March 15, 2019
We think Winnie the Pooh would be rather fond of our glampsite. It’s on the edge of our very own Hundred Acre Wood full of splashing streams for playing Pooh sticks and plenty of honey for tea made by our busy bees. This year as we enter our sixth season, we’re celebrating our story with A.A. Milne’s charming poem, Now We Are Six:
When I was One,
I had just begun
Back in 2014 we had a vision to create a sustainable glampsite surrounded by nature. Penhein had been in my (Helen’s) family for generations, whilst James is half-Iranian. After years of city living we decided to move from London to Penhein and diversify the farm, creating a glampsite that would blend our heritage. We created six very special ‘Alachigh’ tents, based on the original design still used by the nomadic Shahsavan tribe in Northern Iran. These are no mere yurts – they have beautiful ribs stretching all the way from the ground up to the oculus above, a peep-hole into the starry skies above. With the help of an interior designer we adapted the tents for the UK, adding en suite loos, wood burners and cosy bedspreads. Penhein Glamping was born.
When I was Two,
I was nearly new.
Hurrah! Guests had started to find us in greater numbers. What we needed now was a space where everyone could continue to have fun even in the rain or blustery weather. We added a new communal alachigh tent and named it Petro after James’ grandfather’s farm in Iran. We filled it with tables and armchairs and a stack of proper board games too.
When I was Three
I was hardly me.
We were growing fast. But growing fast means eating well. Whilst we loved cooking around the campfire or over the wood burner we wanted to offer a quick and easy solution to hungry tums. We added the ‘Cheat’s Kitchen’ and equipped it with familiar mod-cons like a toaster, hob, electric kettle and a microwave. A failsafe back-up for tired parents that keeps everyone happy.
When I was Four
I was not much more
Older and wiser, we were learning how to evolve our offering at Penhein. Lots of guests were bringing their children – with some families coming back every year! Inspired by the woodlands, we decided to create a natural Adventure Playground. Run along bridges, climb ladders and swing from ropes all made from tree trunks, tractor tyres and ropes reclaimed from the farm. A small addition that makes Penhein extra special for families.
When I was Five, I was just alive
Oh yes, now we were alive. With solid foundations in place at the glampsite we began to add some flourishes to our offering. How could we help our guests get even more from glamping at Penhein? We added a whole series of experiences from Foraging and Bushcraft to massage and creative workshops. We’ve continued to build on these every season, with Campfire Cookery and Easter Printing coming up soon.
But now I am Six, I’m as clever as clever,
So I think I’ll be six for ever and ever.
This season we’re six. That’s no mean achievement as a small, family-run business and it’s time to celebrate! Where better than in Chehel Sotoun, our new pop-up party tent named after the grand pavilion where the Shah of Persia would host lavish receptions. Guests can now book it for memorable occasions like a special birthday, retreats or group activities.
Whilst we won’t be six ‘for ever and ever’ we’re so proud to be here. We’ve worked hard to grow our glampsite and to evolve it every year. We still believe in the magic of sleeping under canvas, of listening to the drum of rain on the canvas, the hooting of the owls and the rustling of leaves in the woodland outside, not to mention gazing up at the starry night sky from the pillow….And as the AA’s Glampsite of the Year for 2019, we’re ready to welcome you and make this our very best year yet!