Monday, 24 September 2012

Five have fun on the Farm...


We raced against the setting sun last Friday, firstly along the M4 then due to heavy traffic a detour along the A40 to get to Pant yr Hwch, a Feather Down Farm in west Wales. We were greeted by lovely owners Martin and Ann Jones who showed us to our tent, as the last of the suns rays teased us before setting. Martin had called a few days earlier to make sure we had received everything, and had offered to take Ann's homemade bolognese out of the freezer for us to heat on our arrival, which was a godsend with very hungry boys, who wolfed it down and helped themselves to seconds!


Feather Down Farms, for those of you who don't know the concept, are at the posher end of camping, with comfy beds and duvets, bedrooms and a flushable loo! All are situated on working farms, and each farm has a minimum of five, maximum of ten tents, so it will never feel crowded. Life revolves around the stove, when to light it and what to cook on it, as free range children are constantly ravenous and I will always need a cup of tea!


There is an honesty shop on the farm, which stocks; thick bacon and sausages from Martin's wooly pigs, eggs from the chickens, local butter, Ann's amazing bread and cakes, homemade elderflower cordial and champagne, jams and chutneys and locally brewed beer, even marshmallows for the open fires you can light outside the tent. The welcome folder is full of information about the history of the farm and also includes recipes for damper bread and baked bananas, stuff that childhood memories are made of.


Pant yr Hwch is an 11 acre small holding with two huge wooly pigs, donkeys, chickens, ducks, bees and a small flock of beautiful badger faced sheep, that originate in this part of west Wales. Martin and Ann let you roam around the farm at your leisure and the animals, used to small children, let them get obligingly close! The boys took great delight looking after the chickens and rounding up the sheep like sheepdogs!


The highlight of the boys weekend was being allowed to drive (or rather steer) the tractor around the field, they absolutely loved it, and now want to be farmers when they grow up.


My highlight was cooking pizzas in the pizza oven, we used up the remaining bolognese on top of one pizza, which was delicious and made blackberry, fennel and goats cheese pizzas too. 


This holiday we...

read... 

visited...
Aberaeron for a drink in the Harbourmaster Inn and went crabbing on the harbour wall using kits borrowed from Pant yr Hwch, we took slices of Ann's freshly baked and still warm, blackberry and coconut cake to eat as we crabbed! Martin said the record catch was 34 crabs, we managed one!

wanted... 
to visit both Conti's Italian cafe in Lampeter for the ice cream and the 25 Mile Restaurant in Cardigan but we didn't have enough time!


We all absolutely loved our stay on the farm and are already planning our return next Easter, hopefully to see the lambs!


We stayed at Pant yr Hwch courtesy of Feather Down Farm.

I will be uploading more pics from our trip here.

15 comments:

  1. That hen is actually reading the book isn't she?

    Feather Down camping is the only type of camping that appeals to me.

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    1. My son carried the hen around everywhere, she was the most placid hen I have ever seen and definitely enjoyed being read to! I wish he lavished our hen with as much attention!

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  2. Feather Down is the best - our children sill talk about how much they loved it 18 months on.

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    1. It's the first holiday we've had where I've had a child cry because they don't want to go home! They really want to go back.

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  3. what a beautiful place to stay Emma. A great holiday concept too x

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    1. Natalie you and your little men would love it if you ever get the chance to go!

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  4. The Feather Down Farm brochure drops through our letterbox each year - I drool over it, set it to one side in order to plan a long weekend or half term visit and somehow we never get round to it. I'm off to dig it out now and perhaps even go so far as discussing dates...

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    1. Do it - the brochure just doesn't do it justice - they should put little video's on the website - the farms are magical and it's just fantastic for children to have so much freedom, let me know if you book, we are hoping to go next year too!

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  5. Oh, Emma, your post made my heart skip a beat, Aberaeron is my hometown where I grew up and went to school! My parents still live there so I get to share it with my daughter when we visit for holidays! So glad you had a lovely time xxx
    P.S: if you haven't already, do try a honey ice cream from the Hive on the Quay next time you visit, they are delicious, I used to waitress there when I was younger so ate them all summer long and never tired of them!!!!
    P.P.S: if you ever make it as far as Aberystwyth there is a lovely organic cafe called "The Tree House" which does the most wonderful food, oh and the steam railway from Aberystwyth to Devils Bridge is expensive but the scenery is breathtaking!

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    1. Janine - You lucky thing, I love that part of the world and have been lucky enough to visit a few times now. I have never been into Aberystwyth but have been on the steam train to Devils Bridge years ago! I would move there if I had my way ;0)

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  6. We've just had a week there and it was absolutely brilliant. Our four year old girl cried because she didn't want to leave! In fact, none of us wanted to leave. It's the first holiday we've had (since having children) that we've actually enjoyed.

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    1. Our six year was incredibly upset to leave too! We are already planning our return to see his beloved chicken (pictured reading with him above) We're still eating Ann's seeded sourdough loaf which is just delicious - can you get 'holiday sick' the opposite of homesick?

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  7. That looks like an amazing holiday for everyone. Very jealous. Must add this one to the list too!!! x

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  8. This blog is so gorgeous, I really want to go there. The food looks so tempting too and I wanted to ask about damper bread - I cook lots on my woodburner and really want to cook more bread on it. Do you cook it on the top or in the oven and does the oven need to be at full pelt? Andrea

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