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Vines from Ickworth House

Having visited Ickworth House last in October 2012 for the first time we found that they were selling off all the established grapevines in order to re-instate the vineyard to the way it would have been around the turn of the last century. It seemed a terrible shame that they were doing that as I don’t really see what harm a vineyard was doing to the look of the place! Continue reading Vines from Ickworth House

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Review of Woodfarm Barns in DogFriendly Magazine

We had a fab review in DogFriendly Magazine – October 2012

“Carl has set a high standard and I can understand why his properties are popular with dogowners, especially those who appreciate the finer things in life”

The moat by Crowfield Church

Our long-awaited review by Dogfriendly Magazine is live online – it’s for their members only though so you’ll have to make do with this if you’re not a subscriber Continue reading Review of Woodfarm Barns in DogFriendly Magazine

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100 Five Star Tripadvisor reviews for our Suffolk Holiday Cottages

Blowing my trumpet in my Suffolk holiday cottages

This post dates all the way back to 2012, we now have many hundreds of reviews on many different review sites. 
Click here to find out more…

A major milestone for my Suffolk holiday cottages! I’m delighted to announce that we have now hit 100 Five Star reviews on Tripadvisor. And that’s out of 100 reviews! Doesn’t get much better than that eh?

Tripadvisor Certificate Of Excellence for our luxury holiday cottages in SuffolkI’m fairly good at blowing by own trumpet but this one takes the biscuit! I offer no apologies other than to say I know it’s a bugle, not a trumpet but it was the closest I have!

I created a business from scratch and with the help of an awesome team we now have 100 reviews on Tripadvisor, ALL of which are FIVE STARS! Nothing less. I am so chuffed!

Frustrating times building my holiday cottages in SuffolkI have worked my socks off here for the last six years turning a delapidated farmhouse, a derelict barn and an overgrown meadow into seven luxurious, dog-friendly Suffolk holiday cottages, that have inspired 100 people to take time out of their day and give us FIVE STARS on one of the most trusted accommodation review sites on the planet! I spent many years banging my head against a wall getting planning permission and money but I did it (that isn’t me in the photo by the way!)

I made that happen! Anyone who doesn’t think I should say so, doesn’t know me, is free to not carry on reading, and as I said, I offer no apologies. I’ve literally given blood (quite a lot), sweat (a lot more!) and tears (yep, some) to this place and I’ve earnt those reviews. Feel free to read all 100 if you wish, along with the thousands of reviews on our website taken from our guest books, for which I am equally grateful

Five Star have never stayed at our luxury holiday cottages in SuffolkAs the reviews started coming in, I kept thinking that one day we’ll get a Four Star, or maybe even a One Star and I’m sure we will as you really cannot please everyone but no-one can ever take away from me the fact that we got to 100, genuine guest reviews on Tripadvisor, without dropping a single star! No, we won’t stop trying to keep them all at Five Stars either. Didn’t I mention we have 100 Five Star Tripadvisor reviews? This is a group from the 80’s called Five Star. They have never stayed here or to my knowledge, ever heard of us but I thought I’d throw it in to ram home the point about us getting Five Stars!

My aim has always been to make my guests happy, that’s what I do. I don’t measure the success or otherwise of my business in financial terms at all. I look at occupancy and how satisfied those guests are. The first thing I do when guests leave is to look at their feedback. My ethos is genuinely to look after those two things and ensure that we get it right, because if I can’t make money that way then something isn’t right

We’ve only been listed on Tripadvisor since January 2014. I was initally worried about actually going on there as it used to have a lot of bad press. I’d heard horror stories of places being slated on there by their competitors posing as guests and also of bad places getting rave reviews. From their friends! I didn’t want any part of that. Thankfully times have changed and Tripadvisor responded to this by ensuring that establishments had to confirm that a ‘guest’ was genuine otherwise they weren’t able to post a review. And added to that, I don’t have 100 friends!

