22 In Christmas/ Fabulous over Fifty/ Holidays

The Most Charming Christmas Cottage

If any of you are like me and you love watching Christmas movies this charming Christmas cottage will be instantly recognizable!

I love movie sets and I got to wondering how they come up with the homes they use and their locations. Grab a tea and enjoy these pics of the cottage in The Holiday

Everyone LOVES, LOVES, LOVES the charming Christmas cottage in London, where Kate Winslet plays the part of love-sick Iris in the movie called The Holiday. If you have never heard of this film you are definitely living on the island of Mis-fits! The Holiday went a long way toward providing viewers with a festive fix for a holiday romance.

The film was written and directed by Nancy Meyers. I don’t know if you are familiar with Myer’s work. ALL of her home sets are stunning!!!  Teaming with production designer Jon Hutman for a movie like this, you know it’s going to be amazing! Think It’s Complicated and Diane Keaton’s swoon-worthy beach house in Somethings Gotta Give.  

While character Amanda’s  gorgeous 8,000 square ft California home was on the market in 2018 for over $11,000,000 it was the approximately 1000 sq ft “Rosehill Cottage that the cast and crew fell in love with” said Myers.

I found the original house on Zillow, you can see it HERE  It cost $1,000,000 to build the sets for this house.


This cottage was the second choice. The original choice was very isolated and more than four hours from London. Having to get the entire crew out there just didn’t make sense.  It was more feasible to build exactly what they wanted closer to London. 

The cottage was built in an empty field. With the addition of these trees and aged stone walls, it looks like it had been there forever. There was a lot of thought put into the exterior complete with patios and gardens although it was hardly seen in the movie. In two weeks they managed to create a perfectly imperfect charming cottage dusted in snow.

The interior of the cottage was created on a soundstage in California. 

This fireplace and muted lighting created by the sheers on the window ensure a cozy atmosphere. The traditional decor with its overstuffed armchairs and mismatched fabrics adds to the overall ambiance. 

Hutman, in a DVD interview, said they wanted to create the English charm without creating your grandmother’s house. Myers said they moved the furniture around forever. “we kept trying different things. But I think we arrived at the right thing”. 


What a difference between the living rooms! 

This tub was a rude awakening for Cameron compared to what she left behind in California. The tiny tub looked even smaller with her long limbs hanging out of it.

The California house has 6.5 bathrooms. 

Nothing was overlooked. The worn-out hand-painted diamond floor makes it easy to believe this cottage has been there forever. 

I don’t remember ever seeing this library in the movie. I will have to pay more attention next time.   I love how they  put a couple of shelves over the entrance to utilize every inch of this room. It would be a cozy place to sit and blog 🙂

This bedroom…wouldn’t you love a fireplace in your bedroom?  


Myers said “Iris’s kitchen is filled with life, unlike Amanda’s which was large and beautiful but didn’t have the same kind of warmth in it,” It is truly adorable. Can’t you picture yourself sitting at this table with a friend enjoying tea? 

Diaz rarely used her kitchen. Iris brought life and love back into it with the addition of flowers and dinners at home.

England doesn’t get a lot of snow so it was added to the streets of the small town of Shere in Surry. 

If you remember the sweet tent in Jude Law’s home that was made for his daughters you will understand why Jon Hutman said it was his favorite set. Ed Burns, at the premiere, said he wanted Jon to build one in his home for his kids. 

Remember Arthur’s house next door? This actual house belonged to Phyllis Diller. Eli Wallach who played Arthur celebrated his 90th birthday on set. He passed away at 99 in 2014. How amazing that he was still doing what he loved in his 90’s. 

Even though this little cottage and all its charm became a real tourist attraction with hundreds of people going to see it each day, this shell of a cottage was torn down after filming was completed.  The house, compared to the storyline, had such a disappointing ending. I wonder why they didn’t finish it and sell it to reap some of the costs or donate it. 


This lighthearted romantic comedy, The Holiday is a fun and entertaining Christmas tale. I look for this rom-com every year, it’s one of my favorites to kick off the holiday movie season.  

What about you? Do you have a go-to Christmas movie that you can watch over and over again to get you into the spirit?

Leave a comment below and share your list of favourite romantic comedies.  



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  • Reply
    Debra MacRae
    November 24, 2022 at 7:59 AM

    Thanks Marion. Love that movie every year. A bit shattered to find out that romantic place, Iris’s home, isn’t real but knowing it can be created is comforting. I’ll be looking up ‘The Holiday’ soon too

    Happy Christmas

    • Reply
      November 24, 2022 at 8:30 AM

      I was shocked to learn that it was a shell. I was more shocked to find out they did it in 2 weeks and I have been waiting 2 years for my little kitchen renovation to be completed. LOL I suppose I shouldn’t complain. It’s a first world problem…but first world problems can be annoying too! LOL 😂

  • Reply
    Lisa Wayland
    November 24, 2022 at 8:16 AM

    Love the Holiday and both homes in it equally but I adore Love Actually even more.
    Jake , my almost 24 yr old son will say it is one of his favourite movies, maybe even #1.

