Hol­i­day busi­ness is

Sara Green catches up with Jac­qui and Richard Good­ing, of Lether­ing­ham Wa­ter Mill Cot­tages, as they cel­e­brate win­ning Visit Eng­land’s 2017 Dog Friendly Busi­ness of the Year

EADT Suffolk - - Tourism - www.lether­ing­ham­mill.co.uk

“I HOPE YOU LIKE DOGS,” was Jac­qui Good­ing’s greet­ing to me. Own­ers of Lether­ing­ham Wa­ter Mill Cot­tages near Easton, Jac­qui and her hus­band, Richard, are con­firmed dog lovers and amaz­ing hosts. As their gor­geous Aus­tralian Labradoo­dles bounced about us, I looked around at the beau­ti­ful sur­round­ings. If I spent the week­end here I’m not sure I’d ever want to leave, and if I brought my dog with me, she def­i­nitely wouldn’t want to.

Jac­qui and Richard bought the Mill House in 2014, a tum­ble down col­lec­tion of di­lap­i­dated build­ings on the edge of the River Deben. Beau­ti­fully and stylishly restor­ing the Wa­ter Mill and Mill House they have cre­ated some of the high­est qual­ity hol­i­day cot­tages I have ever seen. But they’re not just stun­ning hol­i­day cot­tages, they’re dog friendly hol­i­day cot­tages, the qual­ity of which is by no means com­pro­mised by their ca­nine guests.

In keep­ing with the his­tory of the mill there are lots of pe­riod fea­tures. The new­est cot­tage in­cludes a glass wall so the work­ing wa­ter wheel can be ob­served in all its his­toric glory. But there’s also more than a touch of lux­ury – a cin­ema room, in­door fire pit, mu­sic mem­o­ra­bilia (in­clud­ing a gui­tar once owned by Rod Ste­wart), Wurl­itzer Juke Box, king size beds, ipads for guest use, state of the art kitchens, wet rooms, a mag­nif­i­cent deck over­look­ing the river for sun­bathing and al­fresco din­ing, and cosy sit­ting rooms for au­tum­nal and win­try week­ends.

Born and ed­u­cated in Suf­folk Richard moved to Lon­don to pur­sue a ca­reer in avi­a­tion. He met Jac­qui ten years ago and the cou­ple de­cided to look for a hol­i­day busi­ness they could run to­gether. They ini­tially thought about mov­ing to Bar­ba­dos, a place they love, but fi­nally de­cided on Suf­folk.

Dur­ing their trav­els with their dog, Teddy, Jac­qui and Richard re­alised that while many ho­tels and hol­i­day cot­tages de­scribe them­selves as dog-friendly, but that wasn’t al­ways the case. Dogs were of­ten ex­cluded from cer­tain ar­eas, and poor Teddy showed his dis­ap­proval at be­ing left alone in ho­tel rooms or in the car, while on his hol­i­day, with chewed seat belts and TV ca­bles.

So, they de­cided to make their hol­i­day busi­ness truly dog friendly. Four legged guests at Lether­ing­ham Mill are as im­por­tant as their two legged own­ers and are pre­sented with per­son­alised crates con­tain­ing all they need to en­sure a won­der­ful stay. To top it all there is even a pur­pose built dog shower. The lengths Jac­qui and Richard go to has not gone un­no­ticed. They’ve just gained na­tional recog­ni­tion by win­ning Visit Eng­land’s 2017 Dog Friendly Busi­ness Award. Quite an achieve­ment for a small two-years-old busi­ness.

Lether­ing­ham Mill Cot­tages has won a na­tional award for its dog friendly ac­com­mo­da­tion

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