Meet your hosts, Jo and Andy. Friends for 20 years, married since 2017. Both love the outdoors, growing food and being vegan. We’re looking forward to welcoming you to our home at Crotchet Barn.
Andrew is making the most of his retirement by setting up our forest garden and vegetable plot, so is usually to be found pottering outside somewhere, helping to ensure we become as self sufficient and independent in our food production as possible by growing a wide variety of annuals, perennials, fruit and nuts.
Joanna is a physiotherapist but is currently focussing on hosting the best holiday cottage experience she can. She also enjoys ashtanga yoga and cooking, exploring world cuisines and especially using and eating produce from the garden.
We are both vegan- for the animals but also for our health. Both vegetarians since teenagers, we discovered plant-based nutrition through watching “Forks Over Knives” when Andy was recovering from surgery. This opened our eyes to the health benefits of plant-based eating, but as we explored more, we found out about the atrocities that occur daily to innocent animals so that humans can have meat and dairy- and we no longer wanted to be part of this cruel system. Veganism is part of our whole life now, hence why Crotchet Barn is also vegan.
Our rescue dog, Willow, joined our family in November 2019 from Romania and is continuing to find her feet. She is very friendly and gentle but can be a little shy and nervous when you first meet her, and tends to give a warning bark to let us know you’re around. We’re working with her to help reduce this. She is still learning where the boundaries of her home are so please make sure you keep your gates from the willow garden into our garden or driveway shut. If you spot her escaping out of the front gates onto the road, please let us know!
Crotchet Barn is a self-contained spacious barn conversion with a luxurious super-king size bed and comfortable double sofa bed which provide accommodation for up to 4 people.
Crotchet Barn comprises an open plan living/dining room with log burner and fully equipped kitchen, with a separate bedroom and shower room. There is also a sun lounge and private garden which looks out over our budding forest garden, orchard and veg plot – perfect for watching the evening sunset after a busy day exploring.
Although we are a vegan cottage, you don’t have to be vegan to stay. We welcome everyone, but request that you refrain from consuming animal products whilst at Crotchet Barn. To help you with this, we have provided a couple of vegan cookery books to give you some ideas of delicious plant based meals you can cook in the well equipped kitchen. The kitchen has an electric cooker, dishwasher, fridge, freezer, microwave, kettle and toaster. There is also a Vitamix high speed blender- great for making smoothies and homemade nut milks and sauces.
There are plenty of pans, utensils and crockery to cook with, and not forgetting the sharp knives! Tea, coffee and sugar will be available on arrival, although as we are vegan we will not provide dairy milk. However, if you would like some home made nut or seed milk, please let us know. Spices, oil, salt and pepper are also provided, along with cleaning essentials such as washing up liquid, tea towels, washing cloths, dishwasher tablets, washing powder and surface cleaner – just ask us for more if you run out during your stay as we are keen to reduce waste.
The bedroom has a super king bed, with a comfortable mattress, and a choice of soft or firm pillows. A hairdryer is also provided. For the colder, winter nights there are hot water bottles and extra blankets. There are blackout curtains, although you may not need them as there are no streetlights- great for star gazing.
For those guests with companion animals, we have provided bowls, spare leads, tags, local vet information and blankets. We ask you to bring your own beds, so that your furry friends feel as relaxed as possible. There is also an outside tap and hose (with some towels too) for helping to clean those muddy paws after long walks in the beautiful countryside.
For the comfort of other guests, we ask that non-human animals do not sleep on/in the bed and that blankets are used to cover the sofa – thank you! As we have our own rescue dog living on site, we also ask that our guests do not bring aggressive dogs with them. Please bear in mind that although the garden is fenced, the fence is only 3-4ft high so could be jumped by a keen dog!
Your private garden has two parts: a secluded decked patio area directly outside the property which is not overlooked- perfect for breakfast or a peaceful yoga session, and a larger garden with summerhouse, beautiful willow tree and flower beds. The whole garden is surrounded by a 4ft fence.
Unlimited Wifi is included and there are two USB charging points in the kitchen too. The heating is provided by either a super cosy log burner or electric convection heaters, and an electric towel rail in the shower room. Logs, firelighters and matches for the duration of your stay are included in the price. If you run out, just let us know and we will restock.
There are two electric vehicle charging points located in the car park of the village hall, which is about 1/2 mile away. The points are for use by residents and visitors to Stoke St Gregory and are accessible via an app.
Although Crotchet Barn can sleep up to four guests, we regret that it is not suitable for children under two years old. To make life a little easier for our guests who have children, we can provide child friendly cutlery, plates and drink ware. There are safety locks on the kitchen and bathroom cupboards, and covers over the electric sockets. However, we do not provide high chairs, cots or bathing/ changing facilities.
As your key will be in a key-safe, you are free to arrive at anytime after check in, which is 1600 onwards.
Crotchet Barn has its own entrance. The whole property is for the sole use of guests. It also has direct access to a private patio area leading to a garden which is only for guests.
We live on site and are around most of the time. However, as Crotchet Barn is detached and has its own private entrance, garden and adjacent parking (for up to 4 cars) you will not be disturbed by us, unless you need us.
Check out THE GALLERY to see more pictures of the space.