Country Kids from Coombe Mill

February 20, 2015 at 11:50 PMCoombeMill

The Eden Project with my Teens

The Triplets were all away on a sleepover for a friend's birthday enjoying plenty of fun on a bike trail and racing around at Laser Tag. Meanwhile I've enjoyed a rare day out with my three oldest down at The Eden Project. It was an opportunity to brush up on our ice-skating skills after our enjoyable session in Plymouth a few weeks earlier.


A day at the Eden Project in Winter with teenagers


We set off at 10.15, trust me with teens this is early on a Sunday morning proving they were all keen! Eden is only half an hour from Coombe Mill so much closer for us than Plymouth.  We booked our skating for mid day giving us time to go exploring as we've not visited in over a year.

They reminisced over outdoor play areas they used to clamber over as younger children and Theo couldn't resist seeing if he could now race down the steps that always tripped him up when he was little. Of course it was easy, they are now all three taller and longer legged than me and I struggled to keep up with them stopping to take photos too.


Kids checking out old challenges at the Eden Project, Cornwall 

Most of my pictures are from behind as they are not at a photogenic age and I was always trailing them, my interest caught on something that had passed them by.

Exploring The Eden Project with teens. A family day out from Coombe Mill Farm Holidays

In the Mediterranean biome the boys remembered the huts being much bigger, marvelled at the size of the lemons and testicles on the strange animal statues then tested their geography on the world map.


The Mediterranean Biome at the Eden Project, Cornwall


Theo couldn't resist taking the chilli challenge, apparently started on the many school trips to Eden.  He selected his chilli and bravely bit into it. We all laughed ourselves silly as the inevitable happened and he danced around like a mad man looking for a fresh water fountain his mouth on fire. Recovering the other two pointed out there was another plate twice the strength if he fancied another go!   


Chilli Challenge by Theo at the Eden Project, Cornwall

Down at the ice rink the boys were like lightning with their boots having mastered the knack of the awkward straps and soon in the queue to jump on the ice.

I hung back to capture them before joining in. the ice was definitely more challenging than Plymouth being like a sheet and it look us all a couple of laps to find our feet.


Ice skating at The Eden Project Cornwall

We felt triumphant at not falling over, though Theo did try to frame the rest of us throwing snowballs from the edges of the rink to our backs. The others soon had their own back tying him into his hoodie like a mummy whilst changing. No wonder he needed to show off with some acrobatics after! 

Wrapped up like a mummy at the Eden Project, Cornwall


 I couldn't resist this last photo just for fun, ice creams and a little play on the way out! 


Leaving the Eden Project for Coombe Mill with ice creams

Our fun day captured on video

Joining in with Country Kids

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

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A few of my favourites from last week:

Over 40 and Mum to One and Redpeffer spent the day together enjoying muddy fun at Packwood House. 

The beach proved too much of a pull after a trip to the cinema for Smiles and Trials.

Mommy loves Trees showed us some great activities for outdoor play in the winter.

Making the most of a sunny afternoon in February, Little Hearts Big Love went exploring Fassnidge Park.

Keitha's Chaos went on a snowy hike to hand feed the birds


Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall



Grand Designs at Water Mill Cottage

February 15, 2015 at 6:50 PMCoombeMill


During our new year close down period we have been busy at work with maintenance and  new projects ready for the 2015 season. Recently I shared some of our outdoor developments forming a new Wild Adventures section at Coombe Mill. This week is all about a new look for Water Mill, our old 16th Century cottage steeped in history.


Water Mill Family Cottage at Coombe Mill Farm & Fishing Holidays, North Cornwall


Water Mill is part of the original structure of Coombe Mill. It is close to the river Camel and believed to have been an old flour mill run on water from a big wheel on the side back in the 1700s. When we visited a museum with a working Water Mill last February it really brought to life how life at Coombe Mill must once have been.

It has undergone many changes even in the 13 years we have been at Coombe Mill not least a renaming from Old Mill to Water Mill to avoid confusion with neighbouring Millers House. We took over a very 1980s chintz and frills looking cottage , I was digging all over for a photo from back then when I spotted one quite by chance on my facebook timeline.


