Monday 9 April 2018

Booking a Cottage via Airbnb: The White House, Fakenham, Norfolk

the white house

Booking with Airbnb
Last summer for my birthday we took our first Airbnb break. I was a little nervous as I booked because I'd heard both good and bad stories of people's experiences. We just wanted a few days away as a family of five but because it was the Summer school holidays everything costs a bomb. Luckily we’d already had our main family holiday so I figured if it all went wrong we’d still be OK, only four hours from home.

Nothing went wrong though, I need not have feared, we had the most amazing stay at the White House, Little Snoring, Fakenham, Norfolk. The owner Ceila was efficient from my first email communication and when we met her it was clear she could not do enough to make her guests stay memorable. We stayed for three nights and it so was good to be able to choose our length of stay rather than being dictated to by a holiday park. I paid £275.35 in total for the three nights, so that's less than £100 a night for the five of us and I think that's good value for the school holidays. 

With Airbnb bookings it is worth noting that you have a price per night quoted when you search and then there will be a cost on top for cleaning he property and also the service charge, which goes to Airbnb for running the website and providing the support.

I found all the communication very good via Airbnb, you can send questions to prospective property hosts and then communicate with the host of the property you book. I got both emails and text messages from Ceila and she was happy to help with all my queries.

Each host has their own terms and conditions in regard to cancellations, so it is worth checking those out before you book and see if there are any reviews. I like to book a tried and tested property with a number of good reviews. I have seen a few properties and the only reviews are that the host cancelled the booking at short notice, of course I wouldn't dream of booking one of those. 

the white house car parking space
As you can see there is plenty of parking in front of the White House

How was the White House, Fakenham?
With the White House you get the whole 2 bedroom country cottage for the money you pay and there is also an enclosed garden and then much large gardens and grounds beyond that you can enjoy too. The highlight of the stay for my 10 year old twin girls was access to all Ceila’s animals. She has two cats, lots of chicken, some sheep and two rescue Shetland ponies that reside there permanently and when we were there she also had tons of baby ducklings that Miss M thought were awesome. All the chickens also mean the added benefit of being able to help yourself to fresh eggs in the morning, this was a lovely bonus and the kids all thought the blue eggs that one of the chicks lay were superb.

animals at the white house
Just some of the animals that Ceila keeps at The White House 

The actual house is really pleasant and I especially loved the sitting room with it's open fire and French doors that open out to the pretty garden. There was plenty of seating for us and we felt really comfortable to relax whilst we were there. Downstairs there is also a large entrance hall and big kitchen/ diner that is equipped with everything you need (including dishwasher, washing machine, cooker, microwave). My husband and the girls even managed to knock me up a birthday cake whilst we stayed there.

lounge at white house

french doors at white house

kitchen at white house

Upstairs there are two bedrooms and a bathroom. The main bedroom has a double bed and the other has three single beds. We found all the beds comfortable but the decor and soft furnishings are a bit old-fashioned if I'm honest. This made no odds to us as we were not there to stay in a designer pad. The bathroom was functional and we were able to have a hot shower, again it is tired looking though and could probably do with a lick of paint.

bedrooms at the white house

This self contained cottage is attached to the main farmhouse that Ceila lives in and if you have a bigger family she can open a door in the upstairs hall to allow you to use another En-suite double room, which is very useful. You need to contact Ceila via the Airbnb site if you wish to discuss this. 

There is wifi available in the house and whilst we were there we didn't have any connection problems. The price also includes all electricity, bed linen, towels and wood for the fire. Check in is between 2-5pm and check out is at 10am prompt as Ceila’s cleaner will be there ready to get in and clean before the next guests arrive.

gardens at the white house

The location of the White House is pretty perfect. It is easy to access off the main road but is then tucked away in the quaint village of Little Snoring and this meant you woke to peace and birdsong, rather than traffic. It is situated just 8 miles from Wells-next-the-Sea and all the north Norfolk coast is easily accessible. You have a parking space right outside your door and I suspect you could bring two cars if you checked with Ceila in advance.

Whilst we stayed at the White House we visited Wells-next-the-Sea where we had fabulous fish and chips, spent a day at the National Trust Blickling estate and went to the seaside town of Cromer where there was a summer festival going on. Two nights we ate at the Weatherspoons pub in the local town of Fakenham as the food was really good and well priced. There is loads of choice locally in terms of activities and places to eat.

We didn't really go to the beach but if this is your thing then the area has so many lovely sandy beaches for your children to be able to play. There is Holkham, Brancaster, Hunstanton, Sheringham and Heacham Sands all within close driving distance.

In Conclusion
I think we’ll be heading back in this direction again as the North Norfolk coast is so beautiful and we need to explore it further. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend The White House, Little Snoring as a great place to stay if you want a comfortable family cottage, that will meet your needs but isn't necessarily modern or the height of style. I'll also happily book via Airbnb again but as I said I'd always check the reviews first for peace of mind. 

Thanks so much for having us Ceila, I hope we can make it back to see you this year!

Why not pin this post for later?

pin for the white house

No disclosure necessary as we paid for everything ourselves. 
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