Carry on Glamping
The Adventures of MemSaab900
We sunk into our deckchairs, entertained a glass of Rioja, and listened to nature strike up the band, logs softly crackling in the fire pit and sheep bleating faintly in next door’s meadow, the world seems at peace.
So … this is camping? I mean where are the soggy socks, matches which fail to light and the smell of damp wellies?
Well, it’s glamping Urban Rajah style… in a luxe bell tent just outside Rye, East Sussex. A short trip from the clogged capital, Swallowtail Hill is run by Sarah and Christopher Broadbent, who escaped London to live the good life, without the hair shirts!
Comfort and camping don’t usually go together but here, we experienced an outdoor nirvana. All the usual paraphernalia was taken care of but delivered with Trip Advisor star status. We didn’t need to bring beds, bedding or towels and we avoided the ‘where does this pole go?’ conundrum as they put up the tent for us! Top of the agenda was bug hunting for the kids, while hubby checked out the tractor. What is it about men and tractors? Hmmm maybe there’s a men’s TV idea here...
We arrived at our tent just as the sun was setting over the woods, bathing the wildflower meadow in a deep golden light. The bell tents that share the pondside pitch are hitched up on a decked platform overlooking a shallow clearing, their come hither look beckoned us inside. We weren’t disappointed, a double bed made from bleached driftwood and two comfortable airbeds for the kids, plus home comforts galore. No Playstation, no Wii, no DS Lites, just Connect 4 and honest to goodness fun.
The cooking pit outside looks interesting, and ‘man who makes fire’ seems decidedly excited about the prospect of getting it going. Kindling and logs are supplied, along with very brief instructions of what to do… we didn’t ask? Well, you wouldn’t would you?!
But this camping experience wasn’t devoid of canvas character, our ‘Welcome Pack’, included a tin of baked beans for the kids, and bread to make toast. So we crank up the fire and get cooking, beans are dealt with very efficiently but … urm … toast anyone?!! Finally, after a lot of giggling and excitement, the kids collapsed into their beds and we felt something strange and distant...peace! London seems a galaxy away! Bliss...
After deep slumber and indulgent shower, heated by a wood burning stove, we are ready to face the day, and what a day it is. One of those beautiful early summer days that make England just the best place in the world to holiday. The kids are able to feed the animals before heading off with Sarah on a bug hunt. Hubby gets behind the wheel of a vintage Fordson Supermajor … and me? Well, I sit back, enjoy the sunshine and decide that maybe, just maybe, camping isn’t as odorous and odious as I remember.
MemSaab900 is a guest of the Urban Rajah