After a stressful few months, the girls and I decided we needed to escape London and head out to the countryside for a weekend. We didn’t want to go far, because a long drive would reduce the amount of
wine drinking relaxing we could fit into two days. We agreed that ‘glamping’ was a more affordable option than staying in a hotel or motel, and suddenly Essex was the obvious choice: it’s pretty, it’s nearby, and everyone would be well jel. Sorry, couldn’t help myself.
So here’s my guide on how to have an amazing girlie glamping trip, Essex styles:
1) Book the CargoPod at Lee Wick Farm, St Osyth: Who wouldn’t want to stay in a converted shipping container? It’s new, clean, dry, compact, affordable and oh-so-cute. Plus it has a massive deck (watch how you say that with a Kiwi accent) with a coal BBQ and a fire-pit, perfect for toasting marshmallows on. We squeed with delight on arrival and were still raving about how lovely it was when we left. And if you can’t hire the CargoPod, they’ve got 3 other Glamping Pods which looked super-cute too. Price: between £50/75 night, each pod sleeps 4
2) Road-trip it: Originally we’d planned to get the train to Essex, but I’m so glad we hired a car. It meant we could have all sorts of adventures on a whim. On the Saturday we explored Mersea Island and goddamn, it was adorable. We drove towards East Mersea, stopped off at the Farm Shop, patted the alpacas and bought some preserves. We headed to West Mersea with the intention of a nice long beach walk, but were poorly dressed for the wind so migrated indoors for a delicious late breakfast fry-up at The Art Cafe – bliss! Word of caution though: we made it out before the tide submerged the bridge, but you could potentially get stranded on Mersea if you’re not careful. There are worse places to be stranded though 🙂 Then on the Sunday we meandered through St Osyth (such a beautiful village) and drove to Clacton-On-Sea for a quick nosey before heading back to London.
3) Bring accessories and amusements: Whatever floats your boat, but for us this meant gin, prosecco, pink sparkly paper tiaras and a packet of cards. When you’re out of cellphone range, these things are important. Lounging on the deck sipping endless cups of tea has its own appeal, but accessories and games keep it entertaining at 3am when it’s too cold to go outside, even in your sleeping bag.
4) Harness your cavewoman skills: Our fire-building skills were shite at first. It had been awhile, and by the time we thought to light the fire-pit we were 2 bottles of prosecco down and our efforts extended as far as ‘tipping some coals in the pit and chucking a match on top of them.’ Needless to say, the fire didn’t catch. But we were lucky – much later in the evening one of the girls peered out the window and noticed the fire pit was glowing away happily, so we got there eventually (either that or the Fire Fairies helped us out) and we were able to toast marshmallows – winning! The following evening we allowed extra time for the coals to catch and were able to BBQ some sausies and veggie skewers for dinner #nomnomnom
5) Eat yourself happy: The weekend was pretty much one long meal, and I’m not even ashamed of it. I’m talking obligatory ‘car snacks’ on the drive to Essex, a curryhouse dinner when we got to St Osyth, 3am toasted marshmallows, cake and tea for breakfast on the Saturday (obvs), a second breakfast at the Art Cafe, a ‘lunch’ of chips and dip and cupcakes, pre-pre-dinner pistachios, a pre-dinner cheese board, BBQ actual dinner, marshmallows and a second go at the cheese board around midnight. All this supplemented by many, many cups of tea and a healthy serving of vino. BLISS.
And that’s it – the 5 steps to hosting a girl’s glamping weekend in Essex! I might see you there… I’m already planning my next trip…