Cute Vanilla Cottage accommodation between Usk and Abergavenny

Suntrap terrace and fenced for your pet

Vanilla Cottage accommodation between Usk and Abergavenny

Warmly welcoming sitting room with woodburner, Flatscreen TV, DVD, internet access, BT vision and Sport channel.

Vanilla Cottage accommodation between Usk and Abergavenny

Bright well equipped kitchen and dining area

Vanilla Cottage accommodation between Usk and Abergavenny

Vanilla Cottage Romantic contemporary master bedroom with 5ft bed, Egyptian cottons, TV/DVD ipod dock ,USB port ,garden view.

Shiny bathroom with shower over spa bath

We have a vintage tea set to enjoy

( as well as dishwasher friendly things!)

Vanilla Cottage

Described by guests as “The Gingerbread Cottage” Vanilla is a delicious gem of a stone built 19th century cottage sleeping 3 near to Usk, Monmouthshire.  One of a pair dating from the late 1800’s.  Surrounded by fields, farmland and riverbank it has been totally refurbished and awarded the coveted 5 star grading by Visit Wales – but much original style and charm has been retained.

Perhaps due to the styling and position of the cottage Vanilla has become a popular choice for honeymoons,  anniversaries and busy professional couples wanting to recharge and relax.

Vanilla is  an elevated position above the banks of the River Usk, we can  help arrange trout fishing (River Usk) and Salmon fishing (River Wye) in season.

The cottage is right on the Usk Valley Walk with riverbank stretches with excellent wildlife including otters, herons, buzzards and more.

The National Cycle Route no. 42 passes within yards and cycle paths number 30 and 31 are nearby.

The adjoining cottage is occupied by a pleasant neighbour who will chat if you do but who is not intrusive.

There is an excellent country pub with great food in walking distance along the lane,also  a riverside pub newly reopened,  and a good craft centre with cafe  also walking distance .

A wide choice of good restaurants and pubs, from those with Michelin starred TV Chefs to a simple chippie,  within three miles. Several are pet friendly!

We have a hairdresser and a beautician who will provide pampering at the cottage. No need to stir!

There is no good public transport close to the cottage so you do need a car for most convenient access to the many things to see and do. However drives are short and there are plenty of walks!

About 10 minutes by car will take you to Raglan Castle and about 30 will bring you to either Chepstow Castle or Tintern Abbey.

If you like different types of walks you can drive to the challenging Brecon Beacons, the Wye Valley or the easy walking of the Brecon to Monmouth canal path- a different style each day maybe!


Facilities at Vanilla Cottage

  • Easy access to M4, M48, M5, M50,A40 and A449
  • Quiet but not isolated  location between the Wye Valley and the Brecon Beacons
  • Pet welcome
  • Sleeps up to three people
  • Baby or bigger child welcome but unsuited to toddlers
  • A wealth of sightseeing close by
  • 19th Century character stone cottage with many original features, but totally refurbished to a 5 star standard.
  • 1 double bedroom with king-sized (5ft) bed
  • 1 single bedroom ( 3ft bed)
  • Fully fitted kitchen with comprehensive equipment including oven with grill, hob, extractor hood, dishwasher, fridge, freezer, microwave, tassimo coffee machine, toaster and kettle, washing machine and tumble drier.
  • Sparkling bathroom with whirlpool and shower over, smart rectangular basin, shaver socket, towel rail radiator and bright lighting
  • Dishwasher, double oven with grill. electric hob, washing machine, drier, kettle, toaster ,microwave etc
  • Fenced and Gated garden, well behaved pet welcome
  • WiFi internet access included
  • 32″ Flatscreen LCD TV (Freesat  plus BT Sport  and BT Vision Channels. )App sign in available. Second small TV in master bedroom.
  • CD/DVD player.
  • DAB radio
  • Bluetooth speaker
  • Cosy woodburner
  • One Off – road car parking space
  • DVD,
  • Sitting room with two seater sofa, armchair, soft footstool, hard floor and rug, Woodburner, windows on two sides.
  • 2nd TV with DVD player in the main bedroom
  • Radio Alarm with ipod dock
  • CD/ Radio HiFi second ipod dock
  • Hairdryer
  • Freshly-laundered Egyptian cotton bed linen included
  • Low allergy fluffy duvets , mattres toppers ,and pillow covers
  • Cotton robes and bath towels
  • Quilted bedspreads
  • Barbecue stand and comfortable patio furniture with umbrella in summer
  • Landline telephone available at extra charge. (Most mobiles work OK at the cottage but some do not)

To find Vanilla Cottage.

