Welcoming the Savvy Londoners

February 21, 2016 at 8:00 PMCoombeMill

We have a lovely herd of Fallow deer here on the farm, but despite growing up with us they are still very shy remaining just out of reach on the morning feed run, yet delighting us with their stylish prance and charm. With only one fully grown Stag, Rudolph, we have to be careful of inbreeding and every few years we need to introduce fresh blood to the herd.


Welcoming the Savvy Londers


Farmer Nick had phone call from the game keeper who found Rudolph for us a few years ago. He made us an offer we couldn't refuse. A London Park needed to thin it's stock and were happy to pay for them to be captured and loaded for transport providing they were going to a good home. The gamekeeper immediately thought of us and was willing to give his time to transport the deer all the way from Hammersmith asking in return simply that we cover his diesel. Given we were thinking it was time to introduce some new blood anyway this was a golden opportunity.

A Slippery Start

The van arrived just as my friend and I were returning from a wet winter's run, already muddy and keen to meet the new arrivals we agreed to help take them over to their new field and meet our gang. However with a soggy waterlogged farm and a heavy trailer this proved a mammoth task involving getting well and truly stuck in the fields with tractors pulling, land rovers pushing, diggers pulling tractors pulling.... you get the picture, oh and a good bit of cursing into the bargain. An hour or so later the Farm looked trashed and the entrance to the deer field remained tantalisingly out of reach.


Struggling into the field


The poor deer must have been fed up with the whole ordeal and have wondered what was happening. That said peeping through the trailer they looked remarkably calm compared to my expectations.


Deer in the trailer

Finally Farmer Nick and the Gamekeeper took the sensible option and aborted this particular delivery option driving instead all the way round the road to the Coombe Mill Stables where there is a hard surface access to the Deer field. Finally backed into the field we were able to open the trailer doors and watch them bolt out.


Deer Leaving the Trailer

I had expected them to head straight for cover in the dying bracken and trees, but instead, they paused halfway down the field and turned to watch us and even come back towards us, then I knew these were going to be savvy deer at the front of the breakfast queue each morning with no fear of humans.


Deer Watching


It wasn't long before the new Londoners had integrated into the herd and found their place in the ranks beneath our Rudolph. Come breakfast time the regulars led the newcomers down the field, yet to everyone's delight instead of prancing away when the children crept close the Londoners stayed and ate out of the children's hand!


Hand Feeding Deer


Now we are hoping these savvy Londoners will impart their bold ways onto the rest of our herd and not steel all the treats for themselves!


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Half Term On and Off the Farm

February 20, 2016 at 9:50 PMCoombeMill

I can't believe half term is almost over. It felt like such a long term for the kids at school and mine were definitely ready for some free time. Here on the farm we had been working really hard to finish a number of projects ready for opening and to ensure everything inside the properties was welcoming for the first week of the new holiday season.

Half term was a chance for us to enjoy a little family time as well as ensure those staying with us made the most of their week. For the first time we took a few days mid week to visit family in London and left our eldest two studying and in control of the farm with Amber, our able assistant. It was a real pleasure to be away knowing the farm was in good hands and to return to hear everyone had enjoyed their stay. Leaving Coombe Mill is never easy but our kids need a little holiday too, we have promised the older boys a holiday treat in the summer when they have finished their GCSE's and A levels.   

I love this photo of Farmer Nick explaining about our deer to the guests on the feed run. There is a whole post to follow this one on the new additions to the herd and the impact they have made.


Farmer Nick explaining all in the Deer field this morning #farmstay #ukholiday #cornwall

A photo posted by Coombe Mill (@coombemill) on


We added new wood burners to Honeysuckle and Willow cottages and they were a perfect welcome feature for our new guests.


Leaving the farm in glorious sunshine for our mini break we became tourist in the capital.


Being a tourist in the city #Londoneye

A photo posted by Coombe Mill (@coombemill) on


For once we didn't just look up at the London Eye but actually went aboard too

 On the London Eye: a mini break for Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall


The sunshine continued in Brighton as the kids played on the beach


Fooling around at the  #beach on #holiday at #brighton

A photo posted by Coombe Mill (@coombemill) on


And Nick and I remembered 21 years ago, almost to the day, choosing my engagement ring in this lovely shop in the lanes.


