There are many good reasons to visit Sudbury, a delightful Suffolk town with a remarkable history. As well as being the birthplace of the great artist Thomas Gainsborough, it also houses the head of a 14th century archbishop of Canterbury, has a wonderful little theatre, a wealth of ancient, photogenic buildings, a vibrant market and shopping centre and the River Stour winding a leisurely course through and around the town. Charles Dickens nicknamed the town Eatanswill and refers to it as such in The Pickwick Papers. Sudbury also happens to be the town in which our five children spent their formative years.
Now I’ve found another good reason to go there: The Cabin is a home-from-home guest house overlooking the meadows and the Stour. When we decided to get together again as a family for a weekend and revisit old haunts, it was left to me (as usual!) to find suitable lodgings. My daughter and her fiancé were staying in nearby Lavenham, which prompted the idea in the first place. Trawling the internet for likely hotels and guest houses, I happened on The Cabin’s website and was intrigued. The cabin itself is a self-contained building in the garden of 98 Melford Road and judging by the photos on the site, as well from what we now know, it would be a wonderfully comfortable place to stay. It’s more of a holiday bungalow than a shed! The garden itself is worthy of note, a tranquil haven, beautifully maintained by its owners and part of the whole experience.
I phoned the number given on the website and spoke to Judith Offord, the proprietress, whose friendly and open response made up my mind. I duly booked for five of us.
On arrival, we shot past the house, not paying enough attention to the numbers (strange, considering we used to live only a stone’s throw away). As Melford Road is a main road, we had to take the next left turn in order to turn round. Anyone looking for number 98 (which is clearly marked as such), would be well advised to use a satnav and move quite slowly as they approach, to avoid over-shooting. There is ample parking space on the drive in front of the house.
Our rooms were in the house itself (which is why I can’t comment directly about the cabin). One of them had full en-suite, while the other two had easy access to toilet and shower facilities. Everything was well thought out and had a sense of homeliness and comfort. The beds were good and firm, exactly right for a good night’s sleep, with warm, lightweight duvets. There were tea and coffee making facilities and high quality biscuits provided. Each room has a television, and wi-fi is available free of charge, a great asset in the view of my sons, who can’t live without access to the Internet! (To be fair to them, I’m no better).
Prices were very reasonable (I shall not quote them here as over time prices anywhere are subject to change – but the website is very user-friendly and clearly states current prices).
As well as the bedrooms, guests were able to use the extensive and delightfully bright and comfortable conservatory and the above-mentioned garden.
Breakfast, included in the price, was of the Continental variety. What marked it out as special were the home-made bread and preserves. There was a variety of meats and cheeses, brioches, yoghurts, fruit from the garden and tea and coffee. Everything was beautifully laid out and very high quality. A full English breakfast is an option at an additional cost, though the Continental suited our needs admirably.
What marks The Cabin out particularly is the warmth of the reception we received. Judith and Malcolm Offord have been running their home as a guest house only since the start of 2011 and have obviously “hit the ground running”. They are friendly, very helpful and make every effort to put their guests at ease. This is not something to be taken for granted – I’ve stayed in some guest houses where I felt like an intruder. Here, you are made to feel like a friend.
I would highly recommend anyone looking for a place to stay in the Sudbury area to investigate The Cabin. You won’t be disappointed!
- Also Known As:
- The Cabin Sudbury Suffolk