Welcome to the latest edition of the Best of Suffolk ‘Tried and Tested’ blog series, featuring Meant to Be – a truly luxurious holiday apartment ideal for a couple looking for a romantic, relaxing break in Aldeburgh.
It was ‘Meant to Be’ that our Marketing Manager Abi and her partner Adam were in Aldeburgh for a long weekend in the latest #TriedandTested!
In this edition, Abi and Adam enjoyed the ultimate ‘couples weekend’ in Aldeburgh. Not only did they have a luxurious sleeps 2 apartment in Aldeburgh as their base called Meant to Be, but they also ticked off several ‘dates’ over their weekend! A delicious meal out, long beach walks, mini golf and watching the sunrise to name a few. Find out about their #TriedandTested and Meant to Be now.
What’s Tried and Tested?
Where have you been?! This is our eighteenth edition of the long-running #TriedandTested blog series, awarded ‘Highly Commended’ at the recent East of England Tourism Awards, which puts our stylish places to stay to the test by real families. The Best of Suffolk team are all local residents, so we love getting out and about in our glorious county. We sleep, cook and relax in each property, as well as head off for adventures and days out. We share with you our experience using candid photos taken on our phones, without filters or any professional photography equipment. What you see is what you get, and we’re very proud of that!
Meant to Be, Aldeburgh
Sitting in the heart of Aldeburgh, Meant to Be is a two storey self-catering apartment with a difference! Dripping in luxury, wonderful finishing touches and renovated to the highest standard. You will find designer furnishings and fabrics combined with quality appliances and fittings, to create a luxurious sanctuary where guests can leave the world behind them and completely unwind.
The owners knew that this was ‘Meant To Be’ their holiday home as soon as they saw it and have introduced their exquisite style throughout. Sash windows are dressed in designer fabrics from the likes of Jason de Souza; washed oak floors are adorned with colourful rugs and clever lighting allows you to choose your mood. A beautiful bespoke kitchen/breakfast room sits on the first floor next to the supremely elegant living room with a modern wood burner; the sensual bedroom and glamorous bathroom sit at the top of the house.
Location, Location, Location!
Meant To Be is in the heart of Aldeburgh’s vibrant town centre, above the second hand bookshop and conveniently close to the East of England Co-Operative. There’s an excellent range of restaurants, pubs, takeaways, individual shops and galleries, as well as an independent cinema literally on the doorstep.
The pebble beach with iconic fish huts selling fresh fish daily, promenade, boating pond and the historic Moot Hall are all within minutes of this stunning apartment.
There are wonderful walks along the coast to Thorpeness, passing the famous Scallop shell sculpture to the north or to the Martello Tower to the south. Plus there are pretty walks around the nearby Aldeburgh Marshes and to Snape, just five miles away, with its renowned concert hall, Aldeburgh Music, plus the Maltings with a variety of shops including kitchen, homeware, delicatessen, clothing, furniture and antiques.
Arriving in Style
We arrived in Aldeburgh in the late afternoon on our first day in glorious winter sunshine and easily found Meant to Be thanks to the trusty Best of Suffolk Arrival Details. You could not be more centrally located with a stay at Meant to Be. Conveniently located above Reeds bookshop, you have everything on your doorstep. We were able to pull up outside in one of the half-hour bays and unload.
After excitedly looking round our luxurious home for the weekend, unloading and moving the car, we decided to make the most of the late afternoon winter sun and head to the beach for a walk and watch the sunset. Now, as an easterly-facing coast Aldeburgh will grant you wonderful sunrises over the sea, but sunsets will be over the opposite side. We enjoyed the refreshing walk and feeling the sunshine on our backs as we walked along.
Local Amenities on Your Doorstep
After our breath of fresh air we decided to head out in search of a few essentials for our stay. You could not be better located for Aldeburgh’s independent shops and national names at Meant to Be. As time was getting on, we decided for convenience to head to the East of England Co-op which sits literally next door to Meant to Be. Open until 9pm most evenings we could stock up on essentials for our weekend ahead.
The welcome pack at Meant to Be comprised a delicious bottle of red and some tasty cheese straws. We tucked into these as we unpacked and pottered about in the kitchen.
Cooking up a Storm
We decided to stay in on our first evening and make use of the wonderfully equipped kitchen at Meant to Be. Steak salad was on the menu, and chef Adam felt very much at home using the induction hob and quality pans provided. After our meal the dishwasher was an added bonus as it meant no-one had to do the washing up and we could both relax, exactly as a holiday should be!
