Country Kids from Coombe Mill

November 21, 2014 at 11:40 PMCoombeMill

Free Play in Nature

I have always been a huge believer in encouraging free play, of allowing children to use their imaginations and nature for entertainment with as little adult input as needed to inspire them. We are lucky to have the 30 acres of countryside that makes Coombe Mill and this does make things easy for my children, yet still I love nothing more than to watch them at play creating their own fun. What's more their experience of life on the farm and enthusiasm for the outdoors is infectious and by the school holidays they waste no time in teaming up with guests their age and leading them into an adventure. This past half term has been particularly mild, with my children that inevitably means taking advantage of the river and its tributaries running through Coombe Mill.

Dam building 

Working with two families the triplets helped to dam our main tributary in 6 places creating a beautiful cascade of waterfalls. despite backache and water in wellies they were clearly satisfied with their results.


Damming the river

River games.

Dam building turned out to be hot work and a cool down in the river was in order. While the guests paddled and threw sticks for the dogs Guy jumped in off the bridge and swam over to join them via the rope swing, fully clothed of course, what difference could another wash load make for me!


October in the River Camel

A stone skimming competition followed with the adults even skimming a few right under the bridge and out the other side. The best skimmer was clearly under debate and the children decided this was best resolved in a splashing war; well Guy had nothing to lose being already soaked. Huge swells of water sprayed around amidst laughter and squeals from the girls.


River Fun splashing at Coombe Mill

By this time there were more wet children than dry and several now chose to join Guy in a full dunking while more of our guests came to join in the fun.

Swimming in the river Oct half term


Who would have thought something as simple as dam building could have turned into such a full afternoon of child led fun in nature and how is it that children just don't feel the cold as we do?




This was only 3 weeks ago, yet how the weather has changed since then. We have seen downpours and rain in quantities not felt since January return and the river has swollen. As a result river play is now off limits again until spring as the current is already too strong. There is no messing with nature and my children respect this.


River swollen in November

Joining in with Country Kids

If you have been out having fun then please join me here. The only restriction to linking is that your post must be about children and doing something outside, apart from that anything goes and I am always blown away by all the lovely ideas and adventures linked up each week. Don't let the chill of winter and the dark evenings put you off finding those outdoor moments. Fresh air is good for mind and body all year round. Do grab the badge and check out a few of the other posts for yourself.

I always comment on every post that links up with me but doing this has led to some commenting systems seeing me as spam. If you don't see a comment from me please check your spam, I am probably lurking there!  

Country Kids is around in these communities, I'd love you to join me there:

Pin on the Pinterest Board Just ask for an invite to pin and include Country Kids on your pins for me to stop by on your boards too (no need for a hash tag in Pinterest)

Follow Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays's board Country Kids  from Coombe Mill on Pinterest.

Join the Google Plus community page  for Country Kids and add #CountryKids to your tag elsewhere for a +1 from me

Share your posts on  Instagram and Twitter with #CountryKids for a like or a re-tweet

A few of my favourites from last week:

Chocolate is not the only fruit goes to a party at a farm and sees it as preparation for Christmas at Coombe Mill. 

A day in this Dad's life reflects on some fun days out from Coombe Mill over half term.

Forests in autumn hold a magic all of their own for a family adventure as Cuddles and muddles and Mummy's crochet world discovered. 

The village community spirit behind this post from Baked potato Mum is wonderful.

Rain didn't stop outdoor play for Over 40 Mum to One who had a great time with a mud kitchen and more at Hill End. 


Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall



I love washing dishes!

November 18, 2014 at 7:10 AMCoombeMill

A few weeks back I mentioned an old family favourite brand Servis that was making a comeback in the UK. Their new range of domestic appliances are looking to offer that little bit more to make your household chores a little bit less; music to my ears with a busy house and six children.

I have not one but two dishwashers in my kitchen, spoilt perhaps but with eight of us there is always one on the go and they get treated quite harshly. One was well past its best with holes in the cutlery tray, a broken seal on the door which leaked and a tablet dispenser that was jammed shut. Ordering my new one from Servis was easy and the delivery was taken in excellent condition, though the delivery company gave us a bit of a run-around sorting out a date.

My new Servis dishwasher  

Plumbing in the new Dn61039SS machine was very straightforward and Nick had it set up in my kitchen in minutes and ready for loading.


