the fairy tale with all the extras and even a open space in the middle for mounted knights to prance around in. Others were sadly just large houses with frou-frou.

  • Mark

    I love the sign on the cottage. Somehow a sign bearing the words Mark – Senior Marketing Associate just doesn’t have the same panache or flair as Scullery Maid despite the lowly occupation of said title. Also on the subject of cottages; I have always wanted to visit England to visit the home of my great grandmother’s family. The address is simply “The Cottage” Bridge St, Kineton. Sadly it has passed out of family ownership now.

  • Oh goodness, you’re so hilarious! *new fan alert. Love your hilarious musings about the uncottagey-ness of this place.

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