Country Kids from Coombe Mill

December 18, 2015 at 11:30 PMCoombeMill

The Pencarrow Christmas Fair

Following the success of the Wadebridge Christmas Fayre last weekend we set off this week for the Pencarrow fair, this is one of the lovely houses just 10 minutes from Coombe Mill and one where we had a wonderful afternoon last year. It was far less agricultural than the Wadebridge one  Clio and Guy had frond memories from our last visit, not least of which was the amazing chocolate Brownies and they were keen to come with me again, the rest of my children were washing cars and cement mixing back home so we picked up Clio's friend en-route.

The Pencarrow Christmas Fayre

The sun was shining as we turned into the ling private driveway and soon hit a queue of traffic all thinking like us it as a great use of a Sunday afternoon. Having the 4 wheel drive I simply dived off onto the grass and parked up, fully expecting others to follow suit as the car park was clearly full. Clearly we were the only ones risking the off road option but for me it certainly beat queuing and we were happy to enjoy the walk up through the estate to the house.  The kids ran on ahead finding trees to climb, or slide down in Guy's case!


Climbing Trees at Pencarrow


The beautiful steps and fountains make the formal gardens stunning in the winter sun


Kids exploring the gardens


We were all captivated by the amazing fungi growing in the otherwise immaculately manicured lawns. The colours were astonishing and I tried to look them up afterwards but was baffled by the possibilities I found online!


Mushrooms on the Pencarrow Grounds


Eventually we found our way to the house entrance and embraced the Christmas atmosphere where from craft stalls to food stalls the rooms were filled with Christmas cheer.


Christmassy Stalls


The children soon found the table they were really looking for and all chose from the amazing chocolate brownie flavours on offer, I'm rather hoping Guy was queuing by the Cornish coffee stand to buy my favourite Christmas coffee for under the tree and Clio and her friend both bought trinkets to start their Christmas shopping.


Kids on the stalls

With full tummies and crafts purchased we headed out to retrace out steps to the car. Thankfully they are still not too old to indulge in a little soggy leaf fun along the way.

Kicking up the leaves



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


A few of my favourites from last week:

Stick Man is running at Moors Country Park and other Forestry Commission sites, My Two Mums made the most of it on their visit 

Reindeer and an Abbey to explore made a lovely day out for Tin Box Traveller

This may be the best Christmas Tree Farm experience I've seen from Drops of Learning 

Santa in the caves brought a spot of magic to the Christmas build up for Stopping at Two 

Win a pair of Muddy Puddles Wellies with Country Kids

December Giveaway 


I am delighted to announce that Muddy Puddles have joined with Coombe Mill to sponsor the Country Kids link up. My favourites each week will be considered for a pair of Muddy Puddles Wellies at the end of the month; the perfect way to enjoy the outdoors whatever the weather throws your way.  If you are not already familiar with this wonderful outdoor children's range please do take a look at their website where they have everything needed for year round country kids. 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. For more more information on the Muddy Puddles wellies on offer with us and terms and conditions to win see here   

The Next Country Kids

The Next Country Kids will be in a fortnight where I will share all the Christmas and New Year fun form here on the farm. I wish you and your Families a very Merry Christmas and hope you will be back to share those post turnkey dinner walks with me on the 2nd January. 


Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall



Decorative Christmas Branch Tutorial

December 16, 2015 at 5:00 PMCoombeMill

If the Christmas Tree is occupying the living room and your hall or kitchen needs a little creative something this could be just the ticket and virtually free to make too. I know many of the decorations these days can be bought cheaply, but by choice I still like to upcycle things and bring nature into the house where I can. This festive branch is an easy Christmas craft to keep in mind if you are heading off on a woodland walk. The wild winds from the autumn storms have brought twigs and branches down all over; it wasn't hard to find the one I wanted here on the farm at Coombe Mill. If you are looking for inspiration why not check out the Forestry Commission sites, they are encouraging stick foraging with their stick man trail and activities while you walk their specially maintained paths and would be delighted for you to take home a fallen branch to make a festive home decoration too.  

Decorative Christmas Branch Tutorial

What you'll need


Old plant pot or kids play bucket

Christmas tree decorations *

Spray paint

Rounded Pebbles

Garden stones

Coloured poster paint



Wool, string or other to hand decorations

Materials to make a Christmas Branch, A Coombe Mill Family Farm Holiday Craft


*For my decorations I have used simple paper snowflakes made by Guy, Christmas ribbon sticks, toilet roll Christmas trees and toilet roll post boxes, click on the links for tutorials on how to make each of these.