There was so much more we packed into 3 days, all of which I'll be sharing over the next few weeks, however coming home and seeing farm life continuing happily without us was the best feeling ever. Thank you Amber, Alistair and Felix.



Falling over each other for a handful of grain! #goats

A photo posted by Coombe Mill (@coombemill) on



I hope you have has enjoyed a wonderful half term week wherever it was spent.   



Country Kids from Coombe Mill

February 19, 2016 at 10:30 PMCoombeMill

Valentine's Day

Farmer Nick and I managed an epic fail on Valentine's Day not even managing a card for one another despite the fact we were engaged 21 years ago to the day. I saved all my creative ideas to use with the guests for a Sunday Activity Hour. Usually we do this at the end of the week but we were going away ourselves for half term so I decided to do it at the start of the week and take advantage of the Valentine's Day theme.  I had been planning the day for a while and knew I would struggle to fit everything into the hour but as the train driver joined us too it didn't matter if we overran a little.


Valentine's Day Activity Hour


As everyone assembled their first task was to go scavenging down by the river for interesting leaves, twigs and foliage to make a valentine's collage.  I showed my example and the children raced out to see what they could find.


Collecting leaves and Flowers


Armed with ideas and nature I handed out glue sticks and paper and the children set to work.


Making Nature Collages


Meanwhile Clio and Guy, my little helpers for the afternoon, were using the twigs the children found to make stick arrows to guide the children to the fairy garden where they hid 30 little red hearts that Clio and I made earlier.  Their arrival back in the games room signalled the 1 minute warning for the children to finish their collages. Curious as to what would happen next I asked the children to go in search of 3 red hearts each and that to find they had to take their clues from the sticks they collected earlier. It didn't take them long to spot the arrows along the path and follow the trail leading to the Fairy Garden.


Following the Trail


In the fairy garden the children searched high and low squealing with delight as they found a red heart. The parents helped me ensure every child had 3 hearts each before we headed back to make them into our next craft.


Hunting through the fairy Garden


Back inside I split the group into older and younger children. The younger ones used the red hearts we had just collected, card and floristry ribbon to make Valentines Badges while the older ones used Duck Tape Colours and floristry ribbon to cut and cover card hearts for the Fairy Gardens.


Making Hanging Hearts and Badges


Thankfully Train driver Guy was with us as we were now running over our allocated time but everyone had been waiting very patiently to ice a heart cake. I had made these earlier in the day and 2 batches of coloured icing were soon being smoothed over the cakes and sprinkle toppings added. Cakes and crafts in hand we headed over to the train to finish our busy afternoon.


Cakes and Train



It is lovely to be open again after our winter shut down and feel the buzz of life from little ones here on the farm.


Joining in with Country Kids      

I'd love you to come and share your outdoor fun with me here on the linky.  All posts are welcome from playing in the garden to days out.  All I ask is that the post is predominantly outside, away from screens and enjoying some fresh air.  I'd be delighted if you would take my badge or link back here and please remember to check out some of the other posts, it might just be the inspiration for your next adventure.

Country Kids is around in these communities, I'd love you to join me: 

Pin on the Pinterest Board Just ask for an invite to pin and include Country Kids on your pins for me to stop by on your boards too 


        Follow Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays's board Country Kids  from Coombe Mill on Pinterest.   


Join the Google Plus community page  for Country Kids and add #CountryKids to your tag elsewhere for a +1 from me 

Share your posts on  Instagram and Twitter with #CountryKids for a like or a re-tweet 

Two chances to Win with Rockfish & Country Kids 

Win a pair of wellies from Rockfish Monthly

Win with Rockfish Wellies 


I am delighted to announce that Rockfish have joined with Coombe Mill to sponsor the Country Kids link up. Rockfish are a local Cornish company specializing in stylish Wellingtons for all the family. We have been offering their country wellies in our borrow room here on the farm for over a year and they are always popular for their style, comfort and durability.

Each week my favourite #CountryKids posts will be considered for a free pair of Rockfish Wellies at the end of the month; the perfect way to enjoy the outdoors whatever the weather throws your way.  The wellies we offer may change each month but are always high quality, comfy and stylish so keep an eye out here on Country Kids to see which designs are up each month. My February winner will be able to choose any welly form the online range. For more more information on the Rockfish Wellies on offer with us and terms and conditions to win see here

A few of my favourites in with a chance of the February Rockfish Boots:

 A Family Day Out went exploring near Swyncombe to see swathes of snowdrops.

