Suffolk's Best Breaks 2011: The Swan at Lavenham

PUBLISHED: 00:16 21 January 2011 | UPDATED: 20:31 20 February 2013

Suffolk's Best Breaks 2011: The Swan at Lavenham

Suffolk's Best Breaks 2011: The Swan at Lavenham

Richard Bryson enjoys a night of luxury at one of Suffolk's top hotels

Richard Bryson enjoys a night of luxury at one of Suffolks top hotels

Is there a better place to stay in the county at this time of year than The Swan at Lavenham? Outside there might be a mixture of snow and frost, perhaps some whisping cloaks of mist across the fields, plus twinkling bright lights in shops and homes. The body and soul are naturally drawn to warmth and comfort when winter brings its chill and the hearty open fires of the majestic Swan are the perfect antidote to January or February blues.
A stay at this sprawling, rich in character 14th century hotel promises the finest food and service and a room full of style as well as intriguing nooks and crannies. No room is the same and thats very much part of the appeal here.
We visited in early 2010 while the county was still in the grip of a cold winter and were shown to a suite at the back of the hotel. The Churchyard Suite charms you from the outset. These magnificently beamed rooms have a separate lounge area and are full of character, with features such as mezzanines, large fireplaces, Medieval wall paintings, garden views and high vaulted ceilings. Theres a king-size bed to luxuriate in, flat screen televisions, free wi-fi, luxury toiletries in the bathroom and a complimentary selection of tea and coffee. The walls and furniture are a mix of soft beige and stone colours.
On the day of arrival these rooms offer guests a complimentary White Company gift set, a box of delicious chocolates from Hotel Chocolat and bowl of fresh fruit.
The only slight criticism we had was that this suite overlooks a banqueting hall below and the sounds from a wedding party didnt subside until nearly midnight. If we had wanted an early and quiet night Im not sure we would have got one.
Food at the Swan is an experience in its own right. The AA two rosette Gallery Restaurant is quite a setting and evening diners are serenaded by a pianist on the gallery above. Maybe my ears deceived me but among the gently tinkling classics she played for us I could have sworn she broke into a few bars of Coldplay.
The food is exceptional and beautifully served. The classic dishes on the menu use an abundance of local produce and are often gven a dash of originality by the head chef and his team. We ordered chicken liver and foie gras parfait, a salmon platter with buckwheat blinis and horseradish, peppered rib of Suffolk beef and sea bass. I seem to remember a delicious summer pudding too. Service was attentive and at the right pace, not too hurried but not leaving you glancing around wondering when the next course would arrive!
All in all our evening meal and breakfast (the latter with a full English made up of local sausage, bacon and eggs) couldnt be faulted,
As we left I perused the menu and caught sight of a three course Sunday lunch of roast English beef and home made Yorkshire pudding for 24.95 per person. Such a shame we had to head home.

  • A one night stay at the weekend in the Churchyard Suite including dinner, bed and breakfast is 360 for two guests.

  • Offers valid until March 31, 2011 at the Swan include the Swan Classic: 60 per person per night including full Suffolk breakfast. Add a 3 course dinner for an extra 30per person. Call direct to book quoting Swan Classic. Three for two offer: Stay two nights and get a third night free! Three nights inclusive of dinner, bed and full Suffolk breakfast just 480per room, saving you 240. Stay must commence on Sunday or Monday and is based on current dinner, bed and breakfast tariff. Free night includes 3 course dinner and full Suffolk breakfast. Please quote 3 for 2 when booking. Terms and exclusions apply.

  • Call 01787 247477 or go to to book, or for more information.

Latest from the EADT Suffolk Magazine