With a second wave disrupting international movement and travel plans in jeopardy, the launch of Chapel Barn Estate couldn’t have come at a better time. The staycation is here to stay. Olivia Palamountain reports
Following a major renovation, Wilderness Reserve’s Chapel Barn Estate has been transformed into a collection of luxury period properties available for private hire.
Tucked away on an estate in the Suffolk countryside, and surrounded by more than 5,000 acres of countryside and landscaped gardens, this is the second country estate opening under the Wilderness Reserve brand (the first is Sibton Park, also in Suffolk).
With Islolation Vacations booming, private hire residences are more in demand than ever before. Chapel Barn joins the likes of Soho Farm House and newcomer Birch by offering all the frills of estate living, from activities and home-grown dining to R&R and overnight stays.Accommodation options range from the one-bed electricity-free Hovel through to Chapel Barn itself, which comes with 18 en-suite bedrooms and now includes luxury facilities such as an indoor swimming pool, cinema, gym and spa.All seven properties may be rented individually – from one night to up to one month – with exclusive booking of the entire estate also available, accommodating up to 90 overnight guests.
Costs vary depending on the property, with a huge range available. For example, one-night midweek stay at Chapel Barn costs from £3,635, while a three-day weekender starts at £13,764. A one-night midweek stay at the Grange costs from £1,319, and a one-night midweek stay at the Tabernacle is just £270.Quirky highlights include Moat Cottage, painted in Suffolk pink and located on the brow of a hill, as the name suggests this residence is surrounded by water and enjoys 360-degree views of the countryside. It comes with a hot tub and rowboat, and there’s space on its lawns for group activities.While Chapel Barn is not a hotel, it does offer a range of dining options, from six-course tasting menus to luxury hampers delivered to your door. The house speciality are fire feasts by the lake – flamed local produce served on sharing platters at long banquet tables.
Activities on offer include paddleboarding, clay-pigeon shooting and axe throwing, spa treatments, bonfire experiences and child-friendly owl encounters. Guests can also cycle around the estate on Pashley bicycles.
Conservation and sustainability are central tenets of the Wilderness Reserve ethos, with more than one million trees already planted. Cattle and sheep graze the valley around the estate, wild flower meadows inject colour in spring, while a traditional Suffolk apple orchard flourishes every autumn.
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