SBS Event 2015

February 1, 2015 at 6:40 PMCoombeMill

I'm on my way home from the most amazing trip to Birmingham for the annual Small business Sunday meet up.


#SBS Winners Event 2015


As a little background I won my tweet out from dragons den Theo Paphitis back in 2011. This is THE community to which all small businesses aspire to belong. It is friendly and supporting on social media and backed by the most inspirational business man.


A Photo of Fiona Cambouropoulos with Theo Paphitis at #sbs Event 2012


This is the third event and I've been lucky to attend them all as I won early in the process and the events fall in our January close down time. Each year builds on the last but a common thread runs through them all and that is sharing what it takes to be successful in Business:

Essentially this boils down to a real belief and passion in what you do. Yet this alone isn't enough, it must be combined with a gritty determination, a self confidence to persist and a thorough understanding of your business money. The assumption here is of course that your business is a viable one in the first instance.

Perhaps not a revolutionary message but delivered as Theo does it reminds me what I love about having our own farm holiday business.

This year three successful business people joined Theo to tell their story of how they made their millions and take questions from a huge expectant audience. Each made me realise how much is possible for those prepared to run with an opportunity.


sbs question time panel

Reflecting back on this in the car as I travel home these are the gems that will stick with me back into my working day next week. 

  1. If you're not boring all your friends and family about your business you should be! I always worry about this one, perhaps I shouldn't. This was Theo's tip that resonated with me.

  2.  We are all masters of our own destiny, Theo is an incredibly motivational and supportive of our individual businesses, but it is us who must use that and create the success for ourselves.

  3.  Success rarely comes from your 1st business venture and it's ok to learn and change. Judith Naake didn't make St Tropez her first business; in fact she didn't acquire the brand until she was 47, my age, and made millions in the 13 years she owned it. How amazing is that? It does inspire me to keep progressing and developing what we do here at Coombe Mill and adapting in line with modern trends.

  4.  Out of disaster can come real compassion and business acumen - Rob Forkhan and his brother lost their parents in the horrific Indonesian tsunami, his story and business success in Gandys flip flops was born from this, moreover his business helps others who were orphaned just as he and his siblings were. I'd rather not experience the disaster but it is a real example of how positive thinking can generate success and that successful business people like Theo and Rob can be compassionate in helping others. Food for thought for me at Coombe Mill and the experience we have to offer children.

  5.  You don't have to be first to market to make a success, it's OK to copy someone else and do it better. The "lovely" Julien Callede from did just this and took online affordable furniture into a multimillion pound business. Tenacity and perseverance and marketing are all important here. Julien marketted online as his point of difference to start his road to success in furniture.


In answer to Theo's Tweet:


A tweet from Theo Paphitis about #sbs event 2015


The question time was the highlight of the event for me. However there was plenty more too.

Networking is a huge part of the day, on a social and business level. It was great to catch up with fellow business friends and meet new contacts too. The formal time set aside for this was much appreciated and of course it spilled over in to some evening fun.


Networking at the #sbs event 2015

The Cornish Contingency

#SBS the Cornish Winners

Day time to Night time fun with #SBS 2015

The website for SBS winners has had a makeover from Metal Frog Studios and I'm excited to update my profile in here and use it more proactively as a member. Joy from AP Bassets Solicitors who is still waiting to win herself says it makes her even more determined to win and enter this website community, I must make my membership count.


New #sbs website


I have a headache from typing in the car on my phone, but I really wanted to capture my renewed motivation for Coombe Mill while it all so fresh. I vow to keep making Coombe Mill Farm the best holiday experience for families of young children.

Finally thank you to Theo, for his support and desire to see others succeed and for to the speakers and the whole SBS organisational team for putting on such an inspirational meet up all fully funded. It is a pleasure to attend. Now to explore my lovely goodie take home bag!


Goodie bag from #SBS 2015


If you have a small business and would like to get involved, look out for this tweet on a Sunday and make your pitch, it could be the best tweet you ever send!

A tweet to Win on #SBS with Theo Paphitis


I am making this post a blog link up for others who attended to link up their posts from the day as I know many have business blogs too and I'd love to read your take out. Grab the code here to share the badge on your site and the link below.


sbs blog hop from coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays



Silent Sunday / Project 52 / My Sunday Photo

January 31, 2015 at 10:10 PMCoombeMill



BBQ & Pirate ship in morning fog


A chilly morning as the mist rolls off of Bodmin Moor and across the farm, making the BBQ Hut and Pirate Ship Play Area look magical.