Thanks to Trevor Gamble for the Photo 

Water Mill in 2002 as Old Mill at Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays

We soon ditched the chintz in favour of a contemporary look which exposed the old cottage features. At the same time we added insulation to the roof, a modern powerful woodburner and skylights to give both warmth and daylight, however the kitchen has remained untouched for we believe 15 years plus. It was not a disaster and has stood the test of time well, but damp in the cupboards which were up against thick granite external walls built long before damp proofing was thought of was creating an unpleasant smell on opening. When looking closely the whole feel was beginning to date against the now modern and airy looking living room.  A few guests had mentioned it to us last year and so it was top of our list for our closed season.


the Old Kitchen at Water Mill cottage

My favourite part is redesigning and shopping for the kitchen. This we did last autumn with everything on order ready to start work. I new our finished look would be different to the shop as it is an awkward shape we are working with and not a conventional square but I knew these contemporary clean line units would brighten up the old cottage kitchen.


kitchen unit shopping for Water Mill Cottage at Coombe Mill Holidays , North Cornwall


No sooner had our New Year guests left than the family team piled in to move all the lose items to the living room which then looked like a junkyard and begin ripping, banging and chipping out the old units. 


Ripping out the old units in Water Mill Cottage Kitchen ready to refit for 2015



By the time the Carpenter arrived on Monday 5th January it was a blank canvas ready to begin.


Kitchen cleared and living room filled in the refurbishment of Water Mill


A full two weeks of measuring, fixing and redesigning followed as fitting a modern kitchen into an old cottage is never easy. I hadn't taken enough account of the low beams, sloping angled walls and uneven slate floor. Not to mention my desire to provide a full size dishwasher and separate full size tumble drier where previously there were suboptimal half size versions. Eventually we found a way to make things both look right and function fully. My main concern was easy access to the fridge and oven which as a busy Mum I know are critical, Farmer Nick was working on a lovely design where you might have needed some gymnastics training before trying to remove a hot tray from the oven!


Stages to the new kitchen in Water Mill Cottage at Coombe Mill Holidays, Cornwall

Finally with the kitchen complete we bought new appliances to match.


Water Mill Cottage New Kitchen at Coombe Mill Family Farm & Fishing Holidays, Cornwall


I saved the old willow design dinner service and other such dated items from the bin and stashed them in the top store where I have an idea forming to use them in craft activities as they are too pretty to throw away. The clean white however looks more at home with the new look with stylish tall wine glasses too.


New v old Kitchenware in Water Mill Cottage at Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays, Cornwall

A new Dining table and sturdy chairs were added and now I'm proud to welcome anyone into this old cottage which is steeped in history but also practical and modern for a family holiday. However there is always more I want to do, in this case I still want to put a shower into the upstairs family bathroom. Currently head height and the water tank are an issue but my own standards are high and I know this would benefit many of our visitors; it is next on the list for this property so watch this space (there is a shower in the downstairs en suite bathroom currently).

Grand designs in Water Mill Cottage at coombe Mill Family Holidays for 2015


If you fancy a week in Water Mill Cottage this year, it is open again for bookings and we would love to welcome you.

Silent Sunday / Project 52

February 14, 2015 at 11:50 PMCoombeMill


Wintry Sheep



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Posted in: On the Farm | Weekly Photo


Country Kids from Coombe Mill

February 13, 2015 at 10:50 PMCoombeMill

For the love of Golf:

Farmer Nick is an avid golf enthusiast. Ever since I first met him in our early 20s he was a member of his local Sussex golf club. It is a game he has played at any opportunity over the years and even persuaded me to give it a go. If I am completely honest it is not my favourite sport requiring far too much concentration and patience, however as the children are beginning to take an interest I am more inclined to tag along and enjoy the odd knock about. While we have been closed these past few weeks we have been able to free up our weekends from the needs of the business and enjoyed the odd family game.


Family fun with Golf on holiday in winter


It may look wintery and bleak in the cold of winter but golf is still a great opportunity to blow a few cobwebs away and enjoy a little friendly family competition at our local pitch and putt. Nick always wins over all, but if the rest of us can beat him on the odd hole we are happy and to his credit he is a very patient teacher and keen to encourage us all. On this occasion it was my eldest Ally and my youngest Clio who joined us for a windy round. I took my camera to see if some video's of our less than perfect swing might help us improve and then decided we had such a lovely time together it was worthy of a Country Kids post!


Help at Golf From Farmer Nick


There were a few professional looking moments.


Professional moments from the best Coombe Mill Golfers

But considerable time spent searching in the rough for missing balls!


Coombe Golfers go hunting for their best golf balls


Much frustration especially from Clio who hasn't got the power of her Dad and big brother, but then a triumphant dance following a stroke of genius and a winning hole!


