With the Lotus Belle, camping enthusiasts need rough it no longer, says Mick Sharp.
For some people tents will bring back unwanted memories of enduring a week in the dank, damp smelly envelope of canvas your parents managed to somehow get vertical in a windy corner of a muddy field in the back of beyond. Their sense of achievement after an hour of folding, unfolding, swearing, hammering and bleeding from minor hand injuries was almost palpable. You just felt bored, uncomfortable and cold.
“Glamping”, though, is an altogether different experience where people old enough to know better pretend to their friends they’re “roughing it” in the “great outdoors” while, in reality, enjoying more creature comforts than in the average four-star hotel. But in a field. If you want to glamp in style, then Lotus Belle’s 16ft Outdoor Deluxe may be the tent for you. “Grab your glamping martini glass and settle in,” says Dana Baardsen on bestproducts.com. “If this tent seems like something out of a fairytale, that’s because it practically is.” It resembles a kind of giant mushroom spaceship that has just landed on Earth.
The Outdoor Deluxe has two doors and two windows with zip-open mesh layers for maximum airflow while keeping creepy-crawlies out. It is made of a waterproof, yet breathable, canvas to minimise condensation. Lotus Belle says it can accommodate six twin-sized mattresses “with plenty of room for six people to practise yoga comfortably”.
And, says interestingengineering.com, “like Doctor Who’s Tardis, this tent is a lot bigger on the inside than it looks from the outside”, plus “it could not be easier to store and take with you”. With a single centre pole and ten flexible and light poles it can be put together very easily, ensuring you are comfortable and cosy as you sit down to regale your fellow glampers with sorry tales of childhood holidays marooned in a muddy field in Llangollen.
Price: £2,690. Useable standing space: 27 sq m. Contact lotusbelle.co.uk