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  • Gina Everett

Recommendations: A Luxury Break at The Oaksmere

As designers, every place we go is subject to scrutiny on the way it looks and works with the users. Usually the fine ones are given a quick tweet of appreciation, but we believe our latest favourite truly deserves a full post. Tucked away in the green and scenic Suffolk countryside, The Oaksmere is a little treasure that is yet to be discovered for its worth and believe us when we say, it is well worth your time.

When you stay at a hotel, you want to feel something extraordinary about it, something you’d never have at home. This one definitely ticked that box for our lead interior designer, Gina Everett. She recently visited the fabulous estate during a tour of Norfolk and Suffolk Antique Shops and gave a thumbs up on everything from the interiors to the food.

Formerly owned by the church, this wonderful old building has been restored into a bar, fine dining restaurant and boutique hotel– something people from all age groups can revel in. The building’s Tudor and Victorian architecture is kept intact, blending impeccably with contemporary interior design features. The building will transform your mood from the moment you step into it, not once alarming your senses. There are fourteen classy and uniquely decorated bedrooms, offering a special getaway to everyone from individuals to couples and families. Each room is equipped with a generous Hypnos bed, a large Sky TV and a Nespresso coffee machine. We were quite impressed by the electric blinds, the elegant padded headboards and all the conveniences they were loaded with. You even get a built in digital audio system to play your own music! The old oak beams and the beautiful walnut furniture, carved by local craftsmen is something to reckon with. We particularly love the en suite bathrooms for their relaxing, rustic charm. You’ll be treated to softly illuminated freestanding tubs, luxury Elemis toiletries and large rain head showers with ample space to splash.

The restaurant looks stunning with its wide palette of rich and exciting hues. A colourful, eclectic mix of seating, wallpapers, pieces of artwork, all make this area stand out, which is precisely why you should want to dine there. We’ve heard people rave unanimously about the food, whether it is the room service, restaurant or the BBQ. The banquette makes a great modern statement amid the Victorian setting. With its floor to ceiling windows and doors overlooking the terrace with beautiful views of the grounds, it’s a lovely venue for parties! Upholstered in grey leather, this space tastefully complements the blue wall finish in the main restaurant as well as the granite table tops.

If the weather permits, diners can also enjoy their food alfresco on the impressive sun terrace. There’s a couple of bars too– a traditional Tudor Suffolk pub and the more sophisticated one, both in pleasant, unique settings. The outdoor seating area is splendid! There is plenty of space between the seating (which is great detailing) and for children there’s a nice pirate ship play-area, where you’d find them playing for hours. Gina's commented on how successful the installation of the children’s play-area is, often an area that hotels get wrong. Sitting marvellously in the grounds, you have an enormous wooden ship that although located at the end main drive is well hidden in the scenery of your arrival. It makes for a great element of surprise!

The Oaksmere flawlessly recreates an atmosphere of old and yet stays in keeping with modern times, proving to be a superb venue for locals and visitors alike. Each space is infused with character and intrigue. As Gina puts it, the place is “refreshingly authentic with the sloping walls, creaky floorboards – all part of its charm.” The high quality cuisine, warm atmosphere, special events and surprises, all are beyond words and we are honestly quite surprised by their silence on what they offer for such an affordable price. Take our word for it, and book a retreat in this amazing boutique hotel. We are sure you will have a memorable experience of complete indulgence!

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