Phew, it’s Friday evening after all the hustle and bustle of a busy long working week. Now I can sit back and forget the huge pile of paperwork I have left in the office and the business meetings and motorway drives that lay ahead next week.
I am now in a different world… sitting on the decking, chilled and relaxed on a sunny Spring evening looking out across the open Fordhall farm field from this glorious straw bale bunkhouse.
Ahhh, I hear chatter, here they come, the rest of my clan, carrying our food produce for the weekend from the farm shop.
The children go into rapture about the little lambs and piglets they have just encountered on the way back from their ride on Betty the tractor. They are bursting with excitement as they hurry through to decide which bunk bed they will be climbing into that night.
The table is already beautifully set for us, a nice bottle of organic red and a bowl of fresh fruit sat on a pretty checked table cover. What a lovely welcome.
What a super fully equipped kitchen, we all set to, as there is room for everyone to test their culinary skills.
There is nothing like sitting with your friends enjoying a meal of fresh organic meat and vegetables, fresh salads and herbs and my… does it taste so much nicer being where we are in this getaway ecological home with line-rendered outer walls and beautiful cedar wood panels creating the architectural framework of this stunning communal room. This home maybe made of straw bale but no huffing and puffing would blow this house down!
As the night closes in and a slight chill descends, we get the log fire quickly roaring as we all sit on our beanbags ready to tell each other our stories and make our plans for the day ahead on this amazing farm.
I am the first up the next morning. How wonderful to be so close to nature and be in the peace and tranquillity of this new retreat. Oh, I think I see a buzzard over the field, hovering and flying fast and low, ready to flop on its prey.
I can’t help but think for a moment or two about my work, but only to ponder on what a perfect setting this is for our next team working event. Whether that be, using the main building for business planning workshops, nature and wildlife hunts in Fordhall’s woodlands, fitness walks on the orienteering track, participating in a cookery lesson or using this farmland landscape with spectacular views for competitive team challenges.
Next up from her bunk is my sister and as I am deep in thought she comments ‘This is a perfect setting for my yoga group to come and stay’ as she starts scribbling her plans for this year’s group weekend away.
We took a walk through the community garden and then down the meadows, to the Old Three Ponds. And oh, the smile on the children’s faces as we encountered the education adventure area, as they sat drawing the birds looking out from the roundhouse and then testing their climbing and balancing skills on the obstacle tyre course. How the girls were delighted with finding the fairy doors on our trail!
What a perfect place this is for fun and educational experiences, and now with the bunkhouse, Fordhall offers such perfect accommodation for schools, cubs, scouts and groups of all kinds.
We had worked up an appetite, so we all headed to Arthur’s Farm Kitchen for a full tasty breakfast!
Oh I feel so privileged to have spent just a short while staying at this wonderful haven, it welcomes everyone no matter of your walk of life, skills or passion, this place is sure to endear you and I guarantee, you will want to come back!
by Chris Tate and Family