Of course, turning a year older warrants a new experience (: What better way than to indulge in luxury and the great outdoors altogether?
[MASS NOUN] British informal
A form of camping involving accommodation and facilities more luxurious than those associated with traditional camping:glamping is likely to satisfy any city slicker seeking a little refuge in nature—without foregoing any of life’s luxuries
Probably one of the best over-night experiences I’ve ever had on a ranch! Situated About three hours west of Central London in the county of Dorset lies one of the friendliest and most charming B&B’s I’ve ever stayed at. The Old Forge B&B at Compton Abbas hosted by Tim and Lucy was the perfect weekend getaway from the hustle and bustle of the chaotic capital.
Despite having only communicated via e-mail, we were warmly welcomed as though we were old friends of theirs and Tim ushered us to our make-shift caravan-hut named Mabel about 50 meters from the main compound. Everything was perfect – they had the fireplace going along with a small electric heater, fresh clean sheets and clean running water piped into a faucet inside. Took our time settling in, admiring the vintage decor and said hello to our immediate neighbours, including Scrumpy Jack the ass (donkey’s real name), two nameless horses, a family of hens and a big fluffy cat.
Decided to go on a short hike through radish fields and up a nearby ridge and boy were we swept off our feet by sheer countryside beauty for miles around (not forgetting the 30km/h winds that almost swept us off the hillside). Wasn’t as easy a climb as expected as there were parts a tad treacherous from grass and mud frosted all over (mind you it’s still winter full-swing with sub-zero temperatures on some days). Oh, and we made a couple of llama friends (:
Arrived back at the main compound just in time for tea, only to be surprised by a mouth-watering home-baked carrot (birthday) cake courtesy of Lucy. I must admit I never really fancied carrot cake till I tried hers, even dug in for third helpings! Dinner was self-catered in our tiny caravan, comprising a salad detox with blueberries and piping English tea.
The night was pretty eventful, I must admit. Definitely crazy, we braved the piercing cold and star-gazed for an hour over more hot tea before getting all snug under our down-feathered duvet. We were often woken by the howling of wind and Mabel rocking back and forth from gust after gust battering against her sides, but the roaring fireplace (which I constantly stoked throughout the night) made all the difference in the world.
Breakfast was the highlight of our second-day. Traditional English breakfast in a traditional English farmhouse with a traditionally English atmosphere. Home-prepped and sourced from the vicinity by Lucy – eggs from their own hens, sausages from the village butcher, juicy bacon strips, perfectly sauteed mushrooms, freshly-pressed apple juice, English breakfast tea, an array of cereal/granola, yoghurt, milk, honey and home-made marmalade… It was GLORIOUS T_T.
Lazed in for a couple of hours before heading on our second hike up to a private airfield (Compton Abbas Airfield), had lunch at their local restaurant haunt right beside the airstrip (ordered coq au vin & lamb casserole) and spent the afternoon watching planes and helicopters take-off over hot chocolate and lemonade. Got so carried away we totally disregarded the second half of our hike through Fontmell Wood and towards Ashmore, but ohwell. Got back to Mabel and played Scrabble the night away, among many other board games and Keith Urban playing in the background.
Woke up on the last morning to dense fog that gave the area an eerie charm, had an expected amazing breakfast once again and played a couple more games of Scrabble. Got offered a lift to a nearby train station to catch our train back to London.
I must say the “Old Forge” getaway was exactly what we needed from the Old Smoke and we’d definitely recommend it to anyone without second-thoughts. If you’d like to book a stay with them, simply visit their website at http://www.theoldforgedorset.co.uk or buzz ’em at 01747 811881. (The Old Forge have in absolutely no way sponsored us in or requested for an awesome review, we just feel that great places deserve great blog posts).
We’ll definitely be heading back again to The Old Forge so see you if we see you!