This started as an impromptu idea to find somewhere to sleepover and break up our journey home from Scotland to Plymouth. The nonstop drive there was good, the kids were great and actually – we had fun! But we knew leaving family behind after quality time together, would mean a 10 hour slog back to Plymouth would be a little longer and a little sadder after goodbyes.
I spent hours googling affordable little hideaways for us and eventually stumbled across Peakes Retreats. Instantly I was head over heels – the price, the location, the beautiful decor inside these Yurts. On paper, I’d found a serious ‘secret escape’. I knew it before I’d even seen it.
On our arrival it didn’t disappoint – it was everything and more. The genius behind this wonderful escape – Sarah, an incredible Mummy of 3, a Personal Trainer with a Law Degree and a serious knack for Yoga. Skipped outside with her beautiful smile, hands full with fizz and little milk jugs of juice for the kids. We stood in the car park chatting away whilst the girls admired the horses. ‘Star’ being being the firm favourite. I could tell with this woman’s passionate vibes that this place was going to be something else.
We were shown the most impressive shower rooms, complete with complimentary ‘Neals Yard Remedies’ products before being taken round to a little washing station to be used at our leisure for all our plates and pots during our stay. So THIS is Glamping? Self catering and luxury side by side.
We were led through the families impressive farm house, up over the most stunning flower adorned decking, past the most impressive Finnish BBQ hut I’ve ever laid eyes on (which I have already planned to use for my 30th next year!) and farther again past the fully equipped kitchen hidden in a quaint little hut just next to Potters Lodge. Our first lodge.
I don’t know what took me back more, the size of the bed or the tranquility that surrounded it. Attention to detail at every turn. Who knew a Yurt could replicate a five star holiday home in what felt like the middle nowhere but with the security of knowing Sarah and her family were a short 30 seconds away. The height, the width – the SPACE! THIS was a real adventure with all the security needed bringing our two little girls.
Soft hues of pinks and greys, pillows and throws galore. I wanted to take pictures of every single little thing and replicate it all in my own home. This was one of those places on arrival where it instantly gives you the feeling of gratitude – it makes you stop and entirely appreciate all the little things. To feel that fortunate to have the opportunity to experience this and know you’re entirley connected with one another without the distractions of every day life and technology.
Marshmallows waiting to be toasted and an endless supply of candles to set the mood as the sun went down. Sarah had thought of everything.
My only woe was in this 30 degree summer heat, we’d not be getting the opportunity to use the log burner but having spent a mere five minutes at Peakes Retreats, we already knew as a family there would be more opportunities. This wasn’t going to be our last trip here.
With no electricity there was a complete sense of calm – one of these feelings hard to describe until actually felt itself.
As the day passed the girls played in the wooden play park which we found nestled next to the big farm house itself. There is SO much for little ones to do – it brings everything back to basics. Fresh air, nature and a little imagination.
We prepared our BBQ and opted for one of their small coal ones to sit on top of our bench. There’s options to use the fire pits by your Yurt or the bigger BBQ’s found next to the play area. Prior to your stay you can also order the most delicious BBQ food sourced half an hour from Peakes Retreats itself from a luxurious farm shop. I’ve never tasted chicken kebabs like it.
We lit her up and we began to watch the sun fall behind the trees. My husband and I had SO many moments – so many, where we just caught glimpse of each other and smiled. The girls were SO happy, we were so happy. Happy for the outdoors, the freedom, exploring the unknown and getting to dance as the sun set. In fact – I think it was the first time we’d watched it with our girls.
It was idyllic – it was a confirmation that finding this time to be away from our ‘normal’ and together as a family unit was going to grow us and connect us in a way we’ve never really appreciated before. Not to this extent.
What had been intended as a ‘stop gap’ turned into one of the best memories of our lives to date.
The girls become a team when we take them out their routine, they work together and explore together. It’s like the bickering and the short fuses don’t exist. All of a sudden their bond kicks in, to protect one another. To stick together and explore together. As a parent, I can hand on heart say it’s one of my favourite bits about having siblings – to witness that connection.
Once the sun set, I flicked the fairy lights on and lit the candles. The Yurt changed again and turned into some magical romantic setting. Another heart flutter moment – just as the stars outside started to twinkle.
Jamie and I took a kid each and lay in opposite day beds until they drifted off, safely with their bed guards.
We sat outside, both of us so proud – proud of where we’d been, where we were going and proud of where we were. THIS was living. We talked about things we’d do and where we’d go next – this experience had opened up our eyes and made us realise that even with young kids, the world really was our oyster. Changing your ‘normal’ as parents and as a family is scary but the memories you can make in doing so – are worth their weight in gold.
There is nothing quite like sleeping under the stars, with all, if not MORE of the comforts of home. The beds were the kind of comfort where by at the end of your stay, you find yourself searching for the labels on mattresses and quilts!
As we sneaked out for morning pees – we poked our heads into the little kitchen hut and discovered our complimentary breakfast crate, with locally sourced bacon, eggs and bread! A tin of beans, a tin of tomatoes and fresh mushrooms. WAW. What a way to create an emotional goodbye – a breakfast fit for a king. They also provide the vegan option of a seriously delicious fruit bowl.
Sarah and I began talking as our holiday came to a close and this is round about the time a little magic sparked. We connected instantly with a shared love and passion for what was created and had grown at Peakes Retreats. A few days later I received an email and there lay the offer of working together. Nothing gave me more pleasure than accepting a role as Peakes Retreats main contributor.
Since then we’ve had multiple visits to Peakes Retreats (as seen in images) and have had a different but equally incredible experience each time. The one thing we cannot wait for – is our visits over the winter months to snuggle up in those thick quilts and let that burner go wild!
If this sounds like something you’d like to experience – I have some AMAZING news. Not only do I have an amazing 20% off code but I also have an incredible giveaway!
A weekend at Peakes Retreats in October staying in Milne’s Corner!
Please head over to my Instagram page to find out more details!
20% Discount Code: TheImperfectlyPerfectParent2018