We go around seeking out weird and wonderful places to stay. This blog is full of things we love, things we’ve found and some vague outdoorsy musings.

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WE HEAR CONGRATULATIONS ARE IN ORDER…

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Lovely news has reached the office from some delighted guests who stayed at Lost Meadow Tree Tent in January 2014. After some secretive plotting between Steve and Lost Meadow’s owner Ian, Steve popped the question and Vicki said yes! A big congratulations to them both!

WIN 100 CANOPY & STARS GLAMPING TRIPS WITH YEO VALLEY

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We’re super excited to be part of Yeo Valley’s current on-pack promotion now in store until June 2014! Enter for your chance to win one of two VW campervans and 100 of our wonderful glamping trips! Plus, you get to enjoy the scrumptuous Yeo Valley goods you purchased too.

ARTIST OF THE MONTH - FROMAGE EN FEU

We had to get to know Fromage en Feu’s Thom a bit better after using a couple of their upbeat Gypsy jazz tracks for our videos. Good thing Thom Thomas-Watkins (aka Jimi “Caerphilly) was up for putting down his guitar and sharing his love of faux cheese…

Where do you live now and what do you ‘do’? 

Bristol & Exeter - Guitarist and general sonic structuring. 

What is your greatest fear?

Losing the use of my hands.

Which living person do you most admire and why?

Brian Blessed - for his extraordinary passion and his pursuit and support for nature and animals. 

What was your most embarrassing moment?

When I first joined Fromage en Feu 5 years ago, we had to make up a cheese name for ourselves relating to our country or county of origin. I’ve got welsh roots so choose the not so famous cheese “Saval”, I also admire Jimi Hendrix. So ended up with Jimi Saval! Had to quickly change that one last year!

What would your super power be?

To freeze time. Mainly to fight crime but also to fit in more guitar practise. 

If you could bring something extinct back to life, what would you choose?

The Wooly Mammoth - I’d love to see a massive shaggy elephant roaming around secluded spots of the UK.

What is your most unappealing habit?

Ha! You should probably ask my girlfriend that. Leaving banana skins in the van door pocket isn’t a good one of mine. 

What is your guiltiest pleasure? 

Faux cheese!

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Hopefully the band still has it’s greatest achievements yet to come but for now I think getting a packed Cheltenham jazz Festival audience to get up off their seats dancing was pretty special.

How would you like to be remembered?

I’ve heard writing you own obituary is a good way to see where your at in your life. Really I want my music to do all the talking after I’ve departed but to be remembered as a cheeky and considerate craftsman would make me rest in pieces 

What album are you listening to now?

Renaud Garcia-Fons - Méditerranées

Where have you just come back from?

Finland, Tampera

Where next?

Islay, Scotland

What would you most like to find in your welcome hamper?

Ingredients for a White Russian. 

What’s your best piece of travel advice?

Always pack a peg or 3. Had a few “Bear Grylls moments”away with those in my bag. 

Which is your favourite city and why?

Bristol - Has everything I love about a city; music, culture, history, memories and being able to escape to the country in minutes.

If you’re ready for a little dance, watch and listen to Fromage en Feu in full swing here

Have someone you think would be perfect for our Artist of the Month spotlight? Email your suggestions to: peoplewelove@canopyandstars.co.uk

Don’t fart and point at the dog.

Wise words. (via eexxcc)

ARTIST OF THE MONTH - KATE DUNWELL

Kate is a photographer who specialises in portraits and documentary projects. We caught up with her as she worked on her latest venture not only photographing, but actually building a campsite on the site of an old nursery and nudist camp. We took a little time to get to know her better…

What is your greatest fear?
Being on my own.

Which living person do you most admire and why?
My mum. An obvious one, but she’s mad and completely honest and I think really brave and she had 5 children in under 10 years! 

What is your most unappealing habit?
The constant question asking then asking a question before the previous question is even answered.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
Oh my god, I’m over excited about everything and I say ‘Would you even believe it’ It doesn’t even make sense.

How do you relax?
I have 2 pug crosses puppies and we hang out; sometimes I knit. 

How would you like to be remembered?
Smiley and optimistic.

Best holiday?
Santa Teresa Costa Rica.

Where next? 
This summer again with the girls we plan to visit a friend in Seville and drive around the south of Spain.

What would you most like to find in your welcome hamper?
Gin! Hot choc and crackers.

What’s your best piece of travel advice?
Don’t lose your passport! I loose everything how I managed to get to Central America and back twice without losing anything is a wonder.

Have someone you think would be perfect for our Artist of the Month spotlight? Email your suggestions to: peoplewelove@canopyandstars.co.uk

To see more of Kate’s work and keep up with the greenhouse project, visit her website!

ELINA’S SUMMER BLEND

  • 50g sugar
  • 25ml water
  • 250g fresh or frozen raspberries
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1 bunch of mint
  • Tonic water, ice
  • Gin (optional, but why not?)

Slowly simmer sugar and water for about 2-3 minutes until the sugar has dissolved and a thick syrup has formed.

Fold in the berries, simmer for 3-4 minutes. Squeeze in the juice of 1 lemon and add a bunch of finely chopped mint.

Serve with ice and tonic water. Can add a shot or two of gin, if desired. Makes 6 litres of a diluted drink.

Courtesy of Jamie Mould, Chef Manager at The Bishops Table, Wells

ONE BARN EVERY MINUTE - BUSY DAY AT FISHERTON FARM

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Spring isn’t all snowdrops and sunshine! But the hard work certainly brings its rewards. This is a brief insight into life on the farm in this busy season, and what lambing season is really like!

