My wife and I have just returned from a perfect overnight stay at the Swan Hotel, which we chose in order to celebrate our wedding anniversary. Despite having lived in Suffolk all of my life, I had not been to the lovely town of Lavenham since I was a child and it proved to be the ideal choice for a romantic night away, not least because of this fabulous hotel.
I booked the hotel for one night dinner, bed and breakfast basis, using a spring offer which I spotted on the hotels website. The offer was based on the lowest priced “classic” room, so on arriving at the hotel, we were absolutely delighted to find that we had been upgraded to a suite free of charge. An even nicer touch was the card from the hotel wishing us a happy anniversary. This was genuine attention to detail, especially as I only fleetingly mentioned the purpose for our visit in conversation when I booked over the telephone.
I can honestly say that, after many years of travelling and staying in good class hotels, the “Churchyard Suite” which we were allocated was simply the nicest hotel room we’ve ever stayed in (just knocking a fabulous room at the Hotel Tuilerieen in Bruges into a close second place).
It was huge suite with a small hallway a luxurious bathroom, and two stunningly spacious and beautifully furnished rooms. The sitting room had a lovely inglenook fireplace, sumptuous sofas and chairs and even a large dining table amongst numerous items of good quality furniture. The bedroom had a fabulously comfortable king sized bed and both rooms were equipped with flat screen televisions. In keeping with a building which dates back many hundreds of years, both rooms also had high pitched ceilings supported by a charmingly uneven framework of ancient beams which stretched up above us.
The rest of the hotel is equally charming. It’s a perfect mix of the sympathetically restored older buildings and some tasteful newer additions such as the Gallery Restaurant.
On the subject of the Gallery Restaurant, all the food we ate during ours stay was of the highest quality.
We had a delicious cream tea in the lounge area during afternoon, followed by an equally excellent meal in the restaurant later that evening. We had cocktails in the bar before our dinner and were able to make our choices from the menu whilst nibbling the tasty free canapés which were delivered with our menus. Although we stuck to a three course meal from the house menu, the choices were excellent with no real suggestion that the house menu was restricted too much by budget. All our three courses were perfectly cooked, beautifully presented and extremely tasty….my choice of sea bass with salmon and pea gnocchi being particularly worthy of praise.
We had a drink in the Airman’s bar after dinner which, although empty and lacking a bit of atmosphere, was fascinating as it gave us a chance to study some of the many handwritten inscriptions on the walls by various servicemen, dating back to the Second World War.
Breakfast the following morning, back in the Gallery Restaurant, was every bit as good as we expected after our meal the night before and then sadly we had to leave.
We had nothing but praise for this hotel. It’s a beautifully charming building, with lovely rooms, great food and perfect service from the team of staff working throughout the hotel. I heartily recommend it for anyone seeking a break in this lovely part of Suffolk.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Nestling in the Suffolk countryside, between Bury St. Edmunds and Sudbury, is The Swan Hotel & Spa in Lavenham, perhaps one of England's most iconic hotels. The Swan dates back to the 15th century when it played a key role in Lavenham's wool trade. Today it is a quintessential English country hotel and restaurant, proud of its achievement of AA 4 Red star, two AA Rosettes & Visit England Large Hotel of the Year 2013. Ancient oak beams and inglenook fireplaces blend beautifully with rich furnishings and fabrics to create the perfect ambiance for rest and relaxation. The historic old bar boasts a wonderful collection of memorabilia, including a wall signed by British and American airmen stationed at Lavenham Airfield during World War II. The Swan is a wonderful place in which to celebrate a variety of special occasions, including romantic weddings, christenings and family get-togethers. It is also a unique venue for seminars, meetings and conferences, where 15th century inspiration combines with 21st century innovation. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Lavenham Swan Hotel
- Swan Hotel & Spa Lavenham Suffolk