Visiting Flanders Battlefields -Stay at Varlet Farm by Peterborough Artist Charron Pugsley-Hill

21/06/2015

Now lets be clear this is an independent genuine review and I have not been paid for this blog. I have recently been back in Belgium this time working on my art series commemorating significant events people and places from WWI a hundred years on. We stayed at Varlet Farm(named by British Soldiers in WWI) many years ago and loved it then and we love it now.

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The original farm was in german territory during WWI and is right on the front line and artefacts are continually dug up during farming operations and yes this does include unexploded shells. So far this year it has been 12 (if I remember rightly) shells that are collected by the bomb disposal squad on their rounds. The farm was taken by the Hood division of the Royal Naval Division in 1917 and there is a memorial on the barn in remembrance.

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The farm is ideally situated to explore the battlefields of the Ypres Salient and Dirk is happy to share his vast knowledge, maps and artefacts with all who stay at the farm. He can provide a recommended route to visit the main places of interest with directions from each to the next. Dirk and his daughter Barbara-who is so helpful with emails run the B and B and were incredibly helpful to me putting us into a room with a lounge area next to the room where i could paint and leave my equipment out if I wanted. A fridge well stocked with beer and wines was appreciated at the end of  intense days! They made my stay working easy and for that I am very grateful.

The painting I created on this trip was inspired by the poem In Flanders Fields that led to the adoption of the poppy as the iconic symbol of remembrance that we still use today.

 

 

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Breakfast is continental with lots of choice and you are encouraged to make a packed lunch too. I only like hard boiled eggs and having asked for a hard egg, each day I had a special basket with my egg in. The best bit-the bars of belgian chocolate laid out as part of the breakfast -remembered from the last time by our 2 boys!

We wouldn’t stay anywhere else and I will be back in 1917 for the centenary of the battle of Passchendale -if not before!

 

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You can read more about my series on WWI in my blogs on my website www.charronpugsleyhill.com.

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