The farm

The farm 100

We have just returned from a blissful week staying with Uncle Julian at Westley Farm. The farm is ideal for a holiday as while the self catering cottages are in the middle of nowhere by jumping in a car you can easily get to Cirencester or Stroud or any of the other smaller Cotswold villages.

The farm 238

It was fantastic to be able to get away from it all, sit in one of uncle Julian’s handmade chairs (I’ve got one at home but they are amazing and the design on this one with the wheel at the bottom is particularly unusual)

The farm 075

and hear owls hooting in the night and encountered some seriously big spiders! We also had a colony of bumblebees nesting in a nearby wall and we enjoyed seeing them coming and going over the week we were there. So what did we do? After the drive there and an early night we set off for Stroud on Sat morning. They have the most fantastic farmers market there on a Sat and we quickly found quite a few supplies for the week including locally made pies, cheeses, focaccia, ale and pottery. We also managed to find Butterfly ball (where I found a beautiful moonstone necklace that mum offered to buy me for my birthday) and then headed for our favourite Coffee shop Mills

The farm 067

After having a late lunch and feeling suitably full we had another wander and found another market at the side of Mills where I found (and consequently bought) this fab handmade rabbit on the market (it was love at first sight I just had to have him).

The farm 069

Stroud also has fab vintage shop Time after time, Inprint second hand bookshop, Fortune Fairies/the fairy shop  and a host of other delights but we decided to leave the top end for investigation later on in the week as our car parking ticket was running out!

The farm 188

We travelled home tired but happy (and groaning under the weight of delicious and locally sourced food) to receive our next guests Kip and Beth.

The farm 114

As we were away for dad’s birthday Beth had made dad some special blueberry cupcakes (complete with edible glitter icing – as you can see he was quite overwhelmed!)

The farm 118

The only members of the family left to arrive were Roxy dog and our kid who were coming the next day.

The farm 197

The rest of us settled into our surroundings and had a few light ales. The next day it was mooted we should go for a walk across the fields. Despite never having been to the farm before Jam sniffed out the ropeswing

The farm 091

And a tree house

The farm 094

After our stroll Our Kid & Roxy arrived so we  tried to plan the rest of our stay. Our kid wanted to go fishing & originally I had thought I’d be absent for a day as I had a stained glass suncatcher course booked, but alas it got cancelled as there weren’t enough people booked on it :-(. (if we had been on holiday the week after I would have been so tempted by this – found on the noticeboard in Mills cafe).

The farm 065

Still in the absence of that I decided that I’d really like to check out the local eco shop, return to Stroud (so many cool shops, so little time) and check out the antiques and craft workshops at Cirencester.  Our kid wanted to go fishing, Jam wanted to go back to the Green Dragon (the place with the Mouse Bar we went to when we got lost on the way back from the circus)  & mum wanted to take us all out for a meal for dad’s birthday. Can’t argue with that! Rain stopped play that evening but it was still very beautiful looking out over the valley.

The farm 111

The next morning it was clear again so we set off to Cirencester. I was determined to try and track down Stained Glass artist Daniella Wilson-Dunne, who I was hoping to do the class with and check out her studio (I remember going there a couple of years ago & she had the most fantastic fish panel with lots of tropical fish in it). I dropped in early in the morning & Daniella was doing some restoration work on some clear glass panels:

The farm 103

We got talking about current work in progress and I mentioned I was doing a mermaid & that the detail was driving me a bit mad. Daniella was also working on a mermaid among her current projects but this was an original design.

The farm 101

This is the carpy tail which had been etched and I also saw the face which had been painted to resemble the clients daughter:

The farm 102

Beautiful work! After being forcibly dragged away by Jam (who had seen my eyes wandering to the cabinet of things for sale and had taken the preventative measure of removing me, its a good job there were some stunning things).

The farm 104

We explored the rest of Cirencester including Cirencester Antiques centre where I acquired some more shells to add to my collection and the ‘we have to have a look because of its name’ Witches Knickers!

