Going to ground | An autumn weekend in Suffolk
I haven't always loved autumn. There was a time when I dreaded its dwindling hours of daylight and the approach of the colder nights, but I've learned to appreciate the beauty of this annual shift in the seasons. These days I mostly see it as a good excuse for treating myself to a new cashmere jumper, cooking up tasty comfort food and planning a short break. When you are self-employed it can be hard to disconnect from work at weekends and sometimes both Graham and I feel the need to get away for a few days and do absolutely nothing. So with the end of October representing the last opportunity to make the most of the milder weather before the days shorten and winter sets in, a couple of weeks ago we packed our bags for the weekend and headed east to spend a few days in Suffolk.
Around an hour and a half's drive from London and an easy journey from our home in Warwickshire, Tickety-Boo is a luxurious modern rustic style cabin in the heart of the countryside, a few miles from the pretty village of Long Melford. Our stay was arranged through Unique Home Stays who also manage bookings for the lovely Cornish property we stayed at earlier in the year, and when we arrived to discover that our home for the weekend was located on the edge of a vast open field which stretches out in front of you towards the horizon like an infinity pool we knew we'd found the perfect place to go to ground for a few days.
Inside the colour palette is light and soothing - warm oak tones, duck egg blues, soft greys and chalky yellows. There are lots of cosy throws, cushions and fur rugs, and with both underfloor heating and a wood burner we couldn't have been toastier.
The bed was so comfortable.....
...and we loved the Tom Raffield pendant light - a fitting statement piece for the cabin's beautifully understated interior.
We quickly felt ourselves easing into a slower pace of life. It was a wonderfully quiet place to stay but we loved waking up to the chatter of birds in the morning and listening out for the occasional owl at night. There are tranquil open views from the bedroom window and the sunrises were simply stunning - thankfully at this time of year we didn't have to get up too early to enjoy them.
A thoughtfully landscaped private garden screens the property from view and encloses the inviting outside space. There's an elemental simplicity to the landscape here that is both soothing and grounding. It feels like a restorative place, somewhere to reset and find balance. It's a place where the mind can breathe and relax, and yet you aren't so far from civilisation that you feel 'cut-off'. If you're travelling from London or the Midlands the journey time is very doable - a definite plus point when planning a relaxing short break.
It's also perfect for dogs. Whippets are a lazy, comfort seeking breed, and Albert likes nothing more than to snooze for much of the day. He loved sleeping in front of the woodburner and had to be forcibly dragged away from it, but the countryside in this part of Suffolk is ideal for dog-walking. An extensive network of public footpaths criss-crossing wide open arable farmland surrounds the cabin and when we visited the quiet lanes and hedgerows were brimming with leaves and berries in the most wonderful spectrum of autumn colours.
We were charmed by the sleepy villages of Clare, Cavendish and Long Melford with their colourfully painted houses and spent the afternoon in medieval Lavenham with its incredibly well-preserved half timber houses and stunning Grade 1 listed Guildhall. There are plenty of options for Sunday lunch here - we chose the Cock Horse Inn which was very dog friendly.
We picked the best weekend to enjoy the mild autumn weather and the magical colours. The charms of this part of the country aren't centred around the beach or warm weather activities so it's a place that can be enjoyed at any time of the year. Summer evenings at Tickety-Boo sitting on that porch gathered around the firepit must be lovely and I'd love to return in Spring when hares can be seen boxing in the fields right in front of the cabin...
...but I've definitely changed my mind about autumn. It's a magical time of year in this little corner of Suffolk.