Guest book in our luxury self-catering dog-friendly holiday cottagesAll our reviews are genuinely from happy guests who have stayed here and taken their time to write about us on an independent site and rate us Five Stars! I cannot begin to tell you how proud I am of this and how grateful I am to each of those guests for doing so

Here’s the first and the hundredth reviews, just in case you don’t have time to read them all!

31st January 2014 – Sandra and Andy

“Most wonderful way to spend few days with the family.”

“Could not rate it high enough. Beatiful quiet place. Thousands of DVDs in case you love movies. Breakfast basket that also contain home made bread! We stayed 3 days and cannot wait to come back again, which we did in September. Lovely bedroom, fire place, garden, cooking facilities. Everything was absolutely spot on! Even our baby girl enjoyed herself! Thank you Carl and the team!!!”

August 16th 2015 – Catherine 
 
“Perfect and relaxing”

“We had a wonderful week in Alde Barn. It had everything we needed and more for a cosy, relaxing stay. The breakfast basket was much appreciated as was the coffee machine. We enjoyed sitting in the private garden and made good use of the extensive DVD library and the herb garden. The barn was in a great location for touring suffolk which is full of beautiful villages and lovely, not too strenuous walks. It was close to some excellent, independent food stores and farm shops and close enough to the coast for fresh fish and oysters. The barn was full of useful information about what to do and where to eat and shop. We loved our first visit to Suffolk – it is a real get away from it all destination and Alde Barn was the perfect base”

So how can I thank our lovely holiday cottage guests?

So, other than to maintain our standards and work diligently every week to keep our guests happy, what am I going to do to say thank you to all those people? Well I have decided to give them all a bottle of Champagne when they next stay, as well as giving back what I’ve called ‘100 for 100’

The first three to re-book a break any time from now will each get £100 off! Yep, a £100 thank you

No competition. Just my little way of saying thank you. This was not done as an incentive as none of those lovely guests knew they’d get anything in return and it never occurred to me that we would reach this amazing milestone. If you are one of those lovely 100 people, I will be emailing you but feel free to ring me to book!

How am I going to thank my lovely team that work so hard keeping the place looking great? Well, I’m taking them all out for dinner next week. It’s a tough life but someone’s gotta do it!

Thank you to all those who took the time to write such kind words and to all those who did the same in our guest books as we have well over a thousand of those!

As I write, we’ve actually now had 101 so I’m aiming for 200! Haha, you can’t please all of the people all of the time so I don’t expect we’ll hit that but I’m over the moon about getting to 100 and no-one can ever take that away from me

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Guests taking full advantage of all we have to offer!

On the weekend of June 29th 2013 we had the utmost pleasure of accommodating the Humphries family to Celebrate Graham’s (The Clan Boss!) 80th birthday, booking both Woodfarm House & The Granary Barn for the weekend over a year ago

Meticulously planned, with more precision than most military operations by the lovely Frances (The actual Clan Boss!) a great time was had by all. She took full advantage of lots of our local ‘business partners’, all of whom provided the family with total satisfaction. Rather than me waffle on, see what Frances wrote to me afterwards;

“I chose Woodfarm Barns in which to celebrate my husband’s ‘big’ birthday with three adult children and their partners. It is a truly special place and allowed me to indulge my love of Suffolk with my family.

We arrived on Friday afternoon.  The accommodation was simply stunning with amazing attention to detail. There was even a spare bottle of wine on hand in case we ran out of booze! We found a generous ‘welcome box’ of goodies on the worktop and a beautiful arrangement of fresh flowers, pre-ordered from a local florist, on the kitchen table.

After an informal supper we spent time exploring our surrounding and generally settling in.

On Saturday the party split up in order to enable everyone to visit places of their own choice.  Alternatives were numerous which made decisions very difficult! However Framlingham Castle, Aldeburgh  and Bressingham were decided upon.  Also of particular interest to some was a nearby wild flower meadow which happened to be open for the day.  

