A few months ago I was feeling a little crazy and my bank account was looking pretty awesome so I thought why not book a little night away for Rich and I? He’s been a good boy so why not treat him to something a little different.
And that’s when I saw it.
I happened to be reading another blog in bed one morning when I came across a post about a wagon in the woods with a hot tub and I knew I’d found the perfect place to take Rich. Not because he is the camping/glamping sort but because why the hell not? Hotels can be boring and samey and I wanted something really different and exciting. Seeing as I used to live in a summerhouse not much bigger than the wagon, I thought I’d fit right in.
God knows how I managed to keep it a secret from Rich for so long; it really isn’t like me to be able to keep surprises, especially as he’s been constantly trying to trick me into telling him where we were going for the last few weeks. I confused the hell out of him when I said he would need swimming trunks and er, some wellies. Mind blown.
So on Friday afternoon we headed off to Medstead to our little wagon in the woods for an evening of hot tubbing, fire starting and wine drinking– all of which I am an expert at– minus the fire starting part. LOL.
We were greeted by our host Ralph, who built the wagon and who lives with his wife in their house a few hundred yards or so from the wagon. I know what you may be thinking– it can’t be very private if there is someone else living right next door but believe me, Ralph has done an amazing job at making the wagon seem extremely secluded and private. You really don’t feel like there is anyone else around and I mean this in a good way, not in a creepy oh-my-god-we-are-all alone-in-the-middle-of-the-woods kinda way.
Rich’s face when he saw the wagon was one of mixed emotions. I mean, it was pretty cold when we arrived and he didn’t have his coat on because maybe he thought we were heading into a nice warm cottage with an open fire. Who knows. He looked surprised to say the least and I was once again happy I’d kept this secret to myself.
Once Ralph had finished the tour of the area and showed us how things worked and how to make the fires, he left us to our own devices. Now, I just want to make a point here because starting a fire is actually really bloody hard work and I honestly don’t know why they tell you as kids that fires start easily because THEY DO NOT. To heat up the hot tub we had to light the log burner, which turned out to be a lot harder that we first anticipated. In the end we did go and get Ralph who came and saved the day with his fire starting skills. But I watched carefully because I knew we would need to light the camp fire later and there was no way I was going to be defeated again!
I booked dinner for us at the local pub The Yew Tree that evening because as lovely as camp life is, having a BBQ in the freezing cold didn’t really seem all that fun. We had a few hours to kill before dinner but we didn’t want to get in the hot tub till later when we could open our wine and chill out without worrying about getting dressed again for food. So we kept warm inside the wagon instead whilst listening to music and watching the sky turn black. The wagon features a very impressive circular window at one end which over looks the fields, and with no TV to distract us there really isn’t a lot to do except, just be.
I made us some tea when we arrived mainly just so I could use the vintage kettle and copper mugs but also because I really wanted to eat the wagon wheels Ralph kindly supplies his guests. I honestly couldn’t tell you the last time I ate a wagon wheel!
Everything kitchen utensil you will need in the wagon is kept under the bed in a big pull-out basket but we didn’t use anything from there as we weren’t cooking. Ralph also provides tea, coffee, sugar, milk and marshmallows for roasting on the camp fire. I totally didn’t think breakfast through at all, and by that I mean I completely forgot about it! So the following morning we drank coffee and finished off some chocolate donuts Rich had brought with him from work. Thinking about it now, I’m sure we could have bought some eggs off Ralph if we really wanted to.
Features in the wagon.
Considering the size of the wagon, it actually has everything you need. Like a toilet, a bath hidden under the floor, a pull-out table, a padded bench which comes out from under the bed and sits on the end, a sink, a fridge and two hobs and a grill. Did I mention the BATH HIDDEN UNDER THE FLOOR already?! Amazing.
The entire time we were there I kept thinking about ways we could make the summerhouse in Mum’s garden self-sufficient so that Rich and I could move back there and save ourselves shit loads of money for a mortgage. But without plumbing and drainage it ain’t gonna happen. BOO 🙁
Outside the wagon there is decking with table and chairs, the hot tub, which faces the fields and is extremely private, an outdoor sink and the BBQ/campfire area.
After a lovely meal at The Yew Tree we came back and whilst I re-started the log burner to warm the hot tub, Rich attempted to light the camp fire. His attempt was pretty poor by the way and he gave up after about 10 minutes when he thought we would run out of paper. He is no Bear Grylls let me tell you! I on the other hand wasn’t going to give in so easily and I got the fire going all by myself! It was like that moment in Cast Away where Tom Hanks runs around his fire shouting: “I have created fire!”
We then got changed, opened the wine and got into the hot tub which was amazing! There is something so nice about being in a hot tub when the air outside is freezing cold.
The later part of evening was spent by the fire, roasting marshmallows and listening to the sound of the owls in the darkness above. Very romantic!
I booked our stay through Airbnb but Ralph has given me the direct link to the website so that anyone who books doesn’t get charged the booking fee. The wagon costs £90 per night (£99 on a weekend) plus an extra £15 if you want to use the hot tub and wood for the fire.
You can visit the website HERE for more information but if you are thinking of booking then get in there quick as the wagon is almost always completely fully booked and after our stay here on Friday night, I can 100% see why!
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