The Shepherds Barn is the definition of ‘off the beaten track,’ nestled secretly on the side of a hill somewhere in the middle of Somerset’s Mendips. That meant that the man and I got to really stretch the Landrover’s legs getting to this little retreat- driving through Dorset, into Somerset and through some proper fields.
It was magic.
The taxi driver taking me to Knepp Wildland Safari told me I was lucky enough to be in the county with more trees per acre than any other.
Desperate to be out of the city and taste fresh air that fact he shared with me was enough to keep me content. Then I arrived at Knepp, thanks to Canopy & Stars, and my happy radar went up a notch.
On route to this family celebration weekend in Shropshire I got a message from my sister saying that there were pigs and multiple log burners.
And so the stage was set for a cracker…
The weekend I spent at Amberstone Manor was a bit rogue.
In part because of the spontaneous nature in which me and my friend Hannah ended up there. It wasn’t intended. We were having a night at River Cottage HQ and were asked in a last minute frenzy to join this gathering of bloggers after we were done down on the farm. We also almost didn’t make it. Our trusty steed, Doug the landrover, seemed a bit over our night of West Country adventuring and as we wound down country lane after country lane (past witching hour and with 4% battery on our GPS to go) he slowly puttered to a standstill as we made a left turn.
Until he brilliantly breathed himself back to life, we had resigned ourselves to a shivering night in the rusty wagon by an unattractive, dangerous roadside .
Park Farm sits in a valley and on 100 (organic) acres neatly split by the Devon/Dorset border. You’d think it was a ready made set created just for the River Cottage show with the way that it so perfectly (even in- and probably because of- its wonkiness) ticks the ‘good life’ box.
It is one of those happily English cottages sat next to a few pimped out barns with a polytunnel, walled kitchen garden and of course rolling fields to boot. Shrouded in mist as it often is being in a valley was a pretty sweet way to get my first autumnal view of the iconic farm, setting the tone for a night of seasonal goodness I got lucky with thanks to This is Your Kingdom.