About last weekend. What can I tell you? We had a perfect escape to beautiful part of Suffolk, a few minutes drive from the coastal town of Southwold. The weather was typically autumnal. Wild, windy and wet one minute, then low sun and hazy light the next.
Though - for much of it - we stayed indoors and had something of a film watching marathon beside the open fire. Biscuits at the ready, coffee on tap. Not for a lack of activities as there were plenty on offer. More because sometimes we all need to take a few days off don't we?
For a few months now we have been looking forward to a stay at Wilderness. Situated in Sibton Park Estates grounds, there are several luxury self catering houses. Each has it's own distinct character - from the manor house with it's fourteen bedrooms, to a single bedroom at the gate lodges. It's fair to say most party sizes could be accommodated here.
Actually we were spoiled a little, our party of five stayed in the four bedroom Garden Cottage, which can sleep twelve, thanks to the most amazing bunk beds I have ever seen.
We arrived late on Friday (thank you M25) to be greeted at the traditional sweet shop and shown to our cottage. Our first impression of the estate was darkness. It was such a lovely surprise to wake up to views of parkland and grazing sheep.
We walked back to the sweet shop in Saturday to fill a paper bag with treats for the children. The shop is just as you would imagine, filled with shelves (some higher than I can reach), each one lined with jars of traditional sweets. Possibly the best 'reception' I have ever seen. And my girls chose wisely with marshmallows and bon bons filling the bag to almost overflowing.
As I mentioned above, we stayed in Garden Cottage. A four bedroom, four bathroom, single story cottage with brick flooring and high ceilings. The main feature of the open plan living space is an incredible fireplace inspired by the green man of Suffolk. We lit the fire in the evenings, although the cottage was already toasty warm thanks to underfloor heating, because there's nothing quite like the crackle of an open fire...
Obviously the colour scheme was made for me - monochrome with natural hues and pink? Sold. We even came home with a plan to possibly paint the back of our house a Suffolk pink next year - inspired by the farmhouse at Wilderness. Rest assured that's a half discussed plan I will definitely be revisiting with the husband.
I am reliably informed that this bunk bed is the best one we have met, ever.
Not to mention the old well under glass in the kitchen floor, 30ft deep and fascinating to check the rise and fall of water after rain. Anna was unable to walk past it without a commentary on the current position of the water.
We had our own family sized group of complimentary Pashley Bicycles to use for the weekend too. These simple details really make such a difference to a short getaway.
Wilderness wears autumn well, from the beautiful old oak trees in the parkland to the smell of woodsmoke from the accommodation, our weekend was a wonderful autumn retreat. Well, aside from the ear-aching blustery winds on our visit to Walberswick beach. But then what else should we expect for a November weekend really?
And the hazy light made up for it...
I can only imagine how wonderful it would be to stay in Wilderness during the summer months when their wildflowers are in bloom, I guess that it would be somewhere close to perfect.
Thank you Wilderness for a lovely weekend escape!