British Summer Time has started, the evenings are getting so much lighter and cheery daffs are in full bloom. So far so normal but as we all know this year is anything but normal. Usually we’d be sprucing up the vans, putting twinkly solar fairy lights in the trees and laying fresh paths in readiness for what would have been our 8th season launch next week. Instead the covers are still on and like you we’re wondering what the forseeable future in lockdown holds for us. We hope you are safe and well and weathering the Corona Storm. In the meantime, thank the glamping gods you can’t lockdown Spring, here’s a little taster of life on site last week, complete with chirruping birds.
Focus on all the Parties we’ll have on the other side
We don’t know when we’ll be able to open our van doors but we’re crossing everything and hoping it will be in time for the summer holidays, if not earlier. In the meantime we’ve been working hard to reschedule all our Spring group bookings either to later on in the year or we’ve moved them to next year. If the Olympics can be shunted back a year, so too can weddings, hen parties and important birthdays ending in big fat zeros.
We love that you want to celebrate with us and we are here to help make your weekend glamping party one you’ll remember for a long time. We generally say numbers for whole site private hire start from 12 upwards but if you are a smaller group of 8-12 it’s also worth enquiring. We offer all sorts of delicious homecooked food from one pot campfire dinners and hangover brunches to 3 course wild dining feasts in our candlelit vintage mess tent. And there’s masses to do in the area by day – from canoeing down the River Wye to mountain biking in the Forest of Dean or just hang out on site and play a game of tennis before treating yourself to a range of holistic treatments in our lotus belle massage tent. It’s never too early to get in touch if you’re planning a big get together with friends or something special.
Glamping Dish of the Day
I don’t know about you but our team of largely teenage kids are eating us out of hearth and home. The fruitbowl – and that includes unripe kiwis – is gone in a day and as for bread and any form of baked goods, more like the blink of an eye. Enter store cupboard dinners that can be made over a campfire or hob ring. This one is super simple, super filling for fast growing teens with hollow legs and brings to mind cowboys cooking over an open fire, Yee haw:
Kick Ass Beans
Ingredients, serves 5:
Good glug of olive or rapeseed oil
1 red onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped/minced
1 red chilli, finely chopped
Handful of fresh herbs – rosemary & thyme leaves only
1 tsp smoked paprika
400g can chopped tomatoes
I tbsp black treacle
Splash of sherry vinegar
2 x 400g cans butter beans, drained & rinsed
- Heat oil in pan and add onion, garlic & chilli. Stir & fry for a minute or so until soft and beginning to colour.
- Season with salt & pepper and add the rosemary and thyme followed by the paprika. Mix then add the tomatoes, treacle and water from rinsing out the tomato tin. Then add the vinegar and butter beans.
- Let it all simmer for 10 mins and serve on hot toast or a baked potato.
A Greener Future
Hopefully we will emerge from this crisis a little bit wiser, with increased respect for our planet and renewed energy to do things differently. It has been amazing to watch pollution levels fall around the world. Will airline travel ever be the same again? Surely the likes of zoom have made us realise we don’t need to be racking up the air and road miles to get business done. When you book a glamping break here at Mad Dogs & Vintage Vans you are ticking the off grid, eco box. We try to ensure that everything we do is as environmentally friendly as possible. On site you’ll find a composting loo – and a very fine one at that complete with Victorian throne seat – and all our cleaning and shower products are made by a company called Splosh over in Hay on Wye who have been doing their bit to rid the earth of single use plastics. Owing to a surge in demand there’s currently a bit of a wait but it’s worth having a look at their range and thinking about making the switch once and for all. Their products smell delicious too.
I’ve always had a healthy respect for Tom Hanks (so polite in interviews, absence of ego) who nailed it in a recent tweet, ‘Going to take awhile, but if we take care of each other, help where we can, and give up some comforts, this, too, shall pass’. Amen to that. You can book your glamping summer holiday here safe in the knowledge that we are totally flexible and can reschedule your booking or refund you if you prefer. Stay safe and we very much hope to see you on the other side for laughter, campfires, shooting stars and new glamping adventures.
Jo & Sacha xx