Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Celebrating Delicious Suffolk Food

Suffolk is known for its fresh produce and farms, attracting thousands of visitors each year to sample the local delights. The county’s produce is favoured by some of the UK’s best chefs such as Jamie Oliver, and also Tom Kerridge, who uses only Suffolk chicken and pork in his Michelin starred pub. Here Windmill Lodges puts the spotlight on some of the best places to stock up on food and drink while you enjoy a short break in Suffolk with us.

Pint of Suffolk beer

Beer
Adnams, an award winning brewer, works with local farmers and producers in Suffolk to supply their breweries, hotels and pubs to make great products without harming the earth. Their famous distillery is based in Southwold, and here you can enjoy a tour around the facilities before sampling some of their wines, beers and spirits. Adnams is sold throughout Suffolk by a number of shops and pubs, and is one of the most popular brands with the locals.

Suffolk sausages

Sausages
Jimmy’s Farm is found in the heart of Suffolk, where you can buy a variety of fresh meat, including their speciality sausages. Voted Britain’s Top 10 Sausage by The Independent, the sausages feature a wide range of flavours, from Marmite to more traditional flavours such as pork and leek.

Free-range chickens

Chicken
Sutton Hoo’s free range chickens are famous in the area for their dense, succulent meat and delicious juicy flavours. All of the chickens on the farm are allowed to roam freely on 40 acres of pasture, found next to the ancient Anglo-Saxon National Trust site at Sutton Hoo. All of the birds enjoy a natural, additive free life and have gained a national reputation for the high quality and welfare of the birds.

Crusty Suffolk bread

Bread
Winner of the BBCs Best Food Producer 2012, Pump Street Bakery in Orford is branded as one of the best places in Suffolk to buy bread, pastries and cakes. Each loaf of bread is handmade using the finest ingredients with no preservatives, additives or softeners. Pump Street Bakery also sell bean to bar chocolate, handmade from scratch to create delicious and unique bars of chocolate.

Pate
The Suffolk Pate Company supply many of the local delicatessens with pates in a multitude of flavours, from chicken liver with port and brandy, to blue cheese with lemon and parsley. These can be served traditionally on toasted bread for a light lunch or snack, or can be incorporated into recipes such as Bolognese for a rich flavour. 

Suffolk cider

Cyder
Aspall, based in the village of Aspall near Debenham, is a well-known manufacturer of cyder in Suffolk. They have always spelt their cider with a y to show that it is of high quality. This is also to indicate that the cyders have been fermented twice, giving them a stronger, nicer taste.
 
Smoked Eel
For the more adventurous, why not try some smoked eels while you stay with us on a short break in Suffolk. Pinney’s of Orford sell both slices and chunks of smoked eel which are hot smoked over oak to bring out the succulent, delicate flavours. These are rich in oil, and are a popular delicacy in Europe. Serve at room temperature with lemon and toast for a refreshing and healthy meal.

Pesto
Pesto
Pesto is a great thing to stock up on while staying with us, ready for a quick meal or sandwich before rushing out for a busy day in the countryside. Purely Pesto sell a variety of pesto dips and sauces and are based in Leiston, Suffolk. All of their products are handmade and made in small batches to give them a unique taste and texture. They also sell soup, hummus, guacamole, and taramasalata.

Fresh strawberries

Strawberries
Goslings Farm in Felixstowe, home of the famous “Suffolk strawberries”, sells a wide variety of fresh produce. They specialise in pick your own strawberries, so you can enjoy a day out picking some of the ripest and freshest strawberries you can find. You can also pick your own raspberries, gooseberries, blackcurrants, redcurrants, blackberries, broad beans, runner beans, French beans and courgettes throughout the year.

Short breaks in Suffolk - Click here to view the available dates for our luxury log cabins.  












Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Local Suffolk Markets

fruit display
Enjoy a local shopping experience in Suffolk and visit some of the country markets where you can buy fresh produce and handmade gifts. These take place on a regular basis and are ideal for meeting the locals and farmers, and to find out more about what is produced in the area. Our luxury lodges in East Anglia are just a few miles away from some of the very best farmers markets, where you can pick up some delicious delights to take back to our self-catering lodges.

Crafts and Produce Market at Yoxford Village Hall
Yoxford, a small village in the east of Suffolk, is just a 20 minute drive from our luxury log cabins, and here they hold both a farmers’ market and a Brocantes on the second Saturday of every month. A Brocantes is the French word for a flea market. At these markets they sell a large variety of fascinating wares, including vintage clothing, homewares, bric-a-brac, cards and stationary, and jewellery. They also sell a selection of fresh produce and plants such as sausages, pork joints, vegetables, marmalade, artisan breads, and cakes.

In addition to the markets, this pretty village is known for its antique shops where you can pick up some interesting gifts. Spend the day in Yoxford, and after trawling the shops and market you can enjoy a lunch at one of the village’s two local pubs, The Griffin and The Kings Head. Yoxford is also surrounded by beautiful parklands, so you can enjoy a stroll after lunch. 

Fruit and vegetables

Hoxne Artisan Market at St Edmunds Village Hall
This historic village market has over 20 stalls of handmade crafts and fresh home-grown food, and is held on the second Saturday of every month, from 10am till 2pm. There is also usually a local demonstration of craftsmen at work at the event, where they show you how some of their items are skilfully created. The village café is open during the market, selling warm soups, cakes, bacon butties, and tea and coffee.
Hoxne is full of ancient history, and King Edmund was martyred by the Danes just yards away from the market’s venue. Discover the past of Hoxne on a day out, and enjoy the strong sense of community found here. Hoxne is just a 20 minute drive from Windmill Lodges.

Felixstowe Giant Sunday Market
Held every Sunday, this market brings you all of Felixstowe’s best bargains. Found just 45 minutes away from our scenic log cabins, Felixstowe is an Edwardian seaside town full of charm. At this market you will find food, garden furniture, flowers, books, plants and clothing, among many other items.
For a fun family day out, after visiting the market why not take your children on one of the rides at the beach front amusement park, or try your hand at adventure golf? Alternatively, you can enjoy a walk along the beach, or on hot days you can go for a paddle or swim in the water.

Framlingham Market
Framlingham has hosted a weekly market since the town was granted a license by Hugh Bigod, the third Earl of Norfolk in the 13th century. This twice weekly market is hugely popular with local residents and tourists, with its friendly atmosphere and beautiful location. This market takes place on Tuesdays and Saturdays, from 8am to 5pm, however the stall holders tend to finish earlier on a Tuesday, so make sure you get in quick.
While browsing the market you can buy plants, flowers, fresh fruit and vegetables, fudge, fish and meat. You can also buy jewellery, wine and clothing from shops such as Jamboree Bag and Crafty Mrs Fox. 

Beautiful beaches in Suffolk

Vintage Soul Market at Southwold
For something a bit different, why not visit the vintage soul market at Southwold, where you can buy a unique selection of clothes from the forties, fifties and sixties? You can also find retro handbags, shoes, tea sets and jewellery here, with many handmade items. This friendly market has a lovely atmosphere, and is ideal for a family day out from our luxury log cabins.
The whole family will enjoy a day out in Southwold, and you can visit the boating lake and nature island, or hire a pedal boat on the lake.

Luxury Lodges East Anglia  – Click here to see our available lodges. 





Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Discovering the Magic of Sutton Hoo


Found near Woodbridge, Sutton Hoo is the site of two ancient cemeteries where archaeologists unearthed significant finds dating back to the Anglo Saxon era. Sutton Hoo can be visited for a fun and informative day out with the family, with three main sections to visit on your day out: the Royal
Burial Mounds, an indoor exhibition and the 20th century built Tranmer House.

