10 Reasons to Holiday at an AGA Cottage

1 You’ll Return Each Evening to a Warm and Cosy Home

Ever been to a holiday cottage and it’s not quite as warm as you’d like? Never at an AGA cottage! Whenever you come through the door, it will always be warm, cosy and inviting.

2 You’ll Experience Quality Family Time

There’s nothing quite like baking time with kids and holiday time is the perfect time for this. It’s both relaxing and fun for everyone .. and no-one is going to complain about the mess!

3 You’ll Experience Great Tasting Food

The cast-iron ovens of an AGA cooker cook by radiant heat which locks in moisture, flavour and goodness. All this means great, delicious meals.

4 You’ll Have Constant, Piping Hot Water

Sometimes it can take a week to work out how the emersion heater works at a holiday cottage – with an AGA you don’t need to worry – always piping hot water for ALL the family (not just the kids)!

5 It Doesn’t Matter if the Weather is Bad

With an AGA in the house, everything will be dry in no time. You can walk in the rain EVERY DAY or stay at home EVERY DAY!

6 You’ll Fall in Love with Cooking Again

It’s no coincidence that the greatest cooks just love AGA’s – Mary Berry, Lucy Young, Delia, Jamie Oliver, Michel Roux Jnr. The AGA allows you to be inventive and creative.

7 You’ll Have an ‘All In One’ Appliance

Most holiday cottage kitchens have numerous appliances taking up valuable space. Not so in an AGA kitchen. The AGA can be…. An oven, a grill, a hotplate, a toaster, an electric kettle, a boiler, a central heating system and even a tumble drier!

8 You’ll Experience a Truly British Way of Living

The AGA is the epitome of ‘good, British country living’ and is the envy of many foreign visitors.

9 Your Pet Will WANT to Sleep in the Kitchen!

Why do our pets always let us down by finding their way into the one room they are not allowed – especially in a holiday cottage! Well, relax, we guarantee that Fido will WANT to sleep right next to the AGA.

10 You’ll Have Great Toast!

AGA-cooked toast is the best! Don’t take our word for it – try it.

leek camembert tart

Leek and Camembert Tart

This is a really easy and quick to make tart that will really impress your visitors. Lovely with a simple salad and new potatoes. This is a Sarah Whitaker recipe.

(For more recipes by Sarah Whitaker: Sarah Whitaker Recipes)


For the Pastry

1) Cheat and buy some ready rolled shortcrust. If Mary Berry does it then why can’t you!
2) If you don’t want to cheat, then…

6 oz (175g) plain flour
3 oz (85g) butter
1tbsp Parmesan cheese
2-3 tbsp water
1 tsp poppy seeds
1/2 tsp mixed drives herbs
Up to 3 tbsp water

For the Filling

1 oz (25g) butter
12 oz (350g) leeks
3 eggs
1/2 pint (300ml) cream
Salt and Pepper
5 oz (150g) camembert


Simmering Oven, 130C, 250F, Gas 1 and floor of roasting oven


  1. If you are making the pastry, put the flour, butter, poppy seeds, herbs and Parmesan into a processor and whizz until it becomes the texture of breadcrumbs. With the motor running, add the water a spoonful at a time until it comes together as dough. Rollout the pastry and line a 9″(23 cm) flan dish. Chill until required.
  2. Trim and slice the leeks.
  3. Melt the butter in a pan on the boiling plate and add the leeks. Put the lid on the pan and when the lid is too hot to rest your hand on, there will be enough steam in the pan in order to move the pan into the simmering oven for 15 minutes until they are soft.
  4. Mix together the cream, eggs and seasoning. Add this to the leek mixture then pour into the pastry case.
  5. Slice the cheese thinly and arrange the slices on top of the leeks in the pastry.

In the Oven

  • Put the dish on the floor of the roasting oven and bake for about 25 minutes until the cheese has melted and puffed up a bit.
  • Garnish with a bit of parsley.
  • Serve with salad, new potatoes and sunshine!


Forget loose-base tins. A pyrex dish is perfect for this.
No need to worry about blind-baking the pastry first. In the AGA, it will cook from underneath!
As the dish is on the floor of the oven the pastry bottom will be lovely and crispy.


