For me, Hunstile Organic Farm in Somerset is pretty close to heaven on earth. Not only is it a stunning ancient farmhouse set on organically managed land, not only is surrounded by goats and chickens and pigs and other animals, but it is run by a generous and friendly family.
In my other life running a natural wedding business, I have got to know Lizzie from Hunstile Organic Farm as they host a number of weddings throughout the year and I promote them as one of the wedding venues on my directory.
Mr Rigg and I had a wedding in Cornwall last weekend (more on that to come) and wanted to break up the long journey south – we had tried once before to stay at Hunstile on our way to Cornwall but they were fully booked, this time we were in luck.
We stayed in the beautiful Panelled Room in a massive bed, so wide that we argued over who had all the duvet because we were so far away from each other.
The room, like the rest of the old house, had beautiful old detailing everywhere, from the carved wooden panels to the stone fireplace, it was sumptuous but not over the top, with views across the rolling farmland.
On Thursday night we ate dinner with Lizzie and John, their son and farm worker, just the six of us enjoying a homecooked meal Lizzie had prepared.
This is something that Huntstile offer to all their B&B guests, and should you book in for a night or two I would highly recommend booking to have dinner there too – you have the luxury of a brief stroll down the garden path back to the main house and your bed afterwards and the food was superb.
I didn’t take any pictures during dinner because it would frankly have seemed wrong to document it, plus it didn’t ever cross my mind at the time. We ate lamb chops, couscous with peppers, dauphinoise potatoes and spring greens – utterly scrumptious.
Even better, perhaps, than the meal, was Lizzie and John’s hospitality. The woodstove was burning, a bottle of wine open, and chatter flowed freely – we stayed up until nearly midnight talking to two people who were until a few hours before strangers, and yet it felt like we spent a night with family.
The next morning we ate a delicious full English breakfast – Hunstile-made sausages and bacon, eggs laid by their hens, with possibly the tastiest yolks I’ve ever tried.
After breakfast we took a walk around the farm, spending some time chatting to the goats and piggy. I also spotted this beautiful pair of doves hiding/nesting beneath the roof.
Goat with an itch…
Happy Miss Piggy…
Before we left we wanted to take the walk up the hill to the Stone Circle, a spot on the edge of a copse where Hunstile bride and grooms often hold a wedding ceremony. We headed over the lane and up the track, accompanied by Izzie the dog, beneath a beautiful canopy of trees and a blanket of white flowers.
As we got about half way up the hill we suddenly noticed we were about to be enveloped in rain. Walking faster didn’t help much and soon we were caught in the middle of a hail storm.
When we reached the top and the small copse, Mr Rigg managed to find a piece of board which he propped in a tree and we attempted to shelter beneath – it was pretty futile and we were already wet through (I was appropriately clothed in leggings, a dress and a cardigan).
We stood waiting for a moment we could seize to retreat back to the farm when the hail and rain eased, and then we saw headlights coming up the hill.
Lizzie had come to rescue us – she told us she’d been sitting in her office when the hail hit and then suddenly remembered that she’d last seen us disappearing up the hill to the Stone Circle. Poor old Izzie the dog had to make her own way down, but Mr Rigg and I were thankful for the cosy ride down.
That was the end of our brief but lovely stay at Hunstile Organic Farm and I just can’t wait until we can go back for another visit. If you’re looking for a lovely B&B then do check out their website for details.
This is a picture as we headed off down the lane, there is something about this kind of weather than I just love…