Why holidaying in a hut really is what you should try this summer
On most visits to new places, there’s always something that hits you first, whether it be the aroma, light or landscape, but on our trip to the Shepherds Hut Retreat in Somesert it is just impossible to pinpoint a single highlight. Starting out with a swift train journey from Waterloo (two and half hours seems to fly by when you’re drinking Merlot from Marks & Sparks with a good friend who you haven’t seen for 4 months) to the bolt of fresh air that filled our lungs upon arrival at the one track train station of Crewkerne or perhaps it was the no taxi rank, no phone signal, no way of arriving to our destination - will we sleep under the stars on the street, style excitement. Despite all these ‘girls on tour’ giggles the real melody of magic started to sing as we pulled on to the organic dairy farm greeted by a friendly deer galloping in the long grass, a busy bunny pottering in our private garden and chirpy birds playing chase on the lake beside our handmade hut as the harmonious noises of nature brought a welcomed sense of inner peace and contentment. Perhaps my childhood obsession with Beatrix Potter helped, but this really was a fairytale come true that brought grateful tears to my eyes, especially when we noticed the alfresco fire pit and jar of marshmallows ready to roast. Aren’t these just the moments to fill your life with?
Born and bred family farm-boy Andrew Irish, with his talented eye for design, a soul hungry for innovation and a heart committed to tradition has drawn inspiration from his roots and lovingly crafted each hut by hand, akin to luxuriously furnished bird-hides - fitted with fun double bunk style beds, wood burners, bird watching books and binoculars, a tasteful mix of wooden wall panelling, fluffy rugs, stylish appliances and vintage furnishing all set against a backdrop of soft sky blue and earthy tones which instantaneously kick-starts your rest and digest reflex. We simply couldn’t wait to whip off our sneakers, pull on a pair of chunky socks, crank up the fire and jump up onto the bed, while sweet touches like fairy lights on the deck, candles on the porch and hammocks in the trees make this hideaway a romantic hit for couples seeking an opportunity to bond.
As evening descended we decided to pop to the local 17th century pub that comes highly recommend by just about everyone - The Lord Poulett Arms. One of the West Countrys most celebrated Inns, this little jewel has won the national dinning pub of the year awards by Good Pub Guide pretty much every year since 2009, The Sunday Times gives it a 9-10 and The Observer claims it to offer the best sunday lunch in the West Country. From the thatched roofs to creaky wooden floor boards, a log fire, real ales and battered board games, our enchanting experience since our toes touch down on Somerset soil just entered a new chapter of deliciousness. Sara ordered a glass of prosecco followed by local cider while I enjoyed a few glasses of crisp and tantalising sauvignon blanc, all of which washed down too good to chew fish & chips and freshly baked lemon bread dipped in a beautiful blend of balsamic vinegar and oil. After a game of backgammon we called a cab, pulled on our pjs and slept like little angels who had returned home to heaven.
Prices start from around £160 for a weekend escape and I promise - you will not be disappointed.