Chic and style in the countryside at Tuddenham Mill
After a three-hour drive, which, admittedly, included a bit of to-ing and fro-ing and cheeky ‘Why didn’t you print off a better map?’ type questions from the boyfriend, I was inwardly praying to pitch up and find a hotel of exceptional, dream-like quality and unparalleled lose-yourself luxury.
Too much to hope for? Not a bit of it. Tuddenham Mill is, it turned out, as close to country-perfection as you can get: chic and contemporary, luxurious and stylish, yet oozing rustic charm from every beautifully-made wooden pore.
With log cabin-inspired exteriors, the 12 loft-style rooms boast bright and fresh interior decor, with finite detailing that’s second-to-none. Peckish after your journey? Tuck in to the delicious home-made shortbread and fudge left out for your arrival. Need to freshen up? Enjoy a shower in your giant Matki walk-in ensuite, then slip in to your designer Missoni dressing gown.
Our room, one of the plush loft suites, would be more aptly described as a luxurious studio apartment, with its cushy corner sofa and large plasma TV, gigantic Philip Starck stone bath, situated, no less, in the living space (bath + bubbly + box (boyfriend optional) = bliss), and excellent ensuite. The setting can only be described as idyllic: all rooms overlook the mill pond, flanked by a stream which stretches in to the stunning Suffolk countryside.
The Scottish head chef, Gordon McNeil, is fast building up a reputation for fine dining that’s hard to beat. And it isn’t hard to see why. The locally-sourced, organic food was, of course, top notch.
When you’re done eating, relaxing and admiring your room and the beautiful countryside, take a trip to nearby Newmarket races, or the picturesque town of Cambridge. We happily spent a whole afternoon ambling around the historically-rich town, strolling by the river and even making a (not very successful) attempt at punting.
It would be hard to beat Tuddenham Mill for a better place to get some rural relaxation. It is perfectly located and, contrary to our unadmirable effort, easy to find, being located just off the A11, yet it’s nestled deep enough in the country that your retreat won’t be disturbed. But the personal highlight of the trip? The all-singing, all-dancing, super-sized Jo Malone-scented bed, covered in the finest Egyptian cotton sheets. The boyfriend slept through the entire night without snoring once for the first time since we met. And if that’s not a testament to the peaceful tranquillity of this place, then nothing else is.
Details: Tuddenham Mill, High Street, Tuddenham, Nr. Newmarket, Suffolk, IP28 6SQ (01638 713552, www.tuddenhammill.co.uk)