Country Kids from Coombe Mill
Trevarno is now our 6th Scandinavian lodge at Coombe Mill and you might expect by now that we would have the build schedule running like clockwork. On paper we do, yet in reality every time we build it feels like we run right up to the wire on timing causing just a little stress on my part! Two weeks before our first holiday makers arrived the Lodge looked like this:
I blogged before about the build to this point and my worries of the cream sofas that were in fact green, so when Farmer Nick and I took a day out in search of all the finishing touches, I was armed with a camera for colour matching and coordination. I love this part of the build, a bit of quality time out together while the children are at school and a chance to show my limited artistic flare for matching styles and colours. Nick was laughing at me with my camera but it actually helped no end. I think I get the last laugh, clearly he is not happy posing with this wall art, and no, we didn’t buy it!
With purchases made it was a solid week of carpentry for Nick from curtain poles to bath panels and stair gates to garden furniture before the carpets were laid, stored furniture could be brought over from the farm shed and finally my finishing touches added from our day out.
In the end it is our most stylish and practical build yet and far from the peppimint green candy shop I had feared on first seeing the furniture in the shed. The upstairs playroom has been filled with toys every youngster will enjoy, while the breakfast bar gives a new dimension to the room and extra work surface space. In the master bedroom the super king bed gives us a headache every time on purchasing all the necessary, but I really feel a luxury property deserves a luxury size bed with ample space for little ones to climb in too! With all the energy efficiency of Trebah with solar panels and under floor heating, I want to move in! See what you think:
Saturday saw our first holiday makers arrive. Having never been to Coombe Mill before, they had no idea what to expect. As I led them inside I was thrilled to hear “Wow, this is amazing” as their first words. Their little girl ran straight upstairs to investigate the toys and the whole family happily posed for me in their new home for the week.
It turns out our reputation for new builds precedes us and just on the back of the success of Trebah, Trevarno Scandinavian lodge is already full to the end of the year except for week commencing 13th
October and Christmas or New Year. If you can take advantage of any of these 3 dates I will take £50 off the booking price. Quick, when it’s booked, it’s booked! You can read more about Trevarno Lodge on our website page
I am very proud to be a finalist for the MAD blog awards. Voting closes next week, do have a look as there are some lovely blogs in the finals. If you are looking for me *says hopefully* I am in Family Fun and Small Business
I am also up for Blogger of the Year with Loved by Parents as me “Fiona Cambouropoulos” in Special Awards
I can make these simple tasty biscuits in 15 minutes including cooking time. No E numbers, no nasty ingredients, just a basic packed lunch filler or treat. It is a great one to do with the children too since they can have such fun at the play dough stage creating shapes for their biscuits, but do watch out for the bits that pop straight into their mouths! For a tempting finish let your imagination run free with the toppings. The basic biscuit is limited only by your imagination.
250g butter at room temperature
4oz of granulated or caster sugar
300g Self Raising Flour
1 or 2 teaspoons of vanilla flavour
Greased baking trays
Simply mix all ingredients into a dough ball. I use the food processor for this and it takes just seconds. The children love to help weighing out the ingredients and turning the knob on the processor.
Roll the dough into golf sized balls and slightly flatten before placing on the baking tray.
When the children are involved I like to leave them at this stage to make their own shapes and designs. A word of caution, vertical designs will collapse down into a pancake shape in the oven!
Bake at 180degrees for no more than 12 minutes till golden brown.
If you are adding Smarties or other non icing toppings to the biscuits it is important to add these immediately when they come out of the oven while the biscuit is still hot and soft. They cool and harden very quickly. Some toppings like raisons can go into the dough before baking, or rolling in chocolate chips, but Smarties lose their colour and shine and are best added after cooking.
The basic mixture also works really well rolled into desiccated coconut before placing in the oven. I then like to pop a glace cheery in the middle when they come out of the oven. Tasty coconut biscuits that are hard to beat!
I make up bowls of coloured icing with icing sugar, water and food colouring add these to the table with spoons then provide a variety of sprinkles, mini mallows chocolate drops etc and small icing tubes and just let the children have fun!
The basic recipe which I have modified only slightly is in Merry Berry’s Fork biscuits from her Complete Cook Book. Everyone has a cookery book they really use amongst the many which are just thumbed through and this is mine. Many of my meals and puddings are loosely based on ideas from this no nonsence, well illustrated book with recipes I find easy to follow and personalize. the tatty condition of my old copy is testament to its use.
I am linking this post to The Crazy Kitchen’s Cooking with your Toddler which I have been promising to do for months. Do click on the badge and see lots of other great ideas for cooking with children.
We had one of those Sundays where it is hard to go out and do anything. Dotty the pig had given us a proper fright in the morning and we were keen to stay around in the afternoon to check on her. Furthermore, the eldest two children were away on Scout camp, the youngest off to a birthday party, one was off playing with one of the guests leaving Guy and Theo at a bit of a loose end. They caught up with me checking on Dotty and asked if I could play with them. How could I refuse? I knew the woods backing onto our deer field was awash with bluebells so I was delighted when they suggested taking me to some of their favourite camps in there. Just a hop skip and a jump over the style and we are in a woodland wonderland
Evidence of my children stretched far and wide with several half made camps on the go. We worked together building them for a while; they relished being in charge and advising me of where the branches should go. I was happy to oblige soaking up their enthusiasm.
There are some beautiful old trees and I was soon treated to how high they could climb on their favourite ones. To save my nerves I diverted then into looking for wildlife. We saw a red deer in the distance, much larger than our fallow deer, and inspired by the fairies and mystic of the woods by More than a Mum and You Me & The Mindee’s on the Country Kids linky last week we searched for rabbit holes and tree crevices and wondered who might live there.
Using the granite outcrops as a trampet I was treated to some gymnastics practice then nearly came a cropper trying to copy them! They both laughed their heads off at Mum on the rope swing; I must say I felt far from safe!
This was my favourite part. The densely growing bluebells made a magnificent purple carpet, lying down we could hardly see each other. These snaps of us fooling around together are ones I will remember fondly for a long time and well worth the damp bottoms!
Country Kids is all about children enjoying the outdoors, in any way they can. If you have an outdoor experience to share from fun in the garden to a day out with the family please join me on the Country Kids liny here. Do take a minute to read and comment on what others have been up to too, there are so many lovely ideas each week many of which cost next to nothing.