Classical music enthusiasts will no doubt have the annual Aldeburgh Festival marked in their diaries. This annual event takes place in June at Snape Maltings, a fabulous concert venue in Suffolk established by Benjamin Britten in the 1960s. If you’re looking for somewhere to stay during the festival, I can highly recommend Mollett’s Farm, top quality self-catering accommodation which is less than 10 minutes drive from the concert hall.
We came across Mollett’s Farm after booking tickets to see choirmaster Gareth Malone in concert last November. Information from Snape Maltings included suggestions of where to stay and there was just something about the farm that appealed to us. Maybe it was the underfloor heating throughout which would be ideal for a winter break or maybe it was the chickens? Yes, you can’t escape the girls, who wander happily around outside the cottages.
Situated just off the main A12 road in Suffolk, 18 miles north of Ipswich, Mollett’s Farm is not only close to Snape Maltings, it’s within easy reach of Aldeburgh and Southwold, on the coast. What makes it perfect for a self-catering break is how close it is to shops for buying provisions. There’s a farm shop nearby plus a Tesco and a Waitrose in the small town of Saxmundham, five minutes away. If you don’t want to cook for yourself, each cottage has a wealth of information (in a folder and on a cork board) suggesting numerous local restaurants.
Cottages, studios and caravan pitches
Owners Sasha and Richard Ayres live in the farmhouse itself but in the grounds are three luxury cottages, three ground-floor studios and pitches for five caravans/camper vans. We were pleased to note that there is ample car parking.
The two-storey cottages are ideal for couples or families (one of the three has two bedrooms) but the ground-floor studios have been designed to give excellent accessibility: guests with disabilities will find a great deal of attention has been given to their needs, without compromising on style. The farm is also a certified location for the Caravan and Motorhome Club with 16 amp electric hook-ups, fill-up/disposal points plus laundry facilities and free WiFi.
Granary Cottages – details
We stayed in Framlingham, one of the Granary Cottages. Very well-appointed, this one-bedroomed cottage has a large open-plan kitchen/dining/living area with a double sofabed. Upstairs is a bedroom (superking or twin configuration available) and bathroom with shower. I loved the furnishings: contemporary, neutral colours in the living area with high-spec roman blinds, cushions etc. Splashes of red in the bedroom added a lovely touch of brightness. Towels and bedding are provided and are of good quality. Note, there isn’t a wardrobe in the bedroom but there are hooks and hangers for clothes and plenty of drawer space.
We appreciated the Smart TV, DVD player and free WiFi. The kitchen had everything we needed: full-size cooker, microwave, dishwasher and plenty of crockery and cutlery. A very neat table and chair set will seat four and there’s a sweet little children’s chair alongside the sofa and armchair. Ask the owners if you need cots, safety gates or plastic cups and plates. Guests are given a welcome pack on arrival including tea, coffee, cereal, bread and cake.
There’s a huge space in the middle of the room if you want to spread out, play games, dance – whatever takes your fancy. As there are no carpets (remember the heated floors?) the cottages are dog-friendly. An extra £25 is chargeable per stay for your pooch to enjoy Mollett’s Farm with the family.
If you need to do a washing, there’s a separate laundry room you can use which also has extra freezer space. It’s here you can have a rummage for a book or DVD.
Just outside the cottages is a very pretty courtyard with seating. As well as the ubiquitous chickens, there are some little flowerpot men to brighten up your morning.
Sasha and Richard are wonderful hosts. From initial email contact onwards they were cheery, helpful but never intrusive. They welcome guests into their own special place in the Suffolk countryside. Whether you’re planning a musical treat at the Aldeburgh Festival or a bracing walk along the pier at Southwold, Mollett’s Farm can offer you comfort, relaxation and poultry companionship….the perfect short break.
We booked a cottage ourselves, direct with the owners. Please check their website for up-to-date prices.