Just under an hour away from Bristol lies Frome; with its independent spirit, abundance of good food, vintage and antiques shops, contemporary design stores and cobbled streets. Right in the heart of the town is artisan cottage Niddy Noddy, where one Bristol family lay their heads for a one-night winter mini break
Down the flagstone street in Sheppard’s Barton, among a row of what were once weavers’ cottages, is Niddy Noddy Cottage in the heart of Frome.
From the outside, the Grade II listed cottage looks unchanged from when it was first built 300 years ago. Inside, the only things still looking old are the beams and the original staircase.
The rest feels slightly miraculous with its set of modern conveniences packed in to three narrow floors.
Free Wi-Fi kept my partner happy, a selection of toys kept our three-and-a-half-year old daughter Mersina occupied, and a coffee maker and the TV made me very comfortable.
The monthly Frome independent arts market was taking place just a few feet from our front door when we visited. There was a village green, busking stage, artisan stalls and a suitcase sale with wares spilling out onto the cobbled street.
Stalls taking up what seemed like most of the town ranged from dog bakeries to carts selling Portuguese tarts and craft areas where our little girl became part of the Doodlebug Club and made a crown of golden autumn leaves.
We visited the vegetarian and organic Garden Café for lunch and took home some cake for dessert.
On Cheap Street, Mersina straddled the leat – a narrow channel of fast-flowing water which runs the length of this medieval street. We didn’t get to Café La Strada at the end of the road for their gin and tonic ice cream, but we’ll be back.
Oh, and what’s a Niddy Noddy? It’s a wind-up device that the weavers that once lived here used for their work. It’s a memorable name for a truly memorable cottage.