Correct postal address I The Steppes , Kemeys Commander, Near Usk

Postcode for your SAT NAV  is NP15  1JZ

We like to welcome you personally and will wait for you at Vanilla from 4 to 5pm unless advised in advance that your arrival time will be different. You need a door code to get into the cottage. There are no keys. Please ask  for the code a week before arrival. See below.

If approaching from Bristol  take  M48  over the Severn Bridge and exit at Junction 24 . Turn onto the  A449 north  and exit to USK. This road brings you into USK and you will see the 3 Salmons on your right.Follow as described below.
(The alternative route favoured by some SATNAVS is via Chepstow and it is prettier however it is twisty and so less good if the weather is poor or you are tired and in the dark.)


Go to centre of pretty little USK.  Look for 3 Salmons Hotel. Take road beside 3 Salmons which is signposted Abergavenny. Continue just over three miles out of Usk, alongside river Usk, through hamlet  of Llancayo and past windmill, then passing Craft centre on left and ( closed down) Alice Springs Golf Club on right and on to Chainbridge pub which is on your left before Bridge.

With Chainbridge pub on your left and green bridge over River Usk itself directly ahead of you  (this Bridge is called the Chainbridge and is well known if you have to ask )  take the small lane uphill to the right immediately before  the bridge  and on the riverbank ( i.e DO NOT cross river.) This little lane is signed Bettws Newydd.

(ignore any other similarly signed lanes you may see , use only the one right at the bridge)

If approaching from  South West Wales /Swansea we would suggest the Heads of the Valleys road Neath to Abergavenny. At Abergavenny go to the main roundabout where the trunk roads lead off to Town Centre, Hereford , Clytha, and Raglan. Take the OLD Usk road signed Clytha. Continue approx 4 miles to former Charthouse pub now called Steel  Horse Cafe and turn right in front of it. Continue approx 2 miles across one stone river bridge to the green metal Chainbridge. Cross green bridge and take road off left directly on other bank signed Bettws Newydd.

On the Bettws Newydd lane Vanilla Cottage is first on the right.  It is the roadside one of a semi detached pair. Best access is via the steps by the car parking which are newly rebuilt with good handrails  . There are lights which “see “ you on car park steps and more outside lights which can be controlled from inside the cottage but please bring a torch for use as you first arrive / at night. The lane is unlit and there are no lights from the parking area steps along the path across the lawn to the house. Some guests  also find they need a torch to shine on the door entry code box to see the digits clearly despite the porch light.

Parking – please park on the area within the L formed by the wall where it says “Vanilla parking “on a reflective sign and where you will also see our wheelie dustbin. The area inside the wall L is ours, but the rest of the area and the garage belongs to our next door neighbours. Best to park parallel with road  and not with boot sticking into road as very wide farm vehicles do pass along lane. In the interests of neighbourly relations please do not park more than one car here. If you do have a second car or a guest visiting please use one of the small bays into the hedge further uphill along the lane. Sorry but as there is no secure or suitable parking place for trailers, please do not bring them. Please do not obstruct the shared steps at any time.

Please lock your car carefully with all contents out of sight. There is a surprising volume of walkers, cyclists and pub users on the lane and cars are not in sight down the bank from the cottage.

There are no door keys to the cottage. The front door opens by typing in a code. The code is changed regularly for obvious reasons. Although we try to meet you on arrival it is  essential that you  contact us the week before your arrival   to be given the magic open sesame formula for your visit! ( Note that we will not supply the code more than two weeks ahead of your arrival in case it is again changed)

It is highly unlikely that you will be able to reach us by phone or e mail on arrival day when we are cleaning and driving from cottage to cottage so please dont leave this to  last minute!

Have a safe journey- we very much look forward to welcoming you.

Services which can be delivered to you at the cottage

  • Supermarket orders from Waitrose, Tesco, Asda, Sainsburys
  • Beautician will do pamper treatments at the cottage from facials to manicures. Your choice.


Small Hallway with hanging space

Door to sitting room. (Doorway is low. ceilings are not.)

Sitting Room with squishy leather suite (a two seater sofa, a matching armchair and a large soft leather footstool), a decent sized flatscreen Sky satellite TV , BT Sport,  DVD, and cosy woodburner.The sitting room is flagged, with  a thick rug, cosy woodburner plus a comfortable mixture of real antique and brand new furniture. Cards, games, small library of books DVDS and maps are also available to borrow. Garden View

Doorway  between Sitting room and kitchen.(Doorway is low. ceilings are not.)

The fully fitted bright kitchen with dining area has comprehensive equipment – oven, hob, microwave, freezer, fridge, washing machine, tumble drier, dishwasher and plenty of crockery, cookware and cutlery. Garden View .


