Karoline Gebbett runs Birkfield House in High Kelling, near Holt in Norfolk. She added a shepherd’s hut to the grounds of her luxurious three-bedroom bed and breakfast at the start of 2016. She says: ‘I looked at many different huts, but Blackdown huts were by far the best quality. I wanted a hut that matched the quality of my own home, so that I could move guests from the hut to the house knowing that they would have a different experience in both but that the quality would be the same.’
Guests have been delighted by the traditional, yet modern, shepherd’s hut, which accommodates two guests in its intimate, but surprisingly roomy, space. Karoline says: ‘Guests love the ‘love nest’ bed, which was my original idea. I describe our hut, which we call Chez Marguerite, as a Wendy House for adults and our guests agree. Guests really appreciate the quality of the workmanship on the hut, but also all the extra little touches that I put in to their luxury hut experience such as breakfast goodies and treats, linen and towels, and shower products.’
Chez Marguerite is very much the intimate retreat, approached by its own woodland walk and set in a secluded spot in the gardens of Birkfield House. A hut for all seasons, inside there is a log burner, an en-suite shower and WC, kitchen incorporating induction hob and fridge, and the love-nest bed. Keeping in line with the glamping experience, outside Karoline has created a fire pit and barbeque area for al-fresco cooking and dining.
The romantic shepherd’s hut retreat is popular with couples and Chez Marguerite has had two marriage proposals and a honeymoon in this past year. Karoline says the glamping aspect of staying in the hut appeals to all types of people and she is taking bookings for the winter months. ‘We are in our first year and it’s been very successful. A hut like mine, with the luxury love nest bed, would cost around £33k, and it will have paid for itself in three years.
‘At Chez Marguerite we have people booked in for November and December, and some returners who want to experience it with the log burner. It really is a hut for all seasons and a real boost to our bed and breakfast business.’