Sue and family, California, June 2016
Rachel, Jonathan and their three children live in a fairy tale location, and we were lucky enough to stay with them in the end of June. We are a family of four adults and we travelled from California to the UK for a three week holiday. The magic began when we made our first stop after the airport at Stonehenge. The ancient stones were a convenient diversion on our way to the New Forest. Our first night would be spent at the lovely village of Ringwood. Our beds were split between a Rustic Shepherd’s Hut and a Gypsy Caravan in the back garden of this gorgeous property located in the town of Ringwood. We couldn’t believe our luck! We soon discovered was that this was not going to be camping in some smelly old shelters, no, this was Glamping at its BEST!!
Let me tell you a bit more about the accommodation. Now this is marketed as rustic, but that should only apply to the fact that there is no electricity or running water. Everything else that we needed was there including tea and coffee making facility; clean, fluffy robes tied with raffia; and an assortment of crocs for walking around the property so as not to get your shoes wet, or for the middle of the night run to the toilet. The hut and caravan are amply lit with fairy lights and the beds were invitingly adorned with cosy comforters and pillows. We even had teddy bears sitting on our pillows waiting for their bedtime story ;-) And as an extra courtesy there are light wands and torches available to use for reading or going to the loo. There is a clean odour-free composting toilet with a cleverly rigged sink in a structure located quite close to the hut and caravan.
Before we took to our beds, we asked for food recommendations. Rachel provided us with a few local options. We chose the Alice Lisle because it was close and sounded appealing. We found it to be delightful, and we enjoyed a tasty, fresh meal, good local beer, and a gorgeous view as the pub sits at the edge of a lake.
It was the end of June and still a bit chilly in the New Forest especially for our thin California blood. But not to worry, we had a pot belly stove and wood for heating in the hut. In reality we didn’t need this once we got under the warm bedding! Oh, that bedding! We were all extremely comfortable! In fact, the bed in the hut was the most comfortable one that I had ever slept on, better than ours at home, too!
The next morning we had opted to purchase breakfast from Rachel. This she served to us in a lovely basket brought to the summer house which overlooked the pond. Breakfast included pastries, cereals and yogurt with fruit from Rachel’s garden, and tea, coffee and juice. It was scrumptious! Sadly, we were only spending one night here. But before we left, we explored the garden where the breakfast fruit had clearly come from, and then I snuck a peek from the deer hide, which sits poised to observe the wildlife in the field behind and looks just like a tree house. On our way out Rachel gave us directions to where we might be able to see some of the wild ponies. Truly a magical spot! And very welcoming hosts. We highly recommend a stay here!! PS - We found some wild ponies, and they were sweet, especially the foals!
Ant, August 2016
Where do we start! Rachel and Jonathan are superb hosts; they make you feel like family, they are kind and very hospitable. The Gypsy caravan we stayed in is amazing, filled with charm and the fairy lights are the finishing touch to the ambiance! It has amazing mattresses, pillows and quilts to provide a great nights sleep - the owls keep you company at night to add to the feeling of being in the heart of nature, away from the hustle and bustle of our busy lives! The outside toilet facilities are excellent, especially if you are 'eco friendly'. There is a lovely flush toilet and shower room near the main house and if that's busy Rachel lets you use another one in the house, again making you feel at home. Nothing is too much trouble!!! Try the Breakfast Hamper, filled with warm bread rolls, homemade muffins (yum!) and jam, cereals, fresh milk in delightful mini bottles, yogurt, fresh fruit and orange juice. The summerhouse with decking provides a lovely place to relax, has a running stream alongside which provides a haven of tranquility. You can also make tea/coffee, enjoy the biscuit tin filled up with treats and stoke up one of the various fire pits or stoves with chopped wood to warm the marshmallows so thoughtfully provided.
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