Today feels like a cottage kind of day
Why spend Christmas at home when you can find a rural retreat in the countryside?
Review by Kate Morfoot
But don’t let ‘rural’ scare you off, the three barn-style cottages at Fielding Cottage in Norfolk are just 15 minutes’ drive away from Norwich, one of the finest cities, steeped in history, with great shopping and exceptional restaurants.
This a venture of diversification by young farmer/entrepreneur Sam Steggles, who not only has his own farm at 37, but has developed the holiday accommodation alongside a successful goat cheese processing set-up and a goat skin care business. He also offers residential courses on how to make it, so no shortage of delicious cheese for the Christmas table.
For the Christmas and New Year period you can rent one or all three barns, which are family and dog friendly, including the Nest, which sleeps two, and also Kingfisher and Nightingale that sleep up to four.
Superbly equipped and finished the cottages have comfortable double beds, a large ensuite bathroom with shower, a well-equipped kitchen, and a cosy lounge area with television.
There is also a games room, and a large open space for outside dining and picnics. The two larger units are ideal for families with young children who can, if they wish, meet the goats.
The Goat Shed is the on-site shop selling the cheese, goat’s milk, seasonable vegetables (including excellent asparagus) and basics like eggs, coffee, jams and honey, plus the award-winning Fielding Cottage skincare range. Just down the road you will find award-winning Norfolk Black turkeys from Peele’s farm in Thuxton.
As well as offering peace and quiet, the cottage is an ideal base to explore what Norfolk has to offer. The famous Broads are 40 minutes drive away, with the north Norfolk coast, and resorts like Cromer and Sheringham, slightly further afield.
Should guests fancy some extra effort, then the facilities of nearby Barnham Broom Hotel, Spa and Golf Club, including gym, pool, sauna and steam room, tennis and squash courts, can be used as part of the stay.
Norwich, The Fine City, is a mere 15 minutes’ drive along the nearby A47 and is really a “must” for Norfolk visitors. There is so much to do: visit the castle, built by order of William The Conqueror, packed with art treasures; Norwich Cathedral, building of which was begun in the 11th century, has some fine stained-glass windows and one of the largest cloisters in the country. And, just like Liverpool, Norwich has “one to spare”, the Roman Catholic Cathedral full of items of gothic splendour. There are also museums, open spaces, and one of the best selection of restaurants to be found in any UK city – from Thai to Turkish.
Nearby, only five minutes from the farm, you can dine at The Buck, in Honingham. This pub-restaurant combines the ambience of a village “local” with top-class dining using local produce and ingredients, served by a cheerful staff.
Fielding Cottage, Honingham, Norwich. Norfolk. NR9 5DJ/ 01603 880685/ www.fieldingcottagenorfolkholidays.co.uk
Goat Cheese Making Courses 2020
Visit Norwich/ 01603 213999/ www.visitnorwich.co.uk
Honingham Buck, 29 The St, Honingham, Norwich NR9 5BL/ 01603 880393/ www.thehoninghambuck.co.uk