Sure, having your own cottage is a dream, but how about that upkeep? Details such as lawn mowing, mice catching and winter proofing rarely figure in our summer fantasies. So why not skip it altogether and opt for a luxury weeklong rental courtesy of Jayne’s Cottages, a service offering all the trappings of a real home-away-from-home, with none of the stress.
Jayne McCaw, a former marketing exec with a penchant for cottage living, launched the company to escape from city life and now manages more than 140 Muskoka properties, which she transforms for a variety of guests and themes. “I recently organized a dock show featuring professional wakeboarders and a fly board demonstration for a guest, while their kids were having a blast on a climbing wall, slide and water trampoline,” she says. Acting as a five-star concierge, McCaw curates anything from a barbecue menu to a spa day. “Guests mainly just want to chill or disconnect while they are away,” she says.
Before she heads back to the city, where McCaw plans to launch a similar service focused on luxury homes, she shares ideas for a fuss free cottage dinner party that’s best-enjoyed dockside.
1. Muskoka Woodworking charcuterie board
“I’m a big supporter of local craftspeople and this handmade wood charcuterie board complete with a variety of meats, cheese, olives, nuts and dates is so easy to throw together for a gorgeous and delicious predinner cocktail hour snack by the dock.”
Muskoka Woodworking walnut slice charcuterie board, $59 at muskokawoodworking.ca.
2. Crate and Barrel lantern
“Candles and lanterns are my go-to decor elements for creating a chic, ambient atmosphere. Using a bunch for table decor, placing some along a deck or creating a pathway of light along the dock always looks so elegant.”
Lillian brass metal small lantern, $44.95 at Crate and Barrel.
3. Hudson’s Bay Company throw
“To me, nothing gives a rustic nod to the Canadian north like the iconic Hudson’s Bay blanket. The three-in-one throw is a cozy detail to throw over patio furniture or rolled-up in beautiful baskets for guests to grab and wear later for some late night warmth.”
Hudson’s Bay Company 3-in-1 multistripe throw, $99 at Hudson’s Bay.
4. Margarita glasses
“I’m certainly not a professional mixologist, but I can sure look like one with a premade cocktail mix. Plus, cocktails look so pretty in these sweet outdoor margarita plastic glasses.”
Margarita glasses, $29.50 for a set of four at Indigo.