Posted in: On the Farm | Weekly Photo


Country Kids from Coombe Mill

January 30, 2015 at 11:50 PMCoombeMill

Football Fever

Months ago I took the opportunity to sign my football crazy triplets and I up to a day out at Plymouth Argyle organised via the boy's local village football club. At £20 a head for a full day of fun and a chance to see their first ever professional league match it seemed a golden opportunity. Beforehand the boys were fairly indifferent claiming Plymouth were a "no where" team and why couldn't they go and see Manchester City or chelsea play. However as the day arrived and they dressed in their kit ready to be trained by the team coaches the excitement began to build.


A fun day at Plymouth Argyle Football Club for my Coombe Mill Kids


Our meeting place was by the official shop. Not my favourite place as after half an hour of hanging around they had fallen in love with some "must have" purchases. There were some really pricy named kit they could have gone for so I decided mine were actually quite sensible, one of the benefits of earning and spending their own money.

Plymouth Argyle supporters club shop purchases by the triplets

We were treated to a full tour of the grounds by the coaches. The children were fascinated by the contrast between the basic away players changing rooms and the more modern home team facilities. Though I must say club funds must be struggling as all the showers looked rank.


Home vs away changing at Plymouth Argyle Football Club


Looking down on the pitch I was struck by the size, I'm sure our village pitch is smaller! Up close felt just as vast though I must say it was in perfect conditions for the time of year.

The Stadium at Plymouth Argyle Football Club

The day wasn't just about watching as the kids actually had a full hour of coaching with spectator's gallery above for us parents. This one of the highlights for my three and they came out more than ready for their buffet lunch all courtesy of the day.


Coaching session with Plymouth Argyle team coaches


We had time to kill before the match against Luton town and watched some of the supporters arrive and the stands fill up on either side. The children were amazed by the number of away fans travelling the 4 to 5 hours it must have taken from Luton. Within the stadium there is a thoughtful family room which was open to wonder in and out at any time before or during the match complete with plenty to keep children busy from a supervised 3 a side football match area to pool and other table top games. The triplets were so engrossed they nearly missed the start of the game!

Family games room at Plymouth Argyle Football Club

Outside the pomp and circumstance surrounding the start of the game really helped everyone feel part of the afternoon and ready to cheer on their team. Our lovely mascot regularly came up encouraging us to shout for Argyle banging football rhythms out next to us and the boys wanted photos of the cheer leaders to make their older brothers jealous!


Soaking up the pre match atmosphere at Plymouth Argyle

I never thought I could sit though a football game in the freezing cold and genuinely enjoy it as much as I did; I was cheering Plymouth on wrapped up in the atmosphere with the children.


Plymouth Argyle vs Luton Town Football league game


The coach approached us just before half time to see if Clio would come onto the pitch at halftime and join a penalty shoot. The boys were beside themselves with jealously and Clio quite bemused as to why she was chosen. I'm sure it was because she was the only girl on the day. After playing so well in the coaching session she really didn't do herself justice on the big pitch, but I'm still proud of her, there were hundreds watching!


Clio's moment of fame at Argyle in the half time penalty shoot

We sloped off 5 minutes before the end with the score at 1 - 0 to Luton to beat the rush to leave. The kids were furious but soon saw my point when we passed several supporters being marched away by the police to their van, something they were blissfully unaware of within the grounds. The car park so empty when we arrived that morning was by now a sea of cars and I was delighted to be hitting the road ahead of them all leaving. 

Back home Nick had steak pierrade waiting for us, a perfect way to end a long day. It was a pleasure to have taken them all just to listen to them retelling the highlights to their older brothers and Dad.


Return Supper from Farmer Nick at Coombe Mill


If you ever have the chance to do something similar at your local club, do take it up, I was surprised how much we all enjoyed the day and I am not a football fan but would happily go again. Plymouth Argyle have now risen to number two spot in the triplets mind, it may take them a while to overtake their heros though!




My thanks to St Tudy village football club for organising the event for their club members.

