the house guide

Read on for our guide to the cottage features and amenities.


time to relax at the old reading room

We are delighted that you have chosen to stay at our lovely Cornish home.

The Poet’s Hideaway or, The Old Reading Room as we know it, is nestled within a tiny unspoilt hamlet together with a handful of other equally attractive stone-built properties, making this an ideal holiday cottage for anyone seeking a tranquil rural retreat. As the original name suggests, The Old Reading Room was historically used by local children to encourage literacy and oozes character and charm.

The cottage sits on the outskirts of the village of St. Breward, which boasts the highest inn in Cornwall, The Old Inn, dating from the 11th century. The parish is the starting point of the scenic Camel Trail, which is a must for keen cyclists – you can cycle all the way to Padstow without encountering any traffic!

St. Breward lies on the edge of Bodmin Moor,  deep in Poldark country. Designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Bodmin Moor provides a haven for birds and wildlife. It is popular with hikers and ramblers with miles of way-marked trails and tracks. The first episode of the Poldark series, set in the 1700’s, sees Ross returning from fighting in the American Revolution to his estate, Nampara, which has been allowed to go to seed in his absence. The filming of Nampara took place near St Breward, where today The Old Reading Room could double as one of Ross’s labourer’s stone cottages!

We are delighted to welcome you here. This guide will give you an idea of where things are and how they work, but there’s one thing we absolutely demand of all our guests; to have a really good time during your stay.

Wishing you a wonderful, restful stay,

Matthew & Sarah

check-in & arrival

timings, wifi and check-out


Check In and Arrival

Arrival The arrival time is from 4pm. The front door can be quite stiff as the wood has been known to expand due to the weather. Please don’t be too afraid to use a bit of force.

Parking There is parking available at the property for one car. Please drive up the lane off the main road by the property and park on the gravel area on the right-hand side. Please ensure that you are parked in far enough to enable the neighbour’s full access to the lane.

Keys You will find a set of keys in the key safe at the property. The key safe is located on the side of the wood cabin, facing the garden. The code will have been provided by Boutique Retreats.

On Departure Please depart the property by 10am. When departing, please check that none of your belongings have been left behind. On the occasion that you have left an item at the property, please contact us directly so arrangements can be made to return them. Please be mindful that these may incur postage charges. 

Upon departure please return the keys to the key safe and close it up accordingly.

warming up

old and new


The boiler is outside the property and there is central heating throughout. The system is set to automatic and the thermostat is located on the wall at the bottom of the stairs. Simply adjust the dial to select the temperature and make sure it is set to ‘on’ using the switch underneath. The bathroom towel rail is electric and can be switched on using the control panel in the cupboard under the sink.

The kitchen can get quite cold, so there is a heater on the wall with manual controls. The cabin also has an electric heater, simply turn on and select the temperature setting. The upstairs can get quite warm when all the heating is on, so there are thermostatic controls on each of the radiators.

Hot Water Hot water is available on demand, so you shouldn’t have any issues it is ready as and when needed.

Woodburner The log burner in the main house creates a lovely atmosphere on a winters evening. Logs for your first few days are in the basket next to the fireplace and firelighters alongside. 

Please do note that the log burner in the cabin is not available and should not be used.

how to use

tech and equipment

The Washing Machine The washing machine is in the cupboard in the cabin.

Dishwasher The dishwasher is in the cupboard nearest the lounge wall in the kitchen and the dishwasher tablets are stored in the cupboard underneath the sink.


The Oven The oven is controlled using function and temperature settings in the usual way. Be careful with the hot door! The hob is induction and so will only work with the pans supplied in the bottom drawer to the left of the oven.


The Fridge The fridge is in the far-right cupboard.


The TV The Sony TV and DVD player is in the cupboard in front of the sofa. The TV is ‘smart’ and all channels and media are supplied through the broadband connection. We also have Netflix, which guests are welcome to use.


Sonos If you would like to connect to the Sonos system to access and play your own music on your device, then please download the Sonos App available on Mac, Android and Windows devices. There are simple instructions to follow on the app on how to set up a connection to the Sonos speaker.

Internet Radio There is a Roberts Internet Radio in the bedroom, you can listen to all the usual stations i.e. Radio4, Classic FM via the Internet Radio option.


Internet To access the internet, the network name is BTHub4-X9N2 and the password a2e58a6938.


useful information

Refuse and Recycling Rubbish is collected on a Wednesday morning, so please put rubbish into bags and leave at the opposite side of the road to the drive leading up to the property.

Dogs We love dogs and have a black Labrador of our own. You’ll find some treats in a jar to make your furry friend feel at home and bowls under the stairs. Please note that dogs are only allowed downstairs and should not, under any circumstances, be allowed on the bed.

Bulbs and Candles If required, a selection of spare light-bulbs can be found on the shelf under the stairs. You’ll also find additional tea lights here for use whilst you are at the cottage.

 What to Do in The Event Of…

…A Fire The fire extinguisher and blanket is in the cupboard underneath the sink.

…A Power Cut The torch is in the cupboard on the right of the lounge door as you enter from the conservatory. Spare batteries, candles and bulbs are kept in a storage basket under the bed. The fuse board is housed in a unit on the wall to the left as you enter the lounge from the conservatory.

…A Mishap The first aid kit is in the bottom drawer of the kitchen unit

…A Water Leak In the event of a water leak, the stopcock is located under the sink in the kitchen.


Cleaning The dustpan and brush, pedal bin liners, washing powder, washing up liquid and cloths can all be found in the cupboard under the sink. The vacuum cleaner, iron and ironing board can be found in the cupboard under the stairs.

Housekeeper The housekeeper’s details are listed, however, please call the owner in the first instance on his mobile. Numbers can be found at the end of the house book.

Store Cupboard Essentials When you arrive, there will be fresh eggs, bread and milk left for you. As for store cupboard essentials; there will be tea, instant coffee, sugar, salt and black pepper, cooking oil, Italian herbs, chilli flakes, paprika, fennel seeds and cumin on the kitchen shelves. Please help yourself. 


the sundeck, stream and BBQ


Furniture You’ll find an outdoor table and chairs on the patio alongside our favourite swing chair, perfect to read a book whilst listening to incredible birdsong. Cushions for all chairs are stored in the cabin cupboards or in the chest in the conservatory, please take them in at night. The large table near the BBQ is made of poly cement. It’s fairly weather-proof but can be damaged by spillages or anything too hot so please use a placemat. The patio area overlooking the garden is a lovely place to sit and listen to the stream. The decking area also has some sun loungers with pads stored in the cabin. To the front of the conservatory, you’ll find a bistro table perfect to watch the sunset.

Streams You will be able to hear the calming flow of the stream from the cottage. It is located at the far end of the rear garden and runs through under the bridge that leads up to the property at the end of the lane. Whilst we do encourage you to enjoy the sights of the stream, please do be careful near the edge of the water, as there are no barriers present, and there is uneven ground around the banks.

BBQ There’s a Weber coal BBQ and black side-table on the patio, with coals stored alongside in the log rack. Please leave the BBQ as you would expect to find it. Utensils can be found in the cabin.

The Gardener Whilst we aim to ensure that the garden is maintained between changeovers, so your stay shouldn’t be disturbed. On occasion the gardener may need to visit whilst guests are in residence.