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Maison Talbooth - Review

A SWISH £1.5 MILLION refurbishment has put the Wow factor back into Maison Talbooth in a big way. No wonder tired townies feel totally at home à la Maison – this handsome former Victorian rectory makes a terrific place to stay on the Suffolk borders.

Set on a bluff overlooking the Stour river valley, with green fields stretching out to the medieval church at Stratford St Mary, Maison Talbooth's pretty setting has inspired many a would-be Constable. His famous painting of Dedham Vale even depicts the timbered farmhouse that is now Le Talbooth restaurant.

Three signature top-floor suites – all named after famous poets – have added a new cool and contemporary dimension to Maison Talbooth's blissful bedrooms. We stayed in the Betjeman suite, with its sweeping views over Dedham Vale, a huge sofa to curl up on and armchairs clad in mock zebra skin.

Starlit soaks

A huge bed set centre stage was wrapped in the crispest goosedown duvet and piled in chocolate-brown cushions. Walls came in palest pistachio and our sleek bathroom – all travertine stone and glass – was definitely made for lingering.

For a seriously splashy time, take one of the Maison's three ultra-indulgent Principal suites – Keats, Macefield or Shakespeare. Complete with terrace and outdoor hot tub, they're just the place for a starlit soak with that bottle of champers courtesy of Room for Romance! If you'd sooner stay under the soapsuds indoors, try the fabulous travertine bathroom in the Eliot suite – one of the Superiors.

Dining is taken seriously at the riverside Le Talbooth restaurant, where diners gaze out at ducks bobbing on the water amid trailing willows. Arrive in summer, and you can dine alfresco on the pretty terrace or enjoy one of the regular Sunday night barbecues.

Feeling jaded after the night before? Maison Talbooth's new pool zone and treatment rooms will set you right. Go for a swim, knock up on the tennis court or lie back for a thoroughly therapeutic pummelling.

Maison Talbooth was reviewed for Room for Romance by Mark MacGee

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