In early 2000, after having lived & worked in Shoreditch for 25 years, James Lynch and Sian Tucker, the founders of fforest, were thinking about change. Having had successful careers in textiles & illustration (Sian) and design, architecture & development (James) they now had 4 young boys and a hankering for a new way of life. They took the family off to New Zealand, maybe that was the place. Great country, great people, great welcome. Lots of stunning coastlines, green valleys, sheep, rugby. They realized what they were looking for they already had. Sian’s parents live on the coast in west Wales. The boys had spent most of the school holidays on the beach there.
The dream was born: Sian & James would use the experience & skills they had honed over the years to create a new type of rural (with a little bit of urban) escape. A place for families and friends to gather, to play, to holiday, to celebrate. A place that would combine the life-enhancing embrace of the outdoors with comfort, great facilities, great food, great welcome.
Within 4 weeks of returning from New Zealand in 2004 they had agreed to buy a derelict, rundown, neglected, magnificent 200 acres surrounded by river estuary, wildlife reserve and moments from the coast. In 2007 the first paying guests arrived.
The first wedding
In 2008 a couple who had stayed with us in that first year asked if they could have their wedding with us. We said no, we weren’t set up for that. We didn’t have tablecloths. They said ‘It’s what we want’. We said ‘Your parents won’t like it’. They said. ‘They love it!’ We said ‘It’s too much work’ . They said ‘We’ll all work together, do what needs to be done, it’ll be great’. We gave in, it was great. Making it happen was memorable and rewarding for everyone involved. Really the main worry about doing it had been the responsibility for such an important day. Would we and our staff be able to give everyone what they needed? In truth Guy and Kathryn had more insight than us, and their friends and family were a great bunch. They chose us because we weren’t a formula and they saw that they could have an event that would be unique and truly memorable.
We’ve hosted a lot of weddings since then and fforest has developed a lot. We have tablecloths if needed. As we have developed we have always kept in mind what we learned from Guy & Kathryn, that for every guest the celebration should be unique and truly memorable.