Plumbing in the machine


It has 3 handy loading sections inside with a Millie style up rack for extra cutlery and long knives making loading efficient and easy which is a bonus when all six of my children are carrying up empty dinner plates and glasses together.


 Empty and Full


Visually it is a huge improvement with its clean lines and switch digital dashboard, though it did worry me that this would be difficult to operate.  I needn't have worried as it came with a huge operating manual I didn't even need to glance at. Having switched the machine on it told me it needed salt and rinse aid and selected a program all by itself! I then had some handy up and down arrows to change to one of the other 9 programmes if I chose before pressing an obvious "go / play" button; simple as that. There is even a handy interior light, I've never seen that in a dishwasher before. 


Dishwasher Buttons


However I have saved the best till last. This dishwasher is really quiet! Check out this video clip with me right up next to the machine mid way through a 50 degree wash and I was tickled by the clock telling me how many minutes of the program were left to run.



Did this super quiet machine clean any dishes?

Well just check out this sparkle and that's on Tesco value tablets! Like any dishwasher it is important to ensure it is loaded with the arms free to turn and the gunk removed from plates.  


Clean Plates and Glasses


Would I recommend a Servis dishwasher?

Oh yes, without a doubt.  You can even have it is a stylish silver if you prefer.

There we have it, I love washing dishes because Servis does it for me without any fuss, noise or mess!


Disclaimer: I am delighted to be working in partnership with Servis and ordered this dishwasher free of charge in return for my honest feedback which you have here. 

Family Fever

Coombe Mill Lamb Burgers

November 16, 2014 at 4:30 PMCoombeMill

Last Sunday was our annual bonfire party. For regular friends and guests who join us for this event there is an expectation of of an ample warming barbeque to warm you against the chilled November air and the smell of the very best Coombe Mill Pork sausages. This year for the first time ever I looked in our store freezer the day before to take out the usual 100 prime sausages in preparation only to find just 20 remaining. I cursed my growing teens and tweens and wondered what to do. I could pop into Tesco during Scout Remembrance Parade and empty the shelves there, but no one would be fooled they were Coombe sausages and somehow it felt like cheating. I hunted around the freezer for what was filling it up. The answer was lamb! With a quick change of plan I took out several large bags of lamb mince and decided this year it would be Coombe Mill lamb burgers made to my own special recipe. On the night all 100 burgers were eaten and I promised to share the recipe so here it is. 


Coombe Mill Lamb Burger


Ingredients for approx 20 burgers

1.2 kg Mince

300g onions

2 fat cloves garlic

1 tablespoon mixed herbs

A few leaves of fresh sage, mint and rosemary to taste

Salt and pepper

3 slices medium thickness white bread

1 egg

Oil to fry

1.2 kg Mince  300g onions  2 fat cloves garlic  1 tablespoon mixed herbs  A few leaves of fresh sage, mint and rosemary to taste  Salt and pepper  3 slices medium thickness white bread  Oil to fry  1 egg



  1. Make the breadcrumbs in a food mixer and set aside. 

  2. Place the onion, garlic and all herbs in the food mixer & whiz into small pieces.

  3. Add the mince to the onion & herbs and whiz. 

  4. Add the egg and salt and pepper and whiz till a fine consistency is achieved.

  5. Combine the breadcrumbs, you don't need the mixer for this or if you do use it a low setting is fine and the breadcrumbs easily soak in. 

                           Steps for Making Lamb Burgers

  6. Form burger shapes from the mixture

  7. Heat a deep fat fryer or place oil in a pan and seal the burgers for approximately 15 seconds in the fryer, 15 seconds each side in a frying pan. This stops them falling apart when you handle them on the BBQ.

  8. BBQ or cook in a hot oven 200 degrees for approximately 20 minutes 

Final Steps for Making Lamb Burgers.jpg


To Serve

Perfect in fluffy baps (bought or homemade) with sauces of your choice and sliced cheese or with homemade chunky chips.  They went down a treat with young and old alike at our bonfire party and for a midweek supper.


Coombe Mill Lamb Burgers, made for sharing

Variations on Lamb Burgers

To Make Vegetarian Burgers instead replace the meat with drained  tins of chick peas and kidney beans and proceed as above. 

For an alternative flavour try swapping the herbs above for mild curry powder or paprika. Oregano and thyme also work well.