Sutton Hoo is just a 30 minute drive from our luxury log cabins. Here you can enjoy a day of exciting activities while learning about the ancient history of England. You can round off your visit with a stroll through the countryside following one of the National Trust’s designated walking routes.

The Royal Burial Mounds
This consists of eighteen burial mounds, many of which have been eroded over the centuries. These early burials can be traced back to the seventh century AD, although unfortunately there are no written records of the people who were buried, so there is no way of knowing exactly who they were. Many of the mounds were robbed in the Tudor period; however, two of the mounds remain untouched and loom over the grounds spectacularly.

Mound One, one of the untouched mounds, is the richest burial ever found in northern Europe, and was the grave of a king and his 90ft ship. King Raedwald was said to be buried here, the great King of East Anglia who was heavily criticised for establishing an altar for Christ and an altar for the old gods next to each other. The actual 90ft boat no longer exists and has long since disintegrated into the acidic soil, and now there is only an imprint of where the majestic vessel once lay.
Found under Mound Seventeen was the double burial of a warrior and his horse, surrounded by weapons and everyday items such as combs.

Exhibition
The Exhibition Hall at Sutton Hoo is the perfect place to learn more about the burials and the history behind them. Here you will begin by watching a short film about the era, followed by a tour around the exhibition where you can learn more from information boards.

There is even a reconstruction of the burial chamber which allows you to see how the ritual would have taken place as the king was laid to rest. This also shows how the treasures would have been carefully placed around the king in the ship. Also found in the exhibition are some of the artefacts from Mound Seventeen, where the warrior and his horse were buried, including gold harness pieces and weaponry.

Sutton Hoo hold ‘Out of the Case’ sessions once a month where you can get a closer look at some of their replica treasures, made using the very same skills and tools as the Anglo-Saxon craftsmen.

Tranmer House
Originally named Sutton Hoo House, this beautiful Edwardian home was built in 1910. Soon after it was brought by Edith Pretty, who owned the house when the treasures were unearthed. This warm and aged house looks over the River Deben and the town of Woodbridge, and is the ideal place to discover the story behind the archaeological digs in the 1930s.

With wood panelled interiors, grand marble fireplaces and views across the vast fields outside, you can sit back and enjoy Tranmer House on your visit while history is brought to life around you. Play music on a gramophone, or sit in a chaise lounge reading 1930s magazines to immerse yourself in the past of Tranmer House.

Tranmer House was built with no garden as it was believed that rabbits would destroy it, and part of the house was demolished later on to save heating costs.


Luxury Log Cabins – Click here to view our available log cabins for a short family break away. 

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Discover Magical Afternoon Teas in Suffolk

Suffolk is home to a variety of high end locations where you can enjoy a range of afternoon teas, from traditional to modern. Our romantic log cabins are the perfect place to spend a short break away, and there are many scenic routes and places around our wood lodges which can be explored on foot or by car. To book your relaxing short break in East Anglia, visit Windmill Lodges
Afternoon tea originated from the wealthy classes in England in the 1840s where it was said to be first introduced by Anna Maria Russel, Duchess of Bedford. By the end of the 19th century, afternoon tea spread in popularity and was enjoyed by both upper and middle classes. Afternoon tea traditionally involves loose tea leaves which are brewed in a teapot and served with milk and sugar. The drink is often served accompanied by a tiered stand with delicate savouries, such as small sandwiches and scones as well as cakes and chocolates.

Orwell River Cruises
Treat yourself to afternoon tea aboard the Orwell Lady, a river cruise vessel which regularly travels down the river Orwell to show you the delights of the Suffolk coastline. This afternoon tea includes a lovely selection of mini sandwiches, homemade fruit scones and a variety of cakes, with delights such as chocolate eclairs and Victoria sponge.


The afternoon tea cruises run from Pin Mill, near Shotley, and last two and a half hours. It’s a real luxury, as you and you partner can admire the spectacular coastline of Suffolk while you dine. 


Salt House Harbour Hotel
For those who prefer to keep their feet firmly on the ground, the Salt House Harbour Hotel allows you to sit by the docks while enjoying a luxurious afternoon tea. With a quiet and calming atmosphere, here you can sit back and enjoy a romantic afternoon tea with your loved one. Here they offer three packages: cream tea, afternoon tea and luxury afternoon tea to suit your needs.

For just £17.50 you can enjoy a variety of scones and cakes, including Eton mess, macaroons and millionaire chocolate terrine alongside a cup of tea or coffee, or even a glass of champagne for special occasions.


Tally Ho Tearooms
Known for their delicious traditional Victorian afternoon teas, the Tally Ho Tearooms in Mettingham will give you an authentic experience with staff dressed in Victorian outfits and food and drinks served in bone china. This realistic experience will supply you with more than you can eat, and many leave the tearoom with a doggy bag full of treats which can be enjoyed back at our romantic log cabins.

For something a bit different why not choose their Sovereign Afternoon Tea which puts a spin on the traditional tea, with chocolate mousses, cordial and petit fours served in a lace and pearls setting. You could raise a cup to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s landmark year!


Bedford Lodge Hotel and Spa
Treat your partner with a gentlemen’s afternoon tea at the Bedford Lodge Hotel and Spa in Newmarket, where you can enjoy your tea in their Squires restaurant, Roxana bar or on the terrace overlooking their beautiful lawns and rose gardens. The Bedford Lodge Hotel offers a variety of afternoon teas, which can be eaten as a light snack between meals or as a full meal on its own.

The Gentlemen’s afternoon tea is made to be much more sustainable, and includes club sandwiches, sausage rolls, pasties and tarts. For £4 extra you can also enjoy a pint of beer alongside your sweet and savoury treats.

White Lion Hotel
Enjoy a picturesque afternoon tea on Aldeburgh beach front, and eat a range of sweet treats including macarons, meringue kisses, scones and hidden surprises in bottles and jars. The White Lion Hotel also has a Magical Afternoon Tea menu, which features a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory themed menu full of chocolate and sweets.

To view our available log cabins and to book a romantic short break, visit Windmill Lodges. 

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Hot Air Balloon Trips to Make Your Holiday Special


Tour Suffolk in a wonderful hot air balloon this year with several safe and friendly local companies to guide you through the air above stunning landscapes and buildings. Children over the ages of eight are welcome to enjoy the flight with you, but must be at least 4’ 6” to be able to see out over the edge of the basket.

Hot air balloons are an exciting way to travel on calm weather days, and many are within a close distance to our lodges. East Anglia is home to a vast number of historical buildings and land, all of which can be seen from the sky on your day out. The route in which you travel will depend entirely on the direction of the wind that day, but views from the sky are guaranteed to be stunning no matter where you go.

Windmill Lodges is based in rural Saxtead, near to the beautiful and historic town of Framlingham. Our attractive wooden lodges are ideal for a quiet holiday away with the family, where you can enjoy views of the surrounding countryside and the sounds of nature.


Wizard Balloons

Wizard Balloons launch from a number of locations, with the closest site to our luxury lodges being at Nowton Park in Bury St Edmunds. This large park is over 200 acres and was designed over a century ago in a Victorian style. Bury St Edmunds is a stunning medieval market town which looks breathtakingly beautiful from the sky.

Hot air balloon rides from Bury St Edmunds can take you over small villages, such as Lavenham and Long Melford, with views of exquisite country houses and cathedrals. Newmarket is often travelled over on days with easterly winds, and its famous racing yard can be seen from miles around. On clear days London landmarks can also be seen on the horizon, especially on early morning trips.

Flights with Wizard Balloons either run in the early morning or late evening due to the calm nature of the weather around these times. If the weather is unsuitable your flight may be cancelled, however you will be warned of this in advance and allowed to rebook for another time.


Broadland Balloons

Operating for over 20 years, Broadland Balloons have allowed over 20,000 people to enjoy the joy of hot air balloons. All of their balloons have a much larger capacity than normal, and their two brand new balloons even have seating for when the balloon is in landing for added comfort.

The balloons take off from Brome, near Eye, and flights last around an hour each. While flying above the Suffolk countryside you may, if the weather permits, see Framlingham Castle in the distance, and if you look carefully you should also be able to see our luxury lodges. East Anglia has an abundance of wildlife and reserves, including Thornham Walled and Bressingham Gardens, which can be seen from high up in the sky due to their vast size.

Balloons fly at heights ranging from 500ft to 3000ft, depending on the weather, and it is advisable that you wear sensible clothing as temperatures will be the same as they are on the ground. Hats are recommended to protect your head from the heat of the burner above, as well as gloves on cold days.


Virgin Balloon Flights

Virgin have a huge range of locations for you to fly from in close proximity to our luxury lodges, including Brome, Stowmarket and Old Buckenham Airfield. Flying from Stowmarket will give you spectacular views of the River Gipping, which flows through the area, as well as the nearby farms and countryside.

Old Buckenham Airfield is around an hour’s drive from our lodges, however this will reward you with gorgeous overhead views of the Norfolk Broads. These beautiful lakes and rivers look lovely from the sky, and this trip is especially charming on sunny days.

Virgin offer a variety of trips which vary in price, and all come with a champagne toast, luxury voucher and gift wallet. Flights last around an hour, and you will be invited to help with the inflation and deflation of the balloon. Virgin also offer a retrieval service back to your original launch site, which is particularly convenient for when the whole family wants to take part.


Visit Windmill Lodges to view our available luxury log cabins.

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Animal Meet and Greets in Suffolk


Our luxury lodges are the perfect destination for families with young children, with private hot tubs, a swimming pool and plenty of space to run around outside. Keep your children entertained during your stay with us by taking them to a variety of petting zoos where they can take part in feeding goats, cuddling bunnies and riding ponies.

Suffolk is home to a variety of wildlife, so for a calm and relaxing holiday why not stay at one our luxury lodges and enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the countryside? Windmill Lodges is set in rural Suffolk, and as well as nature on your doorstep, it has many family attractions within close distance.


Easton Farm Park

Easton Farm Park is home to a variety of farm animals including cows, pigs, rabbits, sheep, goats, horses and chickens. Children can cuddle the rabbits and guinea pigs, feed the goats, interact with the sheep, and ride the ponies around the farm.

They also have a play area called the Barmy Barn, which houses their indoor air cannons for your children to safely play with. Within the barn there is a warm café, with views of both the farm and the play area, so you can keep an eye on both at once.


Valley Farm Equestrian Centre

Develop your skills at Valley Farm where you can learn how to ride. Here they also teach many equestrian disciplines such as English riding, side saddle, western, vaulting and carriage driving. The experienced instructors here can help to guide your children through their lesson, while you can enjoy a coffee in the café next door.

They also have donkeys, camels, alpacas and a variety of smaller animals, which can be seen during scenic walks around the arenas.


Hollow Trees Farm Trail

This picturesque trail will take you around the fields into Pogals Pit and the Livestock Barn where you can see some sweet animals. Pogals Pit is a small play area for children of all ages, which features rope swings and bear dens.

There are many different routes for you to explore, and on your way you can find Dirty Dave the tractor, Rolly Polly pole, Goat Mountain and much more. Hollow Trees stays open all year round, and is just 45 minutes from our luxury log cabins, in Semer. There is also a popular local farm shop, and fresh produce from here can be taken back with you to our beautiful wood log cabins to enjoy during a quiet night in.


Jimmy’s Farm

Open throughout the week, Jimmy’s Farm, in Wherstead, is just 40 minutes from our log cabins. While visiting the farm you can hold and pet all of their friendly animals, including chicks, lambs, rabbits, guinea pigs and goats.

The Butterfly House is a new feature of the farm, and was created by Jimmy following his childhood 
passion for butterflies. It is home to an array of tropical butterflies which fly freely amongst brightly coloured flowers and plants. If you stand still long enough, you may even be lucky enough to have one land on you!


Nowton Farm

Aimed at small children, Nowton Farm is a small petting farm in Bury St Edmunds where many of the animals run freely around you. Young children will enjoy the close encounters with all of the baby animals, many of which have been rescued and rehomed by the farm.

There is also a local farm shop where you can stock up on fresh produce to take home with you afterwards. Stock up on soups, oils, chutneys, chocolate, jams and many other goods to take back to our luxury lodges after a fun family day out on the farm.


Visit Windmill Lodges to view our available log cabins.

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Romantic Places in Suffolk to Visit with Your Partner

If you are planning on organising a long weekend away with your loved one, we have compiled some of the most magical places to visit with your partner while you stay with us in our romantic log cabins. All of our stunning lodges come with a private hot tub for you to enjoy, as well as scenic views of our small lake and lush green lawns. Within just minutes of our romantic lodges Suffolk there are several picturesque places for you to enjoy, from beaches and natural reserves to small and charismatic villages.


The River Orwell

For a pleasant and scenic evening out, the River Orwell is perfect, with gorgeous scenery and rich tones of red cast across the sky as the sun sets. Book yourself on an idyllic river cruise with Viking Mariners, and relax together while enjoying a luxurious champagne supper. 

Avid bird watchers will also enjoy the birdwatching cruise on the Thames Sailing Barge, where experts will help you to spot and identify a huge variety of birds including wildfowl, waders and migrants. This daytime trip includes a lunch at one of Ipswich’s best restaurants, where you can enjoy local food and drinks.

Snape Maltings

Snape Maltings is a rich cultural site where you can find a variety of shops, galleries, restaurants, and the world famous Snape Maltings Concert Hall. The shops here are varied to suit all types of people, making this a perfect day out for couples to enjoy on Valentine’s Day. Here there is also a food hall where you can purchase local and seasonal produce, ready to take back to our romantic log cabins where you can enjoy an intimate night in together. 

The Maltings lie on the banks of the River Alde, where there are some wonderful wildlife walks to enjoy. You can also explore the expansive tidal estuary by boat or foot, with a number of paths to guide you as you discover the amazing marshes and heavenly heath.


Southwold Pier

This traditional pier boasts a wealth of local shops and restaurants, in which you can enjoy the beautiful views of the Suffolk coast. The cosy restaurants are perfect for a romantic meal, while the beach provides a delightful setting for an afternoon or evening stroll.

Here you can even own a little piece of the pier as a special way of remembering your visit, by buying a celebratory plaque with a custom message on it, which will then be displayed on the pier for all to see. This is a great anniversary gift, and can be used as a special way to say something to the person you love.

Minsmere

If you are visiting Windmill Lodges as a family, Minsmere coastal nature reserve is the perfect place to head to for a special day out, with a huge array of activities and events to take part in. Here, there are a number of buggy friendly paths, so small children can also enjoy the day, without getting too tired.

While visiting Minsmere you can also spend an educational day of bird watching, with popular species to be found here such as the bearded tit, marsh harrier and nightingale, which can be heard singing in the woodland throughout spring.


Thorpeness

This Peter Pan inspired village is full of magical places for you to see, including the dreamy House in the Clouds, a transformed water tower. Also in the village is a boating lake which is dotted with islands, all with a Peter Pan inspired name. Here, you can take a boat ride for two, while basking in the peacefulness of your surroundings.

Our romantic log cabins are ideal for a quiet and enchanting night in with your other half. If you don’t fancy going out to eat, our self-catering accommodation means that you can cook up a treat together, using the freshest local ingredients. As our exclusive site has only seven cabins, we can ensure that you can enjoy maximum privacy for your stay. 

To book a relaxing stay with us, visit Windmill Lodges.