Over recent years, as a family we have competed a number of murder mysteries and treasure trails with treasuretrails.co.uk and have great fun deciphering the clues and discovering the history and environment of the wonderful villages, towns and cities we have visited in England.
So, in December 2020 when we were getting a little restless staying indoors doing puzzles and watching the telly, we decided that a local treasure trail would be the perfect outdoors distraction where we can socially distance, discover somewhere new but still local, and have some fun!
We ashamedly haven't taken the children to Cambridge very much over the years and seeing as we are so local, and with it steeped in so much history and beauty, we decided to take a little trip and complete a murder mystery treasure trail around the University side of the city. There are 5 different Cambridge treasure trails, where other towns and cities often only have one, so we were spoilt for choice!
We chose a 2-hour murder mystery trail called 'Cambridge Fitzwilliam', a circular route around the south eastern side of the city, passing many of the University Colleges and along a short stretch of the River Cam too. It is all outdoors too, so perfect if you need or want to stay outside!
With a tween and a teen and being a rather competitive family(!) we had lots of fun deciphering the clues and working out which suspect was the murderer and their weapon of choice! The added bonus was the beautiful architecture and how the city is steeped in history... needless to say it won't be the last time we go as both adults and kids really loved the afternoon we had there.
Cambridge is the second oldest English-speaking university in the world, being founded in 1209. It has 31 different and distinct colleges all with their own history, stories and style. Sights in Cambridge include magnificent libraries, beautiful courts and breathtaking views from the Bridge of Sighs (Queen Victoria’s favourite) and the mind-boggling Mathematical Bridge. We liked taking a look at Kings College and all the Punts lined up on the River Cam, waiting for Spring and non-covid times!
For more info if you are visiting Cambridge take a look at visitcambridge.org
There are also treasure trails in Bury St Edmunds and Lavenham too, have a look on their website before your stay at The Stable and print out your trail booklet or download the pdf on your device, we have found it's a great way to explore.
Like all other holiday accommodation in England we closed the The Stable door (excuse the pun!) to Guests in March 2020 following Government and industry advice. It has been a long 3 months or so and actually quite sad for us not to be able to have guests to stay during a time when the weather has been stunning and the gardens and countryside around us look so beautiful!
We are very pleased to say though that the time for reopening and welcoming guests again is here. We are now open for bookings from 4th July 2020 onward and so we wanted to share with you the preparations we have been making, some of the changes that we have made during the last few months and what we are doing to help you keep safe whilst you enjoy your stay with us.
Our Preparations and Changes:
We want to share some of the things that we will be doing to help you to stay safe during your stay with us at The Stable.
In terms of cleaning, we will be following industry guidelines on undertaking a thorough deep clean of the property before you arrive. We have committed to AirBnb's 'Enhanced Cleaning Protocol', whether you have booked your stay through AirBnb, TripAdvisor or directly with us. This cleaning protocol is a stringent and thorough guide to follow on how to clean and sanitise to help prevent the spread of germs and keep both you and us as safe as possible. We have also completed the detailed risk assessment and have displayed the “We’re Good To Go” industry standard mark certificate at The Stable. This is a self-assessment scheme that has been designed by VisitEngland to provide a ‘ring of confidence’ for all sectors of the tourism industry, as well as reassurance to visitors that businesses have clear processes in place and are following industry and Government COVID-19 guidance on cleanliness and social distancing.
We will be providing hand soap at both the kitchen and bathroom sinks and also a hand sanitiser to use if you wish. We also provide cleaning products and equipment for your use during your stay if you wish to use them. Our towels and bedlinen will be washed on the highest temperature possible as per the above cleaning protocol.
Person to person contact will be minimised by offering self check in and check out for guests using the key box at the property.
If we need to close or you need to cancel due to Covid-19 then you will of course be able to rebook your stay on another available date, you will not lose your deposit.
What we've been up to:
These last few months has given us the chance to make some upgrades to The Stable.
The patio area in the back garden has had a bit of a makeover. 'Mr Mullion Barn' has given it a fabulous new brick edging, a definite improvement on the wooden edging that was needing an update, and I have to say it looks great too! The patio furniture is also looking as new again as it's benefited greatly from a re-oiling. All ready for you to use as a quiet outdoors dining area.
'Mrs Mullion Barn' has given the planter at the front of The Stable a replanting with some gorgeous summertime flowering rudbekia, anenomies and asters. Some gorgeous colour to welcome you when you arrive at your rural retreat.
Remember The Stable is in a beautiful location, very much private and isolated with a private driveway and entrance, with walks and cycle routes straight from the front door.
You have a lovely private outdoor space both at the front and the back of The Stable - perfect for some alfresco dining or to watch the sun rise whilst your having breakfast. We also have a barbecue for your use and if you want to stay away from the shops and restaurants.. there is information in the Guest Information Folder detailing some of our favourite restaurants that offer takeaway and delivery.
The local Supermarkets also deliver to The Stable if you arrange it (we can provide delivery address for the property on request), and don't forget that we can also provide breakfast items for your stay, just ask for the breakfast items price list on booking.
If you feel like staying in and enjoying The Stable and its beautiful surroundings we have Wifi, a TV and a DVD player, plus many DVDs, books, cards, board games and puzzles to keep you entertained. Perfect for a relaxing getaway from it all.
It's been over a year since we posted our first Blog Post with our recommendations for local pubs, and since then we have found a couple more! So we thought it was about time that we updated our guests with where else we have found! It's great to have so many fabulous pubs in the local villages surrounding The Stable.
