Did you read my alternative fashion shoot post a little while ago? It was the one where Bee was my photographer and director, and got me to do things like stand next to a wheelie bin, and pretend that I was a contestant on Countdown. It was very funny, so you should definitely read it. And so fun, that we had to do something similar when we holidayed at the National Trust’s Vineyard Farm Cottage in Dorset.
In fact, it proved so popular that I thought to myself, ‘What better way to showcase the National Trust Vineyard Farm Cottage than to have Belle and I pose in and around it in interesting ways?’ I can see you’re already excited about where this is going.
We went off for the weekend to stay in Vineyard Farm Cottage, a National Trust cottage that you can rent out for holidays, and that sits at the foot of Corfe Castle in Dorset. It has everything you would expect from a holiday cottage, including two spacious bedrooms, a wood-burning stove, well-equipped kitchen, great bathroom, National Trust cookies on arrival – the works.
I’m not going to bore you with pictures of the inside of Vineyard Farm Cottage- you know what a living room looks like, and you can have a look at the website if you’re desperate. Suffice to say that we were very impressed. The cottage was spacious and well-equipped and there was even a little room with a table full of National Trust information and leaflets, which looked like a tiny National Trust foyer! Every time I opened the door to it I expected a volunteer to be sat there, ready to tell me about the history of the area. It was very cute.
The view from the front door is a cracker too – I’ll definitely show you that:
The Vineyard Farm Cottage is only a few minutes walk from the Castle and from Corfe Castle village where, to our delight, we found a model village and a steam train that took us down to Swanage. Belle and I are not very rock and roll – we like model villages, and gift shops, and kicking back in the evenings with Death in Paradise and a packet of bourbons. If this sort of pace of holiday sounds right up your street, you’re going to love it at Vineyard Farm Cottage.
A photo posted by Jo Middleton ☕️🍭✈️🍉🚪🌷👗🌿 (@slummysinglemummy) on
It was just Belle and I for the weekend, which has its positives, but also meant I was solely in charge of her entertainment, and had to endure several rounds of cottage hide and seek. There is only so long you can crouch in a small cupboard when you’re approaching 40, without your knees sustaining serious damage.
Belle was also rather taken with playing ‘Australia’s Next Top Model’. It started as a ploy on my part to get her interested in wandering around the castle, by letting her have the camera, but it quickly degenerated into me being made to publicly humiliate myself in front of tourists.
Fortunately, my threshold for public humiliation is extremely high, and I happily ‘worked the space’ among the ruins under Belle’s direction. They had some medieval-themed activities going on over the weekend that we were there, so part of my brief was also to ’embrace my inner warrior’.
Belle also made me do some slightly less warrior-ish poses. ‘Look over your shoulder,’ she directed at one point, ‘as though you think your handbag is amazing. And then if you could just lie down over there?’
I duly obliged.
Of course, it wouldn’t be fair if I was the only one having to pose, so I made sure Belle had her fair share too of being made to scrabble about, channelling her inner wild woman.
We were so lucky with the weather, although to be honest I think the castle would have been rather exciting to explore in bad weather too, and a steam train is always a nice way to perk up a slightly gloomy day. Whatever the weather though, I’m sure you’ll have an amazing time at the National Trust’s Vineyard Farm Cottage. Just remember to work the space!
We were guests of the National Trust at the Vineyard Farm Cottage for the weekend. All opinions are my own.