So easy to get to, off the M40 near Banbury, and then a few miles drive and here we are, in the middle of the beautiful Oxfordshire countryside ... to Chipping Warden and to Blackgrounds Farm Shepherd Hut Holiday for a quick 24-hour-getaway and to make the most of these last - and unexpectedly hot (proper hot! 31 degrees hot!) - days of summer.
Stopped for a Bloody Mary and some lunch at the very friendly pub, The Griffin, in the village, and then on to the farm. A proper, working farm, and as they train racehorses there are also the most beautiful horses in the fields.
Pauline, the owner, has been really friendly and helpful (and patiently answered my billion questions), and in person lives up to that too. It's all just lovely.
There are five huts, two right on the river and three further back in the fields, each totally private.
I love 'Orchard Hut' ... yes, it's in its own orchard. Apples fall off the trees constantly, sometimes making me jump and once landing on my head.
The hut itself is cosy and so cute - like playing house. Everything you could need - and a wood burner for when it does get cold. The Shepherd's Huts are available all year round and I'll definitely be back to experience it in super-cosy wintertime.
There's a fridge, table, a George Foreman grill (presumably for bad weather days) and even towels are provided. The bed is supremely comfortable, and the view ...fields down to the river with horses just outside the door ... stunning. There are also fairy lights and candles to light - so pretty when dusk comes.
There is a picnic table, a gas barbecue outside, an incredible big fire pit, a stack of logs snug and dry under the hut. A huge hammock.
And an outdoor 'African-style' bathroom - with a HOT shower too. Gorgeous.
It was hot enough to brave swimming in the river. It started raining in the night and that was the last properly hot day of the year, so such perfect timing. The river swim was very cold but very beautiful; well worth it.
Cooked steak and kebabs. Made my 'signature' tomato and onion salad and a green salad too. Tore bits off the baguette to eat. Drank wine.
Kept the fire going 'til the small hours before closing those stable doors on the hut and having the best sleep in the incredibly comfortable bed.
It was magical.
In the morning it was raining and it felt like 'real life' had returned, but for 24 hours this was a total escape from all reality, living outdoors, yet with all comforts.
I can't wait for my next visit.
Just two things to note:
1. there's no shop in the village although there is one a couple of miles away in the next - so do bring all your provisions.
2. the only thing I'd do differently on my next visit is to bring our bucket barbecue or to use a disposable one - there was one there - as a gas barbecue to me is just like cooking indoors - none of the outdoor cooking barbecue flavours. But that's a personal preference only and did have a great dinner using the outdoor gas barbie!