Things you didn't know fforest did

Over the years, fforest has developed into a place to Stay Play Dream, an idyllic holiday destination where the outdoors is embraced and good food is enjoyed. But fforest has some lesser known offshoots that you may not be so familiar with...

 

fforest Gather

A very special event that brings the best of fforest together, a holiday full of creative engagement with the vibe of a festival.

Two week long family friendly gatherings with emphasis on engagement, exchange and fun. The great outdoors, activity for mind, soul and body, creativity and simple pleasures have always been bound to what we offer. At Gather, a revolving cast will provide workshops, creative play and outdoor activity in the day; films, live music, DJs and performers in the evenings.
 

fforest feasts

8 course tasting feast celebrating the best of local produce from land and sea in the big barn at fforest farm.

We have had the pleasure of hosting fforest feasts since 2016. Over a long weekend we welcome friends from far and wide to come and share good food and great company. A special evening centred on a unique dining experience. You can come for the feast only or stay and be looked after for the whole weekend at fforest farm. Book now for the fforest Winter feast below.
 

 

fforest corporates

'How do you start a fire in your organisation? The sort of fire that everyone can help to build, that everyone wants to sit around, wants to talk around, wants to dream around. A fire that grows.' - fforest chief

fforest is an experience and a place that encourages engagement, collaboration and creativity. Whether it’s a workshop, a retreat, a conference or a reward for a hard-working team we have the space and facilities to cater for corporate events of varying sizes. We can organise activities and entertainment, if you need a helping hand. We’ll provide amazing food and the best little pub in Wales. From boutique to festival, we have a style to meet most alternative briefs.

 

fforest favourites

You may recognise our blankets & cushions when you stay with us, did you know you could take home your very own?

We design our own blankets and cushions which are woven at a local woollen mill, enamel mugs in four colourways & featuring the fforest logo, woollen socks designed by us and made by Corgi, vintage rucksacks, aprons made from surplus tents & tarps, tea towels – lots of things to make your stay at fforest cosier. These can all be purchased at our fforest online shop so you can take a little bit of fforest home with you.

fforest weddings

10 years of unique events in 200 acres of bliss. 3 days of woodland, fields, festival, fun, no boundaries. A blank canvas.

fforest has hosted 150 weddings since 2008. Our venues have evolved as a celebration of the outdoors and an appreciation of the comfort offered by our indoor spaces. With the addition of the beautiful cedar barn and Ty Fforest farmhouse we are now able to host lavish weddings throughout the year, with guests staying on site and being treated to scrumptious fforest food throughout their stay.
 

 

fforest Glow camps

Inspiration, creativity & wellness. We have learnt that intimate retreats are full of the small things that can make a big difference.

Our Glow Camps are either creative or active retreats with a common theme: to share, support & inspire each other. We have always promoted "Active Relaxation" - clearing your mind through the challenge of learning new skills and the physical demands of a tough day's play. We also understand the luxury of just doing nothing. Sit on the deck, watch the deer, read a book, or just dream. Glow camps are the perfect combination of the two - physical challenge interspersed with relaxation and comfort.



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How to build your own cabin in the woods. A guide to a simpler life by Conrad E. Meinecke

'I think a really wholesome escape, if I may use that term - an escape to run from the crowded city lot to a place where one could plant a garden, raise chickens, pigs and the like - might perhaps add to the national wealth as well as our own good.' - Conrad E. Meinecke

Cabincraft and Outdoor Living is written for the man who has but 2 weeks vacation a year and takes his family with him, or, for the man who has a place in the country and wants to know how to do many things around the place himself. It teaches you how to build a log cabin, with diagrams featuring a bush-craft kit – and using axes, knives, rope and felled trees; how to furnish and beautify your cabin, with tips on cooking, bird listening and lighting fires and stoves. You will learn how to cook the most succulent outdoor dishes you ever dreamed about eating, you will learn how to design and make furniture, how to find water, how to make candles, how to take advantage of the signs that nature posts everywhere for your better living. It is just filled with everything you need to know about the good life in the great outdoors. It’s a poetic celebration of life lived outdoors.

