Home, home on the range …
where we dress up and pretend we’re in the Wild, Wild West! Well, we are in the West Country.
Just being cowboys! No Injuns!
May’s comment: Today is our last full day at Loose Reins. It has been a little “adventure” – and have throughly enjoyed the experience – from making fires in the wood burner, using a gas oven and gas stove to boil water, and no microwave to save the day! LOL!
We had planned to be at Loose Reins for last Christmas but plans were thwarted by the promise of the Northern Lights. After that epic journey last year (crossing four countries on numerous trains and several latitudes north), this seemed the perfect alternative for us – a quiet and peaceful place for seeking solitude and to recalibrate before the next year begins. Admittedly, I was a little apprehensive before coming to Loose Reins with just my two pooches. Being in the middle of nowhere over Christmas, with only three cabins open to guests (well, thank goodness for that). What was I going to do about food, will I be cold, etc, etc. I felt more confident travelling to the Arctic Circle with my two dogs! Well, I suppose hindsight is 20/20 and memories are often seen through rose-coloured glasses.
Lucio of Lucio Restaurant fame had told me about his visit to Loose Reins a good three-four years ago. If an Italian of such good taste had highly recommended it, it must be worth checking out. And all I can say is – it’s been PERFECT for us and nicely surprised!
After a very busy year and hectic weeks leading up to Christmas, I needed this down time. We could have gone to our usual standby in Dusseldorf, and we had several invitations but we preferred some time alone.
Once we arrived and saw the cute, cosy log cabin, I knew this would be just fine. It will take a little getting used to but the cosiness of the accommodation made me want to do it.
Someone asked me if it was “luxurious” or “middle of the road.” How do you quantify that? For me it’s luxury to be able to get away and to stay in a lovely place. Being an interior designer, I can see the thought and consideration that had gone into every aspect of the space. This may not be an 5-star ski resort log cabin in Aspen, nor Les Fermes de Marie in Megeve, but a curated Wild West log cabin. One that is made to look authentic like what you would find in Montana.
I gave me such delight to observe the details inside and outside of the cabin.
From the king size bed area –
The little kitchenette …
And importantly, we didn’t starve! We can order pre-cooked meals that they prepare, using all local ingredients and had ready for us in the fridge. But you can supplement them with items from the larder!
This is the brainchild of Marc, the owner of Loose Reins – which began about five years ago.
Loose Reins is an American riding ranch the rest of the year. There are three cabins that sleeps up to four – very tight quarters and three larger lodges which sleep up to six.
Would be interesting to see what it looks like during the rest of the year – bet it’s a lot more happening – with people coming for riding lessons, and longer stays.
There are other things you can do in the area if you have a car – this is after all Thomas Hardy country! We’ve been to a few of the sights on previous visits.
There are lots of walking trails but we’re lazy and kept to the farm.
But then we have blogs to write, a book to read and dressing up for photos! Besides probably a bit nervous about getting lost along the trails! Do I wish there’s a TV – yes and no. If there’s one, it would probably be on the whole time and occupy head time. Instead, with no TV, we listened to the stillness and kept the place tranquil and allowed the mind to think. I might even have solved my problem about going to sleep very late when in the city. Because I always fall asleep to the sound of the TV and then kept waking up!!! While here, I’ve been having at least seven-hour night sleep and even an afternoon nap after lunch. That’s what I call luxury!!!
Dogs are now welcomed but there are rules. For the dog’s safety and of other livestock, the dogs should be on leashes when out and about on the farm. Picking up after your dog is required. There are house rules and a charge per dog – up to 2 dogs per cabin.
Loose Reins is at Ridgeway Farm, Lanchards Lane, Shillingstone, Blandford Forum DT11 0TF
Previous visits to Dorset:
- A Cultural Trip to West Country – https://missdarcy.org/a-cultural-trip-to-west-country/#more-65243
- Along the cliffs of Dorset – https://missdarcy.org/along-the-cliffs-of-dorset/
- Some things don’t make sense – https://missdarcy.org/some-things-dont-make-sense/
- In the Little Town of Evershot – https://missdarcy.org/at-the-acorn-inn/
- The Three Strangers in Thomas Hardy country – https://missdarcy.org/the-three-strangers-in-thomas-hardys-land/
This is not an ad. We are by no means paid to stay, nor given complimentary accommodation. All observations are our own – and just happy to share our experiences.