Bentley’s Journey (so far!!)
Lovers of animals and the “Good Life”, in 2010 Georgie and Peter had the good fortune to acquire a smallholding with 4 acres of paddocks right outside their back door and in the most tranquil and beautiful areas of Hampshire
3 years later they began rearing rare breed Wiltshire Horn Sheep in addition to their already well-established pursuit of fostering ponies for the RSPCA. In 2017 a further tract of land came up for sale, doubling their acreage to 8.
It always seemed a little bit on the selfish to keep it all to themselves and even more so when the smallholding doubled!!
With a passion to share this very special place with people who live very different lives, they decided to look for opportunities to give clients a memorable experience in the Country. A luxury glamping shepherds hut just fitted the bill perfectly. Their aim – a true country experience with exceptional hospitality.
High standards have always been of paramount importance to them both. It only really left one supplier to choose from as far as the accommodation was concerned – Blackdown Shepherds Huts, based in the almost neighbouring county of Somerset! They are unsurpassed as far as shepherds hut manufacturers are concerned and our hut has the magical star-gazing curved roof to marvel at the un-polluted skies in the West Tytherley area.
So aptly named is “A Touch of Elegance”, the maker/supplier of our internal furnishings (all blinds, cushions, seat covers etc….). Sue, based in Ilminster, Somerset came highly recommended by Blackdown Shepherds Huts and she did not let us down. Far from it, and we are sure you’ll agree when you take a closer look in the hut.
The next inspiration came from the Michelin star No6 Padstow restaurant run by world renowned Paul Ainsworth – in the shape of the local artist, Vicki Hannaford who designed the artwork on the menu and other items. It was Vicki who was asked to produce the Bentley’s logo and artwork images.
We always wanted our hut to have a real shepherd’s hut feel – part of that is having the handmade shepherd’s crook on the shelf above the entry to the bathroom. Also elevated at the other end of the hut are the two ewe lambs (with genuine English sheepskins keeping them snug and warm) hand crafted by the very gifted and award winning Liz Mangles. We hope you enjoy the company of your fellow hut residents!
Being out in the open air in the most stunning surroundings is key to enjoying the Bentleys experience. So, to entice (and keep) you outside long into the night, our next key contributor is Dave from “Osowarm Living” in Southbourne, West Sussex. Dave is the second biggest supplier of Danish “Morso” outdoor stoves in the world. It’s worth buying one of his stoves just for the associated entertainment with the process! The stoves are absolute top quality and will deliver great food and keep you warm into the bargain.
We are very fortunate to have a gifted local cabinet-maker – David Watts – just two doors down at Frenchmoor Pine and Restoration. David crafted the decking area, the oak mug rack and he also built the pergola in our own garden – which can be seen from the hut.
Don’t miss out on the fresh water Scandinavian wood-fired hot tub experience – it might be the only chance you ever get – although we do hear from our supplier nakedflame.com that a high percentage of people that experience them go on to buy one for themselves at home!!
Relax in the extremely comfortable “Limes and Vines” Ecofurn chairs after soaking in the tub and enjoy watching the alpacas (Aramis, Buster and Columbus) mooching around the paddock. We acquired our lovely alpacas from Patou Alpacas (now based in Somerset) run by Mark Steele who enjoys a fully justified and most enviable reputation amongst the UK breeders.
To bring everything to life and show case the Bentleys creation we needed a talented photographer – the community in Salisbury is very fortunate to have John Rose who exceeded our expectations and delighted us with the stunning photography – complimenting the excellent work from Mike Wade perfectly.
The very final addition to the hut area has been our lovely chestnut wooden sheep hurdles that define Bentleys “living area” for our guests. They were handmade by a skilled craftsman at Torry Hill Fencing. They should keep the sheep and alpacas at bay!
At the beginning and end of the of the Bentleys experience you’ll encounter the delightful wooden Victorian wheelbarrow to assist you with your luggage. A work of art from a bygone age – hand crafted by Chris from the Jolly Good Wheelbarrow Company – a thoroughly fitting name!
We are so grateful to all of the people and suppliers that have helped us to create the Bentleys experience.
Finally our thanks go to Mike and Stephanie Hansen who critiqued our website, designed and printed our stationary (using Vicki’s images!) and came up with our strap line “in a field of your own” …… Mike/Steph thank you for your honesty, for your help, but most of all for your friendship.
Now we are operating all we need to do is live up to the dream we have sold! Please do fill in the “Rate your Stay” cards at the end of your stay and let us know how we have done one way or another!! Please be honest and direct – we both have broad shoulders and most importantly, if you bring something to our attention that we can do something about to help improve the experience here for others – we will!
Thank you, P&G