• Ben W.

Can You Fit a Kitchen In A Shepherds Hut?

Once you're nestled into a cosy Shepherds Hut with the stove crackling away and the night is drawing in, the next thought on your mind may be a hot cup of tea! Fortunately, your hut can be fitted out with a kitchen to meet your needs- Whether that just be a small tea and coffee making station, or a full food prep setup with sinks, fridges, hobs, ovens and more. Our in house joinery team create stunning tailored kitchens to match the quality of our huts, at the high standard you'd expect from any premium expert kitchen fitter. We also offer a range of choices for the materials, styles and finishes from the rustic to the contemporary.

Shepherds Hut Kitchen
This Vintage Style Kitchen Features Reclaimed Distressed Timbers, Vintage Copper and Forged Ironmongery

The kitchen is often considered to be the heart of the home, and it's often the case in a Shepherds Hut too. While there are countless options available, it's essential to design the kitchen appropriately to suit the hut in order for it to be practical, safe and affordable. This guide outlines the key considerations, as well as some examples of our kitchen options!

Size Matters

It's always worth bearing in mind that all Shepherd Huts (even the biggest ones!) are relatively compact by nature, so space is inevitably limited. This means your kitchen should be appropriate to the size of the hut. A big kitchen simply won't work in a small hut, no matter how savvy our carpenters and joiners work to save space! Therefore if you want to increase the size of your kitchen without compromising on other features such as beds, seating space, storage or bathrooms, you will need to budget for a larger hut. But is it necessary?

A hearty supper, or an ornament for a photoshoot? Depends on the kitchen!

One thing to consider is that more stuff needs more space- For example, if the kitchen includes a cooking hob, it will also need a space to store at least one saucepan. Then, you'll need a place to store all the cooking implements and utensils. Then account for oven trays, microwave bowls, colanders, drainers and before you know it, the hut has a full kitchen to rival the one in your house! On top of that, you'll then need to allow enough space in your hut to sit and enjoy the three course meal you've just cooked.

That's why sometimes it's best to rationalize the kitchen based on how you, or your guests, will use the hut. Does your Shepherds Hut require a kitchen? Will you actually need to cook meals from scratch, or just prepare a sandwich? Or do you simply need a place to make a hot beverage? What are the alternatives? What is the best all round option for a B&B?

What Are The Options?

Here are five examples of our kitchens. As our living huts have mostly evolved to meet the needs of pubs, bed & breakfasts, glamping sites and wedding venues, these kitchens are designed to meet the needs of the various types of guest these markets cater to.

(Finishes and Fit Outs Vary)

Tea and Coffee Station

This is the smallest and simplest option, best suited for huts that are set up next to pubs or restaurants that serve food indoors. Like a hotel room, this only needs a kettle, small fridge or coolbox and bottled water so that guests can make use of the complementary tea, coffee and biscuits! It also works conveniently in a garden office or studio where refreshments are required but no cooking takes place. It also requires no water, making it a good off-grid option. It can easily fit into any size of hut.

Hospitality Kitchen

This compact kitchen is perfect for making hot drinks or sandwiches. It features a sink for washing up, a mini fridge, cutlery drawer and a small cupboard which can store crockery, supplies and even a small countertop microwave. It works best when other facilities, such as an outdoor kitchen or a nearby restaurant are present! This is a good choice for our 18ft or 20ft Poachers Huts.

Poachers Kitchen

This improves the Hospitality Kitchen offering with an additional base unit which allows both an undercounter microwave/grill and a 2-ring induction hob on the counter to be included. The additional size allows a full integrated fridge with an ice box and the larger overhead cupboard provides additional storage space, such as a plate rack. This kitchen works well in our mid-range huts ranging from our 18ft Poacher to the 24ft Keeper.

Shepherds Crook Kitchen

Designed specifically for larger huts with a 9ft 6inch width, this L-Shaped kitchen is significantly larger and provides more space for eating and food preparation. The raised splashback helps partition the kitchen area from the living area whilst keeping the space sociable and can either incorporate base unit storage beneath or be left open as a breakfast bar. The fit out includes a sink, integrated fridge, induction hob, microwave and ample storage space. It is also possible to substitute the microwave for a compact cooker. This was designed for our 26ft Keepers Hut although it can be suitable for the 24ft model depending on space requirements.

Lodge Kitchen

Our largest kitchen is rightfully reserved for our largest hut, The Shepherds Lodge, which 11ft 6inch wide. This improves on the Galley Kitchen by adding an additional 600mm of worktop in the L-shaped section, as well as an entire additional unit opposite, creating a walk-through galley with mid-height partitions which really define the kitchen space within the hut without making it feel cramped. This provides yet more preparation space, and the underneath can either provide even more cupboard or drawer storage, or more seating space.

These are just five examples that, from experience, are the most suitable kitchen options for a Shepherd Hut. We also can design a range of bespoke options on request.

Our Advice

We would always recommend keeping the kitchen minimal. We have learned some valuable lessons from our B2B customers and found that smaller kitchens are more often than not the way to go. Here are the main advantages:

  • Space Saving: If you opt for a smaller kitchen, you will inevitably have more space to enjoy, and it opens up more options with regards to the other furnishings.

  • Cost Savings: Bespoke handmade joinery is not cheap, and as such the kitchen can be a significant portion of the overall cost of your hut. Therefore, if you are working to a budget, reducing the kitchen can help to manage the price. We don't tend to fit cheaper or off-the-shelf kitchen units as an alternative, as these ultimately aren't designed to last and will cost more in the long term.

  • Time Saving: For a host who has to clean a Shepherds Hut after check out for their next guests, a kitchen can easily add an hour or more to their changeover time, which is an additional cost. Avoid the aftermath of smelly fry ups by removing the option altogether!

Shepherd Hut Kitchen
If you can't take the hut, stay out of the kitchen!

Another consideration is safety- Most kitchens feature an extractor fan to remove cooking fumes, but due to most huts being fitted with wood burners, these can conflict and prevent proper airflow, meaning that the two should not be used in tandem. It's for this reason we would typically fit a small louvre vent over a hob rather than a full oven hood with an extractor.

The Alternatives

Of course, there is an undeniable appeal to a good kitchen and self-catering guests still need to eat. We can also suggest some options to get around a minimal kitchen offering.

  • Utilise the Outdoors: By providing a suitably equipped sheltered area, you can encourage your guests to keep the cooking- and the mess- outside. You can even invest in a high quality gas barbecue range or pizza oven to increase the appeal. An outdoor kitchen shelter such as our Grill & Chill shack complements our huts and keeps both the guest and the hosts happy.

  • Provide Hampers: Obviously a full English breakfast beats a Continental one any day of the week, but a free Continental is not without its charms! By providing a breakfast hamper to your guests with foods that don't require cooking, you can avoid the oily splatters and the smell of frying bacon in your hut. The same goes for home-cooked meals that just require a ping in the microwave.

  • Eat Out or Order In: In all but the most remote places there are usually a wealth of good places to eat and delivery services. Help out your local pub or restaurants by encouraging your guests to eat out or order takeaway instead!

Most people would love outdoor barbecue and eating shelter like our Grill and Chill Shack in their own garden... Setting one up outside your Shepherds Hut will ensure that your guests do most of their cooking outdoors.

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