For Chris’s 30th birthday, we headed off to Crafty Camping in Holditch, a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it village near Lyme Regis. Crafty Camping was the set of BBC Mastercrafts series featuring Guy Mallinson, but I stumbled upon it via holidaylettings.co.uk, hoping I could do a swap with our holiday let.
The yurt I wanted was already taken, so I rented Bodkin, a bell tent, instead.
We shared toilets and a shower with the other bell tents, but the other campers seemed really friendly so we didn’t mind. There was even a sauna built inside of a yurt which was a nice, luxurious touch.
The hot outdoor shower was so refreshing that you didn’t want to get out! It was uncovered, so it was like a magic waterfall coming from the tree. I even had a hot shower in the rain! I can still smell the tea tree oil.
Other common areas included a full outdoor kitchen featuring a wood-fired pizza oven, a games yurt and a private fishing pond.
On Friday night, we settled in and cooked the T-bone steaks I had picked up earlier.
Chris took his food coma to bed early as I nursed a few Coronas and read A Storm of Swords by the campfire until the wee hours of the night.
Despite all of the amenities at our fingertips, Saturday morning still found us walking along country roads like zombies in search of the nearest coffee shop.
It was 98% humidity and, in my opinion, not a fun morning to be walking along a boring asphalt road, stinging ourselves on nettle each time a car needed to pass. After about 25 minutes, I insisted we turn back.
I was really grumpy until we came across a field of cows. I stopped to fan myself at the gate and something pretty funny happened.
The cows started to walk over towards us! At first, it was just a few. But then every single cow stood up and walked over!
I couldn’t help but document their innate curiosity because it was so amusing. Some of the cows even fought to get a better view! I felt like a movie star.
The rest of the afternoon was spent driving around in the rain. We found ourselves in Seaton, which had a nice enough coastline but seemed fairly depressing, on the whole. Maybe it would have been nicer in the sun. I told Chris that I do not want to retire in Seaton.
Back at the campsite, we cracked the birthday cava. It was ice cold but unfortunately tasted really sickly.
The rain carried on so we ditched the BBQ in favour of a nice pub called Candlelight Inn in Bishopswood. The food was fantastic!
Chris had chicken breast with chilli mango salsa, sweet potato rosti and courgettes.
I had pan fried pork loin with balsalmic and sage jus, fondant potato and buttered kale.
It was seriously delicious! Tummies full, we headed back to Bodkin for a campfire. One cool thing about the campsite is that it’s all lit at night, but the lights are on a motion sensor so paths light up as you approach them.
Things had dried off a little, so I got the fire going pretty easily (must be my Canadian blood) and we toasted marshmallows.
Sunday was the main event: lunch at Summer Lodge Country House Hotel in Evershot. It began with a Budvar and some nibbles in the garden.
Before the starter, we had a complimentary amuse-bouche that was a sort of savoury panna cotta with sweet peppers on top. It wasn’t very good; I couldn’t bring myself to finish it.
My starter was a chicken liver and foie gras pâté with peaches and brioche. I didn’t think the peaches really ‘went’ with the savoury aspect, but it was pretty good overall.
Nothing could prepare me, though, for the amazing main course that arrived.
The plate was piled high with rare beef, carrots, green beans, yorkshire pudding, and two different types of potatoes. They drizzled gravy over the lot and we dug in. By this point I was thankful that I hadn’t eaten much of my amuse-bouche or starter.
Pudding didn’t let me down either: Eton mess with raspberry sauce.
Thoroughly stuffed, we took our tea and petit fours in the garden.
I asked for Earl Grey but our server must have heard ‘green tea.’ I didn’t have the heart to correct her when she brought it out, but I like green tea anyways.
We enjoyed the relaxing afternoon sun in the garden a while longer, stroked a cat and considered it a success.
If you’re thinking of visiting Dorset, Summer Lodge Country House Hotel is a must!
Like all good things things, our gluttonous weekend soon came to an end and we reluctantly headed back home to our real life jobs and lonely cats…