Meeting lambs, welly wanging and horse riding were on the cards for Life at Cooks Cabin's day out. 

The Gingerbread House went in search of fairies in the village and even got a letter from some. 

Netley Abbey provided a fun day out for Renovation Bay-Bee 

Win 25% off weekly with Rockfish

On top of the monthly free wellies, Rockfish has kindly offered everyone who enters #CountryKids this week a chance to win of 25% off at their online store, a little extra incentive for some affordable outdoor fun :

25% Off Rockfish Wellies Week 3



Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall



Hope for tired winter skin

February 15, 2016 at 9:00 PMCoombeMill


Winter can be tough on our skin, the cold, the rain and in and being in and out of different temperatures all takes their toll; for Mums add to this endless hand washes with cooking, washing up and nappy changing. With children I'm the first to shout about the benefits of outdoor play with my Country Kids linky but it can leave young eczema prone skin dry and chapped. Here on the farm as a family we are forever in and out in the cold weather tending the animals and washing hands and chapped skin does become a problem. If you can relate to any of these issues and are are keen to try a new solution I have found one that is a little different from the rest and that I can recommend.


Win a £43 Bundle of Hopes Relief for All Your Families Needs


Hope's Relief Range

Hope's Relief has been formulated over 35 years, originally created by a Naturopath for her own daughter.  The current range includes intensive rescue cream, moisturising lotion, body wash and herbal hair care products all of which are created using therapeutic natural actives like Hospital Grade Organic Manuka Honey NPA 10+, Gotu Kola, Aloe Vera, Organic Calendula and  Licorice Root. Pilot tests show 93% improvement to skin making it Australia's number 1 choice as a natural eczema cream. 

I have been testing the body wash, moisturising cream and intensive dry skin rescue and have to say they are good. The intensive cream in particular is wonderfully nourishing. The natural looking putty colour and lack of flowery fragrance add to the feel that this is one that actually works and is free of irritant ingredients including artificial colours, fragrances and petrochemicals. The moisturising cream is thinner yet easily absorbed for liberal spreading.


Moisturising Lotion and Intensive Dry Skin Rescue


The only product with a significant fragrance is the body wash, we have it in our cloakroom as a great way to refresh farm hands and add moisture all in one.


Hand Wash

I really can't fault the range, personally I'm not a fan of the goat photo on the front of the body wash as I rather feel I have my farm goats still waving at me indoors but that is purely subjective and certainly doesn't detract from the product quality.  My children have all been helping themselves to a little squeeze of the moisturisers to keep chapped hands and mouths at bay.     

You can buy the range on line at their website and in good health stores and independent pharmacies. We are also offering Coombe Mill readers a 20% off voucher on all non saver packs just enter promo code HOPE20 at www.hopes-relief.com these would make a wonderful and different Mother's Day gift to rejuvenate tired winter skin in preparation for spring.


20 off from Hope's relief for Coombe Mill readers

Win a £43 bundle of Hopes Relief


For a chance to win yourself a family bundle of the cream, moisturiser and body wash I tested here just follow the instructions below. Good luck to all taking part.

£43 bundle from Hope's Relief


I was sent my Hopes Relief products to test and provide an honest review. all thoughts expressed are my own.


SBS Event 2016

February 14, 2016 at 7:00 PMCoombeMill

Theo Paphitis Small Business Sunday (SBS)

Back in 2011 I was lucky enough to have a tweet from Theo Paphitis that made a difference. It brought me into a community of fellow small business owners all of who, just like me, are passionate about what they do. These online connections soon became real friends as the SBS events began to take place. I have now managed to attend every one and each year  I learn something new that leaves me heading back to Cornwall inspired to further develop what we offer at Coombe Mill.

SBS win with Theo Paphitis in 2011 for Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Highlights of 2016

1. Networking

For me there is always as much to be gained from colleagues as from the official speakers and this year was no exception. I spent hours chatting with the lovely Francesca from Stamptastic who I've worked with in the past on my blog, we shared our SEO knowledge, latest marketing ideas and zest for our businesses, if sewing labels in kids clothes isn't your idea of fun then do visit their site for an effective quick alternative. Francesca convinced me to be less scared of paying for post boosts on Face book so watch out if you follow my page, you could see more of me!


