From my first click on Bell Tent Boutique’s website, I was hooked on the idea of a Bell Tent and their promise of Happy Bell Tent Glamping.
When I called to explain that we were first time campers due to be at our first family festival in just over a week, I was delighted to be able to speak to a fellow parent (and expert camper) who ran me through everything I may need for bell tent glamping, and provided some very helpful Bell Tent Glamping tips along the way.
Bell Tent Boutique are a small company, specialising in beautiful Canvas Bell Tents. We chose a fully-fireproofed 5m Bell Tent which comes with the option of a wood burning stove for a cosy nights’ camping.
We knew that with three lively daughters (aged 8, 6 & 2) sleeping under canvas for the first time, the large flexible space of a Bell Tent would work better than one with many fiddly zips and compartments. Certainly our two youngest would find it reassuring to be able to see us, or perhaps even cuddle up, in the night. The extra space, and head room, would also be invaluable should the weather take a turn for the worse as we’d have space for the children to play in the dry.
Having left our tent purchase to the very last minute, I was delighted when Bell Tent Boutique were able to ship everything the very next day.
With little time to spare, I let the children excitedly remove the packaging, whilst I had a quick glance at the instructions, and then I popped all the beautiful canvas bags in the boot off the car. They were to be opened for the first time when we arrived at Elderflower Fields for our first family festival on Friday evening.
Having asked many friends about their family camping experiences, I knew that setting up the tent would be focus of our Friday evening. We laid out a picnic on a rug for the children to eat whilst they enjoyed the spectacle of Mummy and Daddy putting up a tent of the first time. Armed with the instructions, and a can of gin and tonic each, we set about putting up the tent. In retrospect, we spent most of our time discussing where to pitch it. Finding a spot that was fairly flat and without spiky plants of molehills, then deciding which way we wanted the doors to face (we inadvertently ended up with a handy view of the toilet queue!). Once we had found our spot, the tent went up incredibly quickly and easily. Followed by the awning, which we had decided upon as it would offer shade and shelter.
Our camping pitch was 15 minutes walk from the car park, so we needed a further run with the camping trolley to bring down the half moon rag rug, which covered the back of the ground sheet for comfort and warmth. This was to be our sleeping area. The tent was very spacious with room enough for all five of our beds in half of the tent. The front half of the tent would be our living space. We placed a bucket by the door for muddy shoes and a small doormat to be on the safe side. We set up our camping chairs and table beneath the awning, which we decorated with bunting and fairy lights, inspired by the beautiful glamping style guide on www.belltentbouique.com. We hung the Bell Tent Boutique tea light chandelier from the centre pole (next time we will remember to do this before putting up the pole), and filled it with LED tea lights that provided a lovely warm glow through the night.
The children were delighted by the tent; it was cosy and had plenty of space for running around. They loved seeing it go up. Our eldest daughters had a go at banging in pegs with the wooden mallet, and the two year old tottered around the tent distributing pegs from the peg bag. They were not so keen to see it come down, and our two year old burst into tears. Thankfully we were able to tell her our that next camping trip is already booked for three weeks time… this could really be the start of something!
Lucy negotiated a discount with Bell Tent Boutique for this bell tent glamping experience in exchange for a review but all views and opinions are her own.