After all that fresh air and delicious food, we headed to the luxury of the sitting room at Meant to Be. Not only does it have a plush sofa and comfy, fluffy foot stools to really recline and relax, it also have a wood burning stove. I didn’t expect to find a wood burner in a first and second floor apartment, so this is a real touch of unexpected luxury that we particularly enjoyed.
We curled up, enjoyed a glass of wine, played some relaxing music on the bluetooth speaker and watched the fire crackle.
Soon enough it was time for bed! Meant to Be is a super-luxurious sleeps 2 apartment over two floors. The bedroom and bathroom occupancy the upper floor and no expense has been spared with making your stay as comfortable as possible.
King Bedroom with Sea View
This opulent bedroom is furnished with a king size bed, armoire, dressing table, bedside tables and a chair. You can see the see over the tops of Aldeburgh’s Victorian buildings too!
We awoke after a wonderful night’s sleep and decided to treat ourselves to a delicious bakery breakfast from Two Magpies. Renowned in Aldeburgh for its queue (no matter the time of year or the weather!) we headed off in search of pastries and coffee and were not disappointed.
We arrived just in time to snap up the very last cinnamon swirl (you must try them, it’s their speciality!) and a granola bar as well as two fresh coffees. As the café was having a makeover, we walked back in a few minutes to our wonderful apartment and enjoyed our breakfast with fresh fruit in the bright and cheery dining area.
Design and Flair
The thing I really love about Meant to Be is the owners personal taste and flair for colour and bold patterns. The wall paper in the kitchen is particularly eye catching and is an homage to the fish shop which used to be underneath the apartment.
We had chatted over breakfast that it was the perfect weather to head out for the day, ideally on foot to make the most of the winter sunshine. Meant to Be has a wonderful selection of local literature and walking maps which the owners have carefully compiled for guests to use and enjoy during their stay. I made a fresh herbal tea (kindly supplied by the owners) and took a look through to plan our day.
A Long Beach Walk
We decided to walk to Thorpeness, approximately 5km away along the beach. The route is a mix of path, pebbles, sand and grass patches, so solid walking boots recommended! As you set from from the door of Meant to Be, within moments you’re at Aldeburgh’s gorgeous beach. Turn left and walk past the fishing huts, boating lake and Moot Hall. Carry on until the path runs out, then carry on some more!
Maggie Hambling – The Scallop
On your way you’ll pass the famous Scallop sculpture. Designed by local artist Maggi Hambling as a tribute to composer Benjamin Britten, it’s much bigger in person than you expect!
As you carry on towards Thorpeness, you’ll soon come across a traditional stone structure known as a cairn. Local artist Henry Fletcher from Thorpeness crafted the structure on the village’s beach using local coralline crag stone during the Beast from the East Two.
Thorpeness has a unique fairytale charm which is conducive to relaxation, created by an eccentric Scottish barrister in the last century who then transformed it into a fantastical seaside village for London’s rich and famous.
The Meare, a shallow boating lake, is at the centre of the village, dotted with islands all inspired by the famous novel Peter Pan provide a place where families can while away the time in the summer on rowing boats and kayaks which are available for hire. Tudor and Jacobean-style buildings give a feel of a bygone era with the original water tower disguised as the quirky ‘House in the Clouds’.
After our walk, we needed refreshment and a warm up. We headed to Thorpeness Kitchen which was completely FULL! However, we were able to grab a cup of takeaway tea and take a look around Thorpeness Emporium in the attached building.
Thorpeness Emporium is a vintage, antiques and collectables market comprising stalls, tables and cabinets showcasing an ever-changing selection of items collected together by over thirty traders. We loved looking at the combination of retro, vintage and hand-crafted items.
After warming up (and mentally spending a fortune in the emporium!), we decided to head to Thorpeness Golf club and try out their 9-hole mini golf called Jiggers. At only £4 per adult and with locally themed holes it’s a must for any visit to Thorpeness!
Simply head to reception to pay and collect your clubs and score card. The less we mention score cards the better as thanks to the ‘House in the Clouds’ hole pictured above I ended up losing quite significantly, but Adam celebrated his victory graciously…
The House in the Clouds
After our round came to an end, we decided to carry on walking around to take in the ‘House in the Clouds’ in all it’s glory. The Thorpeness icon never fails to disappoint!
