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High Street, Lavenham
With a forest of centuries-old beams, standing timbers and inglenook fireplaces, this elegant family-friendly hotel and spa is “full of charm” and traditional to the core. But while the setting might seem straight out of tourist-brochure heaven, the cooking is refreshingly sharp and modern – especially in the “exceptional” Gallery Restaurant. Lunchtimes are “particularly relaxed”, but the place puts on its glad rags for “fine dining at its best” in the evening. Dinner might open with confit pork cheek, piccalilli and pea shoot salad or a smoked salmon Scotch egg, before seared halibut with cannelloni, braised turnips, shrimps and razor clams or roast corn-fed chicken breast accompanied by pearl barley, confit shallots, baby leeks and crispy chicken wings. Veggies get a look-in, while desserts might include rhubarb cheesecake with honey ice cream. As for drinks, go for Suffolk real ale or one of the highly quaffable wines by the glass. If something more casual is required, head to the airy, open-plan Brasserie or the Airmen’s Bar (appropriately decked out with wartime memorabilia).
Square Meal’s Best Restaurants in the UK 2015 is compiled using votes from our annual survey, last conducted in May and June 2015. Thousands of readers and bloggers took part and the results were moderated by the Square Meal editor and his nationwide team of professional reviewers. The survey does not ask for or include any restaurants in London. Click here for a full list of Square Meal’s Best Restaurants in the UK.
UK's Top 100 Restaurants 2015
High Street, Lavenham
Sudbury Station 9km
Bures Station 15km
Guildhall, Lavenham 363m
The Priory, Lavenham 745m
Mon-Sun 12N-2pm 7-9pm
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 4
When you pull into the car park you know you're in for something special. The 14th century building is exquisite and the courtyards are well kept and being December, felt very festive with plenty of white lights and Christmas trees.
We had a 4 poster room booked which was stunning, beams, high up to the rafters and wonky walls! Champagne and a gorgeous hand painted water coloured birthday card of the hotel, were in our room on arrival.
Staff are friendly and extremely helpful. We went into the lounge for pre-dinner drinks, seated beside the roaring log fire and they came and found us and presented a slate plate with a selection of well made canapés.
The main restaurant again has the wow factor, plenty of space and high vaulted, beamed ceilings.
The menu is a set price at £35.95 for 3 courses and you have about 4 choices for each course. Each of our courses were tasty and well presented. Between us we had wild boar, scallops, steak and a delightful coconut panacotta with pineapple & chilli.
The only negative I can say is that no background music was played in either the bar or the restaurant and so at times it felt a little too quiet.
The hotel offers some great dine and stay packages…which I can recommend. It certainly rounds off the evening, to climb the wonky, wooden staircase up to bed and to have a long drive home.
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