Mandy Pitts was one of our very happy shepherd hut customers in 2016, and we caught up with her recently at The Glamping Show. She raved about her Blackdown shepherd hut, and we wanted to find out how business is at Glebe Farm, and how the hut is bearing up two years on.
About Mandy and Glebe Farm
Having spent many years running a farm shop and working in the hospitality industry I sort of fell into holiday lettings as our farming activities slowed down, it just seemed to fit our love of the farm and countryside by offering a little bit of something special with quirky holidays. Located just outside Exeter at the end of the M5, we are so lucky to have beaches and the Exe Valley cycle trail within 7 miles, Dartmoor within 20 minutes and the vibrant City of Exeter just 10 minutes away and Powderham Castle on our doorstep. My partner has a busy bakery on our farm, so guests can look forward to complimentary homemade bread on their arrival.
The huts are situated in a quiet meadow on the edge of the River Kenn within a 5 minute stroll to our village pub “The Ley Arms” (great food) and a 7 day a week village shop just 1 mile away. A perfect rural retreat within easy reach of civilisation!!
When did you get your shepherd hut, what type is it, and what do you use it for?
I think we purchased our amazing hut in 2016 for the sole purpose of relaxing holiday breaks. She is 16’ long and made of timber with a full size double bed that cleverly slots back into the wall to provide a large oak table to spread out the Sunday papers. All the mod cons included, a beautiful fully fitted ensuite, fridge, hob and bar b q. And the best part – the log burner which makes it a romantic snug hideaway, and if it gets too hot open the top door and listen to the river and the wildlife.
What facilities are in it and did you decorate it yourself?
In addition to the hut, you can relax in a full-size hot tub surrounded by festoon lights watching the stars and sipping champagne!!
For those who have a small well behaved dog you are welcome to bring him/her and to keep safe there is a fence surrounding the hut. It also helps to keep the lambs from nibbling the lovely garden.
The decoration is mostly Habitat, Ikea, John Lewis and Vanessa Arburthnott fabrics, with great lighting from Blackdown and those hand finished touches, an oak inset in the sink, beautifully crafted hooks and towel rails from Malcolm Shepherd.
We have added some cupboards for extra storage, which I think was essential.
What has the Blackdown customer experience been like?
Really, really pleased! When I needed a little adjustment Will came down and sorted it out, nothing was too much trouble. But to be honest the attention to detail in the hut has been great.
You’ve had your hut for two years now – how has it worn in that time?
So far so good, it has worn well, although I am not sure I would have a Belfast sink again, that soon had some chips and looks worn, and has shrunk from the frame needing to be resealed. I like your new idea of copper!
What do you love about Blackdown shepherd huts?
The attention to detail, the fact that you care, and are continually looking to add to your offering, coming up with new ideas and new artisan craftspeople to add that extra touch. I love the wow factor of the “posh” XL hut. The staff are always very helpful and are genuinely interested in talking to the customers. Great customer service!