The Dolphin Inn
The path naturally leads you to The Dolphin Inn, a fabulous pet-friendly pub offering a range of food and drink to suit all tastes. Knowing we had a lengthy walk back, we decided to go for a few of their ‘light bite’ plates for lunch.
Taking the last table, we were very fortunate and would recommend booking next time! It was glorious to warm up in the winter sunshine and we ate the delicious food on offer. The sweet potato fries are particularly tasty!
A Long Soak in the Tub
We walked back to Aldeburgh along the beach and had clocked up over 12.5km between the walk there, around the mini golf and back. It was definitely time for a long hot soak in the tub with a glass of fizz!
The bathroom at Meant to Be is particularly luxurious. Not only do you have a claw-foot Victoria and Albert roll top bath, but you also have a double shower cubicle!
We decided to get dressed up and head out for a delicious meal somewhere a little different. Sea Spice is just a few minutes walk away from our wonderfully centrally located apartment.
Sea Spice describes itself as a vibrant restaurant combining Suffolk produce with exotic Indian cooking and I think that sums it up beautifully! We shared some onion bhajis and poppadoms to start, which came with a delicious selection of freshly produced dips.
I had lamb chops which had been marinated overnight in yogurt, ginger, onion and garlic and cooked in a clay oven. Adam opted for a classic of chicken tikka masala, with a naan of course! Our food was delicious, service outstanding and welcoming. We would certainly recommend booking at Sea Spice.
Watching the Sunrise
One of the wonderful things about Meant to Be is it’s superb views from both the sitting room and the bedroom. I was up early on our last day and very much enjoyed looking out of the sitting room window and watching the sunrise from behind the Aldeburgh building skyscape.
Aldeburgh’s Independent Shops
After breakfast, we decided to head out and explore Aldeburgh’s selection of independent (and national) shops. It’s such a rarity to have coast and shopping in one convenient location!
We took a look around Reeds bookshop, which occupies the space underneath Meant to Be. Excitingly, guests of Meant to Be are offered a 10% discount off any purchases in Reeds – wonderful if you’re into vintage reading.
Watching the World Go By
After our shopping spree, we headed back for a cup of tea ahead of our afternoon’s activities. As it was slightly later in the day, Aldeburgh’s bustling High Street had become a hive of activity. Curling up on the sofa and watching the world go by is one of my favourite activities!
Aldeburgh is home to an independent cinema which recently celebrated it’s centenary. With a fair few celebrity endorsements and patrons, Aldeburgh Cinema is able to show a varied selection of films and documentaries.
Over our weekend the latest Agatha Christie featuring Sir Kenneth Branagh ‘Death on the Nile’ had been released. We headed off to watch the matinee. In only a few minutes walk we have reached the cinema and headed in to enjoy an afternoon of cinematic fun!
What Do Other Guests Think?
I think this visitor book entry sums up a stay at Meant to Be so well!
If I Had More Time, I Would…
…Come back with friends to stay at The Fish Store.
The Fish Store is tucked away across the courtyard from Meant to Be and is another, cosy, sleeps 2 apartment. Once a simple fish store behind a prosperous fish shop on the high street, this colourful and quirky holiday cottage is full of surprises, with an exceptional attention to detail, unique furnishings and quality accessories – just like Meant to Be! Hire both properties if two couples are looking for a weekend away in Aldeburgh.
…Walk the Sailor’s Path to Snape.
Many of you will already be familiar with the Sailor’s Path, a historical walk that runs through The Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty from Aldeburgh to Snape. If this is an introduction to you, you’re in for a treat as you encounter flora, fauna, bird life, rare breed sheep and cattle along the way. Take a read here.
…Get Thai Street Café Takeaway
We couldn’t walk past the wonderful Thai Street Café and not be completely tempted by the delicious smells coming from within! So conveniently located to Meant to Be it will still be piping hot for you to enjoy from the comfort of your wonderful holiday home.
The Verdict: Meant to Be
Meant to Be is a luxurious, idyllic Aldeburgh retreat for a couple looking to relax, wine and dine, and enjoy all that Aldeburgh has to offer. Ideally located, luxuriously furnished and equipped, and with so many finishing touches you will never want to leave!
If Meant to Be sounds like the place for you, take a look at availability and prices today.