Up steep twisting stairs  with a rope handrail find a romantic Master double bedroom (sleeps 2) with five foot KIng bed   and fluffy duvet/ quilts Hanging and shelf space but limited slightly by sloping ceilings.   Garden view.. Egyptian cottons, proper cotton towels and bathrobes  , TV/radio,DVD and clock radio with ipod dock.

Pretty single bedroom room (sleeps 1) with full sized single bed ( 3ft wide)  with countryside views and sloping ceilings. Limited hanging space. Shelf space.Radio alarm

Sparkling bathroom with WC, washbasin , shower over  whirlpool spa bath . Shaver point.

Upstairs all doorways are  low. ceilings are not.


The gated garden with sun-trap terrace and lavender hedge has been planted with hundreds of spring bulbs, many more fragrant and traditional plants and two dozen unusual old style roses.

Our views are to our own pretty garden and to the grasslands of the former golf course. We are above the river on the high bank but due to trees can only glimpse the water- however riverbank walks are right there! The cottage is one of a pair of cottages ( we are semi detached ), the other is lived in by a quiet neighbour – friendly if you want  to be but will not intrude unless asked. Next nearest buildings are the pub approx  300 yards, the other pub 1000 yards and a farm approx 600 yards

  • Assistance dogs and other well behaved dogs (maximum 2) are welcomed.

Please contact us for advice on the suitability of the cottage for your holiday if you have problems with negotiating steep stairs inside and steps outside, or have limited mobility. Click here for Vanilla Cottage ‘s  access statement


Sorry, but due to the stairs, we do not accept children under age 4, except non crawling babes in arms.We are not child unfriendly- this rule is in fact because we want to keep little people safe. Toddlers will be better off at our Tintern Abbey Cottage.

Anyone tall please note that although we have no low beams  or ceilings but our old cottage doorways are lower than in newer houses. Our  ceilings are not low but some of our doorways are. The doorway from the hall to the sitting rom is 5ft 9″ or 173 cms high. Door to Kitchen is 5ft 11″ or 180.5cms, the three upstairs doors ( bedrooms, bathroom ) and the door on the staircase are all 5ft 11.5 ” or 181.5cms.   As our sign says, Duck or Grouse!

We are always happy to discuss any aspect of the cottage and its suitability for your holiday, and to describe the cottage and its features to you over the telephone.

Please call us on 01600 860341 within the UK or +44 1600 860341 from overseas.

Inside the cottage, we maintain a visitors guide to the facilities, information about the locality as well as other important information including contact numbers for the local emergency services and hospitals.

We welcome Assistance dogs and the information pack also includes contact details for local Vets with 24hr service.

This body of this document has been set in 14 pt using Arial as the type face.

Car Parking

  •  Private off-road car parking
  •  Clearly signed “Vanilla Parking” on a Car style number plate – Black letters on a white background
  •  Suitable for one family estate (eg VW Passat)
  •  Firm flat asphalt surface
  •  Steps to the garden adjacent to the car parking
  •  50m from the top of the steps by the parking to the cottage front step.

Access to the Garden

 Four steps

  •  Edged with flagstones and rough gravel inserts
  •  Hand rail on the right hand side going up the steps and a solid wall on the left hand side
  •  PIR light sensors operate at night to illuminate the steps

At the top of the steps

  •  Rough gravel area at the top of the steps approximately 2.2m wide
  •  Gateway into the Garden
  •  Metal gate into the garden hinged on the left as going into the garden with a latch on the right hand side.
  •  Paved path approximately 46 m in length.
  •  Slight incline from the garden gate to the cottage.
  •  Path comprises small flagstones
  •  One step up from the path to the Patio
  •  White lines painted on the edge of the step
  •  Height of the step 23cm


  •  Large firm flat flagstones
  •  Edged with white lines to denote edges

 Patio seating

  •  Metal garden seats with armrests
  •  Seats are of stretched mesh fabric
  •  Seat backs are angled backwards and cannot be adjusted
  •  Seats and backs are “firm.”

 Steps to the Cottage

  •  One further step up from the Patio
  •  White lines painted on the edge of the step
  •  Height of the step 15cm
  •  Step up into the cottage
  •  Height of the step 25cm

Front Door

  •  Illuminated by porch light operated by PIR movement sensor

 Door Lock

  •  Gold finish set against a white front door
  •  Digital key pad requires keys to be pressed in a sequence
  •  Located approximately 1.2 m from floor level
  •  Door opened and closed by turning a knob.

