Friday, 20 July 2018

A weekend adventure in Dorset with Plankbridge and Farmstead Glamping

You've heard of a man cave, I'm sure. But do you know what a men cave is?

Okay, so it's not really an *actual* thing, but I was chatting to a friend of mine a few weeks back about menopause and what is likely to come our way over the next ten years or so. We joked that we'll need a men(opause) cave to retreat to when it all gets too much, but actually, the more I think about it the more I think it's an amazing idea. Menopause + my autistic brain could be an interesting combination so I may need to think up a plan to keep us all sane...

Somewhere to go when the house gets too noisy, too full of teenagers. Somewhere quiet and peaceful to work and to be calm. Somewhere not too far from the house so it doesn't feel completely anti-social. And I think I've found the answer!

The other Friday, we bunked off at lunchtime and sped down to Dorset where a beautiful Plankbridge shepherd's hut was waiting for us. The Happy Hare sits in a field at the bottom of Colber Farm near Sturminster Newton. The hut itself is cleverly designed to include a kingsize bed at one end, a bathroom at the other, and a kitchen area and wood burner in the centre. Such clever craftsmanship! The entire thing is beautiful - painted using muted colours and decorated with luxurious touches like soft blankets, towels and bedlinen, while the living area includes a gas hob, a cool box 'fridge' plus pretty glassware and interesting crockery.

Outside, the small table and chairs overlook the fire pit and campfire and beyond to the fields of cows in the distance. The wood-fired hot tub has a privacy screen despite being far enough away from the one other shepherd's hut at the top of the field.

Hannah from the farm greeted us with vegan brownies (how kind!) and walked us over to the hut, giving us tips for nearby walks and info about a local boogie woogie festival, before leaving us to our own devices. Or not. Our phones were used only to play music while we lit fires, cooked food, drank wine and chatted.

The incredible weather we've been having meant that it was still so warm late into the evening. The hot tub takes a couple of hours to heat up so we were stoking the fire and stirring the water with a giant paddle (Annie orphanage style!). By about 9.30pm it was warm enough to hop in, and it stayed hot for hours, long after the sun had gone down and we could barely make our way back to the hut.

The bed was so comfortable and we drifted off to sleep, the peace of the countryside making it easy to fall into a deep slumber. The next morning, we sat in the milky sunshine drinking tea and listening to podcasts. To our delight, the hot tub was still hot so we ended up back in the water for a morning dip, before we packed up our things and headed back to Bristol.

So now, here I am, dreaming of a home in which we have enough outdoor space to fit one of these brilliant huts which are basically a middle-aged loner's dream come true! Plankbridge make a few different versions of their shepherd's huts including one where you can work with them to specify a design that suits your needs entirely. This I can get behind, although any of their beautiful huts would do me just fine.

Would you be up for a men cave? Would a shepherd's hut suit you? Leave me a comment and let me know!


If you'd like to try out a Plankbridge shepherd's hut for yourself, you can! Find out more about their huts here and scroll down to the map to see where you can try one out.

And there's more from Farmstead Glamping here.

We were guests of Farmstead Glamping and Plankbridge for the purposes of this review. 
All images and words are my own.
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