Ugly house to lovely house

I haven’t blogged in a while and whilst the world still turns I do feel a bit guilty.  We have had a recent guest who knew everything about us (v impressed Abida) from reading our exploits on here. We look forward to being a mastermind subject – albeit a niche one. 

August was a blur of guests. Almost 75% occupancy for which we clearly owe Emily Mathieson and the Guardian.

September and October have been quieter which is no bad thing as we are cream crackered. 

As Bruce likes to say we have been very lucky to having such a lovely bunch staying with us. All interesting and positive. 

A couple of snappy dogs – yes that’s you Elvis!

The gaps on bookings have left space for Bruce to finish the cloakroom- soon to be unveiled and I have continued working in London  (and a quick side trip to Qatar).

Last night was especially exciting as we were featured on Channel 4 – thanks to our architect Greg’s involvement. You can find us here about 9 mins in.

http://www.channel4.com/programmes/ugly-house-to-lovely-house-with-george-clarke

Needless to say we have watched it countless times. 

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Being seen in Dezeen

Our architects arranged for us to be featured in the influential online design/ architecture site Dezeen. 


https://www.dezeen.com/2017/08/17/suffolk-barn-transformed-into-five-acre-countryside-bed-breakfast-hotel-by-blee-halligan-architects/.

Another lovely article and amazing set of photos. We are hoping that they will feature us on their Instagram which has over 1m followers some of which might fancy a visit… Regardless it was really exciting to see ourselves in such a prestigious magazine and testament to the vision of Blee Halligan.

Not so grand opening

We forgot to say that we finished room one a couple of weeks back.

I would like to say that there was no last minute panic but of course that wouldn’t be true. In fact as we were fitting the shower screen it completely shattered (like the Skittles ad). Unfortunately there were enough shards to result in some superficial but bloody cuts so we had to run outside to hose down our arms. Which all would have been fine except a journalist was due any minute. Less Five Acre  Barn, more Bates Motel. 

Anyway we made it…

In the News

We were very lucky to meet a freelance journalist, Emily, on Instgram a few months ago. She then came to stay a few weeks ago in order to write a piece for the Guardian’s British bolt holes. The result was a lovely – if slightly flattering article – in Saturday’s paper.


I particularly like Bruce regaling people with the tales of the sea like some salty old sea dog..

Interestingly enough the online article on Friday had even more of an impact with our daily hits on the website rising from an average of about 20 to 580. We have also had some bookings of the back of it and hopefully more to come. Here is the link 

Five Acre Barn, Leiston, Suffolk: hotel review http://gu.com/p/7vncd?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

Mostly it’s given us a huge confidence boost – that we are headed in the right direction. It also helped that it came on the back of a lovely blog from one of our guests – Helen. She has made Five Acre Barn look so stylish we can scarcely believe that we live here:


It’s a beautiful blog – well worth checking out – http://www.designhunter.co.uk

Sandringham sortie

A couple of months ago our garden designer friend,Freddie, mentioned that he was designing a garden for the Sandringham garden show. The great and the good of Norfolk would be there and we could promote FAB. So a few minutes on Vistaprint gave birth to this…..

And we were off…..

Now I had understood that I would be painting a fence and helping Freddie plant. Hmm not quite – we spent 12 hours mostly barrowing soil around and shaping it into a crescent mound.
It was hard graft but actually strangely enjoyable.


The end result – via a couple of stressful moments – was well worthwhile (and the whole process was fascinating for a newbie). An amazing transformation in 24 hours

Scary prairie

I always intended the guest rooms to open onto Prairie Planting – grasses, verbena, eryngium etc. A total lack of time to weed has resulted in a slightly scary mass of vegetation – more Serengeti than serenity.


The weird thing is that the guests seem to love it. The insects certainly do.

I guess I just have to accept the loss of control ….. at least for now.