Cottages near to Exhilarating Estuary Walks

The Fowey Estuary, Cornwall

Whether you enjoy leisurely woodland walks or cliff top paths, the walks around the Fowey Estuary cater for all levels and abilities.

Fowey Estuary Walking

Of the many walks available in the area, the most popular along the estuary is known as the Hall Walk and offers stunning views of the estuary, harbour and out to sea. This is a four mile circular walk which follows the banks of the river and also takes in the ferries via Bodinnick, Pont Creek and Poluran or back again, depending on your route. There is also a longer walk via the beautiful St Wyllow Church from Pont and onto Pencarrow Head where walkers can join up with the coastal path for a longer walk to Poluran.

Between Easter and September, there are guided walks available with experienced guides providing a historical narrative on this beautiful area. For further information contact the Fowey Tourist Information Centre.

Just eight miles from Fowey is the beautiful 17th Century Farmhouse, one of three self-catering Aga properties on a 100 acre dairy farm. These Grade II listed properties cater for groups from 2 to 6 and may be combined for larger groups. For further information visit:

AGA Cottage House in St Austell

The Taw Estuary, near Barnstaple, North Devon

This easy but beautiful walk can be as long or as short as you like and takes in part of the South West Coast Path, providing interest all year round, whatever the season. In this area, the South West Coast Path follows the disused track of the London and South Western Railway Branch Line that ran between Barnstaple and Ilfracombe. The branch opened as a single-track line in 1874, but was so popular that it needed to be upgraded to double-track in 1889. Sadly, the line closed in 1970 when, like so many other areas, rail travel fell out of favour as more and more people owned their own cars. There’s plenty for twitchers to see with migrant waders and other waterbirds populating the salt marshes and even a rare bird of prey, the Hobby, hunting the swifts and swallows as they gather for their migration south.

For more information on this walk visit:

South West Coast Path Taw Estuary

There is a wide choice of AGA Cottages in and around the Barnstaple area, some sleep large numbers and make them ideal locations for larger family gatherings.

White Haven Retreat is a wing of a private home, which sleeps four and is in the quiet hamlet of Eastacombe, just outside Barnstaple. The AGA makes White Haven Retreat a cosy, comfortable base at any time of year, perfect for exploring the Taw Estuary and surrounds.

AGA Cottage Wing In Barnstaple

The Dee Estuary, North Wales

Beautiful North Wales has so much to see and do and is a real haven for walkers. The Wales Coastal Path was voted number one in the world in the Lonely Planet’s best in travel top ten regions in 2012 and it’s not hard to see why. There’s a particularly beautiful walk along the coastline between Flint Castle and Basingwerk Abbey, two treasured national historical monuments.
Starting at Flint Castle, or the ruins of this 13th century castle, part of a chain built by Edward I to encircle Wales, the walk starts with beautiful views of the estuary and out towards the Wirral. Following the coastline, the walk takes in the natural habitats of many species of birds and finally meanders half a mile inland to the 12th century Basingwerk Abbey. The substantial remains of this once Cistercian Abbey form a stunning backdrop although be warned, you may not be here in this peaceful location on your own. Many local people report strange phenomenon and goings on around the Abbey including a colourful ghost seen hovering near where the second floor once would have been and the noise and smoky smell of a train in the woods in Holywell. Whatever you believe, there’s no denying the beauty of the area.

Visit Flintshire Wales Coast Path

Many of our Welsh Aga cottages are within driving distance of stunning locations for walks. Kingslow Cottage is a mid terrace period property sleeping six in the centre of the village of Newborough. Whether you want to explore to the west and take in Anglesey and Conwy or travel slightly further afield to Flintshire in the east, this cosy, welcoming cottage is the perfect base.

For further information visit:

AGA Cottage – Cottage in Bangor

The Tay Estuary, Scotland

The Fife Coastal Path runs from the Forth Estuary in the south to the Tay Estuary in the north and stretches some 117 miles. Once again there is something for everyone on this path from the gentle stroll to the vertiginous (almost!) ascent. Depending on your taste, one stretch starting at the old pier in Newport-on-Tay, starts gently enough passing through Wormit, largely on tarmacadam but then becomes a grassy path and ascends to the coastal path. Whether you walk the three steep miles up the coastal path, stop and enjoy the views across to Dundee and down the estuary taking in the bridges or whether you carry on to Newburgh, you’re sure to enjoy all the Scottish coastline has to offer.

