The Day We Found Rhubarb Cottage

Rhubarb Cottage with oak beams, flag stones and a small cottage door out into the garden

I have written the day we found Rhubarb Cottage, but actually when I look back on it, it seems like it actually found us!

At the time we were renting a beautiful thatched cottage in a different town in Essex, having made the escape from London. We’d half-heartedly looked at a few houses but then we became pregnant and suddenly the nesting instincts were STRONG and finding a home before the baby came was all I could think of.

On the day we first spotted Rhubarb Cottage, we’d just been to look at another house for sale in a different village. It was that classic thing how on paper it looked perfect. On the journey over we were just babbling with excitement about what we could do to it and how fab it looked. Then we’d arrived and within seconds our bubbles were completely burst. This was house number 19 and it was a big fat NO. Some of the rooms were so low we could just about stand up straight in them – and neither myself or Mr Rhubarb are remotely tall. So we left, utterly deflated and slumped back to the car.

In a bid to cheer ourselves up Mr Rhubarb suggested we stop for Sunday lunch in a local pub he’d heard was very good in a village we’d never visited. We drove into the most beautiful village high street full of thatched cottages and listed buildings. We fortified ourselves with a super delicious roast then walked along the high street. When we strolled past Rhubarb Cottage - there it was, looking beautiful in the spring sunshine with its windows open and I actually turned to Mr R and whispered “That’s a beautiful house” as we tried to subtly peek in through the windows.

On the Wednesday we had an email through from the estate agent with particulars of the cottage.  On Thursday morning we went to see it and we put in an offer that day. And by the Sunday, a week exactly to the day we first set eyes on the cottage, it was ours!

From the very first time we saw it, the cottage has always had a benevolent feel to it. As you stand in the courtyard garden and look back at it, its L-shaped frame seems to hug you. I knew immediately it was the place for us to start our new life as a family of three.

A lot has happened in those six years - a second baby arrived, we’ve lost some of those we love most dearly, jobs have changed and new ventures begun and through it all this cottage hugs us still.