From Jemma Doyle, owner of Fisherton Farm, Vintage Vardos in Devon:

6:00am - Up and making tea and milk for ravenous Alistair and now girlfriend Annabel, dog and cat out for a wee, cat in, feed cat.

6:10am - All baa-ing, woofing and meowing has stopped. Let the day begin…

Read more

ARTIST OF THE MONTH - SARAH MASON

Sarah is a specialist portrait and wedding photographer based in the Calder Valley between Manchester and Leeds. She prefers to use the stunning scenery around her as a backdrop for her personal work and occasion shoots. We first came across her after she stayed at Scales Plantation and also when she sent us a lovely photo of a boy named Jacob looking a bit surprised! We took a little time to get to know her better.

Which living person do you most admire and why?

My uncle Jim for his joie de vivre and for alll his sporting achievements to raise money for breast cancer awareness and care.

What was your most embarrassing moment?

Abseiling and having a wardrobe malfunction at about 100ft from the ground.

What would your super power be?

To persuade Kate Bush to play live…just one more gig. I would LOVE that to happen!

What is your most unappealing habit?

I have a habit of sneezing very loudly and making everyone jump. I did it in the cinema once and the person in front if me chucked their popcorn up in the air.

What is your guiltiest pleasure?

Cheese slice toasties. They remind me of being ay my Grandma’s house. You have to watch that molten cheese on the roof of your mouth though.

What is the worst job you’ve ever done?

Working on an onion farm when I went travelling. Cutting the tops and bottoms off the onions all day, every day. Tears for the first hour and then stinging eyes for the rest of the day! Ouch.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Setting up my own business. Doing something I am passionate about and love every day.

What was your best holiday?

After leaving college, a friend and I went on a round the world adventure for a year and a half. 20 years on and those experiences are still with me.

What was your worst holiday?

A misjudged trip to the South of France with a bunch of school friends when we were teenagers. To top it off, I had tonsillitis.

Where next?

Rurall Suffolk. I’m doing a pre-wedding shoot and then I’ll have a couple of days to explore.

What’s your best piece of travel advice?

Don’t plan too much in advance. See how the mood takes you when you arrive.

How would you like to be remembered?

That lass that was pretty nifty with a camera

Have someone you think would be perfect for our Artist of the Month spotlight? Email your suggestions to: peoplewelove@canopyandstars.co.uk

To see more of Sarah’s skills, visit her website!

ARTIST OF THE MONTH - CATRIN LEIGHTON

Meet Catrin Leighton, a face you may recognise from our two-minute glamping holiday video (conveniently seen here). Catrin has the ideal combination of being high on talent but low on ego. She’ll do anything to get the audience laughing or crying and she’ll do it well. And although she didn’t get to dress up in 3D for our video, she happily agreed to be our Artist of the Month for February. Watch her space - she’s definitely an ‘up-and-comer’.

Where do you live now and what do you ‘do’?

Right now I live in Cardiff and I’m studying my 3rd year of a BA hons Theatre and Drama through the medium of Welsh. I’m also working as a tour guide for the Millennium Stadium.

Which living person do you most admire and why?

I admire my tutor for my last course Paula, she has such an eye for theatre. Just a genius.

What was your most embarrassing moment?

I was working in a café in Newport Pembrokeshire when I was about 14/15 and some of the other girls who were working there were talking about the lead singer of Feeder and how he was having lunch in our café at the table by the window. Now, I wasn’t really into music and had no idea who this person was so I told them to just go and ask, and they wouldn’t, so I boldly strutted over and asked the man at the table “Are you the lead singer of Feeder?” and he said “No.” That was fine and I walked away, but as I was walking I heard the words “I am though!” but I was already walking away and was too mortified to turn round. I had actually asked the lead singer of Feeder’s brother if he was the lead singer of Feeder. Embarrassing but I still couldn’t pick him out of a crowd, and I still haven’t bothered to find out his actual name. 

Who would play you in the film of your life?

I’d like to say Helena Bonham Carter…or Jennifer Saunders, but I’d probably be closer with Dawn French or Miranda Hart.

What would be your fancy dress costume of choice?

Well it would have to be a one-piece, I do like a good onesie, and tassels, tassels are good. BUT having said that I’ve always wanted to dress up as something 3D like an Airport of the Eiffel Tower.

What is your guiltiest pleasure?

Probably musicals, anything I can sing along to and I’m there.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

“Literally” and not even in its correct context, which is worse.

What is the worst job you’ve done?

Well I used to work in a burger van, I actually quite enjoyed myself but my friend Edward called me white trash once.

What album are you listening to now?

I’ve just discovered ‘The Asteroids Galaxy Tour’.

Best holiday?

I’ve been Skiing a few times and I always absolutely love it, but I went to Amsterdam last year and that was also really fun, oh and Scotland for the Fringe Festival, that was great and a kind of ‘fly off the seat of your pants’ type of holiday.

Where next?

Berlin! I’ve been before for a weekend with University but I’m going again in Easter time. Also I’m hoping to do a Ski season in Canada this winter.

Beach bum, culture vulture or adrenalin junkie?

All of those rolled into one, everything in moderation.

What’s your best piece of travel advice?

If your accommodation falls through, there are always people willing to put you up if you put an ad on Gumtree.

Which is your favourite country and why?

Well I haven’t been to many but Scotland is up there, and so is Amsterdam, and good old Cardiff has never let me down.

Have someone you think would be perfect for our Artist of the Month spotlight? Email your suggestions to: peoplewelove@canopyandstars.co.uk

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