The air was pregnant with unadulterated warmth, clouds tearing apart like oozing burrata, blue interlocked with white. As the trains whizzed by and the workers ran for freedom, our shackles were broken, white boots on grassy landscapes, the time traveller from the 50’s and her floral companion had descended forth into nature. Urban dwellings dissipated into nothingness and the distant screech of the White Collars ‘Hamster Wheel’ had paused in time, gone was the endless yapping, adieu said the worker to her boss. Instead a new freedom commenced, for one night only, two girls would enter a magical realm of endless possibilities, at one with nature, where the trees whispered its rustled secrets. The wind was alive with the earthy musk of nature, earwigs frolicking in bell tents, red ants scurrying across grassy carpeted floors. The buzz of a hundred crickets chimed in the distance as we entered the mystical world that was Home Farm Glamping, suitcases dragging behind on grass that was wild with anticipation for our arrival. The sun was still in our presence, but the clouds became a cloudless grey, a blank canvas where the day could be free to plant its narrative seeds, as we pranced and danced outside our home for the night, on a magical staycation that sure beat traditional camping. Gone were the thinly fleeced sleeping bags, where we would huddle together for warmth, and in its place was a surprisingly modern splendor, a double bed preening for inspection, pristine white, a mirror itching to be used, well thumbed books perched in a mini bookcase, oh so charmingly.
For Home Farm Glamping was a quiet oasis away from the hustle and bustle of the big city, where the girls laughed and joked until the early hours of the morning unencumbered. But I’m getting ahead of myself. They jolted back to the present, breathing in nature at its finest, a little scared of the bugs who had come to offer their greetings but nevertheless content, air in purity at its heart, thick smoke pollution a thing of the past. We had wandered past the grand mansions of Borehamwood’s finest, and plunged headfirst into a rustic countryside aesthetic, that was seemingly plucked from a postcard. Picture perfect mini cottages, a farm and stables were part of Home Farm Glamping’s aesthetically pleasing backdrop, white tents dotted across its grassy plains beautifully. And who could forget the wisdom of the large tree in the centre of the farm, whose leaves hung low with carefully threaded lanterns, oh how they shone at night. The air was cleaner here, and despite the intimacy of the farm, there was a strong sense of community spirit. Glampers communing under the light of the fading sky, children playing, dogs a’barking. It had that decidedly countryside feel that I remembered from my days as a country girl through and through, where secrets were common knowledge, and technology was a mere whisper in the near future.
The glampers slurped on homemade fare; Thai Green Curry, brimming with sauce, poured over basmati rice in synchronized harmony. And while the chef had made mistakes with my dish as the titular ‘allergy girl’ I was touched that he tried not once, not twice, but three times to make me a meal that I could relish with the same ravenous abandon as my peers, not having to miss out on his glorious fare. And boy was it worth the wait, pleased that he was not dismissive of my allergies and had made a conscientious effort to serve me food that I could eat . The curry was laced with Thai Green paste, tofu, carrots and peppers swimming in a sea of sauce, oh how it cradled its ricey child. The sauce was spiced to perfection, crushed dried chillies, long pepper juxtaposed with coconut milk, oh what a creamy goddess the Thai curry was, lapped up like a cat pawing at milk.
We supped on wine we had brought from the Sainsbury’s near the station we departed, a rose called Mateus, with a soft and slightly fizzy finish, whose bouquet of red berries were primed with fresh acidity. The fresh fizzy taste paired well with the curry and even more fabulously with the homemade brownies imploring to be eaten, crumbly mouth-sized bites of perfection begging for attention. As we supped we conversed lightheartedly, residents stories a fascinating listen, one a scientist, the other a journalist, children laughing gleefully in the background. The sky grew heavy with its night child, the colourless clouds now enveloped in navy blue, lanterns twinkling in the rustling leaves. The moon played peekaboo with the glampers, oh how they chortled with joy! Conversations flourishing under the light of the full moon soulfully, bellies sated by Home Farm Glamping and its glorious homemade grub.
Glampers crawled into their tents and waved ‘goodnight’ but for the two girls the night wasn’t over just yet, oh no! We would explore Home Farm Glamping at night, the inky black darkness casting a witchy spell over its grassy plains, as the sun crawled into its watering hole. Our tents twinkled with fairy lights oh so mischievously, monochromatic delights in the heart of night. Lanterns by our sides we waved merrily to our tent in greeting, we would be back later we decried in friendly tones. But for now we would head over to the stables for a well deserved cuppa, picking fresh mint and peppermint from the garden pots just outside, the intoxicating scent wafting underneath our nostrils ever so soothingly. Home Farm Glamping was the antidote to the stresses of the big city that we both craved oh so much, each sip tugging away at the anxiety until it dissipated into nothingness.
