An insider's guide to the county's best kept secrets
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A cosy and secluded modern cottage in the centre of Wymondham town with quality furnishings and a sunny courtyard providing the perfect base for a luxury getaway weekend
Where to find it
Wymondham is a quaint market town 10 minutes drive from Norwich city centre. With its market square, abbey, and varied selection of shops, it’s a nice base for accommodation, whether you’re visiting the area on business or pleasure. One of the things I love about this cosy cottage is it is right in the heart of the town. With parking directly over the road – either side of the library – the cottage resides down a private alleyway leading to only two properties. It’s quiet and peaceful yet in less than a minute’s walk you’re in the middle of the marketplace and have everything immediately to hand.
What to expect
On arrival you’ll first see the courtyard garden, a paved and gravelled sunny relaxation spot with a BBQ and al fresco dining table. In the hall cupboard there is everything you need for outside lounging including parasol, cushions, picnic hamper and full crockery set. Every eventuality has been thought of here and this is one of Hideaway Cottage’s defining features. The owner, Hazel Harris-Hinds, cares about the quality of her guest’s holiday experience and customer satisfaction is important to her; step in the door and this much is obvious. She doesn’t sell it as more than it is – it’s small, compact and cosy – but she does ensure it meets all your expectations and more, and in doing so it somehow warms your heart. It’s a delightful little nest that you instantly feel at home in.
With a lounge-diner and separate galley kitchen downstairs, and a bathroom and two rooms upstairs, it could easily sleep three but in my opinion, the fact that it’s only ever advertised and let to sleep two just adds to its charm. The second room becomes a day bed and relaxation area which is a lovely idea, however it also allows for two friends to go away together, or a mother and daughter for instance, since there is then the facility for separate rooms. This is unusual for two person properties and a welcome variation.
Every room is immaculate and presented with tasteful quality furnishings throughout – John Lewis is a label you’ll notice on a lot of things here and luxury is a word that will spring to mind. No corners have been cut and it shows. Despite having been let for two years now, everything feels and looks brand new. Deep pile carpets, luxurious bed linen, towels that feel like you’re being wrapped in warm cotton wool – this is a feel good place. With an iPod docking station, mini stereo system and free broadband it meets all technology requirements too. There’s no dish washer but ample crockery and a washer dryer if you need it.
Just to make your stay extra special, you’ll find fresh flowers in every room, complimentary toiletries and a welcome pack which takes care of breakfast during your stay – orange and lavender marmalade from locally produced Essence Foods in Dereham and Drove Orchard apple juice from Thornham, as well as bread, milk, butter and cereal. There’s a selection of games for rainy days, free membership to the local library for DVD rental, and detailed brochures of places to visit in the area plus cycle hire and guided walks. Wymondham is a vibrant community that has farmer’s markets, music festivals and a full calendar of exhibitors at its popular Arts Centre Becket’s Chapel near the Abbey.
Hideaway Cottage has an enjoy England gold award and a visit England four star rating, offering weekends and short breaks - prices start from £195 in low season for 3 night weekends and 4 night mid week stays - and full weeks from £295 low season up to £495 for peak high season. During winter, October to March, 2 night breaks are usually available at £130.
The Perfect Stay will be letting other city properties later this year, reviews to follow.