“The Oyster Catcher:” An Old Stone House on the Harbor

by hookedonhouses on February 15, 2013

This 17th-century stone house in West Cornwall is called “The Oyster Catcher.” It sits right on the water in a tiny fishing village called Mousehole (gotta love that name), and you can rent it for vacations. The rooms look like something out of a magazine, with “grown-up sophisticated seaside chic,” as the listing describes it.

The Welsh poet Dylan Thomas dubbed Mousehole “the loveliest village in England.”

The listing says you’ll enjoy “the gentle lapping of the tide on your doorstep…”

“Ethereal and enchanting, the chalky whites and muted hues lend a peaceful ambiance to this most exquisite of homes, rewriting the rule book for seaside shabby chic. With spacious vaulted ceilings, stripped wooden floors and panelled interiors, each window offers unrivalled harbour views or a delightful garden aspect.”

Just reading the descriptions of properties like this on the Unique Home Stays website is relaxing: “Two beautifully-appointed ground floor double rooms, one with en suite shower room, both boast marshmallow king-size beds which are luxuriously swathed in superior Siberian goose-down and ultra soft linens.” Ahhh…

“The wood-panelled bathroom has a deep stand alone claw foot tub with shower over–perfect for melting away your troubles in a tub-ful of bubbles.”

My favorite room is the kitchen:

The stocked pantry:

Love the Smeg fridge.

“A cobbled courtyard garden, tucked away from the madding crowd, is filled to bursting with roses and blooms, perfect for alfresco dining in the mild Cornish climate.”

“The wraparound verandah is approached by a separate entrance and is chock-full of leafy foliage ensuring guests have a private spot to daydream and to breath in the fresh salty air–a welcoming tonic for weary souls.”

If you could use a holiday at the Oyster Catcher, visit Unique Home Stays for more photos and details. Thanks to Claire for telling me about it! (All photos by Paul Massey.)

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Trish @TheOldPostRoad February 15, 2013 at 8:38 am

That is adorable!

Becky @ Farmgirl Paints February 15, 2013 at 8:55 am

this house is so beautiful i actually sighed. love every inch!

House Crazy Sarah February 15, 2013 at 9:17 am

uh, so charming! I never thought an old stone building could look so bright and airy inside! That thing probably dates back 200-300 years! Wonderful!

hookedonhouses February 15, 2013 at 9:27 am

Yep, from the 1600s!

christina February 15, 2013 at 9:24 am

According to a British friend of mine, Mousehole is pronounced “muzzle.” I’ve asked him–if I make enough money, can I afford to buy a bolthole in Mousehole (“buttle in muzzle”)?

hookedonhouses February 15, 2013 at 9:26 am

Ha. Love that!

Carolyn February 16, 2013 at 9:08 am

I was thinking the exact same thing – a bolthole in Mousehole, which would not sound anything like the way we’d say it in the States.

aussiebeachgirl February 18, 2013 at 12:48 am

Hi Christina. I lived just across the border in West Devon. Actually “Mousehole”, divided up, is pronounced like this:

MOWZ (as in Mouse, except the S is replaced by a heavy Z)
ILL (as in Hill, NOT Hole)
Therefore, MOWZ-ILL.


hookedonhouses February 18, 2013 at 7:46 am

Good to know–thanks!

Dean February 15, 2013 at 10:11 am

Beautiful! I checked out the site and with the exception of one week in August, availability doesn’t start until January 2015! Obviously A LOT of people are charmed by this property.

hookedonhouses February 15, 2013 at 10:16 am

No kidding? Wow! Popular place!

Katheen February 17, 2013 at 3:39 pm

Yep – and I just snatched up that week in August – YaHOO! :-)

hookedonhouses February 18, 2013 at 7:53 am

Lucky you! :-)

maddie February 15, 2013 at 10:43 am

This home is absolutely beautiful. The charm & character of this home is subtle but undeniably comforting in every room. The furniture, accessories & softness of the colors are truly remarkable. I would love to call this “home sweet home”.

tammyCA February 15, 2013 at 10:54 am

It’s very charming, but they need to warm it up a little inside with some color because it feels too bleached out and sterile. Pick up the pretty blue color of the door and splash it around inside..like some weathered blue boat oars, faded red fishing things, some warm colorful throws…to give it the experience of actually being in a fishing village.

martha February 15, 2013 at 6:10 pm

I agree TammyCA, a little color would be nice and would make it seem more like a home.

