It's been a hectic few weeks, we needed a day off, and made loose plans for a country walk and a pub lunch. Someone suggested a spot in the downs where there was a forge, and maybe pizza. With these clues we located the Timber Batts, pub and forge, Bodsham. I love the name Bodsham, for some reason, & it doesn't disappoint. The entire area was shockingly beautiful, and peppered with olde-world charmers like the telephone box library, honesty-box apples and friendly locals. We found the pub: full of extraordinary objects, taxidermy, vintage video games, animal skulls, candlesticks, chandeliers, and tin fair-ground ponies made into lights. Lunch was pie, not pizza, but we were happy. The pub is only open Friday- Sunday at the moment, the owners keeping busy with the forge, the camping and developing all sorts of stuff alongside- we agreed the planned sauna would be a great addition to the camping meadow, axe-throwing (yes, at targets) is on offer next weekend, and at the forge, knife making workshops are booked up till the spring. There were two people making the most beautiful knives - they had no previous experience and were well on the way to completing their pieces as we left.
After lunch we headed west, first along the tiny quiet road and then into some old coppiced beech woodland. It was fabulously tranquil, almost unreal- literally the only cars we saw were two immaculate vintage models out for a Sunday potter.
We picked up the pace on the way back, there were storm clouds looming- but stopped at one of the honesty boxes to grab some logs for the woodburner back home.
Like all the best holidays, this was a trip into another world- a world we envy but can help ourselves to a slice of, just by spending the day here or signing up for a workshops or event. We left much restored and inspired by it all.