WITH LOVE ...
Glamping in the Kent country side
Gooseberry Field Glamping.
I’ve wanted to go glamping since… forever! I’m not a camper, I love the romantic idea of it – the nature, the simplicity, the remoteness. However, like many of us, I just can’t deal with giving up my home comforts. I mean, what’s fun about lying on the floor for the night, (if you actually get any sleep) waking with an almighty back ache!? I do have friends that really enjoy camping – but the difference is they have all the gear. Comfy blow up mattresses, all the cooking gear, huge great tents. The biggest drawback – my hubby would moan like hell for the duration of the trip – fact. So therefore we don’t camp. But glamping… well, its glam isn’t it!?
Discovering Gooseberry Field
Well, what a place. I’d seen it online and been following for a little while on social media, before I realised that it was actually owned by one of the parents in Boo’s class. What a small world! This was all I needed to finally make me book. The booking process was really easy and within no time at all an email arrived in my inbox from the lovely Kerstin. She introduced herself and thanked me for booking, as well as attaching lots of juicy info about our stay. I do love lots of info – it just gives you a better picture about what to expect.
The weeks passed (with Boo asking at least 100 times “is it today”?) and the weekend was finally upon us. All we had to bring was our food. EVERYTHING else was catered for. Right down to the cookery utensils. I’d also pre-ordered kindling for our fire and the farm’s very own bacon.
And we’re off!
I’d booked two tents. One for us four and one for my parents. We set off on our adventurous weekend. As we entered Pluckley, I was taken aback by its beauty. It’s a real old Kentish Village that is actually meant to be haunted. Great. I’d rather not have known this before our stay! Will I sleep tonight?
We were keeping a very beady eye out for the site but shot straight past it and ended up a little lost (If you go – look out, it’s a little hidden). After lots of shouting at the Sat Nav and a few u-turns – we finally pulled in, parked the car and made our way along the lovely driveway. Either side were the beautiful bell tents. It was breathtaking – like a scene out of a fairytale. The site is an ancient apple orchard, so fruit trees lined the drive of the five acre site. Children played bare feet on the lush green grass, while their parents relaxed in deck chairs.
The owner’s house, in the distance, was stunning. Chilling in the sun was John, and soon appeared Kerstin, along with their little boy. She’s the most perfect hostess, with fabulous attention to detail. She welcomed us with the biggest smile.
We were shown to our tent as Kerstin explained all about the site, pointing out all the facilities along the way. The showers and toilets were top quality and exceptionally clean. There was even a beautiful natural hot tub to use. A farm shop a short walk away, chickens to collect fresh eggs from and even a pizza oven. (can’t deny I was most excited by the later detail!) Such a foodie!
I couldn’t wait to see what our tent was like inside – Kirstin unzipped the doorway and WOW! We had the gorgeous Earth & Soul tent. How beautiful – we had a sumptuous double futon bed, two single beds, scatter cushions, coordinating rugs, beautifully strung bunting, lanterns… it was heavenly. It was so spacious, with plenty of room for all of us. At the entrance to our tent was a huge box of cooking equipment, containing everything we could possibly need.
We brought the car up and spent the afternoon settling in, while sipping on Prosecco in the sunshine – it was a beautiful hot balmy day. The children played cricket, rode their bikes, ran like free range hens and laughed a lot. We took a fabulous foam plane with us from Lidl… it was a huge hit and entertained all the children on the site!
That evening we grazed on our ridiculously large picnic assortment, sipped on more wine and chatted round the fire. The boys layered up in PJs and onesies then snuggled down in their cosy beds for the night. I won’t mention the bit about Boo whingeing because he’d got to that overtired, ratty point – yes, you get it! Oh, or the fact the big one found a spider in the tent… for God sake child!!
As the fire died down and the temperature dropped, we settled down for the night too – I wore loads of layers – it was surprisingly chilly after such a hot day. I drifted off really easily (maybe something to do with the wine!)
I was rudely woken the next morning by a wild five year old, keen to escape the tent and find fresh eggs. It was wonderfully simple boiling the kettle for cups of coffee, if rather labour intensive! It was all part of the fun and brekkie was a real treat of fried eggs, bacon from the piggies just 50ft away (nearly turned veggie over that) and toast. All cooked on our little gas stove.
The day was spent playing games, eating more, sitting in the sun and nothing much at all. Not forgetting a quick dunk in the wooden, wood fired hot tub. It was so refreshing to just take life by each moment. No time restrictions or agenda. Completely unplugged from our normal lives. The boys quickly made friends with a lovely little girl in the next tent and they all played cricket until dusk. Her daddy was far more energetic than ours. I still owe you Steve!
In the evening, the pizza oven was open and we all gathered on the terrace to make our creations. It was a lovely opportunity to get to know the other campers too. John had the bar open and we all enjoyed cocktails and home brewed cider. As we sat under the strung fairy lights with the pizza oven roaring away, everyone was having a wonderful time. The cocktails were flowing and the pizza was absolutely outstanding. The best I’d ever tasted.
Our stay at Gooseberry Field was superb. Kerstin’s attention to detail and eye for design is stunning. They have created a very special environment, enabling visitors to create wonderful memories. Thank you for having us. x
If you’d like more information please get in touch with Kerstin on firstname.lastname@example.org or via their website https://www.gooseberryfieldcampsite.com