For further details visit:

Fife Coastal Walks

Perched right on the banks of the River Tay in Newport with unimpeded views of the water is the delightful Tay House. For those so inclined, the house also has its own slipway and mooring but non-boaty types will feel just at home in this comfortable and cosy house. With the cosmopolitan cities of Dundee and St Andrews a car journey away there’s plenty to keep everyone entertained.

For more information see:

AGA Cottages House in Newport on Tay

The Aln Estuary, Northumbria

The picture postcard perfect village of Alnmouth, with its red roofed cottages is the perfect starting point for a coastal walk that takes in the Aln estuary and ends up at the medieval Warkworth Castle. The track crosses Buston Links, covered in wild flowers in spring time and follows a beautifully wild stretch of beach where Artic Terns dive for fish, best visited when the tide is out and the golden sands stretch for miles.

To find out more, please visit:

Your Northumberland – Alnmouth

In nearby Eglingham, just outside Alnwick, is Sunflower Cottage, a wonderful old stone built cottage with views over open countryside. Sleeping six, this inviting Aga cottage is also within easy driving distance of Alnwick and Dunstanburgh Castles as well as the Farne Islands and Lindisfarne.

For more information please visit:

AGA Cottages – Cottage in Alnwick

Article written by Rebecca Russell
Image: Copyright: Ian Wool / 123RF Stock Photo

8 AGA Myths Demystified

Here at AGA Cottages, we understand that if you’ve never had the joy of cooking with an AGA before, they can be rather intimidating at first. There she is, sitting silently in the kitchen, practically breathing fire like a mythical beast. Terrifying, right? Wrong! An AGA is a gentle giant, a warm and welcoming friend, and once you’ve shared a kitchen with one, you’ll never want to go back to a conventional oven and hob.

Let’s look at some of the most popular myths about AGAs and AGA cooking.

1. You can’t bake with an AGA

Yes you can! All 3 and 4 oven AGAs have a baking oven (see our Getting the Most out of your AGA Cottage Guide). If you have a 2 oven AGA in your AGA Cottage, you can easily turn the roasting oven into a baking oven by inserting the cold shelf at the top of the oven. This reduces the temperature of the roasting oven to make it perfect for baking.

2. You can’t grill with an AGA

Yes you can! The roasting oven is perfect for grilling. Simply place a grill rack inside a baking tin and slide it into the roasting oven on one of the top runners. You can even prepare a full English grilled breakfast in one tray in an AGA: place sliced tomatoes and mushrooms in the base of a baking tray on top of some Bake-O-Glide if you have it. Pop the grill rack over the vegetables and add your sausages. After ten minutes, turn the sausages and add some rashers of bacon to the rack and ten minutes later, voila! A one-tray full English breakfast. Serve with some AGA eggs cooked on the simmering plate and your membership of the Domestic Goddesses Society will be in the bag.

3. You can’t stir fry on an AGA

Yes you can! And you don’t even need a Wok. You can simply use a large, flat based pan. To get your stir fry sizzling, first heat the pan in the roasting over to get it nice and warm. Take it out of the oven and put straight on the boiling plate. Add your oil or cooking fat and when it starts to sizzle you’re ready to stir fry.

4. You have to live off stew for the entire holiday

No you don’t! See 1-3 above! The AGA is all things to all cooks. It makes perfect roasts, breakfasts, pasta, rice, pies, cakes, flans… and yes, it even stews! There is absolutely nothing that you can cook on a conventional oven and hob that you can’t cook on an AGA. And, it will probably taste better!!

5. AGAs are inflexible

No they’re not! See 1-4 above! As well as cooking, AGAs often heat water, radiators and they provide an excellent way of airing and even ironing laundry. Show me a conventional cooker that can do all that and I’ll show you inflexible!

6. AGAs are expensive to run

This might not really apply to you if you’re only using an AGA on your holiday because your costs are probably covered. But if you’re considering getting your very own AGA, don’t think of it as just a cooker. Depending on the type of AGA you’re thinking of getting, factor in the cost of constant hot water, heating, drying, ironing, toasting, boiling kettles as well as simply using it as an oven and hob. It’s true that some older AGAs are expensive to run but this is not always the case and newer models can be controlled all year round and can be run very efficiently and relatively inexpensively.