  1. Paint your pebbles in pretty colours and leave them to dry. For a touch of glamour give one corner of the dried pebbles a highlight spray with the gold paint.

  2. Wedge your branch into the bucket or plant pot with some large heavy stones so it stands upright and stable.

  3. Spray the branch with gold spray, ideally outdoors, and leave to dry.

  4. Place a sheet of wrapping paper under the plant pot and draw the sides up folding the ends in around the large stones and use a piece of sellotape to secure if needed.

  5. Place the coloured pebbles over the top of the garden stones and wrapping paper to make a pretty finish to the pot.

  6. Add your chosen decorations.  

Step by Step Christmas Branch

A few additions you could try

Why not try an all natural branch with sprigs of holly or mistletoe hanging down

Use it as a Christmas message or Advent Tree with a different rhyme or saying for each day to open up.

Wind Christmas lights around to make it sparkle

Treat the children and hang chocolate pennies or Christmas chocolates.

Our Christmas Branch will go to decorate our craft and ping pong tent for the festive season and showcase all the decorations the children can make with us in our Christmas Activity Hour.

Other additions

Vlog Tutorial to make a Christmas Branch


This craft is part of my monthly upcycling linky #Trash2Treasure. It opens on the first Monday of each month, is sponsored by the lovely folk at Duck Tape Colours with a prize each month so please do come and join me there with any upcycled projects you have from big DIY projects to children's crafts. The December link up is here.


Trash 2 Treasure      Sincerely, Paula  Clarina’s Contemplations  thumbnailsizeKeep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.comMami 2 Five  



Anyone for Afternoon Tea

December 14, 2015 at 10:30 PMCoombeMill

Discovering Birchall's Tea 

It isn't often I have a chance to meet a few fellow bloggers without a long drive and much organisation to leave Coombe Mill, except last month when I was invited to an afternoon of tea tasting at the beautiful Trevose Golf Club. This boasts stunning views from the restaurant overlooking the championship course and the wild November sea; a perfect setting to relax with good company,  a cup or two of tea and a array of cake, and the best bit, just 20 minutes from my school pick up.

Drinking tea with the other bloggers

We were treated to the science behind the Birchall Tea brand and the history of this family business from sourcing in East Africa to packing in East London. It is so refreshing (no pun intended) to see a family business breaking into this market so dominated by the well known brands and with a premium proposition to impress.  Of course any good talk needs to be supported by the taste test. We gladly worked our way through so many delicious samples I was struggling to remember which my favourites were! As a firm Earl Gray fan I can definitely vouch for the depth of flavour, thought the peppermint was so clean tasting it made me think I could recreate my own boiling mint from the garden; I tried but Birchall is better!

Tea Tasting Afternoon

With parents evening backing up on my lovely afternoon tea break I had to make a dash but it was wonderful to catch up with Hayley from Downside Up, and to meet at long last with on line friends Beth from Jam and cream and Stevie from A Cornish Mum


Everyone before leaving


The lovely team at Birchalls sent us off with a loaded goodie bag full of all their regular and speciality teas and a branded tea towel and china mug to enjoy a quiet cuppa in our own time. The teas are currently only available on their online shop, and in hotels and restaurants, but watch this space; this family team are dreaming big and may appear on your supermarket shelf before too long.


Birchalls Tea at home


In the mean time if you want to give their selection a try for yourself I have a loaded goodie bag just like mine to give away to one lucky winner. This would make a perfect kick start to a New Year healthy lifestyle. Detox your system with their camomile and revive your senses with raspberry and peach or just aid digestion after a rich meal with a pallet cleansing peppermint variety.  From breakfast tea to red bush they have it covered in this lovely selection pack.  

Win your Birchall Tea Goodie Bag


Win a Birchall Tea Goodie Bag


To be in with a chance of winning this wonderful selection bag of premium teas just follow the guidelines below. Good luck to all taking part.

Birchall Tea


I was invited to the tea tasting session and provided with my goodie bag, though I was not required to write about it, I have chosen to do so and all thoughts and options are my own. Birchalls are funding the prize giveaway bundle.

