I’ve always considered myself a country girl at heart, despite the fact that I’ve lived in cities for most of my life. My compromise is to retreat regularly from urban life into the great outdoors, so when I was recently invited by Quality Unearthed to spend a romantic weekend in a whimsical gypsy wagon on a Northamptonshire farm, I didn’t hesitate for one second.
The Bright Blue Seren Wagon
Adam and I met at Marylebone Station in London after work for the hour-long ride to Banbury. From there we hopped in a taxi and half an hour later arrived at our destination. Jenna Turnham, the farm owner alongside her husband, welcomed us and guided the way by torch down a grassy trail. Illuminated by the light of the full moon, our bright blue wagon stood in all her glory alongside a shimmering dam and ancient oak trees.
Inside the wagon, Jenna pointed out the solar-powered light switches, fireplace and farm-fresh honey and bread. I marvelled at the whimsical interiors: a pink woollen throw, dozens of pretty candle holders, antique books, a wrought-iron fairy fireplace, and a glorious king-sized bed. “Some people paint, but I like to turn wagons into magical hideouts,” said Jenna, before she bid us good night.
Despite the chilly weather outside, we were snug as two bugs in our wagon thanks to our roaring little fire place. That evening we fell asleep to the calls of distant foxes and the sounds of crackling flames and tapping raindrops. Jenna had warned us, “Don’t be alarmed if you hear coughing – it’s just the cows on the field nearby.”
The next morning we stepped outside to survey the lay of the land. Situated on the edge of a lush field, our private site consisted of our wagon, a separate bathroom wagon with hot shower and eco-friendly toilet, a fire pit, gas cooker and table, and a marvellous fire-fuelled wooden hot tub for two. Life doesn’t get better than this.
Adam boiled water for coffee, while I shielded our scrambled eggs from the wind. After a wholesome breakfast, we cozied up around the fireplace for a solid reading session – a luxury often not afforded in the city. Adam eagerly threw logs into the hot tub fireplace in preparation for the world’s ultimate outdoor treat.
Country Walks, Barbeques & Hot Tubs
Jenna had assured us that there are countless walking trails on their 400-acre farm, so we took ourselves off for a stroll through the countryside. We walked along bridleways, skirted along the sides of agricultural fields and wandered through leafy forests without seeing another soul. By the time we returned to base camp, our hot tub was starting to steam. But first, dinner had to be prepared. Adam lit the fire pit barbeque, while I wrapped corn and sweet potatoes in tin foil and brushed olive oil on meat. “Isn’t this heaven?!” exclaimed Adam.
Glamping (and camping for that matter) is indeed heavenly. It allows you to slow down and focus on the simple things in life. Preparing dinner may take hours as you wait for the coals to set, but this is exactly what it’s all about. In fact, even though we had reception at the wagon, I very consciously packed my phone away to fully embrace a digital detox – I can confirm that it does wonders for the soul. By the time we finished dinner, our hot tub had reached the perfect temperature. We slid into the steaming water and looked up to a night sky ablaze with stars.
After yet another blissful and cosy night’s sleep, we rose by natural sunlight, opened the lid of our hot tub and found it steamily hot. With the oak trees swaying in the wind and the hot water warming us up from the outside in, we felt a million miles away from the city.
Escape the City
Stay at Seren Wagon from £80 per night, based on two people sharing and a minimum of two nights. Quality Unearthed also manages a range of other magical countryside hideouts, including tree houses, yurts and eco pods. Book your weekend here or contact them on +44 1348830922.