Welcome to the latest edition of the Best of Suffolk ‘Tried and Tested’ blog series, featuring Saffron – an elegant and charming holiday home with a fabulous shared pool in an exclusive mews not too far from Southwold.
With 2021 being the year of the ‘Great British Staycation’, well-known coastal resorts such as Southwold and Aldeburgh are getting pretty full! Just a few miles inland you can find some absolute gems, properties that benefit from space, parking, and other amenities that can make for a truly luxurious stay!
Whilst the picturesque village of Blythburgh might not be as famous as its neighbour, it doesn’t make it any less charming! As a local, independent holiday letting agency, we pride ourselves on being able to do what national agencies can’t – and that’s know our properties inside and out.
Our Tried and Tested blog series sees members of the Best of Suffolk team ‘try and test’ our properties along with their family and friends to provide first-hand experiences of our stays and recommendations of things to do nearby. From the property itself to recommendations of things to do nearby and knowledge of where’s good for food – we ‘try and test’ it all. In this edition, Maia (our Sales and Administration Executive), her boyfriend Henry, and Mum and Dad tried out Saffron for a mid-week break in the sunshine! Here’s how they got on!
Space is in abundance here as Saffron is part of a Grade II listed conversion of an 18-century former hospital known as Blythview, sitting in 12 acres of private grounds with use of a communal indoor heated pool and mini fitness suite.
This elegant maisonette is ideal for socialising with friends and family in the super modern kitchen and open plan living/dining room on the first floor, with both stylish bedrooms and beautiful bathrooms on the second floor. Saffron, which benefits from private parking for two cars, plus the use of a communal pool, sits in a quiet rural spot yet close to the picturesque Suffolk Coast and vibrant town of Southwold.
The private entrance opens into a small lobby with space to leave your coats and boots before climbing the stairs to the spacious first-floor landing with a well-equipped kitchen and airy living room overlooking a big courtyard. The master bedroom, with en-suite shower room, has a king size bed at the front whilst the twin is at the back next to the beautiful bathroom.
Saffron is the ideal base to explore the attractions of this delightful corner of Suffolk, with Southwold, Halesworth, and Blythburgh on your doorstep if you can bring yourself to venture out!
Location, Location, Location!
Within five miles is the renowned coastal town of Southwold, famous for its iconic pier, Georgian and Victorian architecture, individual shops and traditional pubs. The picturesque coastal village of Walberswick is also worth a visit with long stretches of sandy beaches, village green with gift shops, and tea rooms. There’s also a couple of great pubs serving excellent food and local beers.
The nearest pub is also an absolute gem, The Queens Head at Blyford offers sourdough pizzas, delicious breakfasts as well as sourcing and growing a lot of their own produce. The White Hart at Blythburgh has a large beer garden and stunning views over the River Blyth estuary, and particularly delicious roast on a Sunday. Best to book both establishments whilst you’re visiting as they are popular!
Blythburgh’s iconic church is a magnificent building that can be seen rising out from the Blyth estuary and definitely worth a visit. Sometimes affectionately called ‘The Cathedral of the Marshes’, it’s easy to see why!
Saffron: First Impressions
I was the first to arrive at Saffron, with my boyfriend Henry and my parents, Jan and Richard following shortly after. From the moment you turn into the Blythview Estate, a tree-lined road as pretty as it is as long, it gives you that feeling that you are somewhere truly special.
Following the arrival details for Saffron, I found the car parking spot easily as it is pretty much directly outside the property! Very handy for unloading our cases. There was another car parking spot near the property too and then as we had a third car too we parked by the swimming pool in the visitor car park.
The welcome pack at Saffron included some delicious Adnams Pinot Noir and some tasty biscuits. These were quickly opened to have with a cup of tea! The handy welcome folder was so helpful, and detailed everything I would need to know, including the Wi-Fi password.
Room with a View
I was really impressed with how spacious Saffron was, with two lovely bedrooms, one ensuite, a bathroom with a bath, and an extra downstairs toilet. An open-plan living area with a dining table, which is great for socialising.
Saffron has a very peaceful feel to it and looks onto a lovely green space with the sun shining into the property.
The White Hart, Blythburgh
After unpacking we decided to head out for a meal on our first night. An exciting part of any holiday is choosing where to eat. During this Tried and Tested stay, pubs, restaurants and cafés had re-opened for indoor dining again. The White Hart at Blythburgh was only a 2-minute drive away and did not disappoint!
I decided to have some fresh fish off the specials board, followed by a delicious sticky toffee pudding. As it was an Adnams pub, we had to have a pint on draught too.
Watching the Euros
After dinner, we went back to Saffron to watch the Euros and have a glass of wine from the welcome pack. The sitting room is a sunny room with high ceilings and exposed timber beams. It has double doors off the landing and overlooks a large courtyard. It’s been tastefully furnished with two comfy sofas, occasional tables with TV and DVD player in one area for relaxing, with a table and six chairs for meals. It’s perfect for watching a bit of telly, or playing cards or board games of an evening.