Clio tastes success with her best golfing hole

I was very proud of my fellow golfing buddies by the end of the round.


Family Golfing Fun woith Country Kids

We had a lovely couple of hours though the video does show plenty of room for improvement!



Joining in with Country Kids

February may not be the perfect month for getting outdoors, but believe me when you do it is the best medicine for fighting the winter blues. Whatever you do outdoors from a family walk to a play in the park, coming back indoors after some fresh air in your lungs is the best feeling ever. So grab your camera, enjoy some outdoor fun and pop back here to share with me on the linky. Please grab the badge or link to this page and remember to visit others, it is where many of my ideas come from and I hope it will inspire you too.   

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:

All you need is love and cake enjoyed a blustery walk in beautiful countryside while Mummy Matters found the beached seal on their expedition

Having friends to stay encourages time out appreciating your local area as Sophie is discovered. 

Bikes and scooters out on the common turn a walk into a great natural playground for Let kids be kids

A road trip with so many beautiful stopping places in New Zealand from Catching the magic will make you want to visit. 


Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall



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Farmer Nick Celebrates 50 in Uniform

February 8, 2015 at 8:50 PMCoombeMill

At Coombe Mill we are known for throwing a good party, whether it is one of our special events with our holiday guests or a personal party for family and friends, the invites go out and everyone knows they are in for a good night. Last year for Nick we did a Greek theme here at Coombe Mill, converting our kitchen into a perfect Greek Taverna for the night. I knew that was going to be hard to top but with Nick turning 50 it had to be the best yet.

The timing was perfect being the week before half term while we were still closed. All our friends and family from far and wide were able to come and stay the weekend which was perfect for them and a great test run at heating and turning on all the cottages and scandinavian lodges for us. The fun began as we welcomed people into our house throughout Friday evening with a case of champagne and a pot of curry, the worries of M5 traffic, work and school soon melting away.  

By Saturday evening everyone was ready to party all dressed up in their own interpretations of the theme "uniforms".


Farmer Nick's 50th birthday party Invites

We were taking over the local pub and hired a bus to take us there. No one had even had a drink at this stage yet you can already from the photo that it was going to be a good night ahead.


On the bus to St Mabyn Inn leaving Coombe Mill Car Park

Much credit for the evening goes to the owners of the St Mabyn Inn who helped us plan the night and were ready and waiting with Prosecco on arrival. I must say a candy tray was much more useful than my pom poms for holding a glass of fizz!


Candy Tray & Uniforms at Farmer Nick's 50th birthday party

During the course of the evening the photos progress from reserved to wild as we made our way through a delicious 3 course buffet and ample wine.


Drinks and food at St Mabyn Inn for Nick's 50th Birthday party


I excelled myself with my best cake ever, a carrot cake as requested by Nick but decorated with inspiration from our children who insisted on it being a Top Gear cake. I turned it into a 50 year special edition, with a times laps chocolate board and Photos from key life stages along the road. I was only too happy to show it off with speeches and cake cutting and leading a chorus of Happy Birthday.


 Farmer Nick's 50th Birthday Cake

Nick couldn't have been happier with all the people who mattered most around him and a tremendous atmosphere in the room. He even managed the odd dance under duress!


Farmer Nick Dancing at his 50th birthday Party at St Mabyn


Boogying on down till the clock struck midnight and our bus returned was no hardship for the rest of us.


 Dancing the night away at Farmer Nick's 50th birthday Party


However perhaps the highlight of the evening for me was watching how all my usually socially shy teens linked up with friends they don't see from one year to the next as if it were yesterday and were happy in the limelight, giving it large on the dance floor with us oldies and really enjoying themselves. The generational gap melted for a few hours, we were not parents and children but all friends enjoying a great night out. There was always someone picking up my camera and clicking away and the children for once were having too much fun to complain, instead enjoying the chance to join in with a silly pose.


Having a laugh through the generations at Nick's 50th party

Organising these events I so often say never again, yet when it all comes together on the night I remember why I love these big gatherings. The teen crowd carried on their party back at Coombe Mill in the Hot Tub at Tree Roots Cottage until 3am. It was only once I knew mine were all safely back indoors at our house that I finally locked the front door and drifted off to sleep.   


I only hope we are all able to make the next big milestone together, though I may have to grow up and ditch the cheer leader get up by then!


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"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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