A little or a lot is the answer.
In and out of the Garden there’s a ton to see and a lot to do. But if that’s what you do all week then a little bit of nothing never hurt
anyone either. The choice is yours – except when it comes to two things;
Fire is a big deal here. You need it to warm your dome, cook your food and heat your water. There are backups if you need them but the basic idea is that while you are here you get to grips with one of mother natures most potent elements. We’ll show you how if you failed your stick rubbing badge in the brownies.
Sadly, rubbish phone reception and the recent digital switchover has put paid to mass communication throughout much of the Forest of Dean. On top of that the granite walls of the main buildings has done for the wifi. Lastly, strange planning regulations means no amplified music either. So what’s to do?
Well, don’t panic! Because, given your surroundings, they are, like the dog that speaks Norwegian, completely unnecessary.
Just give it time and you’ll find the magic of the Dome Garden washes over you (wooh ooh ooh) and you might find you quite like it. Ok you may say “That’s fine during the day but – gasp – what in the name of Eastenders and Chardonnay can we do at night ?” Well, don’t panic!
a time to commune, to read
As the last light flickers in the sky at last you’ll have time to read ‘Sacred Geometry for Dummies’ or Katie Price’s latest biographical novel.
for those with modern nighttime issues, there is the celestial form of the The Edge Bar. Yes, our very own little residents-only saloon so you don’t have to stagger across any main roads in search of a little nightcap.
Better still, twice a week we stoke up the pizza oven to give you a break from the cooking.
Let your baked beans stick to the pan, hang up your Ray Mears face mask, and sit down with your fellow Domateers to share disastrous tales of al fresco cooking over a glass/vat of wine. Maybe even a song or two (!@£@*??)
We turn the lights out at 12.30 to give the real locals – the abundant wildlife – a chance to kip. So if you are a nocturnal wanderer, a torch would be handee. If you forgot to bring one no worries, the Handee Shoppee can supply.
After a night of pizzas and vats of Domus – our wonderful house plonk - the oven should still be hot enough to bake your own bread. Again we can supply dough if you (k)nead it.
So (once your head eases and your voice returns) you can make bread like the ancients did. It’s not always perfect but it tastes great with lots of butter! Pretty good hangover cure too!
Not that anyone would need that...
The ancient English were rubbish at spelling but they did love a bit of flogging. So our little ‘Shoppee’ overflows with Things We Love – little gems ranging from the exotically practical (Gransfors hand forged axes, really clever little firelighters, and brilliant egg cups, banger forks etc ) - to desperately dull essentials – bangers, batteries, bread, beans, bacon, books, blah di blah …
Well we ummmed and aaahed about this one. Not least because if we said 'No Dogs' then our pals with a pair of Newfoundlands wouldn't come and see us! So, at first, we thought we’d allow responsible dogs.
But... then we realised that 20 completely free range chickens - and, next year, two lovely pygmy goats as well - make for an irrestistable breakfast for even the most vegetarian of pooches.
So, sadly, it's No dogs at The Dome Garden.
We did make an exception this summer for a blind guest and had to incarcerate the chickens for a whole week, which upset them enormously! (as well as our kids who campaigned long and hard for the adoption of the amazing guide dog 'pepper' who was about to retire... aah!)
So, yes, there are two types of human - both listed above - and the sad fact is that one half just don’t like kids; can’t bear the sight of them and most of all don’t want to hear the little blighters when they are ‘nestled’ in the heart of the aforementioned ‘haven of peace and tranquility’
So in the absence of all three of the above we decided not to try. Segregation will be the solution!!
Sounds harsh, but life’s like that !
Hence the “Haven Weeks”.
Mercifully child-free periods when our little twolegged friends will be banished to the farthest reaches never to darken our doors – until the next week!
So no pitter, patter of thumping great size 3s to disturb the peace and quite of a perfect afternoon and the gentle harmony of a gaggle of forty adults snoring over a good book!
We think it’s for the best!
Goes without saying that these weeks wont occur in the school holidays when the Dome Garden will return to normal - a screeching childfest more desperate than any child catchers worst nightmare!
There have, in return, been suggestions of adult free weeks – gosh – now there’s a thought!