The fifth episode of Sarah Beeny’s Somerset property adventure aired last night (December 9) on Channel 4.
In the eight part series, New Life in the Country, the popular real estate broadcaster has moved from London to south Somerset with her husband Graham Swift and their four boys.
Sarah and Graham are converting a dilapidated 1970’s farmhouse near Bruton into a rural idyll.
Last week’s episode left many viewers ‘fuming’ and branding Sarah as ‘cruel’ for keeping a wild rabbit as a pet and scaring nearby wildlife with fireworks they set off from their farm.
This week we found the build on the baroque-style, low carbon impact Somerset house will be underway, with the ground having been levelled so the foundations can be filled with concrete.
The family also went glamping and Graham called in detectorists when he lost his signet ring (you can’t make this stuff up).
So, here’s what we learnt from the fifth instalment.
1. Sarah is a townie at heart
Throughout the series, Sarah has made veiled references to the fact that the Somerset move was predominantly her husband’s idea. We’re starting to see why a move from the urban jungle didn’t seem natural to Sarah. She’s a bit of a townie, as we discover when the family gets as close to roughing it as they can by going glamping.
“I’m a bed snob and I’m a bathroom snob,” says Sarah. She likes a comfy bed with loads of pillows, hot running water and a flushing loo and is really not a fan of the eco friendly compostable toilet at the glamping site.
Graham settles on a plan of action as a result: “To try and make camping not quite so basic for Sarah, in the hopes she might enjoy herself.”
2. The term glamping was first used 15 years ago
More of a fun fact than a piece of Sarah Beeny trivia, but according to the show’s narrator, the word was first used 15 years ago to describe luxury camping.
There are hundreds of glamping sites across the UK. The Beeny-Swift family visit one of these, a nearby 186 acre glamping site, where they charge £115 a night for a family of four.
3. Filling the house foundations took five truckloads of concrete
It looked like a mammoth task, with truck after truck wheeling in concrete through the first part of the episode.
It was a lot of concrete, although a bit of it was lost when their dog Maple jumped into the mix. The poor black dog shuffled away from the building site with his tail in between his legs and his hair dripping concrete juice.
4. Sarah could have her own Glastonbury-style campsite
In an attempt to create their own glamping experience at their farm, the couple rent tents from one of the businesses that erect tents every year at Glastonbury (except this year and perhaps next year).
The business noted they put up 900 tents for the Somerset festival. They have luxury beds inside and even complementary eye masks. One of the boys concludes, “For camping, that’s really quite nice” while lying on a luxury bed.
Sarah only erects seven in one of their fields, so creates a micro-Glastonbury.
5. Sarah Beeny’s Glamping Holiday Inn could be coming soon
Sarah is optimistic about the camping site as a potential business venture. “This could be an interesting business,” she nods at Graham.
6. Graham might feel a bit overshadowed by Sarah
In one scene, when creating the mobile bathroom for the campsite, Graham is soldering a sign that reads: Swift & Beeny Sanitary Engineers. It’s hard to ignore the placement of his surname first, despite the lack of alphabetical or alliterative sense to the order. A chance for Graham to snag the limelight from Sarah? Perhaps…
7. Sarah splashes out on impulse buys in a different way to most
Instead of indulging a shopping habit by buying clothes or makeup, Sarah buys a tractor.
“It’s a sad thing when I’m more excited about a tractor than I would be about an Aston Martin,” says Graham.
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