Comfy, stylish rooms, excellent food and the confident air of a thriving family business.
Long Melford, Suffolk CO10 9JQ 01787 464 545
Set at one end of Long Melford's long and eminently walkable high street, we reckon The Swan is just about the best pace to stay in this popular south Suffolk village – an up-to-date sort of place that fashionably likes to refer to itself as a ‘restaurant with rooms’. In the Swan’s case this is just the right title: it's less formal than a hotel but definitely a cut above most pubs with rooms, with a bar-reception area (where you are offered a complimentary drink on arrival) and a new restaurant extension that opens out onto a large garden – a great summer spot for al fresco eating and drinking.
As for the rooms, they are comfy and rather stylish – 7 in all, split between 4 rooms in a separate building (Melford House) next door but one and 3 rooms in the main building – shortly to be increased to 5 rooms. They’re all a decent size without being enormous, and they either have a spacious shower or seductively-lit old-fashioned bath tubs (a couple of which are in the rooms) – or both. Each room is subtly lit and eclectically furnished, with bright-eye-catching fabrics and bold colours, made-to-measure headboards and curtains, Freeview TVs, decent wi-fi, tea-and coffee-making facilities, still and sparkling water, homemade cookies and a bottle of fresh milk; all the bathrooms have Noble Isle toiletries.
The overall feel is thoroughly up-to-date and a little bit quirky, with a style that is on the cosy side of contemporary. A family concern, run by Andrew McMillan and his two sons and daughter, they recently added the Duck Deli, which serves good coffee, homemade Scotch eggs and sausage rolls, local cheeses and all manner of other thoughtfully chosen foodie items, as well as extending the restaurant. This is not an especially a cheap place to eat, but the cooking is high quality, with an emphasis on good quality ingredients and a varied set of menus, from a changing choice of half a dozen a la carte starters and main courses to a selection of pub classics; they also serve dainty canapés and excellent oysters if you’re just feeling a bit peckish, and a brunch menu from 10am to 2.30pm.
As for the location, it really couldn't be better if you like this part of Suffolk, a two-hour drive from London, on the main street of one of Suffolk’s most delightful villages, and with lots to see within walking distance and in the surrounding area, including the timbered tourist honeypot of Lavenham, four miles away. If you wish you can walk there walk along a disused railway line, where you can enjoy an excellent lunch at the Swan’s sister establishment, the Greyhound. All in all a perfect venue for a weekend escape from London.
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Seven en-suite guest rooms, soon to be extended to nine.
Find a bed in a place to sleep near you
£155–185 a night for a double room with breakfast – although the DB&B deals are good value at £115–132 per person. Their one suite costs from £190 a night B&B; £135 per person DB&B.
- Complimentary Stuff
- DVD Players
- Music System
- TVs with Freeview
- Five-Star Luxury
Open all year.