We are so excited to launch a new project we’ve been working on…
Mama Lou is our new Shepherd’s Hut, which we’ve been renovating for the last few months to give couples and guests an additional accommodation option. Set in the alpaca’s grazing field, the hut has lovely views and has been restored to offer a super luxurious, relaxing and unique setting.
Here we speak to Mariella about the story and inspiration behind Mama Lou.
The history of the hut…
Many decades ago there used to be a shepherd’s hut on the farm, which was used for when we still had a lot of livestock. This hut fell into disrepair and we always talked about replacing it with a new one. It is called Mama Lou as my favourite programme when I was little was about Pipo and Mamalou who lived in a shepherd’s hut. It was meant to be my hideaway but somehow I don’t seem to have enough time to hide away yet, so we decided to add it to the Barns so that other guests can enjoy it.
How did you come across the hut?
William gave it to me as a surprise present for my special birthday (I’ll let you guess which one!). He has a habit of thinking outside the box for birthday presents – for my previous ‘big birthday’ I was delighted to receive my Alpacas. Over a decade later, Alfie is still with us and is now joined by Oreo and Jack. The Alpacas are next to the shepherd’s hut, so if the weather allows guests will be able to enjoy their breakfast hamper on the terrace overlooking the alpaca meadow.
What was your design inspiration?
I wanted guests to get that surprise luxury feeling when they enter the shepherd’s hut, not a camping experience, our guests are going to a wedding after all! It has a fridge filled with Prosecco, Nespresso coffee machine, an iPad with Netflix, Victorian radiators, a wood burner, a bathroom with nice hot shower and an Alpaca shower curtain. My design inspiration for the paint colours came from the sea. The main colours are different shades of aquamarine (Little Greene paints). Having adopted the latest hobby of wild swimming in lockdown, I can’t get over how the sea displays different colours of blue every day I go. The gold painted woodwork, brass fitting and sumptuous velvet cushions are just a cheeky nod to the roaring 20s, which I hope we are just about to enter again.
Were any local materials or suppliers used?
The hut was built by Roger Parks as a one-off, he’s based just North of Chichester in Ashling. We used local craftsmen for the careful restoration and bespoke furniture.
What is your favourite bit?
The lovely cosy wood burner, it used to be the only mode of heating in a hut like this but we have some Victorian radiators now so it is a bit more comfortable in those winter nights.