This year, instead of booking a lovely dinner in London, we decided to do something a little different. We had stayed at Wriggly Tins almost two years ago, and always said we would return… So when it came to choosing somewhere to visit for our anniversary weekend it was an ideal place to return!
Fast forward a month or so, and fast forward through the snow that no one really expected, and we were on the train to Wriggly Tins, eager for our return.
This time, we had booked Barrow, the brightest shepherd’s hut of them all. Barrow is the cheeriest of all huts, with its friendly, welcoming and very yellow exterior – especially when a gorgeous bunch of daffodils are left on your arrival. Just in case there wasn’t enough yellow..! The last time we stayed at Wriggly Tins, we had a wonderful weekend in Barrow… And I was excited to be able to see our first Wriggly Tin from our hut window.
It was just before the clocks changed when we stayed, so it was almost completely dark when we arrived that first night. Whilst camp fire cooking is a real treat, we’d known that we wanted something simple for supper and so brought a chilli I had made at home to heat up on our indoor fire. A night of cribbage, stoking the fire and planning our weekend… Before heading to sleep, cosy in our little shepherd’s hut and ready for a weekend in the Hampshire countryside.
As we woke with the sunrise the next morning, Andy jumped down to start the fire and warm up our little hut, as I lay in bed and read my book. With no electricity and very little phone signal at Wriggly Tins, it’s the perfect opportunity to slow down, relax and read for hours on end.
Barrow really is a little hut that is full of a lot of sunshine! As soon as you open those double doors, you’re greeted with sunshine yellow all around. On the left, the cosy double bed at the top of the hut, with a seriously snuggly duvet to keep you warm during the night… Patterned curtains to keep the morning sunlight out to let you sleep in on your weekend away…
You’ll be amazed at how well the space is used, since under the bed are drawers to store your many clothes, as well as an under bed cabinet for suitcases, cooking equipment and storing outdoor chairs!
And little pieces of decoration to really make your hut feel homely and sweet…
There’s a table which folds away to give you a little more space during the day, when you’re moving around… A small bench to allow you to enjoy your morning cuppa with a little more comfort… And even a wardrobe hiding beside the bed! Whether you’re there for a weekend or a week, you’ll certainly have enough storage even if you don’t pack light!
And to complete your little hut, there’s a kitchen cupboard with all of your basic essentials, and crockery too! Wriggly Tins even cater for the wine glasses! Finally, at your door, a mini stove to heat the tin as well as to cook on, with a small oven and a kettle (because everyone needs that first cup of tea before lighting an outdoor fire!)
I like to pack a pair of flip flops for dotting around the tin – and making any quick dashes to the cool box for a top up of wine! Otherwise, my Dubarry Galway Boots are a staple for this country getaway.
Assured that breakfast was cooking and more tea was brewing I hopped out of bed and took the chairs outside for breakfast. Being a little British about it all we grabbed our coats so we could sit outside that late March morning.
One tip: don’t miss the breakfast basket! It’s full of local meats and fresh bread and eggs, making it a perfect campfire breakfast just waiting to be cooked. And it saves carrying delicate eggs with you…
Feeling a little more comfortable with our campfire skills than we were last time, we made soft boiled eggs…
Crispy rashers of streaky bacon…
Even more tea and coffee, served with pages of literature….
And all cooked on our humble campfire. The perfect slow weekend morning to relax and enjoy each other’s company. I hadn’t truly appreciated how much time we all spend waiting for the next WhatsApp message or email to come through until it simply wasn’t possible to receive them… So with phones at the bottom of our bags, we spent the morning laughing, cooking and planning our day in sunny(ish) Hampshire.
I was particularly proud of my toast, made on the top of our indoor stove!
Over perfect dippy eggs, we hatched a plan to retrace our footsteps of two years earlier, and meander even further than we had last time.
But there was one extra little surprise in this trip… One of the other huts, Old Winchester has a wood fired hot tub… Old Winchester happened not to be booked this particular weekend, I snapped up the chance to add some hot tub time to our trip. Before heading out for our walk, we stoked the fire to make sure it was extra hot for when we returned!
As we wandered across the fields, saw deer and wandered generally in the direction we wanted to, the sun managed to break through the clouds just a little. I say generally in the direction… Map reading has never been one of my strong skills, but I always manage to get us there or there abouts in the end!
An afternoon pit stop in the pub seemed the only appropriate way to enjoy a mid-walk rest! We settled on The Bat and Ball for a drink, a light lunch and to rest our feet. Oh, and to say hello to all the dogs who were there!
With cosy sofas, a cool glass of wine and sun streaming in the windows…
After a while here, we wandered back along the track to the village of Hambledon. With its pretty churches, pubs and sleepy streets it made a nice little burst of life in comparison to our very quiet hut. It’s also home to Hambledon Vineyard, a vineyard I’d love to visit next time – when we visit in slightly warmer weather!
Through the vines we wandered, back to the top of the hill where we could see our little tin and its friends down in the field below.
As we arrived back at Wriggly Tins and said hello to Old Winchester… And out steaming hot tub, too!
Since it was our anniversary, we had tucked away a bottle of champagne to toast with, and decided that there was no better place to open it than the peace, quiet and warmth of our tub. We took it as a sign that it was meant to be, since there’s already glass holders in the tub!
Hop in for as long as you can take the heat, listen to the birds chattering away and let yourself completely relax…
Cheers to another year together, and to another wonderful weekend at Wriggly Tins!
After a little more time in the hot tub, we headed back to our hut to start cooking our campfire dinner. Oh, and toasting marshmallows too! If every hotel room or hut came with marshmallows you could toast, I think I’d love going away even more!
Wriggly Tins made the perfect weekend away – and it will always be the place that started my love (read: minor obsession) with shepherd’s huts! If you’re looking for somewhere to switch off, eat your bodyweight in marshmallows and practice your map reading skills, it’s the perfect weekend from London.
Happy Anniversary to us!