Our brand new 43 bedroom private members club, Retreat East, offers all the pleasures of an idyllic country lifestyle in the comfort of a purpose-built, sustainable, rural retreat. It’s located in a set of stunningly restored and newly built barns in 35 acres of organic farmland, wildflower meadows and orchard.
This is the intelligent, 21st century model of owning a slice of the countryside. Each debenture in the private members club (you’re free to buy more than one if you wish) gives unlimited day visits, as well as 15 overnight stays a year. Take them as you wish for weekends, short breaks or longer stays.
You have the best of both worlds – your own permanent base in the country, at a fraction of the cost and bother of a second home. Our housekeeping, maintenance and gardening staff do all the hard work, so when you Retreat East, the time you spend here is quality time, restoring you from the week that has been, preparing you for the one to come.
Intelligent, 21st century ownership
Retreat East is in the heart of the rolling Suffolk countryside, in a Designated Special Landscape Area, just over an hour outside London. With its ever-changing skies and vast romantic beaches, this is the place that inspired Constable and Gainsborough; full of medieval treasures, historic churches and ancient country pubs.
Retreat East: hop on the A12, or a train out of London’s Liverpool Street, and you will soon be breathing the clean Suffolk air and looking forward to a drink and a delicious seasonal lunch or supper in the magnificent double-height oak framed Great Barn. Or you might be preparing for your pampering spa treatment. Perhaps you fancy a screening of your favourite old movie in the private cinema, or a game of billiards. You might be excited about taking the private dining room for your special occasion or celebration. Or to joining the dog for a romp in the glorious countryside on a sign-posted walk. It’s all as sociable, or as private, as you’d like it to be.
If you’re staying overnight in one of the barns, forget all the hassle associated with a traditional second home: everything will be spotlessly clean, there will be fresh, fine-thread linen on your bed, plumped cushions, everything in perfect working order, with wine chilling in the fridge. We’ll even light your fire for you.
Time you enjoyed wasting is never wasted
Retreat East is set on a farm. It’s not any old farm, though: it’s a 35 acre organic haven. All the intensive stuff is long since gone. The land has been carefully restored, hedgerows replanted and an orchard created. That’s where you’ll find our brood of friendly hens, laying eggs for your breakfast in the morning. Nothing tastes better than organic eggs you have collected, within an hour of laying, and served up for breakfast.
One wing of the Great Barn contains the spa. It contains a fully fitted-out exercise room with wonderful floor to ceiling views. Forget exercising in the airless basement of your office. Next door, you’ll find two treatment rooms offering everything from hot stone massages to wraps and facials. There’s a Turkish hamam for relaxing and cleansing the body and an authentic wood-lined Finnish sauna next door. Finish off with a dip in the cedar plunge pool or the hot-tub outside in the fresh air.
If all the spa stuff sounds too wholesome, it’s not far to wander across the club room to the entertainment wing. Here is where the private screening room, bar, private dining, library and billiard room are located.
Indulgent surroundings to relax and recharge
Urban escapees need space and indulgent surroundings to relax and recharge. All of Retreat East’s accommodation is located in newly converted or purpose built designer barns ranging from beautiful one beds at 550 sq ft to spacious two beds at up to 1200 sq ft in size. They have beautiful living and dining spaces, open-plan kitchens, spacious bedrooms, big walk-in showers and many of the barns have two-person roll-top baths.
When you buy a debenture, you choose either a studio or a barn membership. Studios are perfect for one, or for a couple. With barn membership you can choose any of the beautiful dairy or field barns to stay in. Each time you come, try out a different unit. You own a slice of the whole property, so why not? Your membership lasts forever by the way. Gift it, sell it back to us, or bequeath it, as you wish.
These barns aren’t just stunning to look at, with their exposed timbers, brick or solid wood floors, and high-pitched roofs. They’re high spec too. Features include double or triple glazing, thick sheeps wool insulation, full under floor heating, wood-burning stoves, kitchens by British Standard with Miele and Smeg appliances, thick Volga Linen curtains, and high-speed broadband throughout. Of course.
Oh and did we mention the star-gazing windows located directly above the beds of the Field Barns? Retreat East and experience a proper Suffolk starry night from under the comfort of your thick goose-down duvet.
Your private slice of Suffolk
Have a guess at the average occupancy of second homes worldwide. Ten nights. Per year. Suffolk is a particularly popular county for second homes, because of its proximity to London. All over the county, precious housing stock in smaller villages are being used as part-time holiday homes, pushing up prices, and are sitting empty for long periods. Some villages on the coast are known as “ghost settlements” and with good reason.
Urban dwellers have every right to come to the country, to claim a stake in it, and to enjoy its charms. But if there were an intelligent, 21st century way, of countering this problem, so much the better.
There is. Retreat East, and you aren’t depriving a young family of a cottage that could be their starter home. This is about the sharing economy and proper sustainability: one previously redundant farmstead now provides a whole community of debenture holders with a country retreat that is in effect a shared resource that is used all year round. The owners will Retreat East with their families, contribute to the local economy, but won’t be taking all that valuable property out of circulation and leaving it mostly unoccupied. We call that a result.
And Retreat East has been built sustainably too. The whole project is an exemplar of sensitive restoration and rural diversification. At every stage we’ve minimised the waste of resources, incorporated massively high levels of insulation, responsible building methods and efficiency grade A+ double or triple-glazing. Our aim is to leave the lightest of environmental footprints on this precious piece of land.
Retreat East is located in the Gipping Valley, in glorious rolling countryside. Within walking distance is the ancient village of Coddenham, once the largest Roman settlement in Suffolk, with its historic pub, The Dudley Arms, established in the days of Henry VIII. This welcoming village community has pretty shops, a post office, a breathtaking late-Medieval church and a well stocked village store selling locally reared meats, fresh fruit and vegetables, daily bread deliveries from Moss bakery, local Suffolk cheeses, a fine range of wine and food and drink from the Suffolk Smokehouse and Calvors brewery. Not a Starbucks in sight.
A six mile signposted circular country walk actually crosses Retreat East’s land, and horse riding, golf, sailing are close by. Food plays a particular role in Suffolk: it is the source of much extremely high quality produce, as well as being the home of Aspall Cyder and Adnams beer.
Within a few miles (8 miles to Woodbridge, to be precise) is the majestic Suffolk Heritage Coast and Heath, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and haven for nature and wildlife. The world-class cultural facilities of Snape Maltings, home of the renowned Aldeburgh Festival, are easily reached, with its monthly food market and tastings and many independent shops and galleries.
It’s time to Retreat East
The farmhouse is a genteel, 16th century Suffolk 4-bedroom longhouse that has been perfectly restored and is set in its own private gardens. Renting it for a short stay is the only way members of the public will be able to Retreat East, as this is an exclusive, private members’ country club. Debenture holders can also rent the farmhouse at a 50% reduction, which is handy for those times you want to bring a group of friends or family for a birthday break, or other special occasion. Or, who could blame you if you just wanted to show off your own slice of Suffolk?
Retreating East is temptingly affordable: early adopters can become a Member by taking up a studio debenture with unlimited day usage and 15 overnight stays a year included for just £18,950. A barn debenture with unlimited day usage and 15 overnight stays a year included is £35,950. We are getting ourselves ready for a Spring launch date, when sales of the limited number of debentures on offer will begin. Once they’re gone, they’re gone.
First occupancy will begin from Autumn 2016. We’re excited. Register your interest if you are too.
Register your email address to find out more.