Sleepover: Strattons

A bed for the night in Norfolk


The location

The location

This classical Queen Anne Palladian villa is tucked away down a side street behind the market place in Swaffham, just north of Thetford Forest and about 35 minutes' drive from the north Norfolk coast. It has four double rooms and four suites, all luxuriously different. Two of the suites, Opium and The Stalls, are away from the main house in the old stables - good for privacy.

The USP

Green and pleasant living. Strattons is eco-friendly and has won numerous environmental awards but you probably wouldn't spot it unless you knew. The eggs come from the chickens which run around the front lawn (below), restaurant orders are taken on home-made recycled notepads and the Gilchrist & Soames smellies in the bathroom come in refillable bottles. But this is not a "knit your own yoghurt" type of establishment as the Audi's and VW Beetles parked around the place testify.

The comfort factor

The owners say they want you to feel as if you are walking into a friend's house. If I had friends with a house like this they'd never get rid of me. All the rooms have huge comfortable beds and space for lounging around. In the four suites you get TVs with DVD players, mini fridges, tea and coffee-making facilities and decanters of Madeira. You can also relax in the sumptuous drawing rooms where there is an eclectic mix of original art and an honesty bar for late-night drinks. On a cold day you can lounge on a sofa in front of a log fire, if one of the many resident cats hasn't got there first.

The bathrooms

Worth spending time in. If you're in Tuscany you will share the large bath with a huge shell mosaic of a mermaid (above). If you are in Venetian there's a Botticelli-style mural of Venus rising from the waves. If you're in the Opium suite the enormous double bath is at the foot of your four-poster bed, although there's also a wet-room downstairs if you prefer to conduct your ablutions in private.

The food and drink

Pre-dinner drinks are served in the upstairs drawing rooms. The downstairs restaurant with its Italianate murals is intimate to say the least - just nine tables - so probably not the best place for having conversations you don't want others to hear. Strattons is run by husband and wife Les and Vanessa Scott. Vanessa is in charge of the kitchen while Les does front of house. They take great pride in using only the best local ingredients and Les will tell you, in some detail, the provenance of everything on your plate, particularly the cheese.

The people

Thirty- and forty-year old couples on weekends away, with the occasional baby monitor.

The area

Get up early on a Saturday and you can plunder Swaffham market for antiques. Otherwise, head for the great outdoors. The Brecks, with its forests, lines of twisted Scots pines, heathlands and wetlands, is one of the great natural areas of Britain, so there's plenty of cycling, walking and horse-riding on offer. If it's history you are after, there's Oxburgh Hall, a 15th-century moated National Trust house, and just up the A1065 there's the picture-book village of Castle Acre.

The access

It's a listed building with lots of staircases, so disabled access is restricted, although there is one ground floor suite. Strattons is no-smoking throughout. Children welcome.

The damage

Double rooms from £50 per person per night for bed and breakfast. Suites cost up to £100 per person.

The restaurant, which is also open to non-residents, serves dinner from 7pm to 9pm, Monday to Saturday. A four-course meal including a cheese course, coffee and chocolates costs £37.50 per person.

The address

Strattons, 4 Ash Close, Swaffham, Norfolk PE37 7NH (01760 723845; www.strattonshotel.com)

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Car Sales Executive - Franchised Main Dealer

    £30000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity for...

    Recruitment Genius: Group Sales Manager - Field Based

    £21000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Located on the stunning Sandban...

    Guru Careers: Email Marketing Specialist

    £26 - 35k (DOE): Guru Careers: An Email Marketing Specialist is needed to join...

    Recruitment Genius: Tour Drivers - UK & European

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity to join a is a...

    Day In a Page

    Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

    Isis hostage crisis

    The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
    Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

    The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

    Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
    Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

    Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

    Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
    Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

    Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

    This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
    Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

    Cabbage is king again

    Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
    11 best winter skin treats

    Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

    Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
    Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

    Paul Scholes column

    The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
    Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

    Frank Warren's Ringside

    No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
    Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

    Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
    Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
    Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

    Comedians share stories of depression

    The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
    Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

    Has The Archers lost the plot?

    A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
    English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

    14 office buildings added to protected lists

    Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee