Graeme Duncan visits the Juniper Barn at Rendham



As we step further into spring and head towards those ‘lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer’, you may well be looking for a new venue for that trip out into the countryside for that morning cup of coffee, lunch or afternoon tea along with friends or family. Well, I have discovered a gem of a venue for you to visit.

Juniper Barn is situated in the Suffolk village of Rendham, near Saxmundham, alongside the village hall and St. Michael’s Church. When Christian couple, Katie and Geoffrey Boult
retired from Giggleswick School, Yorkshire, some four years ago, they knew they wanted to
move to Suffolk, and they also knew they wanted the challenge of a project to accompany
their move. They discovered a 300 year old barn with a substantial house behind it, right in
the heart of Rendham. The house needed renovation. The barn was ripe for conversion, and they immediately saw the potential for both… the house was large enough to offer bed and breakfast accommodation, as well as for it to be the family home, and the barn would make an ideal cafe and small village shop.

Getting planning permission was the easy part as the planners thought it a great idea for them to be opening a cafe and village shop… after all, it was just what the village needed. What came next was the hard part, the renovation and conversion. It took a year of hard work and much prayer before the Boults finally achieved the set-up they planned for.

I visited Juniper Barn on a Monday morning when there were already several customers
enjoying morning coffee or a late breakfast, and was greeted with a cheery smile and welcome by owners Katie and Geoffrey. Although I’d already had breakfast earlier in the morning I decided to go for a large egg and bacon bap to accompany my mug of freshly brewed coffee. Both were delicious.

Katie and Geoffrey are both very ‘hands on’ in the running of their business. Katie manages
the cafe food side of the business with her own homemade hearty food and local products on the menu. Besides breakfast, lunch and cakes, snacks, such as homemade sausage rolls, scotch eggs and soups are also available. Geoffrey looks after the well stocked shop which majors on locally grown or produced food, meat, cheese, eggs, honey, breads, chutney, beers, wine as well as cleaning and household items and even chocolates and sweets. Visitors to the area can find a range of greetings cards and postcards as well as local maps.

There is plenty of on site parking and the barn is completely wheelchair friendly. They have baby changing facilities too, as well as a disabled toilet, and are also dog-friendly.
So why not pay Katie and Geoffrey a visit and sample the delights of the Juniper Barn for
yourself. They are open from 8.30am to 4pm six days a week  but closed on Sundays when
they will be found worshipping at Connections Church, part of the St. John’s Saxmundham
Church family.
Juniper Barn, Rendham, Suffolk, IP17 2AZ. Tel: 01728 663773