Nestled in the midst of the Blackdown Hills, a surround of rolling green on all sides, is Dimpsey. We’re lucky in the West Country, aren’t we, with our paradisiacal landscapes and our artisan produce and Dimpsey
takes all these factors and gears up a notch, to provide one of the loveliest glamping spots imaginable.
Here is a shepherd’s hut which is all about the frills (more of which later) but what I love is that it sits in the heart of a no-nonsense 30 acre smallholding with cows and sheep and geese and bits of farm machinery dotted around. Instantly you understand that you are in proper Somerset country here and the views are just astonishing.
Dimpsey Glamping is a solo, uber-luxury shepherd’s hut, stationed in a newly planted orchard with a bells and whistles wood fired oven, a fire pit and a telescope for star gazing. Owner Emma Warren tells me the idea was to provide a full blown retreat from the hectic pace of daily life and this is exactly what’s been achieved.
We arrived on a cool April afternoon to a beautifully warm hut (the log burner is already blazing), Classic FM playing on the Roberts radio and a tray set for tea, giant china teapot and mugs and a cake tin filled with miniature Victoria Sandwich cakes baked by Emma’s husband Andrew. The feel-good hit is instant.
The shepherd’s hut from nearby Blackdownshepherdshuts
is high spec (shower, loo, hot running water, gas hob) and interior designed so that everything is either vintage or local and hand-crafted. Think the fluffiest sheepskin rugs, beautiful flowered plates, tin mugs, cast iron frying pan, handmade licorice soap, old photographs on the walls. It’s part Victoriana, part hip hotel.
Those first few minutes of discovery were a bit, I’d imagine, like unpacking a Christmas stocking, nice surprises everywhere. What’s not to love about the Hot Chocolate Corner, a little nook filled with bowls of crumbled Flake, tiny marshmallows (Andrew had handed over a tin of squirty cream when we arrived).
Then you stumble across the giant marshmallows for toasting on the fire pit, the homemade granola, the hand sliced bacon, the steaks from the farm’s Baxter cows, the grown up colouring books and pencils, the playing cards, the Scrabble, the wool and knitting needles.
It’s as if Emma and Andrew have sat down and considered every possible thing that might help you to zone out and then covered it. Later I discover that they are installing a hot tub and a cinema stationed in another shepherd’s hut in a private walled garden. This is what I mean.
But back to those steaks, thick and sublime and cooked on the brand new, idiot proof Garden Oven, one strike of a match and it flared into being. Emma and Andrew are purists and what you have here is the real paddock to plate experience. I’ve never had a more delicious steak.
Then it was a hot chocolate under the stars, before retiring to our beautifully comfortable double bed (home made lavender sachets to stash under your pillow).
We woke to brilliant sunshine and dramatic birdsong which we soon ruined by switching the radio to Magic FM, a guilty pleasure which I wholly recommend for a mini break of this kind. Frying thick, steak like slices of bacon, waiting for the kettle to whistle and singing along to Take That, Soft Cell and Marvin Gaye brings its own euphoria. And there’s no one here to see.
From £125 a night, more information on Dimpsey Glamping here