Posted 19th Feb 2016
The elegant Swan Hotel in Lavenham promises a luxurious stay in the medieval wool town, offering an award-winning restaurant, sumptuous food, relaxing spa and a peaceful place to rest your head at the end of a busy day, all in one stunning location
Set in the heart of the charming village of Lavenham in Suffolk, the striking 15th-century Swan Hotel and Spa offers a warm welcome to its guests. Its picture-perfect exterior offers just a taste of what awaits inside, from oak-beamed rooms bursting with character and big open fireplaces, to cosy nooks to while away the day in and a stunning Gallery restaurant.
A dominating feature of the High Street, antiquity abounds in The Swan Hotel. In the early days The Swan did a flourishing posting trade and, in 1830, when it had stabling for 50 horses, it was described as the 'capital old-established free public and posting house'. There are still many original features to spot around the hotel too – look out for a door leading into the building above the courtyard dating back to the 17th Century, likely once used for loading wool from the weaver's gallery to the wagons below. The Old Bar is a cosy hub to enjoy a tipple in, also awash with history for it was here that American airmen would gather during the Second World War, and on one section of the wall is a display of badges left behind by the gratified servicemen.
Boasting 45 individually decorated bedrooms and suites, each room offers touches of luxury you would expect to find in a four-star establishment, from soft, fluffy robes and big comfy beds, to complimentary luxury toiletries and flat screen televisions. Dining at The Swan is just as elegant, with a choice of eating in the contemporary style Brasserie where a slightly simpler, more informal experience can be enjoyed, or opt for fine dining in the beautiful two AA rosette award-winning Gallery restaurant, tucking into dishes such as salt baked beetroot with caramelised walnuts and port soaked blue cheese, or confit pork cheek with piccalilli and pea shoots to start, whilst mains tempt with the likes of roast cannon of Suffolk lamb, seared halibut with white fish cannelloni, and truffle and wild mushroom risotto. Pudding is well worth saving room for too, with the likes of cherry and chocolate fondant, lime and vanilla cheesecake, or pistachio financier to tickle your taste buds.
The hotel also boasts its own luxury Weavers' House Spa, a peaceful retreat promising total relaxation through its wealth of feel-good treatments along with its hot stone sauna, outdoor vitality pool and aromatic steam room. If cooking is more your cup of tea then why not try one of the hotel's culinary masterclasses? The cooking workshops run throughout the year and are a fun way to improve culinary skills, from learning to make indulgent afternoon tea to cooking up timeless classics on the Best of British course, there's a workshop for every taste, all including a two course lunch and wine.
Just a step outside of the hotel and you'll find yourself in the heart of the postcard-perfect village lined with pastel-coloured buildings and topsy turvy cottages. Lavenham is home to a myriad of independent shops, galleries, tearooms and pubs to peruse, whilst the National Trust Guildhall is not to be missed. All this and more awaits on the doorstep of the stunning Swan Hotel.
Visit www.theswanatlavenham.co.uk to find out more and to book a stay.
By Natalie Crofts