Glamping, Posh Camping or ‘Roughing it’

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by WOW Talks on 02 August 2011

Where Luxe Decoration Meets The Great Outdoors

Imagine a room set with coloured candles, a four-poster mahogany bed and Egyptian rugs to frame your beautifully pedicured feet. The sounds of a forest in early evening, the breeze through the trees, an owl hooting in the distance, surely it must be an iPod shuffle track?

You are actually in the woods, but don’t be alarmed, you no longer need to go barefoot, or even bare-floored, for that matter. Glamping is here, bringing creativity and luxury back to the wilderness. Never fear the lack of luxe, for you no longer have to choose between camping and comfort.

You can do it at a festival. They will set it all up for you, and it could be in the shape of a yurt, a felt-covered, wood lattice-framed dwelling from Mongolia is more house than camp. It might take the form of a tipi, a Native American tent which has a hole in the centre to release the smoke from its wood-burning fire.

You can do it in Devon or Wales. Glamping in the countryside at top UK holiday destinations include vintage American airstream caravans or hippie-surfer VW camper vans, kitted out with period styling and chic details. Expect to meet like-minded people who like to rough it in bags of style.

It all started with the glamorous African safari, where camps were put up at each stopping point along the way, slick steel lanterns and white bamboo furniture ready to greet the wealthy traveller weary from early mornings of lion tracking and elephant photographing.

Camping was essentially a design extension of the colonial spirit in which ‘civilization’ was brought to the wild savannah. The contrast between stunning natural landscapes and manicured, temporary structures is visually powerful, and when one is sleeping next to ferocious predators, a few home comforts are certainly appreciated.

Today in England, and increasingly across Europe, families and friends are no longer in immediate danger from big beasts, but the lack of indoor plumbing cannot be denied. Glamping picks up where traditional camping left off, creating a design showcase for creative souls that can’t help but decorating even the humblest of dwellings.

The focus on environmentally friendly materials, ethnic furniture and tapestries from the East and innovative natural lighting pushes the envelope of what it means to camp, and takes the experience into a whole new level of possibility.

Who says you can’t camp with champagne? Who’s making the rules, anyway? We’ll see you at the yurt.