7. AGAs are dangerous

AGAs are no more dangerous than any other cooker. Yes, you need to exercise caution with young children around an AGA as you would do around a conventional cooker but AGAs are always hot and give off heat to warn fingers and hands.

8. You never know what the temperature of an AGA is

Wrong! The average temperatures of each oven is pretty standard. The roasting oven is always ready top roast (or grill), the baking oven is perfect for baking and the simmering oven… well, you get the idea. For more information on AGA oven temperatures, see our Getting the Most from your AGA Guide.

Happy AGA Cooking!

Article by Rebecca Russell

furleigh estate dorset

Stunning Aga Cottages near English Vineyards – Devon and Dorset

Following on from our popular article on Aga cottages near vineyards in Kent, here we reveal some more idyllic hideaways near to vineyards in Devon and Dorset. Although English wines tend to be a little more pricey than their European counterparts, they are often surprising in their depth of flavours and are always high in quality. Why not try some this season and, if you like what you find, book to visit them in the coming few months, staying nearby in your very own Aga hideaway?

Childhay Manor near Beaminster

Childhay Manor
Childhay Manor is a stunning working farmhouse in West Dorset and the cottage, which sleeps six, is part of this little piece of mediaeval history. The owners of this picturesque organic farm breed racehorses and rear dairy cattle and goats and lucky guests can enjoy walks straight from the door, play tennis on the private courts or just enjoy a glass of something chilled on the secluded patio in the summer or snuggle up to the open fire and Aga in the colder months.

View Childhay Manor Details

The cottage is perfectly situated to visit many of the attractions in West Dorset including Montacute House and Forde Abbey and is also only a short drive from Furleigh Estate, a multi-award winning winery just outside Salway Ash, north of Bridport.

english vineyardView Furleigh Estate Website

Furleigh wine is fast becoming a household name and as well as being available at some airports in Duty Free, it is stocked by many local vintners and features on the menus of eateries such as Hix Oyster Bar in Lyme Regis and River Cottage in Axminster. Why not book for a tour and see for yourself why English bubbles are winning over judges in international competitions?

The Mill near Bridport

the mill near bridport
The Mill is a delightful retreat also within easy reach of Furleigh Estate, perfectly situated east of Bridport. This cosy Aga Cottage is a beautiful holiday property on the edge of the village of Askerswell in West Dorset. It is a very unique place to stay having been fully restored with a working water mill. In fact it is the only water mill in Dorset with all of the original machinery which has been conserved to capture this historic importance.

View The Mill Details

Just across the border to East Devon outside the village of Shute, is another wine producer, Lyme Bay Winery, which is well worth a visit. Lyme Bay produce an impressive array of traditional ciders, fruit wines, meads and fruit liqueurs for those looking for something a little different as well as a selection of fine wines. Their fruit wines are particularly enjoyable and suit both being chilled for summer as well as served at room temperature to warm chillier days. (In my humble opinion…) They also produce a warming mulled wine, a Christmas pudding wine and a delectable Christmas mead.

english vineyardView Lyme Bay Winery Website

North End Farm House near Bridport

north end
Would you like to take a larger group on a wine tour of the south west? Just north of Chideock Cottage is North End Farm House and Cottages which can easily accommodate up to fourteen. Described as a haven away from it all, being in a delightfully secluded location, the house boasts a huge range of architectural quirks including a Tudor fireplace and a hidden spiral staircase.

View North End Farm Details

Chideock Cottage near Chideock

Chideock Cottage
Adding further to our list of featured cottages, which we really should call ‘spoiled for choice’ in the West Dorset/East Devon area, is Chideock Cottage. Perfect for couples or small families, the cottage is walking distance to the beach at Seatown and also has three lovely pubs nearby too!

