Sorry I know I’m a little late with this one, but you’ll forgive me I promise when you see the photos!! (warning, there are a fair few!)
So July was a special month for us both. It was our 4 year anniversary on the 27th. Four years of being his girl and loving every minute of it. The day held extra special meaning as it also marked an official 1 year count down to the big day!
We will be getting married on 27/7/17 which will also be our 5 year anniversary! Ekkk… how exciting!
So… as we’re trying to be good with money (what with saving and all) we made a decision that there would be no indulgent holidays before the big day, but still wanting to mark the occasion in a special way we decided to make use of the ‘Cool Stays‘ vouchers Mumma Lo got us for Christmas.
Having never heard of Cool Stays before, the easiest way to describe it is a cross between Airbnb and Canopy & Stars!? Beautiful and unique accommodation that slightly trumps a normal get away.
Not wanting to stray too far I opted for the stunning looking Knepp Safari (about an hour drive from home) and in particular the Little Owl Tipi. I just knew Maxwell would adore the bed (image a four poster bed but instead of normal posts in each corner, a stunning natural tree form!)
It was amazing (and so incredible luxurious and comfortable!) Literally one of those beds you just want to stay in all day and take regular naps (which I did)
Maxwell wanted the surprise to be kept so I liaised with the staff at both Knepp Safari’s & Cool Stays and eventually we were all sorted. Our day began how most of our special days begin, with a treat of a brunch at local favourite Southsea Coffee Company.
We then had to make a stop off to see my wonderful Grandad who had been rushed to hospital the night before. A few hours later, with well wishes and on a promise of a postcard we headed off for our anniversary adventure.
Maxwell presumed we were heading to Brighton so it was quite fun watching him try to figure it out as we ventured more into the countryside!
Knepp itself is one of the largest re-wilding projects in lowland Europe. Located in Sussex with over 3,500 acres you can encounter herds of wild ponies, cattle, deer and pigs as they roam across the estate. It really is a hidden natural gem!
With the sun beating down on us the whole way we excitedly parked up and headed to the ‘Go Down’ where we met Rachel & Ryan who showed us round the site and to our Tipi.
The Little Owl Tipi was not so little after all but huge and magnificent!
And as for the site itself… wow!
We fell in love with it instantly… The Camp Kitchen was brilliant, open to the elements on 3 sides, but with a fully equipped kitchen inside it completely captured the essence of a African safari camp kitchen! We loved it!
The other thing we we really impressed with was the Go Down… a beautifully rustic and comfortable lounge area / shop / campsite bathroom! The shop was brilliantly stocked with their own wild range organic meat and sausages, organic free-range Knepp eggs, Knepp wild range honey, a selection of homemade jams and pickles, a selection of organic wine, beer and cider, local gingerbread and biscuits and artisan bread, it was wonderful.
The well worn sofa suite and wood burning stove made for a cosy corner to chill, read or charge your mobile, and as for the bathrooms, pure luxury! Home to two large shower rooms, two toilets and a large drying room. All were clean, beautifully decorated and stocked with complimentary organic toiletries!
Lastly, and the thing we probably loved the most was the amazing Bathenon – open air & outdoor hot-water shower-baths. In two separate shacks, these two big old cast iron tubs sat amongst the pebbles were perfect for an evening candlelit bath under the stars! We know this to be true as we enjoyed one both evenings!
The rest of the site was a dream too, random shepherds huts and yurts were dotted about the site away from the ‘normal campsite’.
There was also a Yoga Yurt on the other side of the Camp Kitchen which after a little investigation looked amazing and such a special place to practice yoga! They also have a no under 12s rule which when you’re on a romantic getaway is ideal!
So back to our stay… we arrived, we unloaded the bags and threw out a blanket outside the tipi. We purchased some wine/beer from the Go Down and had our selves a lazy afternoon in the sun, playing games, giving gifts, eating and drinking. Anniversary perfection!
As the sun set and temperatures dropped we headed to the Bathenon and ran a hot bath for two… armed with a big glass of wine we sunk below the bubbles and gazed up at the stars… it was pretty special.
When the water started to cool, we wrapped up warm and headed to the camp kitchen for some pasta dinner and another game… Making our way back across the site to our tipi we lit the bed side lanterns and snuggled under our egyptian cotton feather down duvet for an incredible nights sleep!
The next morning after a lazy start and waking to shadows dancing on the walls of the tipi and the sounds of nature all around we made some dippy eggs, had a fresh morning out door shower, then set about going for a bit of a hike, taking advantage of one of the many recommended walking routes round the estate. We got lost pretty quickly but in the end made our way to the pub which was the end goal and enjoyed a pub lunch in the beer garden.
Then it was time to head back, an afternoon nap and some more games. That evening we enjoyed another bath (this time with added cards), dinner in the camp kitchen and then takign advantage of the free wifi we enjoyed a film in the go down, then headed back to the tipi, whilst a noisy owl hooted from overhead.
We checked out late the next morning and didn’t want to go! We loved it there so much and it really is such a unique and special place. We can whole heartedly recommend this place if you’re looking for a camping get away with a difference!
Once we finally were packed up and ready to leave we decided to stop off in Arundel on the way home and checked out lots of the antique shops and had lunch on the roof or Sparks Yard whilst there… It was the perfect way to end our lil’ getaway and celebration of 4 years together!
Oh… we also posted our save the date/invites…. but I’ll do a separate post on that v.soon!