I stayed here with a friend because we're both keen on the work of artist Eric Ravilious and wanted to spend a few days exploring rural Essex, so the Great Bardfield location and the fact that the cottage is suitable for people with impaired mobility made it ideal. The cottage is smart and well-furnished, the beds comfy, and the (very tidy) stable yard was a pleasant place to sit out and watch our horse neighbours and chat to their owners.
My only caveats would be that my friend's wheelchair (wider than some) wouldn't quite fit past the heater in the passage to the living room, and the walk-in shower, though otherwise good, leaves the whole bathroom floor wet. Also, as others have said, it would be helpful if the description mentioned that the twin room has bunk beds: OK though not ideal for us, but could be more of a problem for others.
I'd happily stay here again and would recommend this property to friends, though if you rely on a wheelchair it would be worth checking with the owner to make sure it meets your needs.
Disappointed that the "sleeps 4" moniker, refers to a double bed and 2 bunk beds. As we were 2 couples this was unexpected and resulted in a coin being tossed. A bunk bed does NOT comfortably house a 6ft man. The mattresses ended up being on the floor to allow sleep.
The house very warm to the point of being overheated. This helped dry out the bathroom floor as despite previous references, there is no squegee or shower curtain to prevent the entire floor being flooded. As the hot water doesn't permit 4 showers in the morning, the floor was permanently wet to accommodate 2 persons having to shower in the evening.
The toilet seat is missing a bolt so it moves when you sit on it.
Washer and dryer smell mouldy.
Horses lovely, very welcoming and thank you Cathryn for the milk, that was appreciated.
Great quiet location, in nice village. Perfect for horse lovers as you're in the stable yard! Nice to watch them watching us! VERY warm, didn't need to use the log burner. Comfy bed, good shower, well equipped, nice host and friendly neighbour! Thank you to Cathryn for providing milk,tea,coffee,sugar,bread and lots of chocolates. Lovely walking from the door, pretty villages nearby (Finchingfield is gorgeous), great countryside etc... Would stay again. Only negatives would be the shower in the wet room which needs a mop / squeegee to clear the floor otherwise you can't get to the toilet without walking through a puddle and the tumble drier was dirty inside, looked as if it had been previously used to dry horse blankets??!
Had a great stay for over a month with great views across horse pastures surrounded by woods. A really charming introduction to the thatched cottage villages of Essex if all you know is city Essex.
My husband and I stayed at Stabes Retreat midweek for 3 nights. THe cottage is both welcoming and charming with a wood burner in the lounge for those chilly nights. The bed was very comfy and the kitchen was well equipped.
The views from the cottage, over the paddocks, are stunning and uninterrupted with plenty of walking available from the doorstep.
The village has two very good pubs both serving food at lunch and in the evening with the bonus that they are within walking distance to the Retreat.
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay, thank you for making us so welcome.
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