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!
Latitude tickets are on sale now and if you want to book the perfect off-site accommodation, don't delay! We are just 4 miles away from the site at Henham Park and, using our bikes to cycle through the quiet lanes, you can get there in no time. We had a great time last year doing exactly that and can recommend it. It's over the weekend of 18th July and, if last year was anything to go by, the yurts will be booking up very soon.
Last summer was a great season for us and we're already looking forward to next year. It feels like spring is on the way, with the snowdrops and aconites bursting through in the woodland and the Christmas roses blooming wonderfully. We've been looking back at some holiday snaps from last year and thought we should share one of our favourites with you, as a reminder of what is yet to come. We've got great plans for the year ahead and are finalising details of a couple of courses which we think you'll enjoy, so watch this space....
Happy New Year to all our friends and past and future guests. Although it's only just January, we're beginning to look forward to the return of sunshine and summer holidays here at Ivy Grange Farm. We'll be collecting our new yurt later in the winter and have already taken delivery of our bell tent, so we'll have 4 yurts available throughout the year and the bell tent for the summer months. We're really looking forward to welcoming back some of our guests from 2012 as well as those who've received yurt gift vouchers for Christmas! And for those of you who haven't yet visited, we're ready to give you a warm welcome to the delights of our lovely part of Suffolk.
Nick and I will be sitting down over the coming couple of weeks to plan some more themed weekends and courses, so do let us know if there's anything you are particularly interested in. The Night Walk event from September was particularly popular, so we'll hope to re-run that in some form, perhaps as an extended 3-night event.
We'll hope to see you soon - we're open for the new season from 22nd March and have already taken bookings for a couple of long weekends for the whole site, so don't delay.
If you want to give a special present this year, how about a weekend (or longer) in a luxurious yurt? You can choose from our romantic Barn Owl yurt (great for couples) or one of our larger yurts. The prices are the same as usual (see our Yurts tab) and we'll throw in a welcoming bottle of beautifully chilled Prosecco set out on a tray with glasses, to make sure your guest enjoys a really special occasion. Please contact us for more information or to arrange for a gift voucher to be sent.
We've had a fantastic first full season with lovely guests, some of whom have already booked for a return visit next year. We've now placed our order for our 4th yurt (Yellowhammer) which is from Tim Hutton at Yurtworks, who made Barn Owl for us. We're really looking forward to taking delivery of it. We've also bought a Bell Tent from Soul Pad (nearby in Thetford) and will be putting that up for the summer months. Some of our younger guests have had fun drawing the yurts and describing the fun they've had - here's a selection from our "Vision On" art wall (for readers of a certain age...)
Our courses - the HighTide festival theatre Spring Writers' Retreat and Dixe Wills' Night Walking themed weekend - went really well and we're thinking about what to do for next year. We're exploring bird watching, singing and raised bed gardening (how to make as well as what to grow) and would like to run another Night Walks weekend too. If you are interested in any of these, do let us know. Likewise, if you have expertise you'd like to share or would like to run a residential course here, do get in touch.
Keen to pamper yourself when you come and stay at Ivy Grange Farm? For anyone celebrating an anniversary, birthday or who just feels they deserve a treat, we're delighted to be able to offer a link up with the Artisan Smokehouse who make and supply the most amazing range of smoked and local artisan produce. Simply place an order through their website for delivery to Ivy Grange Farm and we'll manage it so that it's here for your arrival. Great if you want to treat yourself or surprise someone! And we can now arrange for you to have newspapers and magazines delivered to the Barn, so that when you surface in the morning, you can amble over and flick through the news while waiting for your kettle to boil or coffee to brew.
We've really enjoyed the range of food we've bought from Artisan Smokehouse and we think that you will too which is why we've chosen to work with them on the hampers. And if you feel there's anything else we should be adding to what we offer here, then let us know!
We've managed to have a remarkably good June, despite downpours in other parts of the UK. The strawberries are finally making an appearance and the broad beans are just ready for picking now. The new potatoes (Rocket variety) are delicious, especially when cooked with some of the mint from the herb bed.
We've had lots of celebrating couples and families over the past few weeks - birthdays, anniversaries and even honeymoons. It's a lovely place to relax, unwind and enjoy all that the best of Suffolk has to offer. Though with newspapers, hampers and food from the field, why would you ever want to set foot beyond the gate?
Nick and I had a lovely time at Minsmere one evening at the end of June with the Waveney Bird Club. We had an evening meet there and went to a number of the hides and then down to the beach and saw avocets aplenty; a real treat. And then on to Westleton Heath to listen to nightjars - successfully! They were making a fabulous chirring noise, just as it sounds on our iPhone app! The mosquitoes were less fun though.
Life in arable-farming Suffolk wouldn't be complete without the annual "tractor run", straight past the front gate!
We're delighted with our bookings for the summer - weekends are going fast and we're keen to encourage more people to discover the delights of Suffolk during the week as well. So until the end of June we're running a special offer of 4 nights for the price of 3 from Monday to Thursday. We love our yurts and the romance of them - snuggling down under a cosy duvet; watching the stars by the campfire; enjoying the woodland shower by solar light. Throw in a vase of fresh flowers cut from the garden and tea lights, and you're away! There's no catch and no special codes to quote - just book any 4 night weekday break and we'll charge for just 3 nights - we're sure you'll make good use of that extra day. If you've been thinking of giving yurting a go, now's the time!
Yes, it's been wet (one of the things we like about Suffolk is that, generally, it has 23% below average rainfall) and the flowers have loved it. The cowslips have been better than ever and seem to have been around for weeks and weeks. The ducks and moorhens have enjoyed the pond and moat being full again and we've been watching a duck on her nest for a few weeks and are hoping for a clutch of ducklings any day.
Yurters have been braving the weather since the end of March and the yurts have stood up fantastically well to everything the weather has thrown at them. No leaks, and toasty hot wood-burning stoves - a good combination. The table football in the barn has been much in demand and we've been delighted with the new safari kitchen. Kids have been having a lovely time running in and out of the hot water in the woodland shower as well as glooping around some of the wetter bits of the field in their wellies. Campfires have also been a nightly ritual when the weather has allowed.
We've had our first honeymooners of the season in Barn Owl yurt which definitely scores high on the romance stakes, with its scented candle, solar fairy lights, fresh flowers from the garden (bluebells and cowslips - there's a surfeit of both!), nestling beneath the willows.
We're enjoying the arrival of asparagus season and the spears are shooting up in the field. We've even got a special asparagus knife for cutting them.... The summer raspberry canes are tied in, the rocket seedlings are shooting up and the potatoes are all doing well - they should be ready to dig in early June. And of course the perpetual spinach just keeps on growing.