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Retreat East, Hemingstone, Suffolk
Surrounded by fields, this swish, comfortable retreat feels wonderfully remote. It's ideal for anyone wanting a quiet break, but offers plenty of low-key things to do - such as pony trekking, axe-throwing, archery, Nordic walking, yoga, cycling and clay pigeon shooting. The retreat is centred around the Great Barn, which serves as the restaurant and has inviting sofas, slate floors, exposed beams, a large brick fireplace and huge windows that let the light flood in. A blue-walled bar area sports a bright blue billards table and there's an attractive spa. Once an old dairy farm, some of the 14 guests' barns are original, others sympathetically designed new-builds. There's also a farmhouse with its own lawned garden, sleeping eight. Features like vaulted ceilings, brick, tiled or wood floors, earthy colour schemes and cosy interiors enhance the lovely rural feel.
Surrounded by acres of beautiful countryside and plenty of inspiring walks, the peaceful rural location ensures relaxation from the word go.
The pretty seaside town of Aldeburgh is a 40-minute drive away.
By car: around 1 hour 10 minutes from Norwich, 2 hours 30 minutes from London and 3 hours 30 minutes from Birmingham or Sheffield. There is free parking on-site.
By train: there are direct lines to Ipswich from London Liverpool Street (1 hour 10 minutes), Cambridge (1 hour 15 minutes) and Norwich (40 minutes). Retreat East is around 25-minutes drive from Ipswich Station. thetrainline.com
Style & Character
A wide range of guests of all ages stay here, either for a health break or simply for a relaxing, indulgent time away. The attention to detail makes this place: the abundance of slate and tiled floors, characterful furniture, jute rugs, exposed beams, floral arrangements and much more.
Service & Facilities
Retreat East combines a tranquil rural retreat with lots of comfort and all the mod cons, which makes for a delightful country break. Well-behaved pets are welcome in all rooms, and there are dog treats at reception, a dog-washing station and dog bowls. Dog walking can be arranged.
- Billiards room
- Free Wi-Fi
- Free parking
Most barns have a comfortable combined kitchen, dining and living area, and feel spacious and uncluttered. The well-chosen features include antique furniture, beautifully-patterned curtains, rustic flooring and characterful old books.
The Farmhouse, The Burrow, The Cow House, The Roost, The Sett, The Stables, The Den, The Granary, The Hayloft, The Hive, The Little Warren, The Nook, The Little Hive, The Piggery, The Warren
Facilities include: ensuite bathroom, kitchen, private porch, TV, free Wi-Fi
Food & Drink
The varied menu choices could include anything from braised ox cheek to bean cassoulet, beef tartare to citrus posset. There are cocktails and a good wine list too. The charcuterie is attractively presented on a wooden platter, with sourdough, cured meats, cheddar and salad leaves, and homemade humous, olives and a rich chicken liver pate in little clay pots.
Great Barn Restaurant: relaxed, modern British cuisine, local produce. Open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Dinner mains from £16.