This is the first activity that I've known less about than my buddy as Bex was the one who organised it. I deliberately didn't Google it or try to find out about it because I liked the idea of it being a surprise when I arrived.
With Gil Drori and Bex Band
I'm so glad I decided to do that because it meant the arrival at West Stow Pods near Bury St Edmunds was all the more incredible and exciting for me. As we pulled into the car park playing music from Lord of The Rings, a grassy mound ahead of us suddenly revealed to us the adorable little house underneath it. It had gorgeous rounded windows and an amazing big wooden door, just like Bilbo Baggins' house in the Hobbit.
Walking into the building the space opened up echoing the same curves throughout. It felt like we were viewing everything through a fisheye lens. The space was actually quite generous in size but because of the rounded edges felt more cosy.
The attention to detail to make it look and feel right was immense. Jan who showed us around explained that they had consulted with re-enactors and experts to make sure it was just right. I'm very detail orientated and loved all the little witty things that had been dotted around. Hobbit feet slippers by the door. Gandalf's robes and staff on the coat rack. The homemade Hobbit biscuits to welcome us. And the One Ring that hung from a chain on the key.
During the two days we were guests at Pod Hollow we came to love it even more. It was incredibly light, airy and beautiful during the day but at night and very early morning it became almost magical with little pockets of light punctuating the dark and incredible swathes of colour washing a room from the stained glass windows. I don't sleep very well normally but I found myself sleeping for 10 hours the first night in my curved room. I imagine it was because it was quite womblike!
It seems strange to be back now in my home which suddenly feels very boxy and square. I am considering sneakily building a Hobbit hole at my local park. In all seriousness though there's something amazingly calming and soothing about the shapes of the walls, the soft textures of the blankets and cushions combined with all the thought and details that have gone into making it cosy.
I'm so keen to return to Pod Hollow for a longer period of time. We found it cosy, inspiring, sweet and quirky with great thought to the details to add authenticity but without compromising on the things that make it a great stay.
I would highly recommend a visit if you need to really step away from life for a bit and perhaps re-find the magic in yourself. Or just to soak up some cosyness.
Book 'Pod Hollow' here.