'This is a good world and it will be just what we make of it.'

Read a bit more about the author here



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100 chairs in 100 days and its 100 ways, an extraordinary story of design by Martino Gamper

A recalled dialogue from some time ago:

Martino: I will make 100 chairs

åbäke: What, the same one 100 times?

M: No, they will be different. They’ll be actual size 3D sketching, somehow, you know, instead of drawing on a piece of paper.

å: Sounds great. Do it in 100 days then.

Renowned for his cross-disciplinary and culturally responsive approach to design, London-based Martino Gamper came to major acclaim with 100 Chairs in100 Days.

Some ten years ago, the London-based, Italian-born furniture designer initiated his project, 100 Chairs in 100 Days. He made a new chair a day for a hundred days by collaging together bits of chairs that he found discarded on the street or in friends’ homes. Blending found stylistic and structural elements, he generated perverse, poetic, and humorous hybrids. The project combined formal and functional questions with sociological and semiological ones. Or, as Gamper put it:

‘What happens to the status and potential of a plastic garden chair when it is upholstered with luxurious yellow suede?’ 

The project was all about being creative, but within restrictions—being limited to materials at hand and the time available, with the requirement that each new chair be unique. Gamper's ‘three-dimensional sketchbook’ brought him international recognition. The project was exhibited in London in 2007, at the Milan Triennale in 2009, and at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, in 2010.

'There is no perfect design and there is no über-design. Objects talk to us personally. Some might be more functional than others, and the emotional attachment is very individual.' 

 buy the book   here

buy the book here

Words adapted from an article from Martino Gamper's website, find it here



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The best outdoor shower in Wales? fforest shower block inspired by Australian architect Glenn Murcutt

'Layering and changeability: this is the key, the combination that is worked into most of my buildings. Occupying one of these buildings is like sailing a yacht; you modify and manipulate its form and skin according to seasonal conditions and natural elements, and work with these to maximize the performance of the building.' 

- Glenn Murcutt, 1996

Known for his smaller scale residential buildings, Australian architect Glenn Murcutt's projects blend a modernist design approach with an ever-present consciousness of the environment; qualities that have inspired fforest chief his entire career. The picture shown above is probably his smallest work, but the simplicity, modesty and respect for context make it a personal favourite.

A hero and reference point for Chief, the shower block at fforest is a 'homage' of the most humble sort. Choosing materials that can be produced easily and economically; from glass to stone to concrete, brick and metal, Murcutt's buildings evoke a distinctive Australian flavour that are in constant harmony with their natural surroundings, much like the majority of our buildings at fforest. Murcutt has resisted expanding his staff and has remained as a sole practitioner with the minimum of assistants. 

fforest chief invited Glenn to the 'Do' lectures at fforest in 2009 but unfortunately he was unable to travel the long distance due to old age. His hand-written response to the invitation will continue to be a prized possession. 

 



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Ceilings of St David's cathedral

The smallest city in Britain in terms of both size and population, St Davids can be found in Pembrokeshire at the most westerly point of Wales...

This beautiful little city has attracted tourists form all over the UK for many years; a place full of history and the final resting place of Saint David, Wales's patron saint. The Cathedral is at the heart of the city, a breathtaking building (due to the sheer size of it!) after a walk around you will leave feeling overwhelmed by its magnificence. We love visiting just to look up to the intricate ceilings, you have to take a trip just to photograph them!



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The coldatnight blanket

We have our coldatnight blanket woven specially for us at a very old water mill near the banks of the River Teifi. The same water that flows through the Teifi, around our camp at fforest farm and past the Pizzatipi on Cambrian Quay in Cardigan, is the very same water that turns the wheel that powers the loom that weaves our blankets. 

