• Ian&Chloe Gibb

A Retreat in the Making

So, here we are, already a January sized chunk into 2020, the year it is all going to happen. Much in the same way as it all happened last year, and the year before that come to think of it. In 2018 we moved out of our renovated church in Appledore retreating to the peaceful village of Weare Giffard and our new home at Hadlow. Then 2019 was dedicated to transforming Hadlow into the perfect setting for our wedding, and for my Hen Gathering, both of which were truly memorable! Now for this year. This year we prepare Hadlow for others to come and stay, to rest by the river and lap up the natural serenity that imbues these surroundings.

With our first booking already in the diary for early summer we are fully focused on the matter at hand. The lime kilns already reroofed and redesigned, the main work in January has been to convert the kilns former ‘lean-to’ shed into something slightly more marvellous - The Glasshouse. With plans to provide a warm home to espaliered peach, lemon and pear trees, and pretty exotics such as bougainvillea, the Glasshouse will provide the main entrance into the lime kilns as well as a delightful place to just to sit and take it all in. Entering the kilns at the foot of our lovingly created ‘Green Heart’ guests will be able to look up through three storeys of bamboo, banana and taro plants, canna lilies and more, into what will be their home, for at least a few days.

Seeing it all coming together is exciting to say the least, imaging as we go how people will use the space, a carefully placed table ‘there at the end of the Glasshouse’ to make best use of the evening sun, or a window seat just ‘over there’, back to the wood burner facing up the garden to get the best view.

Forth coming months will see the return of our renewable energy expert Jack to help us convert solar energy from the roof panels to useable energy inside the building, electricians to wire it all up (including underfloor heating to the yoga studio) and plumbers to devise ways of drawing water from our well to flow through the lime kiln pipes. It really is all happening.

The more it comes together the more we realise just how wide the scope is for Hadlow which, in a few months time, will provide the perfect space for yoga retreats, walking holidays, events and family breaks alike.

As we approach the end January 2020 and start looking forward to all that February will bring, it feels like the possibilities are endless.


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