Yurts and Coronavirus
First of all we should stay that our thoughts are with all our lovely guests and we are hoping that you and your families are keeping safe and well. We continue to be open for short breaks and holidays throughout the year and are monitoring government announcements on a daily basis and will keep this blog as well as our FaceBook page updated with where we're at. We've been in touch with our April guests to offer to move their breaks to later in the year for anyone who would prefer that and will contact May guests within the next week or so, once we see how things are looking. In the meantime if you have any questions do please give us a call on 07802 456087. We have put measures in place to minimise the risk of catching Coronavirus, with a new paper towel dispenser installed and a stack of 10,000 paper towels to go with it; we have a good stock of bars of soap, information about hand-washing (though everyone must be familiar with the routine by now), a huge stack of tea-towels and appropriate laundry baskets and bins dotted around. We are also blessed with plenty of fresh air and, of course, each yurt has their own cooking facilities and equipment for cooking at the yurt, in addition to the shared facilities. We're also expecting a surge in the use of the (heated) woodland showers this year, so they are freshly serviced and all ready to go. We've been heartened by the responses from many of our returning guests, who are happy with the cleanliness and standards of hygiene at the yurts and tell us that they are very much looking forward to their Easter breaks, and we look forward to welcoming many returning and new guests this year. With a heartfelt thanks for your continuing support in these difficult times, and best wishes to you all. And, we have to stay, after a good amount of winter rain the flowers are looking fabulous!
We've entered the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness and things are looking wonderfully autumnal, with the trees changing colour and the scent of woodsmoke in the air. We're open till Halloween and are very much enjoying seeing our guests enjoying the autumn season with campfires going and smoke puffing from wood-burners as dusk settles. The setting sun is giving us great sunsets and, once its gone down, the skies are gloriously black and inky and we can see the Milky Way arcing above the meadow on a clear night and, with the owls hooting away, it's the perfect way to say goodbye to summer and hello to autumn. We've been fortunate to feature in the Guardian Travel's pick of top spots to stay, so the last few weekend gaps have now filled, but there's still some mid-weekk availability if the idea of campfires and sleeping under canvas is appealing, so do check out our availability calendar if you are tempted... It's been great to see so many returning guests this year as well as meeting newbies to glamping and despite the really difficult start to the year for us all, it's been a great lift to hear children's voices in the meadow again and to see guests visibly relax as they settle into the space, the slower pace and good Suffolk air. Thanks to all our guests for being considerate to others and to supporting us during this difficult year - we wouldn't be here without you!
We've been introduced to the delights of the Tippy Tap - a system for hand-washing that doesn't involve touching anything with your hands (and even includes a wonderfully retro "soap on a rope"). We had great fun making it one Sunday morning before breakfast - it didn't take long and the friends we've persuaded to test it have given glowing reports! If you'd like to find out more, Water Aid have a very helpful pdf with full instructions and you can also watch YouTube vidoes. Looking forward to seeing our summer guests get to grip with Tippy Tap! You can see Nick demonstrating it on the video here (and turn up the volume and you can enjoy his singing too....)
We've been missing our yurt guests - from Easter onwards it's been very quiet on the human front. The wildlife, however, has been making up for it - we've got swallows, a red kite, a kestrel family, a little owl, a jackdaw family, a fox or two, plenty of bunnies as well as a hare, moorhens (or water hens as they're known here), ducks and plenty of butterflies and insects. Adele Goodchild, who has created our willow art works and sculptures is also a talented photographer and had a wander round the meadow a week ago in the sunshine and caputured plenty of wildlife action so we thought we'd share her work with you, which we think is fabulous!
We are hoping to be open from 4th July, along with other hospitality businesses and are taking bookings for the summer and beyond. We have extended our season this year and will stay open till the end of October to ensure that as many of you as possible can get your Ivy Grange Farm "fix". In line with emerging industry practice, we are now taking a 25% deposit (rather than 50%) with the balance payable a month beforehand (though we can flex this to a shorter period depending on how things are looking), as usual. This deposit will be non-refundable in the event of cancellation due to a resurgence of Coronavirus. In this case, we remain happy to move your booking to another date or to issue vouchers for the value of your deposit. We hope you will understand our reasons for this change - our fixed overheads account for about 25% of our turnover (this doesn't include paying ourselves), so it costs us a substantial amount each year just to be open even without anyone staying (don't get us started on insurance!). We are a small business and in order to continue to operate we need to share the risks with you, our delightful guests. We have managed to rebook all but one of our displaced bookings so far this year and so don't expect your deposit to be at risk.
We're already looking forward to seeing many of you back here and have been working hard in the meadow to improve the "wow" factor and have one or two surprises in store.... Hoping you are all staying safe and well and sending virtual hugs.
We are fortunate to live in a rural, remote part of Suffolk, with no near neighbours and a lovely 3 acre meadow. Thinking about Coronavirus and responding to enquiries from friends far and near, we've decided to offer some "exclusive use" breaks at Ivy Grange Farm during April and May. These breaks will give you use of a yurt (accommodating up to 5 family members) or Shepherd's Hut (maximum of 4), all beautifully furnished and equipped with wood-burning stoves, sole use of our lovely renovated 17th century barn with all facilities and use of the 3-acre meadow which looks glorious in the springtime! You have the whole place to yourselves, with no need to see another soul (though we're always happy to advise on bike routes, walks, favourite beaches...) You can enjoy the delights of buzzards, red kites, kestrels, owls, weasles, bunnies and stoats; kids will have a lovely time exploring the meadow (and checking out our brand new tree-house!), firing up the pizza oven or you might fancy taking out our bikes for a pedal around the lanes (we're on Cycle Route 1) or heading for one of the quiet Suffolk beaches or riverside pubs (with outside seating). Availability is: 7 nights from Sunday 19th April; 7 nights from Sunday 26th April; 4 nights from 3rd May and then 7 nights from Sunday 10th May, or 5 nights from Sunday 17th May. Prices are £850 for 7 nights, £600 for 5 nights and £500 for 4 nights. If you fancy ordering in a range of excellent local produce, or meal delivery from one of our local pubs, we can point you in the right direction. Email us firstname.lastname@example.org with your preferred dates or give us a call on 07802 456087 with any questions.
We know it's still spring, but we're already looking ahead to autumn and are offering a very special deal in the Shepherd's Hut for those who want to get all romantic, nicely snuggled up in the warm (and that's before you even light the fire!) or simply escape the hurly burly of life. For the whole of September and the first two weeks of October, you can stay in Shepherd's Hut for 2 nights for just £160, or for a whole week for just £360! So whether you're a writer needing peace and quiet for the creative juices to flow, or a couple wanting to explore the quiet lanes and by-ways of our part of Suffolk, check out the availability calendar and get booking!