Everyone loves a long weekend – especially at the time of year when our summer holiday seems ages ago – and autumn/winter’s hottest property is without a doubt the Walled Garden – the latest luxe hideaway at Wilderness Reserve.
When a place is talked up to such dizzying heights, it can’t help but fall flat on its face. However when it comes to the Walled Garden, a brand new eight-bedroom bolthole wrought from one of Suffolk’s few surviving walled kitchen gardens – the hyperbole is more than justified
Situated on the Wilderness – a stunning privately-owned 5,000 acre estate in the heart of Suffolk – the newly opened Walled Garden is a joy to discover and, located as it is just two hours from London, it’s easy to do so.
Upon entering the Walled Gardens discreet door, expect to see a trio of glasshouses – inspired by the neoclassical designs of one of Britain’s best architects, Sir John Soane – which compromise the main communal spaces.
Step forward a roomy reception room that’s larger than most Londoners’ apartments, a state of the art and country kitchen (replete with a wonderful wine fridge) which opens onto a sun trap terrace (few things are more pleasant that feeling the autumn sunshine soaking into your bones) boasting an indulgent hot tub, a cinema room – the perfect place to to curl up on one of the slouchy sofas with an excellent bottle of wine from the estate cellar and watch a film or too on a chilly winter’s day. Or get the endorphins going and enjoy a game of table tennis with friends in the games room that’s also choc full of classic board games: make no mistake there’s plenty to fill a weekend at the Walled Garden.
After something a little more chilled? Retire to your bedroom – former bothies (humble shelters where garden workers once lived) and take a power nap in a king size Hypnos bed. Other assets included stone floors with underfloor heating and retro baths in which you can wallow like a hippo half submerged in an African river.
Each of the eight rooms is equipped with Wifi – not that you’ll be wanting to spend time screen-gazing when there are arresting views of the acres of oak, ash, walnut and hornbeam trees, turfed terraces and atmospheric battered bricks to drink in…
Ready for dinner? Chefs come in to prepare the evening meal before serving it to Sybarites and their entourage in the grand central hall that’s flanked by inviting fire places.
And don’t worry about the calories you’re consuming: you can always work them off by biking or hiking through the estate’s Insta-perfect landscapes or indulging in a spot of clay-pigeon shooting or bird watching. Alternatively make like Andy Murray and hone your serve on one of the tennis courts on the main estate with guests from the Reserve’s 11 other properties or, weather permitting, simply splash about in the natural filtered swimming pool…
Further afield, Sybarites can take trips to Aldeburgh or the sand dunes in Southwold but the bottom line is this: nothing outside beats what’s within the Walled Garden whose staff have only one goal: to leave you, dear Sybarite, with a smile.
To paraphrase the famous Sin City slogan – “what happens within the walls, stays within the walls…”