On Saturday evening we ate at the unique 745pm Restaurant, only five miles away. The meal consisted of a set menu of superbly presented fine food in a relaxed and friendly environment with a choice of reasonably priced wines. A truly memorable experience.

Sunday morning was spent ‘chilling out’ with the Sunday papers. Some took a leisurely stroll down the road to the ancient and diminutive Crowfield church.

At lunch time we were joined by other members of the family including some of the grandchildren.

Seventeen of us sat down to a traditional Sunday lunch at The Highwayman – one of several reputable hostelries nearby.  David and Olga did us proud.  We took over their conservatory which was bedecked with streamers and balloons and where the ‘fizz’ was on ice awaiting our arrival!

After lunch and lots of chat we all went back to Woodfarm House where we sat in the garden enjoying the sun.  At tea time we shared the birthday cake, made locally and secretly delivered earlier.

Before our guests departed, arrangements were made for a photographer to call. This provided a great opportunity for some professional family photos on a very special occasion.

On Monday morning our time was up so sadly we had to leave.  I am sure that some of us at least will be back!

It was a truly memorable weekend.  A little plotting behind the scenes with some local services raised it to another level”

I love getting feedback like that!

Huge thanks to our local partners for helping everything go with a bang;

David Wicks of 745pm

David & Olga Parry of The Highwayman

Elizabeth Tunstall for the wonderful flowers – Facebook

Janette Gibbons of Beautiful Bakes for the fab cake! – Facebook

Vicky Dreher of Simplicity Photo’s for capturing the group on camera – Facebook

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Suffolk Wedding from our luxury holiday cottages

Wedding preparations in our luxury Suffolk holiday cottage

We are becoming increasingly popular with brides and grooms using our luxury Suffolk holiday cottages as a base for their Suffolk Wedding. We work very closely with ‘All Manor of Events’, a great Suffolk Wedding venue just ten minutes from us and we recently worked together, helping to make Kyla and Charlie’s wedding special Continue reading Suffolk Wedding from our luxury holiday cottages

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A Suffolk Holiday Cottage for my Ollyday

Most of the time I write these Blog Posts myself so it’s lovely when someone writes them for me. This one is a bit different as although it’s been sent in by a guest, it’s actually dog that has written it. Apparently! Steve & Mike came here in 2014 so when they added Olly to the household they naturally came back to their favourite dog-friendly Suffolk Holiday Cottages for his first Ollyday Continue reading A Suffolk Holiday Cottage for my Ollyday

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Suffolk Wedding accommodation with our luxury holiday cottages

wedding venue bedroom

Weddings and wedding parties have become ever more popular at our Suffolk holiday cottages. We have always had one or two wedding parties use our holiday cottages as a base to celebrate, and 2015 is seeing more and more brides and grooms choosing our relaxed rural surroundings for their Suffolk wedding accommodation
Crowfield Church for your Suffolk Wedding

With a gorgeous Church next door to us and a number of great wedding venues in the area, our Suffolk holiday cottages provide the ideal base to accommodate family and friends in the run up to your special day and the celebrations that follow

Suffolk wedding parties at our romantic, luxurious holiday cottagesOur large holiday cottage, Woodfarm House sleeps 7 adults and is very popular with Bride & Groom’s families, with the happy couple themselves often taking the Granary next door and then groups of family and friends taking the other barns, making a weekend of it. We can sleep up to 19 adults, plus toddlers and dogs and as we can offer two and three night weekends from Friday night, it’s perfect to plan the wedding in the middle

Romantic Suffolk weddings at our luxurious holiday cottagesWe always meet with prospective wedding guests and show them around to ensure that you’ll feel at home here and I think that’s the key. Many guests over the years say that our holiday cottages feel so homely and we want to provide an alternative part of your wedding plans to let you celebrate in truly relaxed surroundings