Inside the cottage


  •  Standard rocker type switches
  •  Operate wall and ceiling mounted lights in all rooms and entrance hall

Door heights

  •  The lowest door height in the cottage is approximately 1.53m

Internal doors

  •  Locks and latches
    •  Black in colour set against white doors
    •  Traditional latches which have to be lifted up
    •  Swivel “toggle” latch in one instance


  •  Downstairs
  •  Slate style tiling throughout
  •  Stairs and Upstairs
  •  Fitted Carpet
  •  Bathroom (Upstairs)
  • Tiled floor with wood-grain effect surface


  •  Windows
  •  Turn handle to operate
  •  Push to open and pull to shut


  •  Radiators
  •  Independently controlled using twist thermostatic valve on each radiator.

Décor and colour contrasting

  • Walls and doors throughout the cottage are painted White, except as follows:

Sitting room

  • Medium blue walls
  • Seating Black
  • Floor Dark grey


  • Kitchen units are white with black work surfaces
  • Kitchen table – white
  • Floor Dark Grey


  • White walls
  • Bannister rail
  • White plus red rope rail
  • Honey gold carpet


  • White tiled walls
  • White bath, basin and toilet
  • Light grey floor


  • Cupboards
  • White
  • Honey gold carpets
  • Single bed
    • Black cast iron frame
    • King size double bed
    • Pewter frame

Entrance Hall

  •  Cupboard off the entrance hall
    •  Wooden swivel lock
    •  Door opens outwards into the hall
  •  Cupboard contains
  •  Tumble drier
    •  Front opening door
  • Cleaning equipment except Dyson which lives upstairs
  • Iron and ironing board (folding)

Sitting Room

Sofas and Chairs

  •  Comfortable leather easy chairs
  •  Footstool provided

Entertainment system

  •  Text service on TV
  •  Remote controls for TV,DVD and Sky


  •  Ceiling mounted pendant supplemented by wall mounted units
  •  Mood lighting from two table lamps

Woodburning stove

  • Controls
    •  Slide lever
    •  Lift up handle
    •  Knob that needs to be turned to control airflow
    •  Door opens outwards


  • Latches that lift or knobs that have to be pulled to open the doors



  •  Corded Electric kettle


  •  Push down “pop-up” style toaster


  • Push button operation
  • Drop down door
  • Baskets slide out


  •  Dial and push button controls
  •  Hanging from the underside of top wall mounted cupboards above the work surface

Double Electric Hob and Oven

  • Dial controls
  • Pull down door
  • Washer / Tumble dryer
  • Dials and push button / rocker switch operation

Fridge and freezer both with outward opening doors

  •  Crockery
    • stored in floor-mounted low level cupboards
  • Cutlery
    • Stored in a slide out drawer located in a floor-mounted low level cupboard
  •  Cooking utensils and glassware located in high level cupboards above the work surfaces
  •  Cooking knives located in a knife block on the work surface.

Sink taps

  • Swan neck with separate hot and cold knobs that turn.


  • Two ceiling zones each with LED spotlights.

Dining room chairs

  • Hard back chairs without armrests.

Stairs to the bedroom and bathroom

Stairs- Twisting and steep almost a spiral

  • Thirteen steps
  • Each approximately 23 cm in height
  • Handrail / Bannister rope at the top of the stairs on the left hand side going up.


  • Central light over the stair well
  • Controlled from switches at the top landing and the sitting room



  • Four halogen spotlights
  • Ceiling mounted pull cord operation also operates ventilator


  • Hold and cold mixer Tap with swivel lever that also lifts up and down to control the flow.
  • Fixed swivel type plug


  • Height of the bath 60cm from the floor
  • Step down into the bath (40cm)
  • Hot and cold mixer Tap with swivel lever that also lifts up and down to control the flow. Pull up knob to activate the shower.
  • Click clack Plug
  • Whirpool jets operated by push button

Shower screen

  • Curved glass screen
  • Showerhead is detachable from the support rail
  • When attached the height of the showerhead can be adjusted by sliding it up and down the rail.


  •  Push button with full and half flush option.

Double bedroom


  • Two wall units mounted provide main room lighting
  • Two bedside lights operated by touch bases

TV and DVD player

  •  Remote control

Ipod docking station with alarm clock and radio. Push button and knob operation.

Dressing tables and bedside lights

  •  Lights touch base control


  • Door opens outwards by pulling on knob.

Single bedroom


  • A wall unit mounted provides main room lighting
  • A bedside light operated by push switch


  • Doors open outwards by pulling on knob


  • Rocker switch operation

Heat and Smoke Alarms
Audible type.

Emergency mains light on stairwell

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