The Swan at Lavenham

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AMONG THE OAK BEAMS and rafters of The Swan at Lavenham – a real Tudor gem set in a medieval Suffolk town – you'll find luxurious bedrooms with every 21st century comfort.

We loved the inglenook fireplaces, beamed ceilings, painted plasterwork and cosy corners. There are plump sofas for lounging, log fires in winter, a gallery overlooking the restaurant and some interesting WW2 memorabilia in the bar.

Olde-worlde surrounds are matched by New World comforts at the Swan at Lavenham. Rooms may be 500 years old, but they are packed with all today's cosseting comforts. Our oaked-beamed suite was a winner, with a huge bed, crisp linen, lavish fabrics, squashy settee and wide-screen satellite TV – not to mention hand-made chocs to nibble on. Gleaming bathrooms are stocked with fluffy robes and Gilchrist & Soames preening products.

Carved four posters

Other bedrooms are also spacious and super-comfy, with many having carved four poster or canopied beds, high vaulted ceilings, original fireplaces and medieval wall paintings. All have bags of charm and character, and many overlook the pretty courtyard gardens below.

Outside, the Swan at Lavenham looks like a typical English inn. Inside, it retains a sense of intimacy despite being quite large. Had it been cold we might have bunkered down among the log fires and sofas of the cosy library, curled up for an indulgent afternoon tea or sunk a pint of local ale in the Old Bar – very much the hub of the hotel. As it was a warm summer's day, a jug of Pimm’s in the courtyard garden proved more tempting.

Dining at The Swan proved first-rate. There’s delicious modern British fare in the magnificent Tudor dining hall, with its massive ancient beams, and my partner was soon happily licking his chops over venison and scallop kebabs and raspberry crème brulee.

Once a busy coaching inn (it boasted stabling for 50 horses back in the 1800s), The Swan at Lavenham is set centre stage in this picture postcard old village, with its streets of ancient timber framed houses and leaning Tudor facades. Brimming with history (if only walls could talk!), it’s just the place for a lavish step back in time.

© Room for Romance

The Swan at Lavenham was reviewed for Room for Romance by Sarah Robinson

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