Welcome to the latest edition of the Best of Suffolk ‘Tried and Tested’ blog series, featuring The Mulberry – a stylish, spacious and charmingly rural pet-friendly holiday cottage near Bungay.
Longing for quiet, peaceful surroundings? What about plenty of space for garden games and relaxing? Walks and paths from your doorstep? And would you like to see barn owls and bats from the comfort of your sitting room? If you read that and thought ‘Yes!’, then The Mulberry is for you!
All that space is beautifully combined with incredibly comfortable accommodation. The three-bedroom single-storey holiday home is bright, light and spacious, and has been equipped and dressed to a very high standard.
Surrounded by fields, at The Mulberry you can enjoy the ultimate peace and tranquility. With charming market towns of Bungay and Beccles nearby, as well as The Suffolk Coast within a short drive, you’re ideally placed for exploring all the Suffolk has to offer.
Best of Suffolk is a truly local, holiday-letting company that offers a truly bespoke service. Our small, friendly team all live in Suffolk and are out there living and enjoying our beautiful county of Suffolk. We love nothing more than sharing our local expertise with you.
The Tried and Tested blog series sees the team ‘try and test’ our properties with their family, friends and dogs. Each blog provides first-hand experience of our stays and combines this with recommendations of things to do nearby. From the property itself to knowledge of where’s good for food – we ‘try and test’ it all.
In this edition, Abi (our Marketing Manager), her extended family, and Roxy the miniature schnauzer enjoyed a wonderful stay at The Mulberry. Here’s how they got on.
The Mulberry, nr Bungay
Sitting in an idyllic rural spot in the Waveney Valley, this stylish dog-friendly single-storey holiday home was designed and built in 2016, with a refresh in 2021 under new ownership, so guests can relax and enjoy the surroundings from every room. With three south-facing bedrooms, plus the light and airy living space all overlook the countryside and fields.
This particular area of Suffolk is an unspoilt haven of wildlife, idyllic villages and unique market towns – a great place to escape and enjoy exploring, cycling and walking, with the comfort of your self-catering accommodation and sunny patio to come home to!
All rooms open off a spacious hallway with three equally charming bedrooms, one with a modern shower room plus a family bathroom. The open plan living space is a fantastic place to socialise overlooking the patio, dining area and well-equipped kitchen.
In good weather the sunny patio, furnished with table and chairs, is the perfect place for long lazy lunches or a BBQ after a day in one of the nearby market towns or on the beach at nearby Southwold. There’s plenty of parking in the huge gravel driveway and ample space for kids and dogs to run around.
Location, Location, Location!
The Mulberry sits in a rural spot close to the village of Ilketshall St Margaret in the Waveney Valley, where guests of all ages will find plenty to keep them amused. For big days out, Bressingham Steam and Gardens, hiring a boat on the Broads, and the Norfolk and Suffolk Aviation Museum are all fabulous family-friendly options within a short drive. Somerleyton Hall and Gardens is a must, and Beccles Lido is an open-air pool right by the River Waveney. A footpath runs through the land next to The Mulberry, so it’s a great place for guests (including four legged ones) to walk.
The closest town, Bungay, is just three miles away, a bustling market town with a variety of shops and eateries plus a town trail where visitors can learn the history of the town and see how modern life has interacted with days gone by. Canoe hire available for the more adventurous!
St Peters Brewery, just five minutes drive away in South Elmham is an interesting place to visit for beer tours and tastings. Built in 1996 in an attractive range of traditional former agricultural buildings it now produces a selection of ‘traditional’ beers as well as some unusual beers such as fruit beer and has a Restaurant with a picturesque moat, outside terrace and lawned garden open at specific times of the year.
For beach lovers, the quintessential and popular town of Southwold is half an hour away with its sandy beach, iconic pier, lighthouse, and great range of eateries and independent shops.
The Mulberry: First Impressions
Interestingly, my first impression of The Mulberry wasn’t made as I was driving up the winding path surrounded by fields and stunning countryside and came across the impressive and stylish rural retreat. In fact, my first impression was made the week before my stay when Chris, the owner of The Mulberry, emailed me his usual greeting email to all guests and provided me with an opportunity to order some delicious, locally sourced food and drink from Suffolk producers ahead of my stay.