View Chideock Cottage Details

Chideock Cottage is in the perfect location to visit not only the Lyme Bay Winery and Furleigh Estate, but Castleford Wines as well!

english vineyardView Castlewood Wines Website

Castleford is a relative newcomer to the English wine market. This boutique wine producer is situated just outside Lyme Regis beneath the ancient hill fort of Musbury Castle. Since 2012, Castlewood have hosted a festival every June which has become an extremely popular fixture on the festival calendar. Situated just two miles as the crow flies from River Cottage HQ, Castleford and River Cottage offer a popular wine and dine experience throughout the summer starting with a tour of the vineyards, a tasting and dinner at River Cottage to round off the day before sauntering back to your perfect Aga hideaway – the perfect gift for an Aga loving foodie!


Article by: Rebecca Russell
Main image: Furleigh Estate, West Dorset

sarah whitaker aga lady recipe

Pear and Ginger Brioche Pudding

This is a really yummy pudding that is very simple to make on the AGA. Lovely with a dollop of natural yoghurt or cream. This is a Sarah Whitaker recipe.

(For more recipes by Sarah Whitaker: Sarah Whitaker Recipes)


1/2 oz (10g) butter
4 large ripe pears
1 tin condensed caramel (saves you boiling and possibly exploding those condensed milk cans!)
3/4 pint (450 ml) milk
2 balls of stem ginger from a jar and 1 tbsp of the syrup
3 eggs
1 brioche sliced loaf
4 oz (100g) sultanas
2 tbsp demerara sugar


Baking Oven, 180C, 375F, Gas 5


  1. Set the butter onto the back of the Aga to melt. Brush an Aga deep baking dish with the butter.
  2. Peel, core and quarter the pears and cut them into slices. Grate the stem ginger.
  3. Beat the eggs and milk together in a jug and stir in the ginger and syrup. Mix in the caramel.
  4. Lay slices of the brioche into the dish. Add a layer of pears and half of the sultanas, then another layer of brioche, another layer of pears and finish with a final layer of brioche.
  5. Pour the egg and milk mixture over the pudding and leave to soak for at least half an hour, or overnight.
  6. Scatter the demerara sugar over the top of the pudding and bake


  • In a 3,4 or 5 oven Aga: Hang the dish from the 3rd runners in the baking oven.
  • In a 2 oven Aga: Set the dish into the large roasting tin and hang the tin from the 4th lowest runners in the roading oven. Slide the cold shelf onto the 2nd runners above.
  • Bake the pudding for about half an hour until it is golden and crunchy on top.


Lucky Competition Winner’s Weekend at an AGA Cottage

Pauline and her family enjoyed a truly memorable and relaxing stay at Roosthole Holiday Property during the last weekend in January.

Pauline was the lucky winner of the AGA Cookshop competition in conjunction with AGA Cottages and was randomly selected from over 10,000 entries.

We asked Pauline to give us the highlights of her stay …

“We arrived late Friday afternoon to be greeted by Dave who gave us an informative twenty minute tour of the spacious house and grounds with an explanation of all the facilities. We were joined that evening by our two daughters and their partners and we all enjoyed a lovely evening catching up over a fish pie supper cooked to perfection in the AGA.

On the following morning my two daughters were pleased to be able to head down to the local park in Horsham (15 minutes by car) for their usual 5 km run which simultaneously takes place in many venues around the country. They took part in this whilst the men played golf at Mannings Heath, which is literally 100 yards walk down the road! After a late brunch cooked on the AGA my daughter put us all through an exhausting yoga session in the spacious living room after which we went for an hour’s walk in the local woods, the entrance to which is just 250 yards from the house.

That evening we all made the short walk to Mannings Heath Golf Club where the very accommodating staff put on a very enjoyable cheese and wine tasting for the six of us followed by a return walk to the lovely warm house again where we cooked up some venison steaks on the AGA with dauphinois potatoes.

On Sunday, the men were up early for another game of golf whilst the ladies explored the extensive grounds of the Roosthole House with the hope of seeing the rare albino dear that roam freely in the locality. Alas none were spotted but then the boys returned having seen them racing across the golf course! Typical!

The AGA was well used over the course of the weekend and was also able to deliver a late, relaxing Sunday roast over which we could all gather and chat about our lovely weekend together before reluctantly leaving Roosthole as we all had work commitments the following Monday morning.

In summary, we found Roosthole to be an ideal size for our family of 6 adults with excellent facilities. If we were lucky enough to have the opportunity for another break at Roosthole we would jump at it. Thank you so much.”