Joining in with Country Kids

If you have been outdoors enjoying family time please come and share on the linky. All posts from playing in the garden to fun at the beach are welcome. Country Kids is designed to inspire time away from screens and central heating to explore the outdoors through play, crafts and learning creating happy healthy kids. Please join me, grab the badge and check out what others have found to do outside this week.

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

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:

Rain or Shine Mamma has a lovely idea for a scavenger hunt to help little ones understand nature from litter.  

The country has been gripped by snow even though we have none in Cornwall, my kids are envious of the fun had by Nikoteen 87 and Claire Justine

Walking Poles transformed a frosty family woodland walk for Mum turned Mom

I do love educational visits about our history, Redpeffer enjoyed a winter living history event in Bromsgrove while  North East Family Fun found some wonderful Roman discoveries on a day in south Wales.

Plutonium Sox explored one of the Country's great National Trust Estates for a fun day despite the cold.  




Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall



Sharing Our Farm Fun

January 25, 2015 at 5:00 PMCoombeMill

Six months of change

From May last year when we finally completed our big project of building Tree Roots Cottage Nick and I have had a bit more time on our hands. Time and money never go together; Tree Roots was a huge financial drain on the business. That said we are not ones to sit back and wait for the money to build, we know only too well that a successful business means continuing to invest, just becoming clever with the investment.

Tree Roots Cottage completed May 2014 at Coombe Mill

Perhaps one of the outstanding characteristics of Coombe Mill is the beautiful setting; we are at the foot of a stunning valley with the river Camel running through the grounds, plenty of woodland, meadows and in a designated area of outstanding natural beauty. The beauty of the estate can be a real drawback when looking at planning permission, but a total plus for our holiday makers. With 30 acres there is always a new area to plan and with budgets tighter this year making the most of nature has been our focus.

Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty - Coombe Mill

We worked with twinkl UK, the on line educational specialists, to help redesign and update our education pages with content relevant to our farm environment and the national curriculum. I have combined the learning from here with some great ideas on the creative use of outdoor space, inspired by those linking to my weekly outdoor fun based Country Kids linky, to create new pursuits at Coombe Mill. Over the last six months we have developed a thriving and evolving Fairy Garden, a purpose built Den Building Zone and are now working on a Wildlife Trail.


Wildlife Trail, Den building Zone & Fairy Gardens at Coombe Mill Farm Holidays


Add to this Activity hour on the farm, which began in time for the summer season last year, where we invite the children staying to help us create with nature each week and join us for some fun and games and we have a whole section developed around nature and still more ideas to follow.


Activity Hour at Coombe Mill: crafts, learning & fun with nature

Sharing what we do

I suddenly realised none of this was showing on the website; only those following me on social media and the blog knew half of what was on offer on a holiday at Coombe Mill. As we are right into the peak booking month of January I knew I needed to rectify this, but was struggling to come up with a heading to accurately reflect all these wonderful new initiatives.

This is where social media comes into its own, I asked on my Coombe Mill facebook page and some great ideas and phrases came through. Thank you to all who pondered and contributed, we had a great discussion going on which left me with a list of favourites, from here I finally settled on Wild Adventures to capture the fun.


Facebook names Wild Adventures on the Coombe Mill Website


As Activity hour is an organised event rather than something for holiday guests to do in their own time I have given it its own heading just as the Train and Little Helpers Club does. Wild Adventures encompasses all the nature based "in your own time" activities. All these headings now fit perfectly under the new Kids Fun Category

Kids Fun at Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays on the website


The category began to look over populated and so many of the facilities that are for adults as much as children have been moved into a new category titled Farm Facilities such as Fishing and Sport and Fitness.  


  Farm Facilities at Coombe Mill Family Holidays


My hope is that anyone looking at our website will see at a glance that a stay at Coombe Mill includes so much more than just a self catering cottage or lodge holiday in Cornwall. If you have a chance to to browse our site I'd love your feedback in the comments here. 


   photo 4d06e438-4e6a-4f3b-88b2-0c1093350397_zps361ad0e9.jpg   Sticky Fingers Photo Gallery  

Silent Sunday / Project 52 / My Sunday Photo

January 24, 2015 at 10:50 PMCoombeMill


Young Fallow Deer Prickett & Doe at Coombe Mill Farm


Two Fawns listening out for the sound of Farmer Nicks Tractor bringing them fresh hay on a frost feed run.


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Please share our family farm holidays, I'd be so proud

Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

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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