Easy meals for self-catering holidays

How to sell your 'well-equipped' kitchen at your holiday cottage to self-catering guests.

The Guardian has just published an interesting short article on 'Easy meals for Self-catering Holidays'. Click here to read. The assumption is that kitchen facilities in self-catering cottages are limited (which in our experience is generally not the case). So, the 'what to take with you' recommendations are interesting. They include utensils and essential commodities that many cottages will provide as standard practice. To save on holiday washing up (very appealing), the article recommends simple 'one-pot' recipes for chicken, pork, lamb and steak dishes.

How to really sell your kitchen to potential guests

Are holiday cottage owners missing a trick here? Cottages are usually very good at listing the range of kitchen facilities on offer (features). However, they often omit to mention the culinary benefits the features create. For example, contrast these two statements. "Kitchen facilities include a slow-cooker and big non-stick pans". "The kitchen facilities are ideal for the preparing of easy to cook feasts for those who want to eat well without spending too much time in the kitchen. Facilities include a slow cooker / big non-stick pans for paella's, shepherds pie, Bolognese dishes as well as some delightful dishes in the local recipe cookbooks provided." The first confines itself to kitchen features. The second illustrates the potential benefits of these features and is far more emotionally appealing.

Self-catering holidays - appealing to foodies?

For the kind of properties likely to attract foodies (incidentally, a good target market for self-catering holidays), it’s also worth listing whether there are any basic foodstuffs provided. For example, list items such as condiments, olive oil and stock cubes etc. and how these might be useful.  If you don’t provide basic foodstuffs, could you include a list of local shops where these can be purchased?

Leys Farm Cottages in Withypool on Exmoor have an arrangement with the village shop. A few weeks before a guest’s arrival, the cottage owners e-mail them an order form listing all the provisions that can be ordered in advance and delivered on the day. It’s popular with guests who like the idea of shopping locally. It's equally popular with the local community who appreciate the help self catering holiday cottages give in sustaining their local shop. Smiles and contentment all round.