The Debussy dome
Our Saturday night accommodation was Debussy, which is the most expensive of the four domes. Prices start from £200 per night and a minimum of two nights is required when booking. Surrounded by a wooden decking area and small veranda, the circular room, lined with a beige fabric “roof” measures 40 square metres in size and is extremely spacious.
It’s described as a more romantic setting for couples, as it’s set further apart from the other domes, therefore offering greater privacy and a slightly different layout compared to its neighbours, Druid, Defender and Duchess. Debussy can accommodate two adults only, whilst the others are geared up for a couple of adults and up to two children of a maximum of 12 years of age.
The domes are more reminiscent of being in a boutique hotel room rather than what you would readily associate with camping in the truest sense of the word. No expense has been spared in the design and furnishing of the dome, and the result is a bubble where you are cocooned in a haven of luxury and are surrounded by a plethora of sophisticated fixtures and fittings. Although the domes come with mains power sockets, the only source of heating, like camping, is via the wood-burning stove, and timber can be purchased on-site for £10 per bag. The ample interior lighting is supplied by an array of decorative table and floor lamps.
At the heart of the dome is the rather magnificent wooden clock and a super king-sized bed which is dressed with luxury Egyptian cotton bedding, colourful cushions, soft grey robes embroidered with The Private Hill logo, and a choice of pillows depending on your preference. It’s a place where you can just lie for ages and look out to the horizon for hours on end, as there’s nothing urban of any kind to disturb the view of your surroundings.
Talking of being disturbed, even though the domes are located quite close together, they are sufficiently insulated so you are not troubled by other guests during your stay. The only noise comes from nature i.e. the cattle and the birds, which is always nice to hear if you’re a city dweller.
Next to the bed, you’ll find a very well equipped matt black kitchenette which comes complete with a fridge and freezer stocked with complementary soft beverages and milk, a Nespresso coffee machine for caffeine lovers, a Miele microwave oven, plus a Russell Hobbs kettle and toaster. Most importantly, there’s hot and cold running water (yes, there is no need to queue at a tap out in the open), and an array of crockery and cutlery to enjoy any self-catered gastronomic feasts. For those who don’t want the hassle of bringing food along, barbeque and breakfast baskets costing £15 per person can be pre-ordered and purchased to cook on the fire pit outside. Camping chairs are provided for the veranda, or there’s the round glass table where you can witness a truly magical sunset on a clear day.
Ablutions when camping can be a cold and rather rustic affair, but there’s no such experience at The Private Hill. This is because, in each of the domes, visitors have the added bonus of an ensuite toilet and enclosed shower cubicle furnished with accessories from The White Company, and a heated towel rail to avoid any shivers when exiting. The pressure in the shower is actually surprisingly good thanks to the two large pumps that drive the water uphill from the main farm.