It’s the night before we go to the Isle of Wight...why, oh why do I always leave packing until the last minute? And it’s not just clothes and cosmetics this time - I’m looking at the lovely photos of our very sophisticated Safari tent and wondering if there will be tea bags? (Crucial - it can get ugly if I don’t have my morning cuppa).
I pack a substantial supply of Earl Grey just in case, as we’re going glamping and I’m not really sure what to expect. But there is definitely a full set of utensils and crockery alongside a little hob, microwave, fridge and sink, which all seems very promising. And the stylish tent, our home for four days, looks so appealing I can’t wait to see it for real...
There are four of us in the car as we drive to the Portsmouth ferry, and three of us have never been camping, let alone glamping before. Daughter Kate became a dab hand at putting up a tent at Glastonbury, and my granddaughters, five-year-old Saha and two-year-old Anjelica (Jellie) can be forgiven for not having experienced that rite of passage.
I have no excuses however, other than never having really fancied the idea of camping. But this cosy, comfortable, glamorous getaway looks much more fun. The term ‘glamping’ officially entered the Oxford dictionary back in 2016, with the definition: ‘Noun: A form of camping involving accommodation and facilities more luxurious than those associated with traditional camping’.
Understatement! The Safari tent (which is more like a gorgeous log cabin on stilts with canvas sides) is spectacular, and we all fall in love with it at first sight. Plus there are teabags! There’s actually a very welcoming selection of tea, coffee, hot chocolate, milk and biscuits in a huge tin, and after fighting over who gets the coveted top bunk (Saha) with me underneath and Kate and Jellie in the double bed next door, we settle in, unpack, and explore our leafy surroundings in the IOW’s Southland site near Sandown. There’s even a heater for chilly nights, and we’ve opted for the luxury towel bale (an additional charge but with an already overstuffed car it’s well worth it).