How Glamping Sites have Transformed Self-Catering for 21c
Self-catering is the way to go, every time, unless you’re in transit and only travelling to get from A to B. For the odd meal you can blow the bank balance and traumatise your gut – but it simply won’t do for a proper holiday. What if you just don’t feel like being embarrassed into ordering bottled water when you’re really just happy with a jug of tap? And that’s just the beginning – a cooked breakfast three days running? Yet more sandwiches – and so more bread –
for lunch, because it’s half the price of the cooked mains? Knowing the children are itching to get up from the table but can’t because it’s a restaurant…and the dog tied up outside all the while? This is costing good money and you know you’d be happier at home in the garden! At least at home your boiled egg would be perfect and you wouldn’t be ODing on pastries for breakfast.
I’ve discovered another way and not a moment too soon. I love foraging. I love farm shops. I love knowing that my food miles are just steps away. I also love cooking on embers and over an open fire. Enter Glamping. If you choose well, and this might take a few phone calls, you can find sites that provide cast iron dutch ovens for a slow-cook stew, proper scary-looking skewers for your kebabs – and sometimes even fully kitted out picnic baskets so you can dine in the perfect glade or by the river. Hot drinks after your picnic? Good glamping sites provide storm kettles for hot cocoa anywhere. Glamping means everyone in the family is happy – including the dog, who after all also needs a holiday! The finest glamping sites offer proper self-catering with nobs on. If you stay at Adhurst Yurts you can even wander over to the pick-your-own farm, where there is also the visiting fresh fishmonger. Your meals are no longer an expensive necessity; instead your meals become part of the holiday. It’s a chance to try wild garlic and wood sorrel and chicken of the woods fungus. It’s a chance to bake bread on a stick and grill your toast over the embers. If you visit Adhurst in June you can return from your walk with a trug of freshly snapped asparagus and bung it on the bbq, with a squeeze of lemon and drizzle of oil. And if your glamping site really knows its onions it will provide a gas hob for a quicker foraged-mushroom fry-up. At Adhurst you can even walk straight from your yurt to two traditional pubs (for that one meal out). It’s a win-win situation.
I think glamp sites are the only self-catering option with a get-out clause. The best ones will deliver a breakfast hamper with hot coffee if desired or a prepared healthy stew upon late night arrivals. And of course that great walk to a nearby pub for a well-earned pint of whatever microbrewery is local. And a hot bath by candlelight in your yurt while the bonfire crackles outside.