Friday, 5 October 2012

Autumn deals on Devon breaks!

Well, the children are back at school - our youngest, Willow, is settling in beautifully which is a relief as she only turned 4 in August. Here's a photo of her in her new uniform looking extremely proud of herself!

The leaves are turning now and the Blackdown Hills scenery is as stunning as ever. This is my favourite time of year - our wedding anniversary is coming up shortly - and I've met so many other people with Autumn anniversaries. If yours is coming up, why not take advantage of the deals available at this time of year and come and stay at Luggs Barn? A break here could be the perfect surprise present for the spouse who thinks you've forgotten...

The Autumn colours are just beginning to glow
After an amazing Spring/Summer season, we now have some availability through autumn and winter, including half term at the time of writing. This year, Hallowe'en falls within half term - the perfect opportunity for a spooky house party in the middle of nowhere?! Take a look at our Facebook page, to keep an eye on the latest deals, but here are a couple to tempt anyone looking for a cosy autumn break:

2-9 November, £750 (was £850)
9-12 November, £600 (was £650)

Don't forget Luggs Barn sleeps 8 in comfort in 4 beautiful bedrooms, including two zip/link rooms offering the option of twin beds ideal for friends or siblings. There's also a single folding bed and plenty of room for cots of ready beds. At full occupancy, a break at Luggs Barn is typically cheaper than a motel, and infinitely more stylish!

Hallowe'en is always eagerly awaited!
Make the most of the scenic footpaths and spectacular views surrounding Luggs Barn by taking a break in the affordable Autumn. Before Christmas stress starts to bite, gather family and friends in a stylish and spacious retreat from daily life. A long walk followed by a cosy evening in the vaulted, beamed living room curled up in front of the wood burner is an antidote to almost any kind of stress!

Further ahead, Christmas and New Year have been booked up for some months now, and 2013 bookings are already beginning to come in. Now's the time to ensure that your preferred dates are available; many peak weeks are booked up to 9 months in advance each year!

Finally, we're looking forward to the Honiton Antiques Festival,12-17 November, which culminates with a Restoration and Conservation Fair at which Bill will be exhibiting. His piano restoration work (see for his new website!) is highly sought after by retailers and private clients all over the country, and on 17th November he will be joined by numerous experts in varying trades, from clock restoration to french polishing. If you're visiting the West Country in November, especially if you'll be on the lookout for antiques, Honiton is the best place for a day out! Come and see us - take a look at for more details.

Friday, 27 July 2012

Summer time...

...and we have a fox to outwit.

We've had a spate of losses lately and after a good run for a few years are now convinced we need to fence the hens and ducks in. We're still concerned that being in an enclosure might make them more vulnerable as they can't get away if he does get in, but we're giving it a try.

We sadly lost a chick last weekend - it didn't wake up one morning, despite having been pecking happily around the previous day - but the other 4 are doing well. They regularly frighten us by disappearing into the undergrowth and squeezing through fences into the fox's territory, but so far always make it back of the safety of Mum. They're growing feathers and already look slightly gangly, we think 3 are cockerels and one is a hen, so fingers crossed she makes it through the hurdles of the next few months.

Finally, after a long wait in the cold and wet, our vegetable garden is looking superb. There are lots of weeds, as there are never enough hours in the day, but loads of wonderful veg too - we've seen a courgette, the potatoes are struggling but tasty when we find them, the broad and runner beans are well on their way, lettuces have been providing salads most evenings for several weeks, and tonight we picked our first ever peas and tasted a few straight from the pod. They were just as delicious as we'd hoped and will probably never make it to the cooker, I think fresh in salads will be the best way to enjoy them.

Autumn bookings are starting to come in now - once the children are off school and the pace of life slows slightly, why not plan ahead for an autumn break? Contact us for availability and prices and make the most of what's promised to be an Indian summer this year...

Monday, 9 July 2012

New arrivals at Luggs!

We have 5 new chicks! Can't tell just yet how many are cockerels...but for now they're gorgeous and fluffy and doing well.

Bill had to help the youngest one out of its shell as Mum had lost interest and was busy with the others. He kept it warm in his hands all evening until it started cheeping, and now she's looking after them all beautifully. At the moment we don't feel we can let them out though, as the buzzards usually start circling in minutes!