This thoughtful and bespoke service gave me the opportunity to order beer from St Peters Brewery, cheese and dairy products from Fen Farm Dairy (their Baron Bigod brie is utterly delicious!) as well as from a local butcher. I already knew before stepping foot in the property this was going to be something special!
What greeted us when we arrived was an incredible welcome pack, alongside the trusty Best of Suffolk Welcome File which told me everything I needed to know. Local beers from St Peters Brewery, a bottle of prosecco chilling in the fridge along with fresh milk, and a healthy portion of the Baron Bigod brie! To finish the whole welcome pack off there was a delicious cherry and almond cake. We were made to feel very welcome as we explored with excitement our gorgeous holiday home for the next few days.
Anyone for Croquet?
After unpacking and making ourselves at home, we decided to enjoy the sunshine and headed out for a game of croquet in the garden. We brought Monty’s set from home as we knew there was a large garden and The Mulberry is ideal for large garden games.
Well Equipped Kitchen
The kitchen at The Mulberry is very well-equipped and comes with everything you could want, whether it’s whipping up a quick bite to eat or a more elaborate meal! The open-plan living area was designed for socialising and entertaining, meaning I could cook tea whilst enjoying a glass of fizz and with the children playing at the table.
Gorgeous Master Bedroom
Before long, it was time for bed. The master bedroom at The Mulberry is an elegant double aspect bedroom with super king-size bed and matching bedside tables plus a built-in wardrobe. It also has the added touch of luxury of having an en-suite shower room.
Ideal for children or friends happy to share, the twin bedroom is a stylish south-facing room. Monty and Sophia loved having their own room with big comfy beds!
Another sunny bedroom overlooking the garden and fields, with king size bed, matching bedside tables and chest of drawers. The three bedrooms combine to create comfortable accommodation for families or groups of friends or couples.
Dog-Friendly Holiday Cottage
Surrounded by fields and with footpaths from the front door, The Mulberry is a wonderfully pet-friendly holiday cottage and could not be better suited for four-legged friends! Roxy made herself very comfortable curling up in her dog bed in the kitchen.
But First, Coffee!
After a wonderful night’s sleep, we set about organising ourselves for our stay. After breakfast on the patio, we decided to treat ourselves to one of the delicious coffees and use the Nespresso machine. The instructions were very clear in the Welcome Folder which we followed with ease. The owner kindly provides a few of the delicious coffee pods and offers you to purchase more for your stay should you wish to. What a service!
Roxy absolutely loved being able to go out on walks direct from The Mulberry. The ultimate rural retreat, you can choose from three footpaths and set off on an adventure without having to get in the car.
Comfortable Sitting Room
After all that walking, it was time for a re-set, and a snack! We found a variety of leaflets for ideas on days out in The Mulberry and set about deciding where to go. The children loved curling up on one of the very comfortable sofas and planning our day.
After a little research, we discovered it was market day in Bungay that day! So we set off in search of yummy food and a potter around the independent shops. We sourced some delicious fruit and veggies from the market, as well as visiting the butcher for some bits for a BBQ we were hoping to have the next day.
The bakery on the market square called Ma Belle Bakery provided us with a tasty treat as we wandered around and explored Bungay. We also picked up some buns for the BBQ!
Bungay is full of wonderful independent shops. Monty and Sohpia particularly liked window shopping in the toy and gift shops!
Did you know Bungay had a castle? The remains of this large Norman castle, built by the Bigods in 1165 and further developed in 1294, contains many interesting features and is an ideal way to entertain young enquiring minds! The massive gatehouse towers of Bigods Castle remain as do the bridge pit and curtain walls. The inner bailey, a pleasant grassed area, commands fine views across the Waveney Valley.
Monty and Sophia loved exploring the castle ruins, whilst playing ‘knights and princesses’! Access to the castle is through the courtyard and cafe ‘Bigod’s Kitchen’ which is adjacent to the castle, and costs £1 for adults and 50p for children – free for dogs!