Family Fever

Toilet Roll Christmas Tree Tutorial

December 13, 2015 at 4:00 PMCoombeMill

I find the uses for toilet rolls never ending which is just as well as we generate so many between the holiday cottages and lodges and our own home with 8 of us living here. Throwing them away feels a crime. In the past I have turned them into cute farm pigs and have several more farm ideas up my sleeve for spring next year. For the Christmas countdown I shared my toilet roll inspired elf post box a few weeks ago and today I am making them into mini Christmas Trees to decorate a big tree, festive window or mantle piece. 


 Christmas Tree Toilet Roll Tutorial

What you'll need

Toilet Roll



Green paint, Gold or yellow paint


PVA Glue

Wool (optional)

Materials to make a toilet roll Christmas Tree, A Coombe Mill Holidays Farm Craft



  1. Cut into the toilet roll at an angle withdrawing scissors before the centre
  2. Cut again in a straight line to meet the withdrawal point from the last cut and remove the triangle created
  3. Repeat up the toilet roll finishing on an angled cut
  4. Turn around and mirror the cuts on the other side finishing with an angles cut to form a point.
  5. Take 3 of the Triangle fallen pieces and overlap them to form a star and staple together.
  6. Staple the star to the point of the tree
  7. Paint the Tree Green and the star yellow or gold, leave to dry
  8. Coat with PVA Glue to give it a glossy finish
  9. whilst the PVA Glue's drying sprinkle with glitter to add some Christmas Sparkle

Step by Step Toilet Roll Trees


A few additions you could try

Make a few and string them up as bunting

Use Christmas stickers from a sticker book to decorate

Add tiny pieces of cotton wool to the wet PVA glue to look like snow or stand the tree on a cotton wool base in a coffee jar lid.

Paint them different colours and thread wool through the top then hang them on the Christmas tree

Wind wool round before adding PVA glue to look like tinsel 

Toilet Roll Christmas Tree Decorations, a farm craft at Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays, Cornwall


These will form one of our Christmas crafts this year with the children staying on the farm. They are simple enough for toddlers to enjoy with a little scissor help and yet intricate enough to engage older children too. In all our properties we provide quality Christmas Trees and all the decorations to go with it for our guests, however there is nothing quite like personalising it with the children's own handiwork.  


Vlog tutorial on making a toilet roll Christmas Tree


for more thrifty Christmas Crafts check out my monthly upcycling linky #Trash2Treasure. It opens on the first Monday of each month, is sponsored by the lovely folk at Duck Tape Colours with a prize each month so please do come and join me there with any upcycled projects you have from big DIY projects to children's crafts. The December link up is here.


Trash 2 Treasure              




Farm Snowdrops 

December 12, 2015 at 9:00 PMCoombeMill

Weekly photos from the farm

We may be renowned as a nation for talking about the weather, but is it any surprise? The North of the country has been hit by some terrible flooding thanks to Storm Desmond while here in Cornwall we are up in double digit temperatures day and night, it feels like we have bypassed winter and are heading straight into spring. For me the first signs of spring are snowdrops, I think of these as a welcome break to the dreary winter weather, a sigh that warmer weather and longer days will soon be heading our way. However here I am in mid December with not just one or two snowdrops showing themselves but huge clumps lining the boarders of Coombe Mill. The farm is blooming and I'm only just ready for Christmas!  Every year I take my camera out, crouch down in the roadside leaves and muddy paths to try and capture these delicate flowers.  They are like a shy child always blowing in the wind and shifting just as I think I have them in focus, I'm still in search of that perfect capture but for now I'll share these from my farm search.


1. Single snowdrop against Water Mill Holiday Cottage 

Single Snowdrop at Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays, Cornwall


2. On the garden banks looking up at a clear blue sky


Farm Snowdrop against a rich blue sky at Coombe Mill Holidays, Cornwall  


 3. In front of Millers House lapping up the winter sunshine


Snowdrops in front of Millers House, at Coombe Mill Holidays, Cornwall


4. being blown by the wind along the side of the lane on the farm path by Coombe lane. 


Snowdrops in the wind on Coombe Mill lane, Cornwall


5. A shady spot North facing on the farm


Snowdrops in the shade on the farm at Coombe Mill Holidays, Cornwall



Snowdrops of Coombe Mill

Snowdrops at Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall


If this has given you a taste of spring, do take a look at our spring offers, we have some bargains to start 2016 and the snowdrops will be with us till well into March.




  Mammsaurus HDYGG   OneDad3Girls      Mami 2 Five   Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday  Truly Madly KIds 

Posted in: On the Farm


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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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Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

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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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