Tried and Tested: The Round House, Easton, Suffolk
Sometimes, when life gets a bit too hectic, you need to get back into the slow lane - sit back and enjoy the view. When this feeling takes hold, we recommend a trip to Best of Suffolk's beautifully renovated Round House.
This chocolate box pretty (and deceptively spacious) gem in the historic village of Easton was our destination for a summer short break, and couldn't have been more perfectly suited to our intention to indulge in a bit of R&R.
Sleeping up to 6 guests (plus one furry friend!) and surrounded by a huge garden with plenty of space to spread out, it promised to be an idyllic countryside retreat so anticipation was high on the journey from our base in seaside Essex to rural Suffolk.
Before checking in though, we decided to head to one of our favourite Suffolk spots, the lovely Aldeburgh (above) - a charming seaside town with shingle beach, pretty cottages and lots of independent shops and cafes. We took a sunny walk along the picturesque seafront and then back through the narrow streets around the town admiring the cottage gardens full of colourful towering hollyhocks and taking in the fresh air (as well as the obligatory ice-cream of course).
Then it was time to go and check in to our accommodation, which was a pleasant 30 minute drive from the coast, nestled on the edge of the lovely village of Easton. The handy Best of Suffolk sign by the entrance to the property meant we didn't miss our turning, and as we pulled into the large gated driveway we were met with the prettiest view.
The Round House itself was a glorious sight with its red brick walls, thatched roof, traditional sash windows and perfectly curvy exterior. Built around the late 19th century, it had clearly not lost any of its charm over the years and felt a little like stepping back in time to an altogether simpler era. We were also impressed at the size of the garden, which was a wide expanse of lush green grass beyond which laid a fenced-off pond which was also part of the grounds. Our little dog set off to make his own explorations of the area, and then settled himself on the patio by the house to survey his kingdom from his new favourite spot.
Stepping inside through the solid oak front door it was immediately evident to us that this historic building had been very carefully and lovingly renovated to a high standard, making the most of the quirky shape and features, with luxurious décor and clever touches throughout.
One of my favourite features was the clever way that the concealed uplighting had been installed around the coving following the curve of the walls and giving a really soft, homely effect that set off the cosy country cottage feel perfectly.
To the right of the entrance was the ground floor bedroom, with its sumptuous looking kingsize bed, chic lighting and ensuite bathroom with rainfall shower. To the left was the lounge which was kitted out with comfy sofas and chairs and a large flatscreen tv, and then a small hallway with an extra WC.
Into the lovely open plan ultra modern kitchen, dining area and conservatory with its stunning high beamed ceiling which allowed the light to come flooding through, we could tell we were going to be very happy here!
Upstairs we found two more stylish bedrooms, each with kingsize zip-link beds, beautiful arched windows with shutters through which the glorious surrounding countryside views could be fully appreciated - and another quirky feature, the luxurious shared ‘Jack and Jill' bathroom which could be accessed from either bedroom (and locked from the inside when in use to prevent unwanted visitors from next door!).
Having explored the house, we decided that on a sunny afternoon such as this, the conservatory was the perfect space to relax and enjoy the view, so we threw open the double doors and settled down there for a drink and to discuss the all-important eating arrangements for the evening.
Being our usual unprepared selves, we hadn't brought anything with us so we were relieved to find that Saffron Indian restaurant in Woodbridge delivered to the house. We ordered a feast of epic proportions. It arrived right on time and was utterly delicious - highly recommended if you are planning a stay here!
With full bellies we spent some time out on the patio enjoying the sounds of nature, and then retired to the comfy sofas in the lounge before popping outside again before bed to capture the Round House all lit up against the dark, as it looked so magical - see our photographic evidence above for proof!
The next day was gloriously sunny again, so after a hearty breakfast in the bright and airy open plan kitchen-diner to set us up for the day (and despite the fact that we were tempted to stay put and enjoy the huge, sunny garden) we decided to head out for a trip to Thorpeness, a lovely coastal village close to Aldeburgh, and home to the famous ‘House in the Clouds'.
This was my first trip to Thorpeness but it had always been on my to do list as I was keen to see another of its attractions, a rather special lake called The Meare which is the centrepiece of the village. Covering around sixty acres, dotted with lots of little islands and with the water no more than three feet deep at any point, it is the perfect family-friendly boating lake. Peter Pan creator J.M. Barrie named each island on the lake, and if you look closely you'll spot a (thankfully fake) crocodile in our photo above.
We enjoyed a lovely serene walk around the lake, stopped for lunch and yet more ice-cream outside the café at the friendly Meare Tea Rooms (below), and popped in to the fascinating Thorpeness Emporium for a browse at the antiques, vintage and collectables on offer, emerging with some bargains.
The late afternoon sunshine led us back to the Round House, and the rest of the afternoon was spent lazing in the huge garden, indulging in cream teas on the lawn - well, it'd be rude not to when in such a quintessentially English setting! Oscar the dog returned to his favourite spot, where he insisted on lazing until well after the sun had set beyond the trees.
All too soon, it was time to leave our Round House retreat - but as with all the best holidays, the after-effects and happy memories always endure. We consoled ourselves with a mutually agreed plan to return before not too long.
Why not take a look around the Round House in our video below, and if you would like to book up a stay, you can find out more here.