Weddings in Suffolk

Suffolk Wedding parties at our luxury holiday cottagesWe don’t hold weddings here so you’ll need to find the venue that suits you. What we do do is provide an environment to add some calm to a fairly stressful event, in countryside surroundings and a chilled out, homely feel we have with all our luxury holiday cottages. The other advantage is the ‘flexibility’ of our accommodation, in that you can rent our large Woodfarm House and ‘bolt-on’ as many of our smaller luxury holiday cottage barns as you need

Wedding accommodation in Suffolk with our luxury Suffolk holiday cottagesThe other part of the ‘flexibility’ of our luxury holiday cottages is that we our arrival and departure days are Friday, Sunday and Monday. Previous weddings’ guests have taken Woodfarm House from the Monday before the wedding, with guests arriving on the Friday for the wedding weekend, leaving either on the Sunday or the Monday, so our Suffolk holiday cottages can provide wedding accommodation for whatever part of your celebrations and wedding plans suit you.

We have a growing number of Suffolk weddings with local guests utilising our holiday cottages for their wedding guests coming from far and wide and there is also the room for you to invite local family and friends for drinks too

We’re not Wedding Planners in Suffolk, but we do have friends in everything from wedding catering to wedding flowers…

There’s so much to plan and whilst we are definitely not wedding planners, we have teamed up with a small number of local ‘business partners’ that you can tap into for extra wedding services should you need it. Our local partners that can help your Luxury Wedding break go with a swing are:

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Michelin Star trained Chef Mark Peters of
Just Imagine Foods
Bespoke wedding catering at our luxury Suffolk holiday cottages

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Debbie and her ‘pampering’ team at
The Beauty BarnWedding beauty treatments at our luxury Suffolk holiday cottages

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Bob Scott of
Niche Cocktails

Hen and wedding party cocktails at our luxury Suffolk holiday cottages

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Independent florist
Elizabeth Tunstall Flowers

Wedding flowers by Suffolk Florist Elizabeth Tunstall especially for our holiday cottages

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Janette Gibbons, independent cake maker at Beautiful Bakes

Bespoke wedding cakes from Suffolk designer Beautiful Bakes

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Check out their web links and do give any of them a call to tell them that you are looking at staying here and have a chat with them about what they can offer you. They are all friends of mine who have worked here making our guests happy as part of their wedding celebrations and will totally tailor-make a package to suit your needs and budget. Again, you can pick and mix what services will suit your wedding

Suffolk Wedding Marquee

Suffolk wedding marquee hire

If you are renting all of our cottages for the weekend then we also have an experienced local marquee firm who can erect a small marquee with all the trimmings as a ‘bolt-on’ extra for a drinks reception if you need extra space for your local wedding guests. Contact Suffolk Marquees directly for a chat

 

 

Suffolk Wedding Venues near our luxury holiday cottages

We have also teamed up with a small number of fabulous, experienced Suffolk Wedding venues that do not have (or have very limited) accommodation:

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Crows Hall

Crows Hall suffolk wedding venue near our luxury holiday cottages

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All Manor of Events

Suffolk wedding at All Manor of Events near our holiday cottages

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Columbine Hall

Suffolk wedding at Columbine Hall near our holiday cottages

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All of our luxury holiday cottages have the ‘Visit England’ Gold Award

We were delighted to be awarded the Visit England Gold Award, reflecting the quality and luxury you can expect here, not to mention our Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence for consistent outstanding reviews. At the time of writing we have almost 100 Five Star Tripadvisor reviews.

EnjoyEngland Gold award for all our Suffolk holiday cottages Tripadvisor excellence in our Suffolk Holiday Cottages

So to have a chat or arrange to come and have look around, why not give me a call to discuss your plans?

Carl Scott

01449 710032 or 07810 371218

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Hen party at our luxury Suffolk holiday cottages

What a great weekend we just had with Tina’s Hen Party of 17 girlfriends enjoying the relaxing surroundings of our holiday cottages in the heart of the Suffolk countryside. We are getting more and more popular with hen parties who are looking for an alternative to impersonal modern hotels, yet still able to tap into beauty packages and other luxurious treats

Continue reading Hen party at our luxury Suffolk holiday cottages