Monday, 16 May 2016

Our Weekend at Sawpit Wagon

Last weekend, for Rich's birthday, we stayed here. (I know. Take a minute, it's pretty stunning, right?)

This is the Sawpit Wagon on the Stock Gaylard estate near Sherbonne in Dorset, which we found on Canopy & Stars (worth checking out in its own right!) here.

We first spotted this lovely place online back in August last year, before Rich had a new job, when we were still planning to buy in London. It was so popular, that it was booked up until mid-April, so we decided to come for his birthday.

After the month we'd had, this weekend was absolutely perfect and just what we needed.

Tucked away in its own little field, surrounded by nothing for miles but deer, sheep and bluebells, this was such a haven.

The wagon itself was insanely cosy. This tiny bay window was just over our big squishy bed and there was a sofa along the wall, a little table and a gas stove and grill to cook on, though we did most of our cooking outside.

It immediately reminded me of The Globe, with it's sharp fresh smell of wood and it was delicious to be curled up on the bed drinking hot chocolate out of enamel while the rain pattered down above our head.

There was plenty to do round abouts - Corfe Castle was mentioned in the local guidebook provided by the owners - but we barely left our little home, except to venture out for supplies and a lovely roast dinner on Sunday at The White Hart in the next village (heartily recommend!).

The amenities were all outside - with an outdoor shower and sink for washing up and a compost loo. I admit to being a bit wary about the shower in particular, but it was glorious! It was lovely and hot and you could look out over the fields and woods while washing your hair.

As for the loo, well, when the view is full of trees and bluebells, you can hardly complain can you? In fact, it was actually really pleasant to use (unlike my experience of festival toilets!). I confess that I didn't venture out to use the loo once it was full dark as this city girl was actually quite surprised by just how dark the dark is.

Isn't that daft? But I've honestly never been in such total darkness before. Even wandering back to the house in Rich's village, while darker than London, isn't at all dark as there's always a house or two with a light on.

That being said, I slept wonderfully all three nights, so I guess there's something to be said for an utter lack of light pollution.

We were super lucky with the weather - it was the first fully summer-like weekend of the year! Unfortunately, we did get unlucky with the evenings, all three of which were cloudy, so we didn't see any of the stars, which is such a shame as the area is known for its stargazing (because of that lack of light pollution!).

However, the chilly evenings did mean that we got to tack full advantage of the campfire. Rich cooked up some amazing meals on it - from duck eggs and bacon for breakfast to steaks and fish! We ate like kings, thanks in no small part to the local family-run supermarket Dike & Son, which is absolutely incredible. It's full of locally produced vegetables and jams and chutneys, as well as locally sourced meat and fish.

Because it's a family-run business, relying on local produce, I would recommend checking the prices as you go round though - we got a bit basket-happy and had a bit of a shock at the till!

My Stargazer Wrap finally got put to the use for which it was intended, though we didn't get any stars. You really don't realise how warm wool is until there's a breeze getting up and you need to wrap up. It still has a faint tang of woodsmoke which I love.

I have to confess to feeling incredibly sad when we had to head back on Monday morning. It felt so incredibly good to be master of my time, to abandon our phones and their clocks and apps. I think weekends like this one teach you a great deal about what you want in your life.

(I did use my phone a few times, to try and capture the crackle of the campfire, the rain pattering on our roof and the distance bleat of the sheep. I'm hoping they came out well enough to share on my podcast which I'll be launching at the end of the month.)

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