We arrived in a short sharp down pour on Thursday pm and I am glad to say we never saw or felt another drop all week end. What a relief. We were welcomed by Will Chester master, in charge of all yurts and huts. My fear that the Shepherds Hut would be damp, small and dark were all unfounded. It was surprisingly large, roughly 8ft x 17ft, with a bed large enough for us two tall people! Quick and easy to light wood burner, cooking utensils and kit for 2 and a gas ring, shelves tables and chairs. Two decent windows meant the early morning light flooded in each day and the views could be enoyed when we were inside, not often.
The siting of the hut was perfect, south facing over looking two grassy meadows, grazing Gloucester cross bullocks. Behind us was a lovely old mixed wood, with Raven's nest and lots of busy birds flitting around amongst the blue bells in full flower.
There is a fire pit where of course we erected the tripod straight away and started the supper cooking. Breakfasts were quite a highlight using ingredients from the London markets, halumi, green peppers, bacon and toast, on the hanging grill, a twist of lime and lemon and chopped corriander. Rosie had arrived laden with goodies.
On the Saturday it was not much trouble to light a fire, set up the tripod and Kotlich and get cooking. We brought the ingredients for a mixed meat goulash. We start off with onions, garlic, ginger softened in the Kotlich with fatty bacon. Then we added carrots and three sorts of meat, some pork, stewing beef and shin of beef. This is a very juicy tastey combination. We added stock/water, seasoning and some sweet paprika and boiled fast. We then added some potatoes and chopped sweet peppers when everything else seemed to be nearly ready. Towards the end we also added a good shake more of sweet paprika to keep that red colour. The starch from the spuds thickens the gravy. The amount of gravy may need adjusting if the juices evapourate which is quite likely.
We set off each day detirmed to enjoy the local environs. First day without family was spent cycling down firstly Sherbourne brook and then on down the Windrush to Burford. There was hardly any traffic and surprisingly few hills. At least no bad ones. The second day when the family joined us we enjoyed the Coln valley with a stop in Ablington for a picnic and a quick shandy in Barnsley on our way back to camp.
We can thoroughly recommend the shepherds hut. It is the perfect antidote to the hectic lifestyle. Great place.