The Old Forge
Self Catering Cottages & Glamping

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The Old Forge News

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(Semi!) retiring after 30 years...

Up until the end of October 2018, Lucy has decided to hang up her apron after 30 years of serving homemade breakfast to her guests! The last six years we have been awarded the Gold taste of the West award and now want to spend more time with our seven grandchildren Darcie, Zola, Willow, Kitty, Iris, Primrose and baby Ralphie! All our accommodation is now self catering.

The Old Forge Family

We have two cottages, The Smithy and The Wheelwrights (coming soon) both are available for short breaks and longer stays and are a perfect retreat. Each cottage has its own identity with wrought iron bedsteads, vintage quilts and country antiques setting the scene of a bygone era.

Glamping is also available in our two shepherds huts Mabel and Sam, and Rosie the gypsy caravan. The stress of modern day life is a distant memory here as you gaze across the scarp slopes of Melbury and Fontmell Down.

Gold Award winner Taste of the West 2018, again!

We are delighted to have won a Gold Award for the sixth time for our home cooked breakfast. Please see review below

Congratulations on your Gold Award! The Old Forge is a lovely B&B in a delightful location and clearly committed to good quality local food – with some fantastic home-made produce!

Commitment, perception & communication of local sourcing on the breakfast menu- The Old Forge show a clear and strong commitment to local sourcing, both in general literature and on menu cards on the table. Local retail suppliers for meats, bread and vegetables named. Domestic produce, including eggs from resident chickens and home-made jams, sauces and apple juice feature strongly which is great to see.

Quality of the breakfast - The breakfast table was attractively laid, with lots of choices of home-made jams and sauces and lovely apple juice from home-grown apples. The "Mains" were very well cooked and very enjoyable. Altogether this was a very enjoyable breakfast.

Quality of service - The welcome on arrival, even though the judge and guest arrived quite late, was very warm. Helpful explanation of the features of the room. Given the weather, the staff offered to make a fan available on the landing to make use of if needed, which was thoughtful (although wasn’t needed!). Service at breakfast was efficient, attentive and prompt, without being in any way intrusive. Very pleasant in handling the bill settling up.

Cleanliness and comfort - A very pretty room, nicely decorated and furnished. Spotlessly clean. Good quality linen/towels. Excellent tea/coffee tray, with cold water and milk available from a fridge on the landing.

Atmosphere, ambience and value for money - The Old Forge is a lovely building in a lovely location. Although right on the A350 Shaftesbury to Blandford road, our judge didn't notice any traffic noise either at night or during the day. The house is full of lots of interesting old artefacts/toys/advertising signs, which makes it feel as if one is staying in a rather intriguing museum! All most pleasant. The setting, too, is delightful.

Local information - Lots of useful information, both in the form of brochures and in the "house" folder in the room. Good list of recommended local restaurants, with a proper emphasis on quality food and service.

Judges’ summary comments:- “We had a lovely stay, and would happily recommend the Old Forge to others. Mother and daughter (and baby!) are running a very good B&B that is very supportive of local suppliers, and fully deserves the support of The Taste of the West.”

Gold Award Taste West Breakfast The Old Forge

Shed of the Year 2017

Thank you so much for all of you who voted for us, we had so much fun! If you missed us on Channel 4, watch the episode here

Shed of the Year The Old Forge, Lagonda Shed Shed of the Year The Old Forge, Lagonda Shed Shed of the Year The Old Forge, Lagonda Shed

Gold Award winner Taste of the West 2017, again!

We are delighted to have won a Gold Award for the fifth time for our home cooked breakfast. Comments from the judge below

"The well designed and detailed website gives a great deal of information on the Old Forge’s local sourcing policy and in fact it would be hard to achieve more local sourcing as they bake their own bread, collect eggs from their own hens and make their own preserves. This was all listed in the rooms as well as on the website. Just what we want to see…

The breakfast was superb. It was all beautifully cooked and presented. Every effort was made by Lucy, Sophie and Tim to make the judges feel welcome and to ensure that they were happy. The leaflets in the room were very comprehensive and detailed all the information that they required for their stay.

The judges said their room was immaculate and had everything that they could need. The judges said their first impressions were very good and that this continued to be their impression for the whole of their stay. They said the whole experience was excellent value for money.

The leaflets provided in the room was very comprehensive detailing local attractions, pubs, shops, restaurants etc. The judges said this was a lovely place to stay and they would be delighted to have the opportunity to stay at The Old Forge again.

It is clear that The Old Forge is a wonderful example of the best type of bed and breakfast offering in the West Country.

Having put you through a thorough and rigorous test, Taste of the West couldn’t be more proud of this fine example of the very best B&B’s in the region."

Gold Award Taste West Breakfast The Old Forge

Shed of the Year Radio Solent!

We had a visit from radio Solent yesterday who did a interview and a video of Tim's Shed of the Year. Click here to hear the interview, its 1 hour 57 minutes in! View the video below!

Shed of the Year!

We are thrilled and delighted to have been chosen in the final four of the 'Historic' catogory, for Channel 4's Shed of The Year! Please help us by voting for 'The Lagonda Workshop' thank you! Click here!

