What’s the Village Annexe like?
This spacious first-floor annexe, in the Essex village of Hatfield Heath, has been created over the garage of a family home. It sleeps two and has been thoughtfully designed with guests in mind. Hosts Carla and Paul live in the main house next-door. London Stansted Airport is approximately a 15-minute drive away.
How dog-friendly is the Village Annexe?
Well-behaved dogs are very welcome. No provisions are provided for pets so you’ll need to bring your own bedding, food and bowls but there is plenty of room for your pooch to spread out. Guests also have the use of a private patio area, although this is not enclosed. Be aware that the first-floor accommodation is accessed by a steep spiral staircase, which may prove tricky for some little paws to navigate. Up to one dog can stay for an additional fee of £15 per night.
Tell me more about the Village Annexe
This light and airy guest suite is adjacent to the owners’ property and has its own front door so you can come and go as you please. You enter via what is normally part of the kitchen, giving you access to a sink and washing machine, but the rest of the room is screened off for privacy. There is plenty of space to store your luggage, coats and shoes and laminate flooring throughout. From here, you can also access a patio area with a table and chairs for two, lots of pot plants and cute fairy lights. A steep spiral staircase leads up to the living accommodation, which is incredibly spacious and well-equipped.
A comfy double bed is the main focus of the suite, but there’s also a separate sitting area, window seat and shower room complete with toiletries. The annexe is spotlessly clean and has everything you need to enjoy your stay whatever the weather, from a flatscreen TV to digital radio and books, DVDs and games. Being able to park right outside is a real bonus too. We stayed at the annexe overnight while attending a nearby wedding and Paul was kind enough to give us a lift to the venue. We were woken fairly early the next day by noise from the airport but I suppose that’s to be expected!
What’s the food like at the Village Annexe?
There are no cooking facilities at the annexe but Carla and Paul leave guests everything they need for a fine breakfast – and more. There is access to a toaster, kettle and coffee machine as well as complimentary tea, coffee and biscuits. A mini fridge is also well stocked with water, orange juice, milk, yoghurt and butter and you’ll find fresh bread, spreads and cereals in the sideboard by the sofa. The fridge also contains wine, beer, prosecco, Coca-Cola and pre-mixed G&Ts for guests to enjoy on an honesty basis.
If you’re in need of ideas when it comes to eating out, the hosts’ favourite nearby pubs are listed in the welcome pack – and several of them are dog-friendly. These include The Axe and Compasses in Aythorpe Roding, The Fox Inn in Matching Tye and The Duke’s Head in Hatfield Broad Oak. There is also an excellent bakers within walking distance of the annexe as well as a Co-op supermarket, tea shops and takeaways.
Are there resident dogs at the Village Annexe?
Yes, Dottie the Dachshund will probably be on hand to greet you when you arrive. She has inspired many of Carla’s handmade cushions for her craft business, Barking Mad. You’ll find a few of them in the annexe but you can see the full range and buy them from Carla’s Etsy shop.
Where are the best dog walks near the Village Annexe?
The welcome pack has details of Dottie’s regular walk in and around Hatfield Heath, which is around two miles long. Carla and Paul also recommend visiting Hatfield Forest a 10-minute drive away. The woodland, which is maintained by the National Trust, is Britain’s best surviving example of a medieval Royal Hunting Forest. It covers more than 1,000 acres and large sections of the forest have raised pathways, making it great for dog walks come rain or shine. National Trust members can park for free, otherwise it’s £8.
Pishiobury Park, in nearby Sawbridgeworth, is also well worth a visit. The historic park, which has evidence of Roman occupation, is a mix of woodland, grazing fields and meadows. Part of it was also landscaped by Capability Brown and you can still wander through his beautiful 18th Century gardens today. It is free to visit Pishiobury Park and there’s no extra charge for car parking. There are many other country walks near Hatfield Heath too – and apparently, Rod Stewart spotting is a local pastime!
What I loved about the Village Annexe
The comfy bed, the thoughtful little touches, the friendly owners
How to book the Village Annexe
Overnight stays start from £65, plus cleaning and service fees. For more information or to book, visit the Village Annexe Airbnb listing.