The farm 105

Our kid also managed to acquire some bait and a local fishing permit so he would be absent for the next day. The next day dawned and it was a reasonably nice day so we headed off to check out the local green shop where I managed to pick up some ethical goodies for Maureen (who was looking after our two bundles of chaos at home) and a hedgehog bowl to go with our hedgehog home (gotta help the hogs). The green shop also had a rather beautiful pond outside it:

The farm 124

The farm 126

(One day when we have the room!). On the way back we called in at the Crown where dad had decided to have his birthday dinner. It’s walkable from the farm but we decided to call in to make the reservation so we could get a cheeky look at the menu. It looked promising:

The farm 132

That evening we put on something smartish (but waterproof as it was drizzling) waved goodbye to the donkeys

The farm 110

and set off across the fields.

The farm 147

The farm 148

The farm 150

With fairly damp legs we finally arrived

The farm 152

The farm 151

(but not before I’d done a spot of fantasy property shopping in Frampton Mansel, this I feel would do :-))

The farm 161

The inside of the crown more than took the chill off being all glowy and lovely

The farm 128

The farm 129

The farm 158

The usual suspects headed for the bar…

The farm 131

And when they were done we headed for our table:

The farm 154

The meal was delicious and quickly devoured and some of the party even found room for pudding!

The farm 159

Alas after getting dry a soggy walk home still awaited

The farm 165

but the sheep seemed pleased to see us once we got back:

The farm 166

The storm seemed to clear the air and so the next day we headed to the Green Dragon ( stumbled upon by Jam and I on our way back from the Giffords photoshoot last year (we got diverted and were in need of a pub & this fitted the bill admirably))

The farm 139

The farm 141

After enjoying a few light ales and some lovely chips we headed off to Cheltenham (for dad who is a big fan of their model shop). Jam and I left him to savour the delights and discovered a second hand bookshop which was closing down, this excellent cheese shop, this rather large fish

The farm 145

and an enchanted tea room (which was alas closed).

The farm 146

And so it was our last day and where better to spend it than Stroud! Early sustenance was called for so a tea and cake stop in Mills

The farm 179

(love the glass in the window we were sat by,

The farm 184

they have some fab interior lights too)

The farm 186

Then it was shopping time! Dad bought a model plane with his birthday money, and Beth and I looked around all the shops at the top end of the street:

The farm 187

The farm 189

I finally fell victim to the signed copy of Masquerade in Inprint (uncle Julian knows Kit and has even sat for paintings by him but I don’t think I’m ever likely to meet him alas). I also bought a fairy and a fairy garden starter kit in Fortune fairies, the finished result of which looks like:

The farm 267

On the final night we had a BBQ, finally the sun shone and although I was relegated to salad duty we had a great final evening.

The farm 194

The farm 210

The farm 215

boys &

The heat proved too much for some:

The farm 217

The farm 211

Which gave Kip and our kid time to discuss important matters:

The farm 216

(I think they were discussing who had the biggest muscles, honestly!). Finally the food was ready although some parties weren’t best pleased with their portions:

The farm 198

The farm 219

I was quite happy with mine 🙂

The farm 213

There was just time for some present swapping, mum had bought the sister rabbit to mine for Beth

The farm 202

And I had bought her a clear quartz rabbit which I then made a box for:

The farm 063

The farm 064

But Beth also had a surprise early Birthday present for me, a fairy globe!

Fairy globe

So the sun set on our final full day of holiday.

The farm 220

The next morning it was time to pack up and go home (Roxy really wanted to take this massive stick in the car with her so Beth and Jam were given the job of getting it off her).

The farm 137

Once that was achieved we went up to the main farmhouse to say goodbye to Uncle Julian and Hege but they weren’t there

The farm 254

so it was up to mum to hand out the massive hugs on our behalf. Goodbye Westley farm you are the most special place

The farm 255

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *