Tawny Barn sits square in the middle of Chelsworth, Suffolk’s prettiest village and home to glorious gardens, 17th-century manor houses and willows that weep above the rowing boats that rock gently on the River Brett. Sleeping 11 in six bedrooms, this is a big, beautiful barnstormer with space to party and space to be apart.
Tawny Barn is tailor-made for families looking to make memories, corporates wanting to build happy teams, and dogs ready to run wild in the two-acre gardens. Built on a hill, it offers sunken garden areas giving outside space to three of the barn’s four floors. But it’s the vast, cathedral-like living space that’ll drop your jaw the most.
Throw open the doors to the terrace. Call in our external caterers, top up your glass and put your feet up. Sleep in spa-like bedrooms with a balcony here, a circular spa bath and air-clad pod there, and limitless luxury everywhere. Gaze out on dewy meadows, stare at star-peppered skies, light the firepit, empty your mind and refuel your soul.
Gardens here are an oasis of sanity in a crazy world. Best viewed from the bedroom balcony or over a summer Sauvignon from the eight-seater terrace, they offer a two-acre haven that back onto meadows teeming with wildlife. Let the kids and up to two dogs explore by day, while you stare at starry skies around the firepit by night.
The main living space at Tawny Barn can’t be discussed without reference to the kitchen and dining spaces. Living is a vast, zonal affair here, with the three spaces sitting under one immense, cathedral-like roof. This is a double-height dream, with floor-to-apex windows flooding the space with daylight or picking out The Plough by night.
Opposite the stainless-steel kitchen and the bike that hangs artfully from the beams, the main sitting area comes with squishy sofas, funky lighting and 60” smart TV. Open the double doors to the terrace on balmy evenings. Feed your Netflix addiction through the 45mbps Wi-Fi. Tawny Barn is cool and contemporary yet warm and welcoming.
Sitting beneath the vast, vaulted ceiling and the avant-garde pedal bike that hangs on the wall, the kitchen here is a stainless-steel dream made for Master Chefs like you. But if you need a break, consider bringing the restaurant to you with DineIndulge, available for a one-off celebration or fully catered break.
The dining area, in the centre of the main living area, offers a spectacular, cathedral-like space in front of the double doors that open out onto the terrace in summer or beneath the floor-to-apex windows that invite the stars in by night. Choose a bench or chair, pass the wine, butter the bread and tuck in.
Pack away the apron to treat yourself to takeaways from Fresh Spice, Dough and Co and Pizza Time Plus. Walk three minutes into the village for spiced rabbit loin or rump of Suffolk lamb at the dog-friendly Peacock Inn, or The Swan Inn for coffee and cake or classic fish pie.
Eat locally sourced classics including local game casserole or baked bass at The Bildestone Crown. Try crab and coconut fritters or monkfish parcels at The Fish Dish in Sudbury or a taste of Italy at Tito’s Ristorante. Or enjoy the Mexican superbowl with halloumi or pulled brisket chilli at Prado Lounge in Sudbury.
With the meadows and fields of rural Suffolk all around you, you’ll want to gaze at the star-struck sky before climbing into bed. When you do, prepare for log-like sleep in the quietest of quiet locations.
The master bedroom sleeps two in a kingsize bed on the lower-ground floor and offers a private bathroom with tub, while bedroom two is a ground-floor kingsize with en-suite, bath and balcony. Bedrooms three and four are first-floor kingsize rooms and bedroom five is a second-floor single. Bedroom six offers a kingsize with shower en-suite.