Elegant Master Bedroom
The elegant master bedroom at Saffron has a king-size bed, bedside drawers, a dressing table with mirror, a large built-in wardrobe and has lovely views to the front. The beds and pillows were so comfortable, and the crisp white linens added that luxury hotel feel to our stay.
Set in the eaves with original beams and a window to the back, this sunny room has twin beds with bedside cabinet, a built-in wardrobe/cupboard and a chair.
Breakfast – The Black Dog Deli
After a fabulous night’s sleep, we woke up to the most glorious sunshine! Whilst it cannot be guaranteed with every booking, the sun was most definitely shining for us that day!
We decided to head off to Halesworth in the morning which was about a 10-minute drive away.
We went to The Black Dog Deli for some breakfast and a coffee. The bakery selection all looked so delicious and the menu was fantastic! After a very hard decision, I decided to go for the french toast which was a great choice!
We then wandered around Halesworth and went into various antique and homeware stores, including a lovely grocer and florist – The Halesworth Florist.
Halesworth has lots of independently owned and run family shops which sell everything from your daily groceries right through to antiques and it is well worth exploring the town centre.
The town centre has a pedestrianised thoroughfare which was once the one and only route through the town. It makes strolling through the town centre a pleasure and it runs all the way to the Market Place where the old town buildings are waiting for you, don’t forget to stop on the bridge and see Morris’s friends the ducks in the river.
A Dip in the Pool
After our busy morning soaking up the sunshine in the Suffolk countryside, we decided to head back to Saffron. It was the perfect afternoon for a dip in the pool. When we received our arrival details for Saffron we were given a link to book the pool which we duly did. We had the pool to ourselves for our time slot and this felt so luxurious!
Well Equipped Kitchen
Refreshed from the pool, we decided to have a night in at Saffron. We got nibbles from the nearest Co-op in Halesworth and had pizza, salad and nibbles round the dining table and some Adnams beers we had got earlier.
The kitchen was so well equipped which I was really impressed with. I couldn’t think of anything I would need that wasn’t provided! The dishwasher came in handy and meant no one had to do any washing up, always a bonus!
In the morning, after another wonderful night’s sleep, we drove to Southwold which took about 10 minutes to drive.
In the glorious sunshine, we opted for a walk on the seafront. We started at the Pier and then wandered along the beach down towards the harbour. It was so enjoyable stopping to look at all the beach huts.
After doing quite a few steps, we stopped at Mrs T’s Fish and Chips (Ed Sheeran’s choice of chippy in Southwold!) for some chips and a drink. My mum is coeliac and these chips are gluten-free!
Southwold Harbour has all the sights and smells of a working harbour, with fresh and smoked fish for sale.
After our delicious lunch, we then wandered back into Southwold and looked around some of the shops. Including going into Adnams to get some local beers and a new gluten-free bakery called ‘Jakery Bakery’.
That evening we all went to Blythburgh church. It is a really beautiful church with some amazing wooden angels. We couldn’t spot them at first but they were all lined along the ceiling!
Another benefit of staying at the Blyth View estate is the shared facilities. The gym is a lovely little addition and was a great way to finish our day after all those treats!
If I Had More Time, I Would…
…Eat at the Queen’s Head, Blyford.
This gorgeous little pub is right on the doorstep and offers a delicious menu, with many items locally sourced or grown by themselves. The Queens Head serves breakfasts at weekends, so it’s a must if you enjoy a tasty bite out on your holidays.
….Take an Adnams Tour.
We are all fans of Adnams and you can book on to a brewery or a gin distillery tour. Something to suit all tastes!
…Get the Foot Ferry to Walberswick.
It would have been so easy to have continued our walk over to Walberswick, care of the Foot Ferry. There is something truly unique about the river-crossing service which has been in operations for so many years!
What Do Other Guests Think?
The Wilcox family sum up Saffron so well in this visitor’s book. “Great property, well placed to visit local villages and coast!”.
The Verdict: Saffron
Saffron is an elegant, peaceful, and spacious holiday home that provides a luxurious base to explore Suffolk. The shared pool is an absolute winner and the gym and grounds of the estate give the feel of a luxury hotel. By being out of the hustle and bustle of Southwold, Saffron provided space and facilities such as parking and the pool that make a holiday here so much more comfortable.
With Halesworth and Southwold within easy reach for day trips, as well as a number of pubs and cafés serving delicious food and local drinks, there was more than enough to keep us busy. Returning to the comfort of Saffron after a busy day exploring was an absolute joy!
Ideal for a family, couples or a group of friends, Saffron ticks so many boxes.
Why not take a look at availability, and secure your break to Saffron today?