Here’s the thing. We’ve been camping for years. I’ve looked on many a time with a bemused and slightly patronising gaze as my hubby (a closet pyromaniac) has enthused about whatever type of fire he’s rigged up for us to cook on or huddle around. However, I’ve never quite ‘got it’, the whole ‘fire’ thing has weirdly left me feeling kind of cold.
Then I came across the Eco Grill. The look of it pulled me in. A slice of a tree hollowed out and filled with charcoal…nice idea! Then the doubts seeped in. It was bound to just look good but not really work. I’m happy to admit that I have never been quite so wrong!!
Last night I sat in the back garden basking in the heat of the EcoGrill …what an amazing piece of kit. It lit first time. Hubby was impressed. I was feeling quite chuffed with my find. Also, it smelled lovely, like a proper wood fire. Quite a lot of instant barbeques we’ve used in the past were a bit ‘fumy’ and you’d run around closing the windows incase the house reeked later on.
Half an hour later it was settling in nicely and by the time it had been on about an hour, I was grilling the chicken on it. If anything, I could’ve waited a little longer but I’m used to barbeque charcoal cooling down before the meat is actually cooked. I think the design of the Eco Grill keeps the heat at the bottom intense. It can burn into the wood rather than just hit the base of a fire pit or a tinfoil tray.
Meanwhile, hubby was wandering around with nothing to do. All his usual jobs were taking care of themselves. The charcoal didn’t need moved around and it didn’t need ‘just another wee firelighter’ tucked in one corner.
After the chicken was cooked, I sat beside it for another hour. I’ve not felt my face take on ‘fireside tartan’ for years. There’s something more welcoming about this little chuck of wood and charcoal than any other outside fire I’ve sat beside.
I sat there with a big smile on my face for the full two and a half hours that it was lit…and the blurb is right…it really did burn away to nothing.
The sun is shining (sometimes) and all of us hibernating campers are raking through garages and attics hunting for our equipment in readiness for a halfway decent weather report.
If you listen carefully I’m sure you’ll hear large swathes of the country hold their breath and cross their fingers moments before Countryfile start their weekly weather report on a Sunday night. We are all desperate for the summer to come and with it the dream of nights under canvas.
The excitement of setting off to a new site or even just returning to an old faithful never grows old. Nor does the desire to have a new gadget or piece of kit to try out.
That’s where the inspiration for our toy hampers came from. You’ve maybe got a new stove, kettle, airbed or bunting that you’re bursting with excitement to try but what about the kids?
The idea behind our toy hampers is that there should be something in them for most ages (apart from the teeniest campers) and weathers. They are toys for kids – not ‘girls’ toys or ‘boys’ toys. They shouldn’t need adult fingers or brains to get them to work; after all, you’re busy with your new gadget too!
The hampers all come packed inside one of our sturdy jute bags, making them easy to throw into the car and just go. It also means there’s a limit on how many toys can go with you…and it makes tidying up simple.
If you need duplicates of some of the items to keep siblings happy just give us a call. We’ll happily either swap items or add things in.
Well...after months of planning, visualising and taste-testing, Cool Camp Hampers is ready to offer its services to eating enthusiasts countrywide.
I've spent years working with the highest quality produce Scotland has to offer and the best bit for me about our family camping and self-catered trips has been stockpiling goodies to treat our tastebuds to a holiday too.
I love nothing better than spending a lazy weekend morning wandering around our local farmers markets but realised that a lot of holidaymakers to the area miss out on this opportunity as unlike in France where the markets are midweek, in Scotland they often coincide with rental changeover days.
The hamper range has been formed with camping and outdoor holidays in mind where storage and space-saving are key. They're full of tasty chutneys you could eat from the jar with a spoon and the most deliciously aromatic tea and coffee which will make you never want to buy mass produced stuff again. The meats are smoked, cured and vacuum packed, making them ideal to take on a lazy loch-side picnic or a hike up a hill. Most of the produce is from local artisan producers and all of them have been supportive and full of enthusiasm at the concept of handing a bag of local goodies over to visitors to the area. I've been like a kid in a sweetie shop, sampling each new product that's come my way. I'm always on the lookout for new ways to add interest to the dinner table and other items will be added to the hampers as I happily discover them.