Words by Melanie Calland

A cosy cabin nestled in woodland in the North Yorkshire countryside is a great base for a winter getaway! A brisk walk in the outdoors is just the trick for burning off the seasonal treats we have indulged in! The cabins are off grid which means log stoves and candlelight, maybe a hot toddy to warm you up from the inside… We took some simple homemade broth with us to heat on the stove and warmed some part-baked bread until it went crusty in the combined oven, simple but delicious!

Swinton Bivouac’s award winning log cabins were hand built four years ago, from wood sourced directly from the country estate they reside in. They are equipped with a shower and loo, but to heat the water, you need to get a roaring fire going in the stove which warms the whole cabin. They are insulated with wool fleece and waste water runs into its own reed beds, so you can bank on them being eco-friendly. Doing things the old fashioned way really gives you a taste of the vintage life – you can’t simply switch on a light! They sleep seven people on three different levels and some are even dog friendly.

I took along my winter woollies, with my poodle fur cardigan from Freddies of Pinewood (freddiesofpinewood.co.uk). They are also available in red and brown and have been reproduced from an original 1940s cardigan that Jo the owner has in her collection. They have been selling like hot cakes and I can see why!

I made my ski pants from a pattern which was originally my mums! I last made them quite a few years ago and wore them out, so I made a new pair for the winter when I heard they were forecasting snow!

My boots are probably 20 years old. I got them for a trip to Switzerland, along with my knitted hat that a friend’s mum crafted for me. I won’t be going skiing but I do love the look.

The fabulous giant acorn brooch is from Luxulite (www.etsy.com/uk/shop/Luxulite). Katie makes wonderful fake Bakelite jewellery with her own flair, for wacky and kitsch items. I love real Bakelite but items this large would be very costly, so I’m content with “Fakelite.”

My blue sweater is from the well-established Rocket Originals (www.rocketoriginals.co.uk) available in six colours, made from an early 1950s pattern. It features a v-shaped pattern made up of diamonds, with mini cable knit inside each. Owner Kaye says she has tried to match them to the shoes they design. It certainly looks great with my Billie shoes, which can be worn with or without the front tassels.


I’m also wearing a 50s cotton poodle scarf, which was a gift from my friend Maki in New York, and a deco style brooch featuring a Westie wearing a tartan Glengarry hat that I bought about 25 years ago from Greenwich market, which we used to visit each Sunday morning for vintage finds.

My trousers are side button wide leg pants, which I made, but several suppliers sell these in various sizes, try: Heyday, Vivien of Holloway or The House of Foxy.

Charlie, the miniature Poodle and Jet the toy Poodle, wear lumber jackets from Morrisons’ seasonal pet range.

Swinton Bivouac is situated near the Yorkshire town of Masham (pronounced “mass am.”) There is a lovely cafe and ice cream kiosk, yurts and log cabins as well as a bunk barn – so all of your glamping needs are covered! Find out more at www.swintonbivouac.co.uk

Photos by Frankie Calland 


Lisa Harrison
Written by Lisa Harrison
Lisa is the Deputy Editor of Vintage Life Magazine and Publisher at Dragoon Publishing. She is avid bookworm, collector of vintage homeware, loves travel, lazy weekends away and eats way too much cake!