Tucked away in a little-known South Suffolk village, close to the honeypot towns of Lavenham and Long Melford and just a stone’s throw from the delights of Constable Country, Rectory Manor is about as homely a place to stay as you could wish for. Arriving here is a bit like attending an old-fashioned country house party – Tom the efficient butler and Honey the dog are here to greet you, and there’s the chance to take the weight off your feet in the book-lined lounge, where a fire burns in the grate, and you’re tempted to either tinkle at the grand piano or more likely help yourself to a drink from the well-stocked honesty bar. Ancestral portraits cover the walls, and trinkets and family photos adorn every surface. The furniture is tasteful and, like most private homes, sometimes mismatched. Dogs are welcome; indeed it’s the sort of place that can’t help but be enhanced by the presence of a well-behaved pooch or two.
There are three rooms in the main house and four in a converted stable block behind the house. The main house's rooms set the tone, classic in style yet with contemporary touches – one has a wall-length mural of the Bridge of Sighs in Venice in the bathroom, another features the Baroque ceiling of a Roman church as the headboard of the bed. In the the stables they are a bit more sleek and up-to-date but demonstrate the same quirky mix of antique and modern, with reproduction tapestries and more artful bespoke headboard prints. All the rooms are generous sizes, and have wifi, tea- and coffee-making facilities, fresh milk and complimentary water, mini bars, and even cut-glass decanters filled with gin and whisky for a nightcap or two. The bathrooms are well equipped with robes, Penhaligon toiletries and little extras like sewing kits and cotton buds.
Tom is always on hand If you need anything, while occasionally the owner Frank pops up to talk you through the history of the building and his family, many of whom get a name-check in the breakfast room – intriguingly, they all tend to be war heroes, adventurers and spies.
Other facilities include gardens which wrap around the house, an outdoor swimming pool (open April–September), a tennis court and a croquet lawn – racquets, balls and croquet equipment are all provided. You won' be disappointed if you opt for breakfast, as not only is Tom on hand to serve you but there's a well-stocked continental buffet and excellent bacon and sausages from a local butcher. Frank also has big plans for serving food, adding a bar and generally making Rectory Manor into even more of a home-from-home for jaded travellers. Watch this space.
Offers & Deals
The best offer will automatically be applied to bookings on Cool Places
7 double rooms – 3 in the main house and 4 in the converted stable block.
From £150 a night for the cheaper rooms (there’s a 2-night minimum stay on summer weekends). Breakfast is £12–£17 on top.
Open all year.
Take the A131 to Sudbury and from there head northeast on the B1115 to Great Waldingfield. Pass through the village and make a right onto The Street. Follow this road to the junction by St Lawrence's Church (on your left) and the gates to Rectory Manor are right in front of you.
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