The air was still, the world around us was quiet, we were at one with nature, unplugged, unfiltered, our city chains un-shackled, we were free to be ourselves. Work was but a faraway memory as we sat and talk, until our fresh tea had soothed our bellies into titular submission, eyes closed in effortless contentment. As the sunset crept into midnight black and there were but mint leaves left in our little mugs, we swung our legs and raced out of the stables into night, weaving in and out of the long grass rebelliously. At last we had reached our tent, lantern in hand, but lo and behold what did we have here, spiders and earwigs writhing around in our tent, there were so many of them what would we do. To an outsider the scene would seem comical, two grown girls running around the tent screaming, but for us we might have liked nature but bugs were definitely not our friends.
It was our tent neighbours who came to our rescue, luring the creatures out one by one, until our lantern went out and we were plunged into darkness. Morning came too quickly, there were some bugs waving good morning how did they get in, our faces lined with fatigue, we craved a lie in but alas there was no time to waste. Pillows plumped, duvet straightened, a quick glance at the mirror at our disheveled appearance and we headed over to the toilets, how canny they were to log cabins in Scandinavian countries, an eco-warrior’s paradise, wooden delight. We brushed away the bugs of the night past and settled into the briskness of morning, toothpaste spattered on bristled toothbrushes.
But Home Farm Glamping was no ordinary glamorous camping ground oh no. Gone were the portaloos that reeked of piss and in its place were six luxurious toilets begging to be used. Hot showers pulsating above our heads, fresh mint to freshen our breaths, shampoos and lotions for a good ol’ scrub. The water felt like bliss on our faces, and refreshed we headed over the bridge for our express breakfast on the go. A bacon butty for Kumba and avocado on rye bread for me, freshly squeezed apple juice whetting our parched lips. Had we been able to stick around for longer we would have settled for a sumptuous breakfast spread but alas work was calling. But for now we admired the picturesque beauty of the ‘breakfast cottage’, where butterflies frolicked in the grass like youths and the locals tucked into freshly cooked breakfasts, plump tomatoes bursting at the seams, fruity liquids gulped.
Much to our surprise and joy, the chef who had so kindly made us express breakfasts offered to drive us to the station, aware that the road to our destination was an arduous one. It was a generous unexpected gesture from our foodie friend and we delighted in the offer, leaving behind the simple magic of Home Farm Glamping, where the white tents gleamed at night, oh so bright, and the children played in the playhouse nearby the big tree. As the sun rose high in the sky, and I ran into work, the memory of Home Farm Glamping in all its fantastical glory sprang to mind, a motivational reminder to get through the day until I could relieve the events of the night past. It was imperfect but there was beauty in imperfection, the allergies though an issue was sorted, the bugs though a fear had a solution. It was easy to iron over the small flaws when the benefits were otherwise perfection, a digital detox in the countryside, a home away from home. That night the girl lay down her sleepy head and closed her eyes, dreaming of a trip into nostalgia, where the birds croaked their dawn time lullabies and the big tree swayed majestically in the breeze. She slept well that night. Could it be the country air?
Have You Ever Been Glamping Before?
Please note we were given complimentary stays and food in exchange for content but all thoughts are my own and are not affected by complimentary services.
- Home Farm Glamping is London’s nearest glamping site, located in farm land in Elstree just five minutes from the end of the Jubilee Line (Stanmore).
- This luxury glamping site offers mid-week and weekend relaxation breaks for city workers, friends, and families, as well as hosting corporate retreats, hen weekends, and gourmet supper clubs.
- Home Farm Glamping has nine bell tents and three yurts on site between April and October.
- Home Farm Glamping were the winners of the ‘Rest Your Head’ category for small accommodation providers (Hertfordshire Tourism Awards 2017)
- Alongside the accommodation are bbqs and campfires, and guests can also experience fine dining options and open air yoga classes, as well as being able to explore the acres of land on site.
- Home Farm Glamping are conscious about our impact on the environment so the generator that powers the showers goes on at 8 am and runs until 11 pm.
- You can bring your own food and drink but you can also choose a package where catered food is included provided by ‘The Meadow-HFG by Home Farm Glamping’s own on site cafe tent. You can find them @themeadow provided by Chef Sainlo.