Once a necessary if slightly humdrum place to visit if you happened to be in Sudbury, Gainsborough's House – the birthplace of Thomas Gainsborough Suffolk's most celebrated 18th century painter – has turned itself into a must-see destination following a £10 million pound restoration, and the good news is that it opens for the first time on November 21, 2022. It's a great opportunity to view some of the artist's best paintings, collected and shown here for the first time, but also a good excuse to spend a few days in an undeniably beautiful corner of England, where you can hop back and forth across the Suffolk-Essex border and take in the rural landscapes of not only Gainsborough but also Constable along the way. Below are some of our favourite places to spend the night in southern Suffolk and Northern Essex...
Situated just a few miles outside Sudbury, Rectory Manor is about as homely a place to stay as you could wish for. Arriving here is a bit like attending an old-fashioned country house party in the home of your poshest friend. Lovely, characterful rooms in both the main house and a stylish annexe, lots of little luxuries and an excellent breakfast too.
This Suffolk pub on the picturesque village green of Long Melford looks so alluring from the outside its hard to take in at first. Inside, it doesn't disappoint either, with ten spacious and contemporary rooms and a cosy bar and restaurant downstairs that serves excellent, moderately priced food.
A proper pub situated right on the high street in the extremely attractive village of Dedham, right in the heart of' Constable Country' on the Essex-Suffolk border. It has a handful of very comfortable and characterful rooms, plus it serves terrific food with an Italian twist.
The Pheasant give you pretty much everything you could want from a country inn: high quality, home-cooked food and a cosy pub var in which to eat it, plus five very nice guest rooms, in this case houses in a separate building behind the pub.
Flagship property of the excellent local Milsoms chain of hotels, the Talbooth is one of the most appealing of the upscale choices on the Essex-Suffolk borders, a boutique country house hotel with just a dozen rooms, pool, spa and tennis court. Service is impeccable, and it own fine dining restaurant down by the river is one of the destination places to eat in the region.
This long-running relax foodie pub, situated in the Suffolk half of 'Constable Country,' has quite rightly been a fixture on the local dining scene for years, and it has recently been re-vitalized by the local Chestnut group, who run some terrific pubs in East Anglia. Its 11 guest rooms are very comfortable, occupying a separate building overlooking the glorious Suffolk countryside.