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The Swan at Lavenham review: An enchanting weekend break

This year Mr S and I celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary with a stay at The Swan at Lavenham, Suffolk. Little ones safely deposited at the grandparents, it was just a two hour drive to a weekend of pure relaxation in a charming little village.

Lavenham Hotels

The Swan at Lavenham: An enchanting weekend break

The Swan at Lavenham: An enchanting weekend break

Things to do in Lavenham

The hotel is located in this beautiful medieval town, steeped in history, packed with crooked cottages and half-timbered buildings. You certainly feel like you’ve stepped back in time or through a mysterious magical portal – it’s no surprise that scenes from the Harry Potter films were shot here.

The Swan at Lavenham: An enchanting weekend break

Lavenham was once the 14th richest town in England, all down to its thriving woollen cloth trade. Today it has a strong community spirit with an array of art galleries, cafes and pubs, surrounded by the remnants of its hey-day. To find out more you can read my 5 reasons to visit Lavenham.

The Swan at Lavenham: An enchanting weekend break

The Swan hotel

The hotel is a member of the Pride of Britain Hotel Group and sits majestically in the heart of the town. It’s picture perfect exterior of tiny hatched windows, timber clad walls and unique wonky nature makes it a fitting centre piece.

The Swan at Lavenham: An enchanting weekend break

The hotel & spa spans three houses dating back to 1425 and the interiors blend the unique character of the building with light modern touches in the rooms and public areas. I fell in love with the winding corridors, exposed beams and even the wonky floors.

The Swan at Lavenham: An enchanting weekend break

We stayed in one of the charming Constable Suites. The bedroom with king size bed led to a separate lounge area with characterful features such as inglenook fireplaces, vaulted ceilings and mullioned windows. For such a spacious room, I did find the bathroom quite small, but that’s the price you pay for converting an old building into a hotel. Although I soon forgot about it once I spied the Temple Spa toiletries – so fickle!

One of the things that lured me to the hotel was The Weavers House Spa. A tranquil haven of luxury and relaxation moments from our room. And boy did it not disappoint. On arrival we were handed our robes and slippers.

The Swan at Lavenham: An enchanting weekend break

The Swan at Lavenham: An enchanting weekend break

Changed and ready we waited in the lounge area with our berry smoothies and hot lemon scented towels for our consultation.

The Swan at Lavenham: An enchanting weekend break

We both booked a 90 minute ‘Drift Away’ top-to-toe massage. Trust me it did exactly what it said on the tin.

The Swan at Lavenham: An enchanting weekend break

The Swan at Lavenham: An enchanting weekend break

Post-treatment we were treated to zesty lemon sorbeta and a moreish macaron with special herbal tea. We were ushered into the peaceful relaxation room where we enjoyed all our goodies. Mr S literally had to prize me out of the chaise to ensure we didn’t miss our dinner reservation.

There is also a beautiful outdoor terrace area with a vitality plunge pool and cosy curved loungers to help while away your afternoon. Along with the large sauna and a herb-scented steam room there is enough to keep you luxuriously occupied.

The Swan at Lavenham: An enchanting weekend break

All relaxed and rejuvenated from our pamper session we threw on our gladrags and headed down for our anniversary meal at the AA two Rosette Gallery Restaurant. It’s the Swan Hotel’s more formal dining option, with tables adorned with candles and crisp white tablecloths. The hotel also has a more casual brasserie overlooking the gardens.

The Swan at Lavenham: An enchanting weekend break

The high timber beams, exposed brickwork, wrought-iron chandeliers and the wonderful pianist playing on the upper balcony, made it an atmospheric restaurant to dine in. We were lapping up all the charm and romance in the dapper surroundings.

Then I was handed an extensive vegetarian menu. My eyes lit up like a christmas tree. This happy diner had options, sometimes a rare occurrence even in many London restaurants. We began with a novel goat’s cheese starter served in a glass jar with bon bons, beetroot sorbet and salt baked beets.

To follow we had asparagus, wild garlic and parmesan and on top perfectly fried duck egg. The main of halloumi coated in a tandoori spice batter with pineapple and coconut, didn’t quite hit the mark. I wasn’t sold on the battered squeaky cheese – I’ve never been a fan of deep frying unless it’s a potato.  We ended the meal with the delicious gingerbread – a ginger sponge with poached pear and blackberry curd.

The Swan at Lavenham: An enchanting weekend break

Service was faultless and very efficient with the waiter doing a grand job of not letting us see the bottom of the wine glass.

The Swan at Lavenham: An enchanting weekend break

The evening ended with a nightcap at the Airman’s bar, so named in honour of the U.S. 487th Bomber Group stationed at Lavenham Airfield during World War II.

The Swan at Lavenham: An enchanting weekend break

I loved exploring all the little nooks and crannies around the hotel. There are plenty of quiet places to sit, read or enjoy a cuppa or something a bit stronger in a hidden courtyard or next to an inglenook fireplace – so perfect!

The Swan at Lavenham: An enchanting weekend break

The location and hotel made this a perfect romantic getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city in one of the most enchanting country towns in Suffolk.

Have you ever been to Lavenham? Do you have a favourite UK hotel? Let me know in the comments box below.


