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The Mill B&B is located near Barnham in Suffolk, England. It features a total of four guest accommodations, each with en suite bathrooms. Two of the rooms also have double beds that can be separated into singles should occupants desire separate beds to sleep in. The rooms can be reserved individually, or the entire home can be reserved by a single party at a time. Instead of breakfast being made at a particular time, breakfast items are provided for patrons to make at their leisure in the kitchen. Additionally, the kitchen and living areas are shared by all visitors staying at the bed and breakfast. The owners comment that many guests travel to the region to experience the countryside, as the property is in a fairly rural area. With that being said, there are a number of popular permanent and seasonal attractions for those visiting the region, such as concerts, historic properties, and country lanes that can be walked.
One of the owners of The Mill B&B, Piers, states that the property is located “right in the middle of the countryside.” The nearest neighbor to the bed and breakfast is "a farmer who lives half a mile across the fields," reports Piers. Much of the surrounding landscape is farmland with minimal buildings and country lanes that guests can walk down. On the actual grounds of the establishment, the bed and breakfast is housed in an old mill that has been converted into temporary living arrangements, hence the business’s name.
In total, four rooms are available for reservation, with every room being located on the ground floor. Common amenities in the rooms include TVs, Wifi, and en suite bathrooms. Piers reports that the business has fiber, which provides a relatively good connection. Three of the units have walk-in showers within the bathrooms, whereas the fourth has a tub and shower combination. Another difference between the four rooms is mattress size, with two of the four rooms offering king-size beds. The other two have what Piers describes as larger beds that can be separated into two single beds for guests desiring separate sleeping accommodations. Piers reports that there is no room typically more popular than another, as “people who return to us tend to like to stay in the same room they’ve stayed in previously.”
There are areas throughout the property where visitors can gather if they so choose. Inside the home, there is a common kitchen and living area shared by all guests at The Mill. The kitchen is of special note as breakfast is not prepared for occupants each morning; ingredients and common breakfast food is provided for them to make at their leisure. Some of what is provided include homemade jams, honey, and marmalades, as well as fresh baked bread and eggs from a neighboring farm. Coffee and tea are also available to patrons in the kitchen. Those with dietary restrictions can be catered to with advance notice, and upon making a reservation, visitors are asked if they have any allergies that should be noted. The living area adjacent to the kitchen has additional seating and a television. Outside the bed and breakfast is a garden with a covered pavilion. Under the pavilion are chairs and a table for outdoor dining, and a barbecue for guest use. The outdoor area also has a natural swimming pond; those staying at the property can swim in the pond whenever they would like.
The nearest town to The Mill B&B is about six miles away, according to Piers. With that being said, there is a “huge amount of stuff to visit.” Many of the more permanent attractions are listed on the business’s website, with some of the closest locations being Euston Hall, Bury St Edmunds, Ickworth Park, and Snetterton, among others. Concerts are also held at two outdoor venues throughout the year, which draw many people to the area. For those interested in the region’s culinary options, Piers recommends they try Maison Bleue and 1921, both being more fine dining establishments. Patrons desiring a more laid-back restaurant experience can visit the Cadodan Pub, a personal favorite of the owners.
Piers, the owner of The Mill B&B, explains that he would like his occupants “to feel free to enjoy themselves really without any restrictions.” One of the aspects of the property that he highlights is that there are very few rules visitors are asked to follow during their stay. Aside from no glass being allowed in the swimming pond and dogs being allowed only by prior arrangement with the owners, those on the establishment are left to their own devices. Piers and his wife, Sandra, hope that their guests will feel at home and that they can do what they want to do.
Many positive reviews have been left by many people who have stayed at the bed and breakfast in the past. Some of the most common features of the business pointed out in these reviews are the quiet atmosphere, the hospitality of the hosts, and the cleanliness of the rooms. One person, in particular, describes the room they stayed in as “cozy and bright with a very comfortable double bed.” They go on to say that “The spacious common area has a pleasing mixture of old and new decor and is equipped with everything you could possibly need. Being able to cook for myself and have a fridge at my disposal for all the wine I wanted to stock up on made me feel at home in no time.”
The Mill B&B is open year-round, with its busiest season of operation typically occurring during the summer months between June and August. There is no specific demographic that most commonly stays in the house, according to Piers, who instead says they get a wide variety of groups and people who stay there. 20 to 25% of guests are typically tradesmen in the region for work, while other individuals will stay there for business meetings they have in one of the nearby towns. A large majority, however, are usually groups of friends or family members who are there to experience the countryside.
Before serving as The Mill B&B, Piers originally used the building as a timber mill for cabinet making for 40 years. Once he decided to retire, he and his wife Sandra decided to turn the space into a bed and breakfast after a friend in a neighboring village saw success starting one in her retirement. According to Piers, in order to convert the mill into living accommodations, the old machinery needed to be removed, and the structure was "essentially gutted." He mentions that they designed and built the interior and haven’t had to make any major changes or renovations since the bed and breakfast started in 2018. The only other additional projects that have been completed were the natural swimming pond and pavilion area outside.
The region of England where the bed and breakfast is situated is notable as it was a center of prehistoric flint mining. According to Piers, flint from that area has been found in various ancient tools throughout the world. The nearest town to the property also served as the capital of that part of England for a period of about 400 years, from 800 to 1200 AD. Those interested can learn more about this history by asking Piers and Sandra during their stay.