Other mince meat such as Pork,  Beef or Turkey will also work for burgers, the quality matters more than the animal it is from. Have some fun and experiment with your favourite seasonings using the base recipe. 



      Tasty Tuesdays on 

Silent Sunday / Project 52

November 15, 2014 at 11:50 PMCoombeMill



Goats in November

 TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky   OneDad3Girls   


Posted in: On the Farm | Weekly Photo


Country Kids from Coombe Mill

November 14, 2014 at 11:30 PMCoombeMill

Remember, remember the 5th of November

Well actually it was the 9th of November in our case! We attended the local village party on the 5th and learnt about safety and firework crafts last week in our activity hour and this week it was time for our own Coombe Mill party. I spent hours making 100 burgers from our own lamb mince (recipe here tomorrow), slicing as many rolls and laying tables of extras and drinks. In between the boys had Parade to attend.

There is too much to do all in a day and most of the bonfire building had taken place during the week leading up to the event. This year the Bonfire represented a medical field hospital and Felix helped Nick to build it.

Making a Medical Field Shelter for our Bonfire

Our Effigy was an Ebola Man all suited and booted.  The children were rather proud of their guy Fawkes and rightly so. 


Ebola Man as Guy Fawkes Effigy for Bonfire Night 2014


The weather on the day was not helping us at all, we moved from sunshine to rain and back again in the blink of an eye. The kids' efforts to wipe the furniture down were soon in vain and even the gazebo we put up keeled over in one of the downpours.


Setting up the BBQ in Sun and Rain


I was determined we would carry on, as I was onto burger round 80 to 100 by then and the forecast going forward was no better. Nick was staring out at the rain when inspiration struck and we relocated the barbecues to the Log store. It had served us so well on Halloween for all our party games and had lighting which made it ideal. In the end the showers held off for our evening's entertainment and the BBQ crowd spilled out onto the lane.


BBQ at the Log Store


Nick left me in charge of the BBQ and handing out sparklers to the children while he slipped off with Ebola Man under one arm to light the bonfire and set the rockets and fireworks in place.  


BBQ and Sparklers for Bonfire Night

The sound of the first firework was our queue to walk along the path and watch the display.  Nick has become the local expert and delivers a wonderful display all at a safe distance. I can never resist a photo of everyone watching as well as the fireworks themselves.


Bonfire Night 2014 at Coombe Mill


With full tummies and happy children everyone made their way home just as the rain returned. In the end we timed things just perfectly. My greatest delight after this event is to see the tractor and trailer locked away and Farmer Nick safe indoors with me again. He may have done it many times before but I still worry for his safety each year.   


Joining in with Country Kids

Country Kids is a linky to encourage children to enjoy the outdoors.  Fresh air is good for us all and even though it may feel hard in winter to dress up warm and leave the comfort of central heating, doing so is refreshing, invigorating and good for mind and body. So please stay with me, grab the badge and share your outdoor family fun.

Country Kids is around in these communities, I'd love you to join me there:

Pin on the Pinterest Board Just ask for an invite to pin and include Country Kids on your pins for me to stop by on your boards too (no need for a hash tag in Pinterest)

Follow Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays's board Country Kids  from Coombe Mill on Pinterest.

Join the Google Plus community page  for Country Kids and add #CountryKids to your tag elsewhere for a +1 from me

Share your posts on  Instagram and Twitter with #CountryKids for a like or a re-tweet

A few of my favourites from last week:

A Day in this Dad's Life stayed with us for half term and shared in our day of Halloween Fun

A bonfire party with a fairground looks heaps of fun for Diary of the Evans Crittens

Kids and Gardens go Den making in a purpose built National Trust Area. I am determined to set up a designated area like this at Coombe Mill for 2015 

Practical science experiments are fun and educational. Let Kids be Kids shares some great ideas in the garden

Bewilderwood looks like a great day out as experienced by Mummy of Two

My Travel Monkey makes the most of an easy day out from Coombe Mill via the Rock to Padstow Ferry 

A Trip back to the beautiful countryside of home brings a lifestyle question forward for Motherhood Journeys 

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall




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Coombe Mill

"Tales from the farmers wife" shares the funny and interesting happenings on our lovely holiday farm with Farmer Nick and our 6 children. A behind the scenes look on balancing family, farming, the holiday business and cooking for all. 

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