Shed of the Year The Old Forge, Lagonda

Rosies original Caledonian Nipper

Rosie is having a re-fit over this winter. Tim has always wanted to re-commission the original stove, a ‘Caledonian Nipper’ (not as easy as it sounds!)

There was one vital part missing from the stove, which the flue pipe connects to. After much research, Tim found a company re-manufacturing the exact stove. Unfortunately, the part was in excess of £200. So Tim set about making one out of a piece of scrap material (up-cycling!) The stove now has a non-flammable hearth and a Victorian brass fender, which has been cut and re-soldered to fit the tiny hearth.

The little stove is designed to burn coke, coal or peat. Having a very small firebox. It shouldn’t produce a dangerous amount of heat, bearing in mind that the caravan is made entirely of wood! Great care is going to have to be taken to isolate the flue from any combustible materials were it goes through the roof.

He can’t wait to light the stove for the first time in over 80 years! More to follow so watch this space…

Original showmans wagon original caledonian nipper stove
Original showmans wagon stove

Local massages and guided runs!

We are fortunate enough to have 'Well Trodden Path' in our village, why not have a guided run from the doorstep or relax with a massage. All in the village! Visit their website for more information. Click here!

Help for Heroes Shoot

Dorset Tourism Awards feedback

"This site has a wow around every corner. The 2 shepherds’ huts and the gypsy caravan are all unique and stunning both externally and internally. The views are amazing. The interiors are charming and quirky. The site offers a real experience and the owners are very welcoming.

The accommodation is spotless, and the general areas well maintained. The huts have their own bathrooms and compost loos. The caravan has its own shower room and traditional toilet. Each hut also has a fire pit, BBQ and outside seating. There is an outdoor kitchen which is very well equipped and again everything is upcycled and in keeping with the vintage feel of the site. A tuck shop adds more value by offering sweets, local icecreams, wood and other items. Guests can have a cooked breakfast at the house for £10, or opt for a breakfast hamper. Each hut has a welcome pack. There is a garage “museum” on site which the owner is very happy to show you.

The owners are passionate about their business and communicate this joy and enthusiasm to anyone visiting them. Nothing seems to be too much trouble and they certainly go the extra mile to make their guest stay a comfortable one.

Everything from the huts and caravans to the interiors is upcycled. Recycling on site is strongly encouraged. Compost loos. Water is harvested. Food is locally sourced or home grown. Local businesses are actively promoted.

The owners were so welcoming on arrival and departure we felt we left as old friends.

A beautiful and unique glamping experience in stunning countryside. The owners’ enthusiasm and passion for what they are doing is tangible on every level. Nothing is too much trouble for them and their passion for upcycling is catching! A real labour of love and visiting/staying is a fascinating insight into another age."

Dorset Tourism Awards 2016 Winner

Dorset Tourism Awards, we did it!

We are absolutely thrilled and delighted to have won the Gold glamping business of the year Award presented to us at The Bovington Tank museum. This Dorset tourism award celebrates the very best in Dorset tourism and also as a county heat for the South West and National Visit England Awards!

Dorset Tourism Awards 2016 Winner

Dorset Tourism Awards

We are delighted to have been selected to be one of the finalists in the Glamping category! This news means that we will be awarded either a Gold, Silver or Bronze award at the Dorset Tourism Awards ceremony held at the tank museum in Bovington this October. Watch this space!

Dorset Tourism Awards 2016 The Old Forge Award

Help for Heroes

The Old Forge hosted a Christmas Help for Heroes shoot this August! Find Scrumpy Jack and the Forge on their website and in their catalogues.

Help for Heroes Shoot The Old Forge Famous

Gold Award winner Taste of the West 2016, again!

We are delighted to have won a Gold Award for the fourth time for our home cooked breakfast. Comments from the judge below

"The breakfast was good, with the bacon being very tasty and as bacon always used to be, the sausages were full of flavour as were the vine tomatoes. The eggs were free range and full of colour. The bread was home baked, both granary and white and very good.

The owners were charming and very helpful and did everything they possibly could to make the judges’ stay memorable. They booked them a table at a nearby pub for their evening meal and found a fan in case they were too hot in the night. On arrival the judges were made to feel very welcome and were given tea and chocolate brownies.

The bed was extremely comfortable with good quality bedding and duvet, good white towels and fluffy dressing gowns. A good supply of teas and locally ground coffee with fresh milk to hand in a fridge outside the bedroom door.

The whole property was very 1920s with lots of old metal advertising signs, patchwork quilts, painted furniture and lots of memorabilia. The whole property and contents were very rustic but clean. There was plenty of homemade jams, jellies and chutney with fresh garden flowers on the table and in the room. Good value for a relaxing break.

The owners were really charming and made them feel like old friends, the bed was so comfortable and the produce really natural, good and very tasty."

Gold Award Taste West Breakfast The Old Forge Gold Award Taste West Breakfast The Old Forge

Exciting new glamping project...

We are very excited to be converting an old grain silo from the local farm for new accommodation. Check out 'Silas the Silo' page for more details!

Glapming Project, Quirky

The Old Forge Bed and Breakfast website and photographs copyright © 2018, Sophie Fairchild