Given the decadence of the architecture, the eye-catching styling & no-expense-spared interiors, dining at Ickworth is a grand experience. And in the same way that the retro-classic furniture & distinctly laid-back experience surprises first time visitors, the kitchen has brought an urbane edge to the food. However, the top-notch ingredients are delightfully parochial, mostly sourced right on the doorstep. The hotel is very much aimed at thirty-and-fortysomething parents wanting a luxurious family break, so expect lots of kiddies about the place – except at dinner, for Fredericks, the elegant dining room, is a child-free zone. Though still finding his feet, Lee Childs is ambitious, evident in the modernities of confit cod & local pork belly with haricot blancs & beetroot, halibut & oxtail with creamed leeks & lemon thyme croquette potato or white chocolate risotto with sweet balsamic jelly & stewed berries.