The Swan at Lavenham | High Street | Lavenham | Suffolk | C010 9QA


T ravel Loving Family


  • Monisha 3rd July 2017 at 9:21 am

    looks amazing – def a place to add the ever-growing list!

    • Sima Sthanakiya 6th July 2017 at 2:03 pm

      You’ll love it! Especially the spa action.

  • Reena @ The Lifestyle Enthusiast 3rd July 2017 at 11:29 am

    This looks lovely and so cosy. I’ve never been to Lavenham, and perhaps rather embarassingly, I’d never heard of it! A very old hotel indeed – I can imagine it must be amazing to be in a place steeped with history. I’ll be pinning this for a future UK break!

    • Sima Sthanakiya 6th July 2017 at 2:02 pm

      Not too far either Reena. It would make for a great, quick getaway break for you and Ash. And if you’re a Harry Potter fan you can quiz yourself and see if you recognise any of the buildings.

  • Rachael 3rd July 2017 at 2:38 pm

    What a lovely looking place! I’ve never really explored Suffolk despite the fact it’s only a couple of hours away at most – the crooked looking houses and the hotel you stayed in look really sweet! Glad you had a nice time!

    • Sima Sthanakiya 6th July 2017 at 1:55 pm

      Oh you must go Rachael, living so close. It would make a great day trip.

  • Ting 3rd July 2017 at 3:08 pm

    What a beautiful looking hotel. Your stay sounds wonderful!

  • Nell (Pigeon Pair and Me) 3rd July 2017 at 7:53 pm

    This place looks amazing. Like you, I’m sure I’d have fallen in love with the wonkiness of it all. And I’m so curious about the salt beets – I want to try them! Gorgeous post. #MondayEscapes

    • Sima Sthanakiya 6th July 2017 at 1:53 pm

      Thanks Nell. A gorgeous place for a mini break. I want to go back for the beets too!

  • Rachel 4th July 2017 at 12:56 pm

    How fantastic are those crooked cottages wow, I am drawn to them as I am your entire break x

  • Kirsty 4th July 2017 at 4:39 pm

    That plunge pool sounds so good and it would work up an appetite for me that’s for sure. I love the food it looks delicious. Might have to add this on my places to visit. I love th ehighbeams and wood work it’s so quintessentially English.

    • Sima Sthanakiya 6th July 2017 at 1:52 pm

      You’ll definitely love it Kirsty. I love a oldy worldly hotel steeped in history.

  • dena jayne 4th July 2017 at 7:33 pm

    What an amazing place! I love the quirkiness of the places! xo

  • Maggie 5th July 2017 at 9:30 am

    Firstly massive congratulations to you and Mr S! Secondly how is it your wedding anniversary again!?? I literally remember reading a post about your 10th wedding anniversary and it feels like that was only a few months ago…where has time gone?!! This looks like such a charming and beautiful rustic hotel too Sima – definitely earmarking this one and how cute is the village!

    • Sima Sthanakiya 6th July 2017 at 1:51 pm

      Thanks lovely. I know! Where has this year gone.
      You’ll love the village Maggie. It’s a must-see and so many other pretty neighbouring little villages.

  • eve milner 5th July 2017 at 10:00 pm

    We had our wedding night in The Swan on 2 June 1979!! It was a bit different then. Happy memories of the new hubby watching golf on the telly and everyone staring at the Newliweds at breakfast the next morning…. #cringemoments

    • Sima Sthanakiya 6th July 2017 at 1:49 pm

      No way Eve! How fabulous! You were a celebrity for the morning. It’s such a a beautiful hotel and village.

  • Kara 6th July 2017 at 4:22 pm

    I adore old buildings with their quirky features and that it has kept many of those features inside too

  • Claire 8th July 2017 at 9:11 am

    You are gorgeous! Definitely seems like a perfect weekend. All the photos are great, wish I could visit there!

    • Sima Sthanakiya 8th July 2017 at 1:54 pm

      Thanks Claire, that’s very sweet of you. It was a lovely weekend.

  • Zoe 9th July 2017 at 9:10 pm

    Oh Sima firstly happy 11 year anniversary. This looks so picturesque and to die for, I actually chuckled at the wonky orange house. x

  • Claire at Tin Box Traveller 10th July 2017 at 1:59 pm

    What a delicious looking place for an anniversary getaway! I love staying in quirky old buildings and this hotel renovation looks like it’s been done superbly. And the spa….#dribble! Thanks so much for sharing this on #MondayEscapes

    • Sima Sthanakiya 12th July 2017 at 7:44 pm

      It really was Claire. You should have it on your radar, if you ever escape for a Mr and Mrs break away.

  • Laura 17th July 2017 at 3:19 pm

    The Swan at Levenham looks ever so enchanting and a place I spotted a couple of years ago, but yet to check out.

    The decor looks wonderful, and it’s great when you come away from a place feeling so relaxed.

    Congrats on your anniversary 🙂

    Thanks for sharing!

    Laura xo

    • Sima Sthanakiya 24th July 2017 at 9:18 pm

      Thanks Laura. We loved our mini break there. Such a stunning hotel.

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