Journal: 27 February 2018

Escape to the country.

I love my city. I love walking around it, bumping into my friends, enjoying good coffee and being busy. But, every now and then, an escape to the country to recharge and reconnect is, quite literally, a breath of fresh air.

 

 

This break was extra-special as it was our first holiday with the latest addition to the family, our niece, Molly-May. Following an incredible break at Living Architecture’s Shingle House we decided to explore a little closer to home and stay at the Long House. Situated in Cockthorpe, North Norfolk, it’s just 10 minutes from Wells-next-the-sea.

 

 

The Long House was designed by Hopkins Architects. Their work is pretty significant to us, as our evening reception (at our wedding) was at Norwich Cathedral’s refectory & hostry. Designed, of course, by Hopkins Architects.

The exposed wood structure inside and the vaulted ceilings provided a distinct visual consistency with their work for Norwich Cathedral.

 

 

The house is, as the name suggests, long (in its layout). We were a party of six – four adults, a child and a baby. However, on the Sunday, we were joined by Bobby’s parents and grandmother (Joan). My sister-in-law and brother-in-law cooked up a feast for us as we celebrated Joan’s 87th birthday.

The layout of the building is really interesting. Stanley was able to run off and explore and yet he was still within reach, never really out of sight – due to the openness of the building. Despite the necessity for closed rooms, like toilets and storage, it was largely open plan – which we love.

We gravitated to the cosy sofas in the day and dining table by night.

At either end of the house were two terraces, a morning and afternoon terrace. Over the course of the weekend, I found myself watching the sun dance around the building and highlight new perspectives.

 

 

The bedrooms and ensuites are upstairs, accessed by the beautiful round sweeping slatted staircase. Stanley chose his room first and had the view of the horses in the field. The panaormic views from the gallery were spectacular. I could even see the sea in the distance.

Just like the Shingle House, the attention to detail was impeccable – the consideration, design and craftsmanship was impossible to ignore.

 

 

We were reluctant to leave the house, but we did take a trip to Wells for a seafood lunch at ‘Season’. This was followed by a coffee at Grey Seal and a ride out to Salthouse. The wind was bitterly cold which meant only the determined were out (along with us). I have to say the North Norfolk views were breath-taking out of high-season. I really connected with North Norfolk this weekend.

 

 

The Long House is the ideal house to enjoy with family or friends.

It’s both big enough to have your own space and yet is able to draw you back in and feel cosy. And, of course, it’s the ideal base for exploring North Norfolk.

Our next stay with Living Architecture is going to be John Pawson’s Life House.

 

 

Visit Living Architecture for more information about the Long House.

Words and photography by Fiona Burrage.

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