Facebook for Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

I drove up with my long time SBS buddy Karen from Winifred and Mabel Karen is such an inspiration with a real can do attitude and a great bespoke range of home and gift items in her Wadebridge shop. Jen from GrippyLeads joined us too after winning with her unique pet leads. A huge thanks goes to Joy of APBassetts for organising a Cornish Stand, I was proud to see so much entrepreneurism coming from Cornwall at the event.


SBS Event 2016 Coombe Mill with Cornwall Winners


I talked and photographed so many wonderful people, you may spot yourself here thank you for taking the time to chat and share what you do. I will be following up with Zest For Learning, the Cornish Food Box , NW DesignTommy&Lottie and Kernow Spa as businesses aligned to our family farm Holidays.


SBS winners at the 2016 Event in birmingham with Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall


As for the pre and after parties I shared a drink or two with so many who work hard and party hard.


SBS Party Evenings with Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall


2. That Dress!

Talking of businesses working together I had been in contact with Bags of Love for some time to do something together. I was just browsing their website a couple of weeks before the event when inspiration struck. Bags of Love have the facility to design a dress to any design, I played with the graphics on their site and created the Coombe Mill Brand in a dress. Thanks to their speedy service and delivering straight to the venue I became the most talked about dress in the room. It certainly made it easy for anyone who had heard of Coombe Mill to approach me with certainly and strike up conversation. I shall be wearing this to every business and blogging event from now on.


Coombe Mill Family Farm Holiday Dress for #SBS

3. The Speakers 

Listening   to those who have really made it big in business is always inspiring. This year was no exception, Theo held everyone's attention with his effortless use of language to making goals sound so easy to achieve. Holly Tucker who founded Not on the High Street and Mike Pickles from the Really Useful Box Company kept the questions rolling in from the floor, I captured chunks on Periscope and I know that was appreciated by many who were not able to attend the event. I even happened to be filming when someone asked a question to Theo about Periscope and I was able to shout out that he was indeed being live streamed as we spoke.


If you missed the event you can see all my Periscope session on my Katch channel here

4. S.E.O. Unraveled 

I have always managed my own SEO and prided myself on doing it through organic material, largely thanks to my blog. However as all bloggers will know it takes a huge chunk of time every day and with 6 children and the day to day business to run I do worry I am not allocating my time wisely and question if I have my SEO as sorted as I like to think. Here was an opportunity to quiz Nick Leech of 1, 2, 3 - Reg about SEO on a one to one. I bombarded him with questions about follow links, Google rules, linky value in SEO and more, most confirmed what I knew but Nick is coming back to me on the SEO benefit of having a linky as he wasn't sure and did worry me in saying that all blogger badges displayed on other blogs are not allowed by Google and could be doing harm. He is checking this out before anyone panics as we all like to share a badge!  He also confirmed that 3 posts a week was the optimum, so I'm doing too many, and that and that each post should be 1000 words, I still thought it was 500 so another learning point for me.  For SEO it isn't comments on your posts that matter but shares of your post URL to social media, so if you really like a post you read please remember to share it and give the blogger a little SEO boost. If you want to check how your blog stacks up for SEO reach have a look on Buzzsumo.com 

5. An On Line SBS Shop

Amazon did it, Not on the High street does it and now SBS plans to have a shop to sell all the products and services we make. I'm really excited for the potential this offers at a low rate for members, however I'm not yet sure it can work for holidays in the same way it does for other retail purchases but I shall watch with interest.

Will I go back again?

Absolutely!  The whole event is free for members and a great opportunity for those who embrace all that is on offer. A huge thank you to Theo and the #sbs sponsors for hosting another wonderful event. Roll on #SBSEvent2017, but please not on the half term weekend again.  Driving back to Cornwall at 7.30am to check properties and be on top form to welcome our guests wasn't my chosen hangover cure, however the kids were delighted to see me and take their pick from a lovely goody bag.  

SBS Event 2016 Goodie Bag for Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall


If you have a post from the event please do share with me here on the link up so we can all read each other's posts and share widely!

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Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Coombe Mill

"Tales from the farmers wife" shares the funny and interesting happenings on our lovely holiday farm with Farmer Nick and our 6 children. A behind the scenes look on balancing family, farming, the holiday business and cooking for all.

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Here at Muddy Puddles we believe ‘There is no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong kit!’. We’re on a quest for all children to be fit for adventure, and to embrace the outdoors.

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