Jasmine Cottage, is an oasis of calm and tranquility, off the beaten track, nestling in the shadow of the Penedes Hills, yet only a 15 minute drive on a scenic winding road past vineyard-dotted valleys to Sitges with its charming old town, sandy beach and fast trains to central Barcelona.
The self-catering cottage is one of a crop of outbuildings that belong to what was once a large stone-built rustic Catalonian farmhouse. It has a private walled patio with pretty panoramic views, especially at night, where you can linger over a glass of wine and watch the lights of the villas dotted around the surrounding hillsides come on, twinkling like stars in the night sky. Or take breakfast al fresco, as we did each morning, busking in the delicious aroma of freshly brewed coffee mingled with the fragrance of forest pines.
The cottage has been charmingly restored like the rest of the complex, with exposed stonewalls and wood beamed ceilings (although it does seem to be an ongoing project as a some work was being carried out on a building next to ours during our stay in June).
The downstairs living/dining area has a small open plan kitchen with a basic gas hob for cooking, a microwave, toaster oven, and fridge. There is also a washer/dryer outside on the patio. Upstairs is a double bedroom with ample storage for clothes; the ambience is calm and peaceful with a very comfy double bed. The ensuite bathroom is a bit small, but has a decent shower. It did get pongy in the heat, due to the dodgy Spanish drains! If the owners could tackle the root cause it would make this space so much more inviting .There’s no AC, just fans, but the stonewalls and the shaded aspect keep it cool. There were no leaflets, maps or guidebooks in the cottage so we could familiarize ourselves with the area; I think the inclusion of these would be beneficial.
Within the main cluster of buildings surrounding the farmhouse are several rooms that are used for B&B accommodation. There’s an elevated pool and patio area with comfortable loungers and umbrellas, and offering breathtaking views of the Penedes hills beyond. Jasmine cottage is tucked away from the rest of the accommodation, yet just a short stroll from the swimming pool area. The husband and me were the only ones using the lovely big pool on the days we decided just to hang out and skip going to the beach or sightseeing, and it felt as though we had our own private hilltop shangri-la!
UK Managers Gavin and his wife Mo are brilliant hosts. Not too ‘in your face’ but there whenever you need them, and they put themselves out to make guests feel welcome. Crucially, they make it seem as if you are visiting friends rather than merely renting a space, and we enjoyed our daily chats. Professionally, they offered expert advice on where to go in the region and how to get there.
You are far from the madding crowd here, so it was a little awkward to find. A car is an absolute necessity –don’t let anyone tell you otherwise – as cabs are very expensive and buses run once in a blue moon, so it would take forever to get to the beaches, Barcelona and the airport if you don’t have a car. But, saying that, Jasmine cottage is the perfect place to leave the big bad world behind for a few days while you bliss out and relax. Zzzzzzzzzzz!