At the Table with Helen Hearn, Penhein Glamping

At the Table with Helen Hearn, Penhein Glamping

Penhein Glamping is an award-winning glampsite in South Wales run by Helen and James Hearn. We’ve stayed in one of their heavenly ‘alachigh’ tents a couple of times - we loaded up the car with copious marshmallows, and head to the Monmouthshire hills for a weekend of unbridled countryside bliss. Here, from her kitchen table, Helen tells us more about life at Penhein. Keep reading for an end of season offer exclusively for Cupsmith subscribers!

What does the kitchen table mean to you? What role does it play in your home and/or business life? 

Whilst people say that the kitchen is the heart of the home, it’s actually more specifically the kitchen table, isn’t it?  So much happens around ours, from homework, to board games, to art and craft activities, to entertaining friends and wider family.  We’re lucky to have a large office, so I try to keep business meetings and work out of the kitchen. In that way the table really does act as the hub of our home.

What is your favourite thing to do at your kitchen table? 

My favourite time is when we are sitting around the table as a family, sharing our day’s plans or talking about what has happened that day.

Tell us about the Penhein Pantry. What’s in it and how do you choose what to stock?

We wanted to provide our guests with some of those staples that we know they will need during their stay, such as eggs (laid by our hens), jam (made by my husband James with Penhein fruit), Cupsmith’s Penhein coffee and some treats to give their stay with us extra magic, such as a celebration cake made to order and ready for their arrival.  

 Cupsmith Penhein coffee

We are passionate about two things when it comes to food: excellent quality and local provenance so we’ve had these two principles in mind when stocking our Penhein Pantry. We’ve tasted a huge range of produce and handpicked everything we stock because they are locally produced (with just a couple of exceptions) and absolutely delicious.

What’s new in the world of Penhein and what’s on the agenda for the coming months? 

We’ve had a whirlwind of a season so far with four weddings, countless birthday parties and other groups celebrating special occasions. We’ve loved every minute.  However having more groups has meant many more suppliers coming on site to provide ing catering, bars, bell tents etc. and it’s made us realise that we have an opportunity to help our guests to source suppliers who share our values around sustainability and being as ecologically “green” as possible.  We are passionate about the environment, which is not surprising when we live in such a naturally beautiful place, and minimising the use of single use plastics, ensuring everything is recycled where possible and doing our own compost are come as standard.  We are therefore spending winter 2019 reviewing our entire business to ensure we are keeping our footprint as small as possible and identifying additional suppliers who share our sustainability principles.

Glamping at Penhein

What’s your top tip for first-time glampers? 

Be prepared to slow down and keep your eyes and ears open.  Glamping at Penhein is about sharpening your senses and enjoying the natural world.  Keep an eye out for the deer coming out of the woodland during the day to feed in the fields, and for the bats flitting through the trees at night.  Listen out for owls hooting and the rain pattering on the canvas. And at the end of the day, nothing beats sitting round the campfire swapping stories over a mug of Cupsmith’s fabulous hot chocolate.

Cupsmith hot chocolate at Penhein Glamping

What’s your favourite thing about the (British) countryside? 

The seasons. I simply love the changes throughout the year.   and Each season brings something wonderful. Spring, with its multitude of wild spring flowers, amazes me every year. Bluebells mixed with white wild garlic flowers are my absolute favourite (if I have to choose!).  Sultry summer days, particularly around haymaking, with the noise of children playing outside, are what memories are made of. As the evenings start to draw in and the leaves change colour, with its annual harvest of field mushrooms, blackberries, damsons and nuts, Autumn makes me feel so blessed. In winter, nothing beats taking our dog Zande for a walk on a crisp day, with a blue sky overhead and crunchy frost underfoot.  (It’s all the better when you get back and settle in for an evening planning next season’s glamping around the fire.)

Who would you most like to toast marshmallows with around the campfire and why?

Greta Thunberg. I’m deeply impressed by Greta’s campaigning and her vision and focus is exceptional for a 16 year old.  I’d love to find out her thoughts on travel and tourism as well as on our glampsite at Penhein and what she thinks we could do to be more sustainable. I’m sure she’d have a multitude of thoughts and ideas that have never crossed my mind!

Toasting marshmallows on the campfire - Penhein Glamping

Psst! Penhein are offering Cupsmith subscribers 15% off all stays at their glorious glampsite until 11th October! Simply choose your dates in their handy online calendar, and enter code 1K3V8 at the checkout*. Happy glamping! 

*2 night minimum stay, offer valid until midnight Tuesday 8th October. Bookings are subject to Penhein terms and conditions and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. 

Inside an alachigh tent at Penhein Glamping

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