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The dashingly handsome Great House still invokes pleasing thoughts of France in the heart of medieval Lavenham – no wonder it remains a go-to destination for many readers. Ancient timbers, muted colours and modern artworks create a cosseting atmosphere, while Régis and Martine Crépy play perfect hosts to an appreciative crowd who flock here for sharply tuned French cooking with plenty of modern flourishes. Quality is at a premium as the kitchen works its magic with perfectly judged flavours and textures: baked Isle of Man ‘queenie’ scallops with courgette fondue, Madras curry, tomato, garlic and parsley butter; French pigeon breast roasted on the bone with caramelised endive, red beetroot and bay leaf sauce; rack of English lamb with rocket jus, sautéed wild mushrooms and garlic espuma. Desserts are artistic creations such as a white chocolate and strawberry ‘sphere’ with rhubarb, red fruits and crème de menthe sorbet, although it’s worth eyeing up the terrific selection of cheeses from Suffolk and France too. Young Gallic staff are beyond reproach, lunches offer tremendous value and oenophiles can revel in the generous wine list.
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