11th September 2018
The Family Traveller fashion team headed into the Essex countryside on a hot day in July to shoot our autumn fashion story
The location: The Raft at Chigborough Canopy & Stars came up with The Raft as the perfect glamping spot for our wild shoot, built using hand-sawn pine and larch. This two-storey wooden cabin worthy of Huckleberry Finn is reached by raft and rope pulley system, much to the delight of our young models. This magical floating hideaway has a downstairs lounge filled with vintage telescope for star gazing, loads of board games, books and great views across the lake. A rustic alfresco kitchen has green pots and pans on the wall and there are fishing rods at the ready for catching supper off the deck. Up the wooden stairs a cosy double bed is tucked under the eves next to a cute balcony. Families also have use of a wood-fired hot tub on the bank and kids will love the playground beside open fields.
Top marks: There’s no electricity on The Raft, so this is your chance for a family digital detox. If you’re desperate you can charge phones and in the games room and kitchen on the main land. The Raft runs on solar, with a camping style gas shower. The kitchen has a gas hob and proper BBQ. Your fire pit and log store are on the bank, with wheelbarrows at the ready for logs.
We loved: the rowing boat that comes with this glamping spot, featured on our front cover. Our talented photographer Gemma Bowes climbed in the boat to shoot back at The Raft, overseen by the resident swan patrolling our shoot with her six fluffy signets.
Our hosts: Paul and Sam run this family farm and fishery. Guests receive smoked fish in their welcome pack from their own smokery.
The models: our models Annie, Fin, Poppy, Rehan, Sienna and Spike, ranged from age 6 to 11 and all kept each other happy during the day with plenty of playing between dressing up and shoots.
Funniest moment: Fin and Spike doing a welly swap (check out the video above!)
By Jane Anderson
The Raft costs from £770 for three nights over October half term, sleeps 4. Suitable for children over 8.
Blackwater Estuary is within easy walking distance with sea views, sailing and canoeing.
Head over to: canopyandstars.co.uk/theraft