October 13 2009
When I heard that Sarah Townsend had sold Palazzo Terranova, her gorgeous Umbrian boutique hotel, to move back to Suffolk, I’d have thought that restoring a grade-II listed house would have been enough to keep her busy for at least a few years. But somehow she’s found time to turn the property’s coach house into a lovely two-bedroom flat that’s available for rental, for a day or a month (from £225 per night) – the perfect place from which to explore Lavenham, Bildeston, and other gem-like villages in the area.
And what a chic little flat it is, with 18th-century oak and walnut country furniture, wood-burning fireplaces, and a massive kitchen in which I was tempted to spend all my time (it houses Palazzo Terranova’s cherry-red Aga, with which Sarah couldn’t bear to part). But the star amenity is Honor Townsend, Sarah’s daughter and an award-winning chef, who will stock the SubZero fridge with 100 per cent organic Italian sauces and dishes, from Tuscan rabbit stew to silky sformatini alle zucchine. By request, she’ll even prepare dinner on site, served in the candle-lit entrance hall-cum-dining room.