    Happy holiday movie watching time of yr to you Marion.

    • Reply
      November 24, 2022 at 8:28 AM

      I adore that movie too, more than The Holiday…maybe I could have done the inside of 10 Downing Street!!! Not quite as charming. My all time favourite is It’s a Wonderful Life. I have watched it countless times!
      Thanks for popping in Lisa!!! Xo

  • Reply
    Mary Ferguson-Allan
    November 24, 2022 at 8:32 AM

    Didn’t see the movie !!!! cottage looks nice though.

    • Reply
      November 24, 2022 at 8:38 AM

      OMGOSH!!! MOM!!!!! You need to watch this one. You will love it.

  • Reply
    November 24, 2022 at 8:34 AM

    I love The Holiday too. There are so many Christmas movies out to enjoy these days, especially with the Hallmark channel being in full Christmas mode. I do love the older movies…It’s a Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th (the original) and of course White Christmas with Bing Crosby. I’m an old classic…it’s no surprise that I love the old classics.
    Lovely blog Marion.

    • Reply
      November 24, 2022 at 8:40 AM

      Hi Janet. So nice of you to stop in again. I too love those old classics. My all time favourite movie has always been It’s a Wonderful Life…the black and white version!
      Old classics are the best classics. 😉

  • Reply
    November 24, 2022 at 8:35 AM

    You come up with the most unexpected content! I love it.
    This cottage really is the cutest thing ever and I’ve learned a lot reading your blog. I had no idea that it was built in 2 weeks nor that it was a shell and the interiors were shot in California.
    Thoroughly enjoyed this Marion.

    • Reply
      November 24, 2022 at 8:42 AM

      Hello Marlene, thanks for the lovely compliment. I didn’t know any of the info on the cottage either until I researched it up! There are a few other Christmas homes that might be blog worthy as well.
      I was shocked to learn that they simply tore it down when they were done!

  • Reply
    November 24, 2022 at 8:47 AM

    I’ve watched The Holiday but I don’t think I’ve seen Love Actually. Can’t wait to watch it. Thanks Marion for your insight. I’m drinking coffee instead of tea and enjoying your read.

    • Reply
      November 24, 2022 at 9:53 AM

      Oh…there is nothing like a coffee in the morning!! LOL….Danielle you are going to fall head over heals in love with Love Actually! It used to be on Netflix but I couldn’t find it anywhere when looking the other day which I guess was a good thing bc I found The Holiday with the charming Christmas cottage…(and Jude Law 😉) which prompted this blog!
      Have a terrific day and thanks so much for reading and commenting. That makes my day! 😊

  • Reply
    Mary Lynn
    November 24, 2022 at 9:42 AM

    Love love that movie, I watch it every year. I must say I like the house in California 😂
    Thanks for all the info, always interesting to hear how they make the sets or where it’s really filmed. Perfect read with my coffee this morning.

    • Reply
      November 24, 2022 at 9:51 AM

      Haha…ML I knew out of anyone that was going to be reading this, YOU would be the one to move in to the CA home!!! I honestly thought that last night. Little tiny you in all that space! You’d love it.
      Thanks for stopping by and having a read over your morning coffee. Have a beautiful day.

  • Reply
    Suzanne Colasimone
    November 24, 2022 at 11:16 AM

    I do LOVE thé Holiday and was really surprised that the cute cottage was built for the movie. What money can do!! Very interesting read Mare. Thank you. One that I watch every year is the Family Man with Tea Leoni and Nicholas Cage. It’s right up there in my list. If anyone hasn’t seen it, it’s a must. 😘❤️

    • Reply
      November 24, 2022 at 12:47 PM

      Thanks Sue. I love Family Man too. I remember us watching that and Family Stone the first year we did the baskets for the women’s shelter. Such great movies.

  • Reply
    November 24, 2022 at 12:33 PM

    Great and interesting article. Thanks Mare. Love the movie

    • Reply
      November 24, 2022 at 12:43 PM

      Thanks a bunch Brenda. Xo

  • Reply
    November 24, 2022 at 2:23 PM

    While not as charming as the Cotswold cottage, Hugh Grant dance scene in #10 in Love Actually not one to miss ! 🤩🤩

    • Reply
      November 24, 2022 at 4:17 PM

      Definitely one of my favourite feel good movies whether it is Christmas or not.
      I love the dance scene too. I am a big fan of Hugh Grant…it’s the accent!
      Apparently Hugh Grant was not happy about having to do that scene. According the the directory Richard Curtis he said “Hugh was Hugely grumpy about it. He kept putting it off and he didn’t like the Pointer Sister’s song.”
      Thanks so much for stopping in and dropping a line Judy. 😘

  • Reply
    Sally Stoermer
    March 11, 2023 at 8:06 PM

    My very favorite movie. Always watch it every year and love the romance

    • Reply
      March 22, 2023 at 2:31 PM

      Hi Sally. Welcome to Savvy Snowbirds. I hope you enjoy the content.
      I think now that it is spring I should do a feature on another romcom!!! Any sugggestions?

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