Country comforts at Fritton House

PUBLISHED: 10:55 11 June 2010 | UPDATED: 17:19 20 February 2013

Country comforts at Fritton House

Country comforts at Fritton House

Jayne Lindill swaps the stresses and strains of the town for the tranquil surroundings of Fritton House at Somerleyton

Country comforts at Fritton House


Jayne Lindill swaps the stresses and strains of the town for the tranquil surroundings of Fritton House at Somerleyton


A few Sundays ago a man in a blue car nearly ran my partner and me over on a pedestrian crossing in the car park at a large supermarket in Ipswich.
A couple of vigilant parking supervisors witnessed the incident and set off after him, but he got away. Luckily for him I was on my way home from a quick stay at enchanting Fritton House, otherwise I wouldnt have been nearly as chilled about the incident as I was.
Yes, theres nothing like some time off in the Suffolk countryside to help you unwind and remind yourself of what life could be like without traffic, car parks and giant supermarkets.
Three-star (small hotel category) Fritton House nestles quietly at the edge of Fritton Lake on the Somerleyton estate, a tranquil spot on the Suffolk/Norfolk border within easy reach of the coast, the Broads, the River Waveney, Lowestoft and charming market towns such as Beccles.
Its an Adnams property, a newish addition to its stable of hotel and self-catered accommodation, all of which are steeped in history and character.
The house dates back to the 15th century, but as you step through the door it has an air of an early 19th century country home. Its incredibly welcoming and comfortable, with a sort of rustic elegance.
The public rooms and the bedrooms are furnished with antiques, upholstered in soft, muted tones. The floors are mellow timbers, except in the bedrooms where they are warmly carpeted.
The beds are big and comfy, the en suite bathrooms are stylish and all rooms have flat screen TVs, DVDs and wi-fi internet access.
Fritton House is just an hours drive from the Felixstowe residence I share with Mr H. We stopped on the way in Beccles for an early lunch and a wander round the town.
We arrived at Fritton House mid afternoon, with enough time for a lakeside walk before dusk. It was the perfect way to enjoy a dry, mild afternoon in late autumn spectacular colour in the trees, the rustle of fallen leaves underfoot, the call of birds as they retired to their evening roost.
As evening began to draw in around us we retired to ours and were treated to a stunning sunset from our bedroom window coincidentally, just as the sun was setting on Englands chances against the All Blacks at Twickenham, but we wont dwell on that.
We had a friendly relaxed dinner in the hotel dining room. The Fritton House menu offers modern English dishes made from fresh, seasonal ingredients, many of them locally sourced.
Mr H tucked into a starter of moules frites followed by a main course of 8oz local sirloin steak, hand cut chips and a sauce Diane. I plumped for salt and pepper calamari with lime slices and a main course of Lowestoft cod with gnochetta (mini gnocchi) and a tomato and olive sauce.
It was all delicious and very fresh. We shared a cheeseboard which included Suffolk Gold and Suffolk Blue, Lincolnshire Poacher and White Lady.
On a Saturday night the restaurant was full its obviously popular with local people and for good reason. The food was excellent and very reasonably priced.
Breakfast includes cereals and toast (proper bread), tea, coffee and fruit juices, with cooked choices that include a full English and smoked salmon and scrambled eggs.
Theres plenty to do within easy reach the House. Lake activities include rowing and a wildlife guided tour aboard the Bittern Boat.
These are summer offerings only, but there are acres of woodland and parkland to explore. The country park includes a childrens adventure playground, wellie trails and bouncy pillow and there are indoor barn activities.
Theres also golf (a nine hole par 3 golf course open all year round), fishing and pony rides. These are not included in your stay you buy a day admission to the park.
And of course there is Somerleyton Hall nearby with its spectacular gardens and maze, as well as seasonal events.
I think Fritton House is a fine example of the highly individual, small hotel experience England does so well. These properties were built so that people in a more elegant age could live in the country and entertain their friends in style and thats exactly what people like Adnams are doing so well with them in the 21st century.
Treat yourself to a short break at Fritton House. Good food, great hospitality, relaxed surroundings its what Suffolks all about.


-Fritton House,Church Lane, Fritton
Tel: 01493 484008
email: fritton.house@adnams.co.uk

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