Award Winning Chutney

Best ChutneyOne of the things we are looking forward to on our journey to a happier life is being creative in the new kitchen. Using our home grown produce and local foraging to cook, bake and preserve etc, perhaps eventually even selling some ‘farm kitchen business’ style as so many smallholders do. Continue reading


The Good Life on less than an Acre

TurkeyWhile the eco-makeover of the smallholding’s accommodation carries on, Emma and I continue to seek as much practical help and advice as we can to prepare for the adventure ahead.

So it was one Saturday last month that we found ourselves visiting The Empire Farm in Somerset for their course ‘Living the good life on less than an acre’ which sounded perfect for us at The Secret Acre. Continue reading

Two Months In: the arse insulation test

BuildersFour weeks further on and Stevenson the builders continue to make amazing progress in the sunshine on our smallholding’s eco-makeover.

The timber frame extension shot up almost overnight, so now the whole building is in place just awaiting the windows to get us water tight. In the original part of the house the first fix has been done and the walls beautifully re-plastered. Continue reading

The Lampshade Journey: A Gastronomic Tale

Untitled-7Last November we visited Berlin for Paul’s brother’s 60th celebrations and were surprised to find a fantastic number of vegetarian fine dining restaurants such as Cookies and Cream, The Lucky Leek, Kopps and Bistro Bardot. Eager to try one of these restaurants we travelled a day early so that we could eat at The Lucky Leek and being a popular restaurant we sat outside under blankets eating one of the best vegetarian meals we had ever experienced. Continue reading

Pond dipping, chopping wood and mowing the garden with our Cornish friends

A few weeks ago we were delighted to spend the day with our lovely Cornish friends who were en route to holiday in Wales.


A thundery start to the day left us feeling a little sad that we might have to eat our picnic in the wood shed but by the time the lovely Kirk Family arrived the clouds parted and made way for the sun allowing us to merrily eat a hearty spread beneath Cam Peak. Continue reading

Wood you be so organised?

Over the last few months it’s not the house renovation, or the size of the garden that as had me waking me up in cold sweats, it’s been the ever growing wood pile.

At the beginning of our journey to a happier life, we boldly said to our builders, ‘make sure you keep every piece of wood you pull out from the house or don’t use’. As the wood pile grew lists formed in our heads of what we might use it for; kitchen cabinets, shelves, raised beds, rebuilding the sheds, log store, a tree house and even an outdoor hot tub. Much to our surprise within two weeks the whole of the upper garden had turned into a beastly mountain of old, knackered, gnarly, nail infested wood. Continue reading