Finding somewhere really special to rent for a holiday is a total nightmare – I know, because I spent two solid weeks staring at websites of chintz before I found Belle Grove Barns. It’s in Suffolk, wonderful partly because it’s flat, and wonderful because there is a horse named after it. Belle Grove is just outside Halesworth, and it’s the most staggeringly beautiful place I have ever stayed. Ever.
The barns have all been converted by Belle Grove's owners, Nick and Jo, who ran safaris in Africa for 30 years and have spent the last few combing places like Rajasthan and Morocco for beautiful jewel-like pieces to decorate with.
Gorgeous. Just gorgeous. And probably time to gorge yourself on all the pictures on Belle Grove's gallery as well. From the guestbooks to the cushions, curtains and throws, every bit of every barn feels like you've just fallen into Arabian Nights. And no chintz in sight.
As well as looking a million dollars, staying at Belle Grove feels like it too. Cake and booze treats await you on arrival, along with underfloor heating, hotel quality linens, little Lindt truffles around the bed and a kitchen to die for. My boyfriend and I have been coming here for two years now and adore it – although, if you bring a car, be mindful of the time of year as we got hilariously snowed in when we visited in November:
Accommodation ranges from the small two-person Stable to the fairly massive Upper Barn which can handle up to eight. Dogs and children are all allowed, and you can even get the key to a little beach hut in Southwold if you go in summer. If you go to the wonderful Latitude festival nearby, and have money to splash, this would be a truly splendid way to avoid the nightmare that is wandering around past ‘quirky’ tent pegs at 4am.
If you're not off to Latitude, there's plenty to check out in the surrounding area, but it's definitely worth taking a car as the nearest supermarket is in Halesworth, a few miles away.
Prices range from £575 - £1305 per week - keep an eye out for the amazing house Nick and Jo have built for themselves too, complete with their very own dragon nesting on the roof!