The Old Post Office

A jaw-dropping, TV-featured retreat imaginatively crafted from a grand Norfolk bank, with sumptuous furnishings, complimentary cream teas, and a Hammam spa in the former vault!
  • Sleeps: 12
  • Bedrooms: 3
  • Bathrooms: 4
  • Minimum stay: 1 night

A unique and enthralling retreat, The Old Post Office – or TOPO for short – is beautifully positioned in the ancient, picture-perfect market town of Harleston, at the heart of the Waveney Valley.

Built in 1790, the mesmerising Grade II-listed building was originally the grand Gurney’s Bank, before becoming a post office at the turn of the 20th century.

Staying true to its history and heritage, current owner Claire has also imbued the building with a wealth of creative imagination, and her own enduring love of art, antiques, boutique design, and warm hospitality.

The result is a heady treat for all the senses, recently shown by George Clarke on his Channel Four TV show Remarkable Renovations, as a prime example of a “beautifully restored building” that “perfectly balances the old and new.”

Feast your eyes on delights that include a glistening chandelier from the Savoy, and an Art Deco chaise longue that once belonged to the celebrated designer, Tom Ford. Then, wander up the breath-taking spiral staircase to the first floor, where you’ll find three stunning bedrooms to choose from, sleeping up to 12 lucky guests in total.  

The Gurney Room is a superking suite with a gold leather four-poster bed, a lavish marble fireplace, and a gorgeous cast-iron bath, while the Shakespeare Room is an elegant twin bedchamber, featuring 18th century French bedsteads and delicate handmade drapes.

Named and themed in tribute to those beautiful Norfolk surroundings, the Waveney Room sleeps up to eight guests, for the swankiest sleepover imaginable! Each downy bed is kingsize, with soft Farrow & Ball-painted frames, and a ‘proper’ set of stairs to access the top bunk. Meanwhile, the muted colour palette is pure English countryside, accented by whitewashed original floorboards.

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At a glance

  • Featured on George Clarke’s Remarkable Renovations, a former grand bank and post office in Harleston, opulently transformed into a three-bedroom retreat sleeping up to 12 guests.
  • Choose from a twin room, a kingsize master suite, and a luxurious sleepover-ready bunk room sleeping up to 8 guests, all with en-suite facilities.
  • You’ll be greeted with a complimentary cream tea, which can be upgraded to a full afternoon tea on request… perfect for a special treat! A delicious breakfast is included in your stay, and additional dining options are available.
  • The bank’s former vault is home to a sumptuous Hammam Spa, use of which is included in your stay. Luxury spa kits can be purchased, and you can also treat yourself to a massage from in-house therapists.
  • Explore the town and the Waveney Valley at your leisure, or take a bespoke guided tour of the local vineyards and historic sites, available to book for your stay.

Features

  • Large Groups

Facilities

Luxury guest house, sleeps 12 guests in total.  Gurney Room: superking gold leather four-poster bed, designer sofa, marble fireplace, cast-iron in-room bath, en-suite bathroom.  Shakespeare Room: twin beds with antique French bedsteads, handmade drapes, USB sockets, Bluetooth wireless ceiling speakers, fireplace, selection of books, en-suite bathroom.  Waveney Room: kingsize quadruple bunk bed with staircase, 2 en-suite bathrooms.  Use of galleried library and Hammam spa, breakfast each morning.

Local Activities

Walking, cycling, guided tours, vineyards, shops, pubs, cafés, restaurants, tearooms, historic sites, museums

More information

As if all this outrageous luxury wasn’t quite enough, you’ll be offered a complimentary cream tea on arrival, which can be upgraded to afternoon tea for a special treat. (A genuine foodie, Claire is a big fan of afternoon tea, even running a hugely popular Facebook page, The Great British Tea Party!)

But if you’re really in the mood for a treat, head for the glorious Hammam Spa, magnificently housed in the bank’s former vault.  Here you can relax amongst soothing aromatherapy, chromatherapy mood-lighting, and even a massage from experienced in-house therapists.  

Inspired by Claire’s part-Lebanese heritage, Hammam means “spreader of warmth” in Arabic. And you’ll certainly feel unadulterated warmth – not to mention good-hearted fun – radiating throughout TOPO. Particularly if you time your stay for an ‘Arabian Nights’ event, which includes belly-dancing and indulgent Lebanese mezze-dining.  

Yes, you could head out and explore the many charms of the local area – guided tours with meals and activities are even available to book from TOPO.  

But as you relax in the spectacular galleried library with your loved ones, drink of choice in hand, you may decide that you already have everything you could need for a beautiful and memorable break.

Things to note

Check in from 2pm, check out by 10am. Single room stays are available from Tuesday – Thursday for 2 or 3 nights (3 nights Tuesday – Friday). There are no TVs in the guest rooms, though you’ll be having far too much fun to notice! Please note that the host lives on-site, on the second floor.

Where you'll be staying

What the guests of The Old Post Office say

“Claire is an absolute delight and the whole experience at the old post office was relaxing and beautiful. We did the Hamman spa, with atlas mountain clay, rose water face spritz followed by a beautiful massage. Highly recommend for anyone!”

“Thank you Claire we both had the most amazing time, everything was perfect from the time we arrived till our departure. You made us feel completely pampered and well looked after. Highly recommend your retreat, all the best for the future, keep true to your heart as we loved all that you offered and will be back.”

“We spent a wonderful weekend at TOPO, some of us were returning guests. Once again Claire was the perfect host, she is so accommodating. We had a fun night with delicious food along with Kaythe Belly-Dancer for our entertainment. We all left feeling relaxed and glowing on Sunday after our time spent in the Hammam. Thank you Claire we all loved your beautiful retreat in the perfect location.”

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