Alie B February 19, 2013 at 8:42 am

Yes, exactly what I was thinking. It’s gorgeous but needs a few pops of color.

snaggy February 15, 2013 at 11:01 am

And this is why the young locals cant afford to buy homes in Mowzel and similar
places !

Vicki February 15, 2013 at 11:02 am

Love, love, love this. At first I thought it was another place in Port Isaac, and hoped to see Martin Clunes again. But this is just as good!

Jean February 15, 2013 at 12:07 pm

It is so clean. So very clean. While I sit and think about the litter box that I have not cleaned in 2 days and the dishes from last night’s supper in the sink. And on the counter. And on the stove…

Tamara @ Etcetorize February 15, 2013 at 12:17 pm

Gorgeous! I’m reading a book RIGHT now called The Tenth Gift and part of it is set in Mousehole. What a neat coincidence to see it in ‘real life’. There’s even a refurbished house just like this in the novel~

Carolyn February 17, 2013 at 7:15 pm

That book sounds like something I’d like. I checked out the author who’s from Mousehole – hers is a fascinating story all on its own. Check out her website.

Erin February 15, 2013 at 12:48 pm

How serene! I can imagine a calm, quiet weekend here would absolutely lower the stress level and blood pressure!

Jake's a Girl February 15, 2013 at 1:43 pm

I’d stay there. And…I could use the peace and serenity.

Dede February 15, 2013 at 2:25 pm

Loved this! My grandmother was from Mousehole and I have many pictures and a couple of paintings of the village so I recognized it right away from the first picture. I haven’t been to Cornwall yet but it would be great to stay in a place like this!

hookedonhouses February 15, 2013 at 3:43 pm

Was she really? I love it that you recognized Mousehole from the pictures and paintings!

Kelly D February 15, 2013 at 2:41 pm

Wow! I really like this one. The kitchen is so charming! :)

betterOutdoorLivingatHome February 15, 2013 at 3:20 pm

Wow, I love it! A perfect blend of old, old house architecture, a comfy stylish interior, and a scenic setting. That certainly would be a wonderful place to vacation. ~M

Laura February 15, 2013 at 3:32 pm

So beautiful!!!! Normally I wouldn’t be that crazy about a house with no color, but everything in it is just gorgeous. An Aga and a Smeg – swoon. And the location is wonderful. I want to stay there! Bet it costs a fortune.

snaggy February 18, 2013 at 7:43 am

£2,500 a week !

65andcounting February 15, 2013 at 4:11 pm

The stretch of the street in the first photo reminds me of scenes from two movies. One, Song Of Bernadette, the scene when her family is walking from their home, that looks much like this, to see Bernadette’s vision of the Virgin Mary. Second, the movie How Green Was My Valley, supposedly set in coal mining Wales. There’s a scene when all the men are walking to a coal mine disaster.

Funny how one glimpse brings out instant images of two iconic movies.

Delane February 15, 2013 at 4:45 pm

Wow this place is so lovely!

Jen February 15, 2013 at 5:00 pm

soo charning would great as hoilday home

Christina from Dallas February 15, 2013 at 7:38 pm

Charming and lovely! Wonder if it’s hard for the owners to keep clean? I love it!

Kim February 15, 2013 at 8:25 pm

Very charming cottage! This would make a great vacation home.

Esther George February 15, 2013 at 8:39 pm

Hi Julia last night Doc Martin was back on TV to my delight when he is on I do not want to be disturbed and this place reminds me of where the show is filmed absolutely beautiful. We have a new British show called Gardeners World the way they garden is so relaxed and the results are amazing. I have watched so many garden shows made here but they did not do a thing for me but these guys you want to order everything in the garden catalogues and actually plant it. The Brits and their gardens gotta love it…. Till next time Regards Esther from Sydney

Tracie February 15, 2013 at 9:49 pm

I love the couch and chair with the burlap or linen styled fabric. I wonder what that fabric is. Any ideas? I’d love to reuploster two chairs in my loving room with something exactly like that.

