No you didn’t see wrong, this IS an actual blog post I am typing right now.
I know. Don’t fall off your chair hun, shocking as it is.
Last week I realised that I was dog free on Friday evening. And my first reaction was this: OMFG THIS NEVER HAPPENS LETS DO SOMETHING LETS FLY TO THE MOON OMG SHALL WE GO TO PARIS?
Luckily one of my good pals was like ‘Babe, calm down. It’s only a night off. Fancy coming to Suffolk?’
And that is how Max & I ended up at Five Acre Barn on Friday evening with our friends and their Miniature Dachshund, Reggie. And boy did we do good.
Now you might have noticed that I’ve been a bit absent on the blog for the past 18392 months and this is for two reasons; one because I’m busy building a dog empire (fo’ real) and two because I literally live in my joggers in my new line of work and rarely go anywhere without 6 dogs in tow. Thus making blogging an extra thing that I really don’t need to be worrying about.
So when I DO come across something that makes me go YAAAAAS, I want to shout about it.
So here’s me shouting about Five Acre Barn – an independent, dog friendly B&B in Leiston, Suffolk run by the lovely David & Bruce.
It was featured in The Guardian, don’t you know. And it has polished concrete floors & wild gardens & enough interior design sass to satisfy the Daniel Hopwood in us all. (If you don’t know who Daniel Hopwood is then you don’t watch ‘The Great Interior Design Challenge’ and we can’t be friends).
I never usually consider staying in B&B’s because the term makes me think of dingy photos on Booking.com, of dark box rooms and bland bed spreads, greasy spoon breakfasts and strange people hosting you in their home. But Five Acre Barn may have just reinvented the term for me and completely turned it on its head.
David & Bruce moved to the site 3 years ago from Peckham and worked with an architect to renovate the old barn into a communal kitchen & lounge space. The architect then went on to design a new adjoining guest wing which boasts 5 rooms. The exterior is pretty striking in amongst all the natural gardens, he/she really has done a fantastic job.
As we rolled up to Five Acre Barn, we were greeted first by David & Bruce’s two gorgeous dogs, Ruby & Lucky (hashtag winning) and secondly with glasses of wine (hashtag double winning). We were then shown our room for the night – room 4 – high ceilings with a mezzanine sleeping area and a terrace overlooking the wild gardens. Twit twoo.
Things I loved; the polished concrete floors, the two skylights that flooded our room with natural light, the big ol’ Ercol chair painted in yellow plonked in the corner of the room, the natural feel of all the materials used, the carefully placed details, the beautiful dressing table topped with a vase of understated wild flowers. And of course, the accepted presence of a dog or two. Just yes. Everything a gal needs to relax.
We were invited to make use of the communal barn space – a kitchen & lounge area decked out just as thoughtfully as the rest of the place. So yes, it IS like a B&B. You ARE sitting in someone elses kitchen and lounge. But that someone is super stylish and contemporary and has great taste in music & art. So yeah, no need to feel weird about it.
That evening we made the short walk to the nearest pub. We’d booked a table for 8pm (‘oh err, that might be a bit late for Suffolk’ was the initial response when booking. Gosh I love a small town). We ate, we drank and we partook in the weekly ‘Meat Raffle’ with the locals. Yup, you read that correctly. Apparently a ‘Meat Raffle’ is a thing. Like instead of winning a hamper of Lush products, you actually win a joint of raw lamb. What a treat.
We finished off the evening with some more drinks in the barn & a few games that we found in the lounge area before retreating back to our cosy rooms for the night.
In the morning we were cooked a superb breakfast by David & Bruce – salmon & eggs with a special request for hollandaise sauce from yours truly. When on holiday, eh. There was also fresh fruit, sourdough toast on demand & freshly brewed coffee. It was delicious, and the table was set with the same attention to detail as everything else.
Basically, I don’t have a bad word to say about the place. The only minor criticism I could give is that the room got very warm during the night. Luckily the rooms are kitted out with a fan to combat the heat that rises up into the mezzanine space.
It was hammering it down with rain when we left (ironically to head off on a camping trip further on in Suffolk) and there was a tiny bit of me that could have stayed one more night. Needless to say we’ll be back (perhaps with a dog or two in tow) for another retreat away from the hustle and bustle.
I’m afraid I didn’t take too many photos, in fact none of the barn space at all, as I wasn’t anticipating doing a post. And besides, I was too busy trying my best to relax – that’s what dog free nights are for right?
Thanks to Five Acre Barn for their excellent hospitality, and to our pals that persuaded us to come along. It was a real treat.