We had a beautiful hot sunny day yesterday (Sunday) which improved everyone's spirits after so much rain. We cooked brunch on a camp fire in the field, helped by the dogs. Ted burnt his nose getting too close to the bacon fat! He's now back in his favourite sentry spot at the top of the stone stairs outside Luggs Barn...

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Thinking ahead...autumn/winter 2012!

Delighted to announce that Christmas 2012 is now booked! New Year has been booked for several months. If anyone can bear to think ahead to autumn half term, perhaps now's the time...special holidays get booked up very quickly!

Here's a picture of the apples in the orchard last autumn to get you in the mood...

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

New email!

We've been having trouble with our existing email address lately - it's a forwarding address to an old email account and is proving unreliable. We now have another email address which will hopefully work in tandem with the old one for now:

You are welcome to use any of the email addresses on our literature but hopefully this one will mean that anyone currently having trouble contacting us will find it easier!

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Don't tell the fox...

...but we've booked to collect 10 ex-battery hens in a few weeks' time! Very pleased to have arranged it, the last lot were ex-battery and were very happy and great layers once they settled in.

Here's a picture of our last intake when they first arrived - all we need to do now is try to create a more fox-proof environment. The geese proved useless as a deterrent, despite their great ferocity to toddlers and dogs, so fingers crossed our new arrivals last longer than a year...

Hopefully it won't be long before we're well supplied with eggs for our regular customers at Hemyock Preschool and Primary School! Luckily the ducks are still laying well so none of our regulars have had to resort to Waitrose just yet!

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Garden update

A few photos of progress in the garden so far! Roses and irises are coming out, and the lilac and wisteria have been glorious for the past couple of weeks. All the beds around Luggs Barn, and the one in front of the main house, have been planted up and already we can see a huge difference as the plants begin to flourish. 
The moment the plants arrived! Big - and expensive - day for us, but well worth it!

Child labour in the kitchen garden!

Main house viewed from courtyard. New planting on the left and just behind the front wall.

The main veg bed after 3 weeks of sunshine!

Spot the ducks...and we're so thrilled to see the pink roses again

Saturday, 12 May 2012

May/June last minute deals!

The woodland is carpeted with bluebells and wild orchids
After a madly busy early Spring and Easter period, we have a few spaces in the diary before the summer season is upon us. At the time of writing the following periods are available, and the later the booking, the better the deal. Contact us for more details but some dates are half price!

21-25 May
25-28 May
28-31 May
11-15 June
15-18 June
18-22 June

3, 4 or 7 night stays are available. Even at our normal rates it's cheaper per person per night than some Travelodges! So by booking late you'll get a top class holiday in some of this country's most beautiful scenery for a ridiculously low price...and if you're quick, you'll see the bluebells!

Late bookings may be less flexible on bed configuration depending on our linen suppliers, but 8 people can be accommodated with ease in 4 bedrooms. There's also a single folding bed and ample space for ready beds and cots.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Spring news from the Blackdown Hills

Spring has made a welcome return now! The orchard's full of primroses, and bluebells are coming out in the woodland. Every year it's a surprise how beautiful it looks. Some of our guests over the Easter break enjoyed badger watching and all have been lucky with the weather, many heading to the beaches and coastlines where the sun seems to have been out almost every day.

There are ewes and their lambs in the field in front of Luggs Barn, and our younger guests have loved watching them from the garden. Monty and Ted remain a huge hit with visitors and have adored all their new playmates over the Easter holidays! The hens and ducks are laying well and behaving beautifully, but the geese are still in the last chance saloon (the top field behind the farmhouse). Their attitude isn't improving with age, so their days may be numbered!

We had a few days away recently at Saunton Sands in North Devon - our girls' first ever holiday and they adored being able to stay at the beach rather than visiting for day trips! Wetsuits were needed but we all had great fun bodyboarding - except Willow, who decided she was happier playing on the sand dunes with her friends.

Back home, we've sown some grass seed to try to repair the builders' legacy, but as yet it hasn't germinated. We've had several April showers now, so fingers crossed for some more warm sunshine to get things started! We've also had confirmation that our plants for Luggs Barn's garden have arrived, many from Holland. Dan our gardening guru has arranged to come and help us plant up the beds in about 10 days' time. He assures us it'll all look fabulous in no time, so watch this space for photos!

