We hope that you and your family and friends are safe and well. At the moment Five Acre Barn is closed and have been for the last few weeks.
We have been however using our time well, whipping the garden into shape and touching up the paintwork, but we are eager to open again!
Firstly we would like to say a huge thank you to all our guests who had bookings at the start of Lockdown, postponed their stay and rolled their deposits forward rather than asking for their money back. That was a massive help financially and we are not sure what we would have done had people not been so flexible and sympathetic to our situation.
If you are reading this we are guessing that you are fed up with being at home and restless to get on the road. Whilst we would love to see you, we want your trip here to be safe and not inadvertently contribute in any way to the Pandemic. So here are a few things that we hope will help you make a decision whether to visit and as far as possible to reassure you about your stay.
We are opening from 4th July and will follow all the government’s advice to the hospitality industry. Incidence of Corona virus in Suffolk is currently relatively low in relation to the 700k people who live here and to our knowledge we have not had the virus.
Fortunately many people come to the Suffolk Coast’s because of its open spaces – the beaches and the heathland – and it is relatively easy to maintain social distancing. There are many lovely local walks that you can access literally on our doorstep. Of course some venues won’t be opening soon so will call for a level of additional resourcefulness on rainy days!
Whilst our welcome will be as warm as ever we will have to change a few things – but this shouldn’t impact your stay too much (there will always be cake in the Barn).
Five Acre Barn is well suited to managing the risk of infection and we will be making some small changes to helping you maintain social distance. It’s a large building in five acres of garden and woodland. Each room has its own ‘sitting room’, TV and sunny garden deck.
We will be implementing additional anti-virus cleaning in line with government recommendations – though realistically there are probably limitations to disinfection given this is a home with all its ‘soft’ surfaces.
There will be plenty of hand sanitizer available and basic masks available.
We will ask guests to try and commit to a specific arrival time so that we can avoid everyone arriving together.
We normally stagger breakfasts anyway, but we will be increasing the spacing. Although breakfast is normally on a shared table in the Barn we can provide it in your room as an alternative.
Anyone who has visited us before, knows that we are friendly and chatty hosts. We will try to be the best hosts we can be, – but we also need to maintain two meters to avoid falling foul of Track and Trace!
These are our thoughts at the moment. This is new territory for all of us and we are open to all suggestions!
One practical challenge is making sure that our guests are fed and watered during their stay (though we are helped by the fact that guests often skip lunch after our breakfasts anyway!).
Shops are open and all the usual goodies are available for beach picnics. Unfortunately you can’t cook in the Barn unless you have rented the whole space (it causes chaos even without Covid), however you are welcome bring food or takeaways and eat them in the Barn or your room.
The re-opening of restaurants and pubs is an evolving situation. We are pleased to say that the excellent village pub, the Parrot and Punchbowl (www.aldringhamparrot.com) and its Thorpeness sister, the Dolphin (www.thorpnessdolphin.com), are both opening from the 4th July. There will be a takeaway and limited restaurant service Please look at their websites and consider booking a table.
For parties of four or more Sophie, our Personal Chef, is available to prepare meals in the Barn. She is brilliant and our guests love her food (please see the ‘Rent the Barn’ page to check out her pedigree). She does need a week’s notice so please let us know well in advance and we can put you in touch (costs roughly £35 – 40 a head depending on what you want).
We are open to providing an informal evening meal for about £15 – 20 per a head. We envisage setting out the fixed menu at breakfast with guests letting us know if they want to participate. We should add that while we are reasonable home cooks we are not chefs!