At the beginning of February something happened to me and it has completely thrown me off my definite life track. I always thought I was a city girl when it came to where I wanted to live and where I wanted to holiday, but having stayed at The Swan at Lavenham I now really have no idea.
Let me explain.
The Swan is a 17th century hotel in Lavenham with wooden beams, higgledy piggledy levels and a welcoming, small town vibe. The front door is a huge old school wooden one which makes it feel like you are entering someone’s country home rather than a hotel, and upon opening it guests are confronted with real open fires, comfy sofas and a modern take on classic British decor. Inside is deceptively big and if you’re not paying attention when shown to your room expect to get lost in a maze of hallways and staircases whenever you leave it because The Swan is massive.
We stayed in room 16 which was a quiet room on the far side of the hotel, and a world away from the constant hum of London. It was spacious, decorated to compliment the hotel’s location and style, and full of welcoming touches like two packs of biscuits which I wolfed into the second I saw them. Yum.
Country decor is generally more warm and cosy than its modern equivalent and paired with the huge room (compared to London’s offerings) I felt completely at home and could have stayed there tucked under the duvet all day and night.
Dinner was booked for 8 but before dinner we made our way to the Airmen’s bar for a cocktail. The bar is filled with war memorabilia and signatures of air force personnel stationed at Lavenham Airfield during World War II. The Swan has completely embraced its history as well as that of the local area, and during my time there I and other guests were fascinated by the large collection of memorabilia on show. It’s a really unique and interesting setting to settle for the evening or grab a quick drink, and I wish I’d asked more questions because I imagine this bar has some great stories.
The AA two Rosette Gallery Restaurant has high timber ceilings, medieval chandeliers, and exposed brick walls making it a really charming and impressive place to eat. For dinner I had a Scotch egg done to perfection and lamb, washed down with Lavenham’s very own vintage (we bought two bottles in the shop the next day).
The waiting staff in the restaurant are a testament to the hotel – they’re all so friendly and welcoming and it must rub off on guests as during our visit two sets of complete strangers began talking to their table neighbours and were still there when we were en route to bed. You don’t see that often and certainly not in London. It was uplifting to witness and it made my hardened city shell fall away because it is these type of people I want to be around all the time.
I had a great night’s sleep topped only by my favourite thing in life, eggs Benedict. There’s no breakfast buffet and instead everything is brought to the table which I love.
It’s always great to go home after being away but ever since leaving The Swan I can’t help but want to go back and live the small town country life surrounded by quaint houses and friendly people. The new spa opens in March so if you don’t manage to stay the night definitely stop by for a spa treatment or a drink but be warned, The Swan at Lavenham will steal your heart and will leave you wanting more and more and more.
(I was a guest of The Swan at Lavenham)