The Gardners, Tostock - 2.8 miles to the north-east
Lovely traditional pub, and really local to The Stable, built in 1530, and named after squire Gardener, the squire of Tostock. We like eating here because the food is freshly home made and therefore yummy! The menu is big and has a kids menu too - if you finish your plate you get a free lolly! We love the huge open fire, just lovely and toasty in the colder months.. get in there early to get one of the tables next to it. (couple of photos below!)
The Norton Dog, Norton - 4.0 miles to the north
Also known as 'The Dog at Norton' we really love the food (real mix of dishes on the menu, something for everyone) and the ambience in this modern pub and restaurant, but in a traditional setting. In fact the interior really reminds us of the interior of The Stable. Although other pubs are nearer, it is well worth the extra few minutes in the car and it also means you may well need to book to get a table, or get there early! They do breakfast, lunch and dinner, with a kids and a gluten free menu - fabulous!
The Brewers, Rattlesden - 5.0 miles to the south-east
Wow, just wow... if ever there was a 'special occasion' pub, then this is it! Recently refurnished and modernised in Oct 2018, their head chef (yep, I said chef, yep that's in a pub!) does amazing things to really make your mouth water and to provide you with a fantastic dining experience; definitely a restaurant in a pub rather than a pub with a restaurant! I'd say leave the kids at home for this one, most of them just wouldn't appreciate it, and it's not cheap. We went in for lunch and got a very pleasant surprise, we now need to go back and try the tasting menu.. okay I don't want to say anymore, just go!
We are now in our second Autumn at The Stable at Mullion Barn and the colours in the gardens and around the village are just as stunning as last year... just beautiful!
Here at The Stable at Mullion Barn we have been honoured as Hosts to welcome some really lovely guests. Since we bought the Barn (and the adjacent holiday let) in 2018 all our reviews and recommendations have been positive. They are so lovely that we have shared a few below, make sure you click on each picture to see the full review!
Please also see our Guest Reviews page to find links to all these reviews on the relevant booking platforms' website.
In October 2018 we had a Bride book into The Stable to prepare for her big day! On the day itself we had no less than 6 beautiful Bridesmaids in blue, and a particularly pretty Flower Girl. For the Bride and her fathers departure to the wedding venue, a very handsome classic car rolled up too.
After the celebrations both the bride and groom stayed at The Stable for their very special first night as Mr & Mrs. They rounded off their weekend with a peaceful walk in the countryside surrounding the barn before leaving for their first full day as newly weds and off to the honeymoon. Perfect!
If you are interested in booking The Stable for your wedding day preparations please don't hesitate to get in touch to discuss your requirements.
It has been such a lovely festive period at The Stable at Mullion Barn. It was our first Christmas and New Year and wow what a lovely space to decorate and celebrate!
We started off the festivities at the award winning 4-day Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre burystedmundschristmasfayre.co.uk (always the last week in November!), which is one the country's biggest Christmas fayres with over 300 stalls.
We then set about decorating the barn, and oh what fun we had! Soooo many fairy lights, three Christmas trees and a couple of reindeer out the front too. We welcomed lots of family and friends over Christmas and the new year and confirmed that the barn really is such a lovely space to entertain - what fun!
We have recently spent a day at the beautiful and historical village of Lavenham in Suffolk. It's only 10 miles from The Stable and a lovely drive through the countryside and some very pretty villages to get there. It isn't the first time we have been, but it has certainly been too long since our last visit and it won't be as long until our next one!
Lavenham is a well known town and regarded as the finest surviving example of a medieval town in England. The splendid church and fine timber-framed houses intermingle with small cottages and crooked town houses, a lasting legacy of the wealthy clothiers in the 15th and 16th centuries. The medieval street pattern still exists today, complete with the Market Place and over 300 buildings which are listed as being of architectural and historical interest. You could spend the whole day just wandering around the local streets looking at the amazing historical architecture and beautiful buildings!
We discovered a really fun way to explore Lavenham by completing this fantastic Treasure Hunt Trail where you simply follow a map (available here www.treasuretrails.co.uk/things-to-do/suffolk/lavenham) and find out loads of interesting things about the medieval town. It takes in all the important bits including Lavenham Guidhall (https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/lavenham-guildhall). It took a couple of hours in all and kept adults and kids entertained, perfect!
We even managed to stop for an amazing (yes, really amazing and 'taste-bud-tantilising') afternoon tea at the Lavenham Blue Vintage Tea Room (https://www.lavenhambluetearooms.com) on the Market Place. Located in the downstairs of Amanda's Grade II listed cottage with views of the Market Square and the Guildhall, her Traditional Afternoon Tea is a must! All cakes, desserts and sandwiches are either homemade or baked locally in Lavenham and I must say it is one of the best Afternoon teas we have ever had. They also catered for the fussy kids and provided half portions of cake for the little ones which is always a bonus. Oh and don't leave without a bathroom stop - you will see why, as the bathroom is just gorgeous!
We couldn't leave Lavenham without browsing a couple of shops, including the aptly named Retail Therapy (https://retailtherapylavenham.co.uk) on the main street through Lavenham. They sold some really lovely clothes, handbags and gifts that we hadn't seen in other shops, they even have two shops opposite each other so if you want to see more just cross over the road! If you are interested in wool, spinning and yarns then don't miss out The Wool Room, they spin Alpaca wool which is really unusual.
On this occasion we didn't stay for dinner, but previously we have come to Lavenham just for a meal as there are a couple of restaurants that are worth a visit all on their own, especially if you are celebrating because they really are a special treat:
- The Swan (https://theswanatlavenham.co.uk); which is a hotel and spa too, but The Gallery Restaurant is just exquisite and always deserves 5 stars.
- The Great House (http://www.greathouse.co.uk), a must if you fancy some award winning french cuisine.
Finally, if you want to find out more, Lavenham has a great website: http://www.discoverlavenham.com
Let us know what you think if you visit!