I do love an unusual place to stay. Remember my night in a Treehouse for my 40th Birthday? A couple of months ago I spotted a retweet about a High Seas Hobbit House here in Aberdeenshire and had to follow @HighSeasHobbit and find out more. It was love at first sight and I just knew we would have to visit. A plan was hatched with me giving Foodie Loon a "message in a bottle" gift voucher for his Birthday (yes, the circus murder mystery one) and a date was set to visit in March.
It was to be our first experience of the "glamping" phenomenon (glamorous-camping) We've done regular camping in the wild, at organised campsites and festivals but the idea of turning up with no tent to pitch and no need to take everything and the kitchen sink very much appealed. Particularly in March.
Unfortunately the closer we got to the Hobbit the further the weather deteriorated but we were determined to carry on regardless and had packed our wellies and waterproofs. Much excitement when we at last spotted it and we couldn't wait to meet Carole our hostess with the mostess and explore our new abode and all its facilities and quirks. Boy and Girl soon found their own favourite spots. Girl cosy in the hobbit watching TV and boy tending the fire like a good cub scout should.
The Hobbit itself was well equipped with crockery, cutlery, fridge, kettle, microwave and fan heater. Even tea, coffee, sugar and milk. Outside in a big chest was a selection of pots and pans, washing up kit, kindling and firewood. All we had to bring were sleeping bags, pillows and towels.
After a couple of false starts due to the drizzle we got the fire going. In anticipation I had bought a selection of meaty goodies from Andrew Gordon Butchers - chicken kebabs, burgers and sausages - and they were cooked to perfection over the fire pit.
Post meat feast it was time for the obligatory marshmallow toasting and boiling up the kettle for a cuppa. There was a cookie jar of homemade shortbread awaiting us in the Hobbit and combined with a proper china teapot and cups and saucers it seemed as far removed from camping as you could possibly imagine. I must confess that I was very tempted to misappropriate the cute milk carton shaped jug. But I resisted.
The beds were very comfortable and the Hobbit itself was super cosy and clearly well insulated. Not a hint of a draught. We used the fan heater to give a wee boost of heat but no one was ever cold. Hot chocolate, beer and Baileys coffee before bed and a great nights sleep in the one double and two singles. Awoke to a view of sheep grazing on neeps outside our door. Time to light the fire again for a hearty breakfast. Tattie scones, bacon, square sausage, haggis, black pudding and eggs. Hobbits breakfast well.
One of the issues with camping, particularly at festivals, are the loos. No such problem here as the Hobbit has one of the quirkiest toilets you are ever likely to come across contained within an upcycled giant whisky barrel. It even won an award in the Loo of the Year competition for the best home throne. There's a rustic private shower room too. A far cry from communal facilities.
No need for any four legged friends to feel left out as there is a small barrel dog kennel available for them. There are some permanent two legged residents in the form of a brood of rusty metal hens. In the spirit of St Patrick's day we shared a Guinness with one.
Despite the inclement weather we all enjoyed our High Seas Hobbit glamping experience and would thoroughly recommend it - mud and all. We will definitely be back for another visit and hopefully the weather will be kinder and we can explore some of the amazing beaches and villages in the surrounding area. I have great plans for what else I want to cook on the Hobbit fire pit. There's really not much difference between Rosehearty and Middle Earth.