Carolyn February 16, 2013 at 9:39 am

I remember seeing this on Joni Webb’s blog. Still love it.

Terry February 16, 2013 at 12:03 pm

There is not a single thing about this house I am not crazy about. There is a window in the pantry! The floors! The stove is on the same wall as the sink (with a butcher block counter in between)! Think about it, you don’t have to carry a heavy pot filled with hot pasta water across the room to empty it. I love that there are no window treatments. Not exactly practical, but as long as we’re fantasizing, who cares? No color? No problem. With no window treatments you can see the sea, the gardens, the sky. I’m getting choked up.

Terry February 16, 2013 at 3:46 pm

I forgot, what is a bolthole?

hookedonhouses February 16, 2013 at 4:55 pm

It’s like a cozy hiding place away from the world. :-)

Terry February 16, 2013 at 10:41 pm

I’m all in. Thanks!

Victoria Keddie February 17, 2013 at 4:25 am

Ooo, I adore Mousehole! It really is as charming as it looks! The streets are so quaint and narrow you can hardly fit a car through. We are lucky to have family who live nearby, and have visited a few times. In fact we love all of Cornwall, and I love it when you feature properties from there!! How’s about a few more from Scotland? There are lovely cottages here too…. :-)

Vicarious-Vicarious February 17, 2013 at 12:49 pm

Love this seaside beauty!!!

Also, I shared the kitchen from “It’s Complicated” with links back to you. As its a very similar style house to ours an we are planning to have our kitchen done soon..
Thank you, thank you!!!


hookedonhouses February 17, 2013 at 1:06 pm

Loved all the kitchens in your post–gorgeous! Thanks for the shout-out! :)

Vicarious-Vicarious February 17, 2013 at 12:59 pm

Whoops! I missed a letter! I’d love it if you visit me to see….
Thank you again!
I am hooked on “Hooked On Houses”!

theSavvySeeker February 18, 2013 at 12:32 pm

Simply adorable! Love the old stone, white washed wooden floors and farmhouse style furniture. Especially love the white subway tile in the kitchen and the old FRIDGE! Cute cute cute!!

Julie B. February 19, 2013 at 12:28 pm

Love this historical, charming bolthole! I agree it could use some color, but it is extremely peaceful. 2,500 euros/week is probably all worth it–maybe someday!

Katheen February 19, 2013 at 12:43 pm

Ah, Julie – would that it was euros…it’s GBP, so it’s a crunch, but when I found that week in August (the only opening until 2015), I just caved. Biggest splurge ever, but it’ll be glorious!

Julie B. February 19, 2013 at 12:53 pm

Kathleen, still not sure how much that translates to, but I have a feeling you won’t regret the splurge! :) I hope you report back with your own pics after your trip! In my searches online after reading this article, I did find a great page I wanted to share with Hooked on Houses — http://www.mouseholeholidaycottage.co.uk/index.html. Julia, and anyone else interested in this village, here is another cottage and lots more info about the area.

hookedonhouses February 19, 2013 at 1:57 pm

That’s great–thanks, Julie!

Jill Palumbo February 20, 2013 at 1:34 pm

Absolutely perfect! I wouldn’t change a thing and I don’t think it needs a colour a bit. If you need colour (love it spelled the English way), just look out the windows! I love a peaceful, neutral home without pops of colour.


Sam March 8, 2013 at 3:25 pm

Shocked to see Mousehole on this website! I have set on that bench outside many times, a great place to unwind and relax from the stress of GCSEs! – Search ‘Mousehole Lights’ its a beautiful village!

Lynne Gill May 6, 2013 at 12:53 pm

Lovely little cottage, but oh! How I would long to throw some soft green paint across the wall! Or cerise! Or turquoise! Just a few splashes ……I would otherwise be leaving feeling serious sensory withdrawal!

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