I've taken several video tours of Luggs Barn but can't seem to get them uploaded either on here or YouTube - if any readers are technically minded, I'd be grateful for any advice!

Check back soon for more photos and details of the great planting scheme! We'll also be announcing some great deals in May very soon...

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Make Mother's Day - 15% discount for Devon family break

With Mother's Day fast approaching, if you're looking for the perfect venue to bring the generations together, why not take advantage of our special offer? A 3 or 7 night stay commencing Friday 16th March will enjoy a 15% discount off our usual prices of £600 and £850 respectively.

Luggs Barn is ideal for extended families, its secluded setting and large private garden appealing to all ages. Make this Mothering Sunday extra special for your loved ones and enjoy a break together, visiting the seaside or National Trust properties, exploring the stunning Blackdown Hills countryside and retreating to comfy sofas and log fires in the evenings. Please call for more details and to confirm availability.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Blackdown Hills pork roast and Countryfile fame

Early February has seen a few changes outdoors! Firstly, our much loved pigs (Sausage and Crackling) have now gone. Despite more guilt than any of us anticipated, tonight the first of our very own home reared pork roasts beat even our high expectations. The builders repairing the drive were concreting until after 8pm, so were particularly appreciative of such a superb dinner. Homemade apple sauce and stuffing made perfect accompaniments and the crackling - dare we admit it - lived up to its namesake!

Sausage and Crackling were lovely happy pigs and great characters, we all enjoyed rearing them. They spent their last days enjoying the winter sunshine, knee deep in top quality mud and happily munching extra rations including the odd doughnut! We've got a week or two to wait for the bacon and hams, but if tonight's roast is anything to go by, the sausages and other cuts will be superb. Our Spring guests can look forward to a pack of our own sausages when they arrive and we'll be interested to hear your feedback. We have a selection of Luggs lamb and pork in the new freezer (bought recently to accommodate the pigs!) and guests are welcome to buy their favourite cuts direct. Don't forget that in conjunction with our friends at Kittow Cattle, we can also arrange for boxes of top quality beef and/or pork to be waiting for you on arrival, or sent direct to anywhere in the UK, arriving fresh and ready to freeze.

As soon as the pigs vacated the vegetable garden, the diggers got to work and within a couple of days have transformed the area with gravel paths, neat beds and space for Bill's dream greenhouse. He's doodling ever more optimistic designs, but for now is just looking forward to growing veg to keep both the farmhouse and Luggs Barn supplied over the summer months.

Elsewhere in the garden, the ducks are laying well now so the cakes are even better than usual! We lost one good laying hen in mysterious circumstances - she just disappeared one day but there's no sign of any struggle so we're not sure what happened. We were all a bit sad that a young and very pretty hen was chosen over a much older one that's stopped laying, but presumably she made a tastier dinner. The other hens are laying well and enjoying pecking all the newly turned earth. Diggers and dumper trucks are frequently seen swerving wildly to avoid a troupe of hungry hens! The geese are thriving at about 9 months old - they still follow the little white hen around and squeeze themselves into the hen house with her every night.

Snowdrops are coming out all over the garden and the weather's been more seasonal, with several frosty days and plenty of walkers passing through enjoying the scenery. There are even a few brave primroses in sheltered corners, giving us hope that spring's on its way.

Sunday's Countryfile on BBC1 was enjoyed by us all as it featured many of our friends here in the Blackdown Hills. We're lucky to have numerous producers of fine food in the area and the programme showcased several of these, as well as the ancient art of hedgelaying and the many wildlife habitats this AONB supports.

More photos will follow next time - now that the hard landscaping's within a day or so of being finished, we're looking forward to the planting stage so that all of the grounds are at their best. Check back next month when hopefully spring will have sprung!

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Happy New Year!

We'd like to wish all our guests past, present and future a very Happy New Year.

Thankyou to everyone who's helped make our first season so successful and enjoyable - we look forward to making 2012 even better! If you're planning a visit to Devon this year, please get in touch soon - last year most peak weeks were booked by early Spring.

A few hardy souls have braved the drizzle and headed out for a walk this morning. We're currently resisting working off last night's mulled wine and chocolate overload, and are ensconced by the woodburner with a good film!

Hopefully these photos of last year's atmospheric New Year scene will inspire some of you to join us for next year's festivities!