The woollen industry flourished in South Wales until the end of World War I when it began its decline with high prices during the war. At one time there were more than 300 active woollen mills. During the Industrial Revolution the Teifi Valley between Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire came to employ thousands of weavers, spinners, dyers, knitters, drapers and tailors. The river and its tributaries powered dozens of mills, and sheep in the surrounding grassland supplied fleece to be made into woollen products.

As of 2013 there are just nine commercial woollen mills still in operation, often run by small families producing traditional Welsh cloth on old looms. Melin Teifi is one of the last remaining mills in Wales that continues to manufacture the finest welsh flannel using top-quality materials and local craftsmanship. And this is where the fforest coldatnight blanket was born thanks to the wonderful skill of Raymond and his team.

Our blanket is a traditional Welsh double cloth weave unique to fforest. The pattern is taken from an old blanket I bought years ago at a car boot at Tanygroes. It is a design I love and had never seen before. After days drawing on graph paper trying to create an original fforest weave design to make into our own blanket, I gave up and thought why not recolour this wonderful old design and give it new life. It is originally an early North Wales Rose pattern first introduced more than a century ago by Hannah Jones at Penmachno Woolen Mill, Caernarfonshire.

Many Welsh weaves feature cross designs which represent the flag of St David, Wales's patron saint, and each Welsh mill would develop their own doublecloth patterns to make the mill identifiable by the unique designs. This is what we have tried to achieve with our blankets. By following the patterns and traditions of Welsh wool manufacturing, we produced our own unique design that can always be linked back to fforest.

It is a strong and well thought out simple, balanced design consisting of flower motifs within interlocking circles in a field of colour. We have made a few tweaks and added some new colour to this very old design, giving new life to an old way. Using pure new wool on a 1930's Dobcross loom, each thread is put through the heddles by hand, as it always was.

Each year I like to add a new colourway to keep it fresh, although the red and charcoal seem to be firm favourites.

Visit our online shop to buy your own coldatnight blanket



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Wills Upholstery

Will is our Pizzatipi Chef, good friend and a top bloke. In between smoking meats, baking infamous brownies and getting his head inside engines he makes all sorts on his sewing machine. 

Find him on Instagram here



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Polished for 100 years


The small chapels and churches of rural west Wales are places of unique community and cultural significance; built to serve small communities and to nourish their spiritual life. They are a defining component of the rural and cultural landscape of Wales. 

Fifteen years or so ago we started buying these chairs. We were buying with half an idea, not yet a project. Much like the small chapels, they had a simple spare beauty, constructed with a hard wearing beech seat & a light weight elm wood frame. There is usually a storage slot on the back called the 'Bible Box'. 

The availability of these chairs grew, unfortunately, once the chapels began to fall into a cycle of disuse and disrepair. 15 years ago they were cheap. £4 a chair was the alternative to the skip or bonfire. But now, thanks to the style watchers of pinterest, the decent ones now cost up to £60. However, the unique combination of practicality, materials, comfort (really) and patina of use, means they are still worth it. We are looking after our last 200 now, using them indoors or for special events only. 

If you are interested in looking at this disappearing domestic architecture, have a look here www.welshchapels.org



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Wooden & Woven

Latest casting of a bark edged Limewood vessel after polishing. Elbow grease 💪🏼 ⚪️

A photo posted by Wood~Woven (@woodwoven) on

Alex Devol is a fairly new friend of ours. In early 2015 he asked if he could run a spoon carving workshop at our first Gather event. He showed up with his brand new rescue dog and slept in the back of his pick up. Since then he's become a good friend of ours and although we don't get to see him very often we see something new he's crafted every day on his Instagram. He started with wooden spoons and in only a year he's casting vessels out of metal. Whilst creating such beautiful object his experimentation with technique and medium are what we find so inspiring. His body of work is already impressive we can't wait to see what Alex will make next week, month, year.

Alex will be returning to this years Gather. Get tickets here.

www.woodwoven.com



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