Tucked away in the rolling Suffolk countryside is Lavenham, which made its name in medieval times through the wool trade and is considered to be our best-preserved medieval village.
The village today is a haven for visitors seeking a corner of unspoilt old England and there’s nowhere better to begin your time here than at The Swan at Lavenham Hotel and Spa, where you’ll find a glorious coming together of medieval architecture and modern comfort.
This stunning 15th Century building oozes history from every oak beam but the hotel is very far from being stuck in a bygone era. This is one of the finest hotels in Suffolk, and its cosy nooks and elegantly furnished rooms are complemented by the fabulous food in its two-AA Rosette restaurant and Weaver’s House Spa where the facilities and service would give other more expensive establishments a run for their money.
Everything at The Swan is designed to make your stay relaxing and memorable and it’s obvious that the highest standard of customer service is their priority. All the staff were helpful and polite but also seemed happy to be there – in this atmosphere it was so easy to relax and switch off.
We stayed in a spacious Gainsborough room, hidden away along winding corridors in the oldest part of the building. After check-in it was so tempting to doze on the incredibly comfortable bed until dinner-time, but we had the spa to explore!
All hotel guests have complimentary to access to the spa facilities for two hours each day with a hot stone sauna, steam room, and a sun terrace with an outdoor vitality pool. With a waiter service to bring you juices or even Champagne, it really was heaven. And before my spa treatment – the In Good Spirits massage – I was treated to a summer berry smoothie. My therapist couldn‘t have been friendlier and took me through all the aspects of my treatment in advance. It was more than just a massage and I felt that, with the extra touches and access to the facilities, spa lounge and quiet room, it was really good value for money.
A return to our room and a G&T in the cosy Airmen’s bar and we were ready to enjoy our much-anticipated dinner in The Gallery Restaurant, the hotel’s formal dining space.
The food was wonderful, from a savoury goat’s cheese panacotta for starters to melt-in-the mouth pork cheeks with red onion and sultanas. As we relaxed into our culinary stride we were attended by the wine waiter Mark, whose mission it was to ensure we wouldn’t go thirsty!
Again, the service was second to none. Strawberry parfait and a Marathon chocolate dessert ended a meal that was more than worthy of the restaurant’s two-AA Rosette status.
The Gallery is perfect for a special occasion and is included in the dinner and stay package options offered by the hotel, but if you prefer something less formal but equally delicious, try the Brasserie, perfect for a meal with the grandchildren.
A good night’s sleep and a delicious breakfast later and we were ready to rejoin the ‘real’ world feeling relaxed and refreshed. The Swan at Lavenham – a treat for the senses as well as the tastebuds!
A tip for film buffs…
Lavenham is the film location of Harry’s birthplace, Godric’s Hollow, in Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows. De Vere house on Water Street is just around the corner from The Swan and is among around 340 listed buildings in the village.
Yours magazine was hosted by the Swan at Lavenham Hotel and Spa. The hotel’s two-AA Rosette Gallery Restaurant offers a three-course dinner from £40 pp and the Weavers’ House Spa features a sauna, steam room, outdoor vitality pool and relaxation lounges. An overnight stay costs from £185 per room (two sharing), including two hours’ use of the spa facilities and full Suffolk breakfast. The In Good Spirits massage is priced at £74 for 60 minutes.
Contact Pride of Britain Hotels on 0800 089 3929 or visit www.prideofbritainhotels.com