WORDS NICOLA FOLEY
nder an hour away by car from central Cambridge, you’d be hard pushed to
Hollow in the Harry Potter films, with various street scenes filmed here and the striking De Vere House the setting for Harry’s birthplace (fans of the franchise may like to learn that you can enjoy a cream tea inside this wonderfully wonky Water Street building). The hotel At the heart of Lavenham is The Swan, a stunning 15th century hotel where historic charm meets contemporary luxury. One of the hotel’s big draws is its restaurant, The Gallery, where diners can enjoy a fine dining menu showcasing a parade of locally sourced
produce, from Dingley Dell pork to Lowestoft kippers. With high ceilings, a large inglenook fireplace, oak beams, candlelight and crisp white tablecloths, there’s a real sense of occasion to the dining room – especially when the live pianist serenades diners from the minstrel gallery above. Head Chef Justin Kett’s dishes are broadly classic British in style, with diners invited to choose up to five courses from a mini tasting menu style experience. Highlights from our evening meal included a meltingly tender beef cheek with deliciously rich blue cheese pomme puree, a meaty rabbit tagine
find a quainter, more chocolate-box setting for a weekend getaway than Lavenham. One of the UK’s best- preserved medieval villages, this small settlement (there are fewer than 2,000 residents) was once famous around the world for its wool; a thriving industry which made Lavenham one of the richest towns in Tudor England. An influx of wealth around this time allowed for the creation of some of the village’s most spectacular buildings, such as the gothic-style church and magnificent limewashed guildhall. This period was also responsible for the many timber-frame homes which line the village’s streets, painted in a rainbow of sorbet colours and charmingly lopsided in appearance. It is easy to see why the village served as the inspiration for Godric’s
At the heart of Lavenham is The Swan, a stunning 15th century hotel where historic charmmeets contemporary luxury"
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