We have discovered the perfect way to enjoy a bit of the countryside, and a well deserved treat, when you have a few days to escape from the city. We’ve just come back from a Feather Down Farm Holiday on Billingsmoor Farm in Devon and had the best time ever. Coming home, we found the apple trees in full blossom, another chicken has gone broody and the asparagus is growing thick and fast…
Regular readers may remember last year’s post about dairy farms, this month we’ve been able to stay on a farm as a family and see for ourselves the hard work and commitment of our British farmers. This was no ordinary farm holiday, staying in a converted barn or cottage, this time we were staying under canvas in a fantastic Feather Down Farm Tent. Based on an Old Dutch Farm House with wood burning stove at the heart, we were excited to explore every corner; Macy chose one of the bunk beds in the twin room, Andy and I enjoyed the romantic double room lined with cotton drapes and lit by candles in hanging lanterns, whilst James clambered into the cupboard bed that would traditionally benefit from the warmth of young animals sleeping in the cubby hole underneath. The tent was fully equipped with everything from vintage enamel ware and a wall mounted coffee grinder to reclaimed dining chairs and glowing oil lamps. If your experience of camping is lumpy ground-sheets and floppy air beds, you’ll be pleased to find that Feather Down tents have wooden floor boards and you sleep in real wooden framed beds complete with mattresses, duvets and pillows. Our tent that slept 6 shared a field with just one other, though there were 10 tents in total on the farm. Each tent had a personal chicken coop and the children, who are usually up first on a campsite, were delighted to join in the chase for next door’s hen who had escaped during the morning egg collection!
A Feather Down holiday will definitely help you switch off and relax, which is a good job as there is no Wi-Fi, no electricity (except for hair dryers in the shower block) and not even gas for your morning cuppa. Each day starts with the stove being lit and the large tin kettle being filled with spring water from the brass tap in the kitchen area. A slow breakfast is cooked with food gathered from the Farm Larder, an honesty shop stocking a range of local farm fresh foods and a few of the basics that make life easier. We took milk, bacon, bread and butter for breakfast, a salad bowl, steaks and burgers for a BBQ and just made a note of what we took ready to settle up on departure. Evenings were cosy, with cheese and wine, playing cards by candlelight and no midnight stalks across a wet field for a night-time ‘visit’ as each tent has its own flushing toilet!
Friends who had visited Feather Down Farms before assured us that each tent was exactly as promised in their brochure and website and as I stepped into our tent I felt like I’d been here before. This was so much more than a holiday, it was an experience for all the senses that you will only fully understand when you go yourself; with sites across the UK and into Europe you can choose your location, switch off and enjoy.
In our next post we’ll be telling you more about the farm that we stayed on and introducing you to Jayne and Robert Lammie from Billingsmoor Farm in Devon.
- Our almonds did get pollinated in the cold months of February & March, we can see the new nuts forming
- We are harvesting a couple of bunches of asparagus a week and whisking up a regular hollandaise
- The first Bee Keeping course of the year was a great success, there are 4 more dates available…
Jobs for next week:
- Get the garden ready for a bespoke course to help celebrate a 60th birthday
- Try and split the bees to start a second colony
- Sow some salad crops under cover in the cold frame
Join us on the Journey!