The Fleece, Bungay
After all that exploring, we were more than ready for some delicious food. We decided to head to The Fleece Inn for tea, a very short walk from the castle. The pub is both child and dog-friendly, and serves a lovely range of locally sourced food and drink. I opted for the Fleece Ploughmans, a delicious selection of locally sourced savory treats!
Roxy was made to feel particularly welcome with the doggy watering hole, especially as it was such a hot day!
Curling up with a Book
The Mulberry is the ideal place to rest and relax. After a full day out exploring Bungay we headed back to our holiday home to enjoy the sunshine. I took the opportunity to curl up on one of the comfy sun loungers with a cup of tea and read my book.
Monty and Sophia thought this looked like a great idea and decided to copy my lead! With an abundance of greenery, a stay at The Mulberry provides so much outdoor space for all the family to enjoy. Whether it’s dining al fresco, sunbathing, or playing croquet, you are spoiled for choice.
After all that fresh air and exercise, it was soon time for another good night’s sleep in the stunning rural Suffolk retreat.
On our final day before leaving The Mulberry, we booked a family fun session at Beccles Lido, an open-air swimming pool in the market town of Beccles. With a large pool and slide, splash pool and toddler pool, plus an adventure play area, Beccles Lido offers a lot of fun for the whole family. Adults can also enjoy lane swimming sessions as well as aqua aerobics classes and a not-to-be-missed twilight swim session!
All that swimming worked up quite an appetite, so we headed back to The Mulberry to take full advantage of the sunshine, the BBQ and the outside dining table. The quality of the outdoor space at The Mulberry really does add that extra something special to your Suffolk holiday.
Thorington Theatre in the Woods
On our last evening, we headed out for a particularly unique experience at Thorington Theatre in the woods. Thorington Theatre is an outside space built in the beautiful Suffolk woodland. It has been constructed with the smallest carbon footprint possible in mind; all the timber has been sourced through sensitive and sustainable coppicing of surrounding chestnut trees. The site is a bomb crater from WWII, which left a natural amphitheater.
That evening we enjoyed a fantastic adaptation of the David Walliams book, Mr Stink. Lots of fun was had by all and the truly unique venue added an extra touch of magic!
If I Had More Time, I Would…
…Visit the Norfolk & Suffolk Aviation Museum.
What started as a friend’s few old planes has grown into a collection of over 65 aircraft on display, some outside, some in. At the Norfolk and Suffolk Aviation Museum there are also many artifacts and photographs on display as well as some aviation archeology exhibits.
….Do a St Peters Brewery Tour.
St. Peter’s Brewery is one of England’s original craft breweries, located alongside the moated St. Peter’s Hall, deep in the picturesque Suffolk countryside. Just a few minute’s drive from The Mulberry, it’s a must! They create truly distinct ales and alcohol-free beers in their iconic 500ml oval bottle, cask and keg.
…Mess About on the River!
Three Rivers Pitch and Paddle offer paddleboard, kayak and canoe hire from Geldeston, only a short drive from The Mulberry. The river Waveney is a quieter part of the Broads network and is an ideal place for beginners as well as seasoned paddlers.
What Do Other Guests Think?
Emily, Chris, Laura and John describe their stay as ‘awesome’ and particularly enjoyed seeing the barn owl in such beautiful surroundings!
The Verdict: The Mulberry
Our stay at The Mulberry was everything we were hoping for. The abundance of space, both inside and out, made it instantly relaxing from the second we walked through the door. Big, comfy beds in well-proportioned bedrooms, combined with the generous open-plan living area meant we could spread out and enjoy the comfort and luxury on offer at The Mulberry.
The peace and tranquility of being in a wonderfully rural part of Suffolk was also priceless. The children enjoyed being able to play in the abundance of green space that comes with the property, as did Roxy! Being able to explore footpaths from your front door was a wonderful experience.
The three bedrooms at The Mulberry means a family, sets of friends or couples could very easily and comfortably enjoy a stay in the Suffolk countryside. The whole of Suffolk is on your doorstep and waiting to be explored!
Why not take a look at availability, and secure your break to The Mulberry today?