No point in repeating myself or say something we all know and feel. 2020 sucks. I might also sound pretentious but one of the downsides has been that international travel been cut to zero. My best friend and I in fact did not visit our much loved New York for what has become a yearly weekend trip.
Instead, we decided to spend a work week in one of my favourite places in the UK: historic Lavenham. We packed our bags, took Amber the basset with us and off we went.
Has anything changed? Is Lavenham different when you are on an adult only staycation as opposed to a family trip?
Market Keepers Cottage
We stayed at ‘my’ cottage, Market Keepers. This was my 4th stay; since the very first time, I fell in love with this beautiful, ancient yet modern cottage. Its location, its spacious yet cosy rooms, its facilities (from dishwasher to fast wifi).
The views from the windows bear something truly familiar for me now: looking at the sun peeping through the bedroom curtains in the early morning; the sunset shadows setting onto the Guildhall from the staircase window; the hues of the flowers in the front walled garden, with the peaceful backdrop of the Little Hall. Despite having to work, we had a fantastic week in such a beautiful place. The weather was absolutely gorgeous and the last week of summer warmth couldn’t have been more perfect.
We made coffee in the Unimatic each morning to keep us going through our work calls; we made aperitifs once work was done for the day; we sipped whisky in crystal glasses while playing 1980s Trivial.
We just loved Market Keepers.
Without a little child in tow, it was a little easier to experience the local dining scene.
Here’s a summary:
- We had a good meal at the Swan’s Brasserie (dog friendly)
- We loved a surprisingly delicious dinner at the Angel Pub
- We tried to get a table at fine dining french The Great House but it was fully booked for a very pricey, champagne black tie gala
- We hopped to nearby Six Bells at Preston St Mary and had a fantastic, rustic dinner in a strangely empty dining room
- We drove to Long Melford to fine dining, top reviewed, pretty Scutchers. Here we had an over priced, underwhelming dinner (with overcooked fillet steak, frozen and badly cooked chips, frozen and completely unseasoned 1980s style veggies). Shame as the service was spot on.
- We had two beautiful al fresco lunches at Number 10; this was perhaps our favourite place. Creative menu, large portions, great service and a stunning garden. So much better than my previous visit!
Coffee & cakes?
Of course. We went back to the lovely Lavenham Blue tea room, we had a cake at the Guildhall historic tea room and garden and loved ice cream from the Parlour. Still not allowing dogs but they do make the most amazing artisan ice cream and they sell artisan chocolate such as Tosier plus a selection of lovely cards and pottery.
Shopping & Pampering
We failed to have a session at the Swan’s spa (Weavers) – it was so busy, we should have booked a week ahead. Hopefully next time! We did buy some really nice reusable masks and accessories in the quaint shop in the Market Square, some toys and children’s ethical clothing at Little & Lil right next to the Parlour.
As well as enjoing to stunning heritage Lavenham offers, from its majestic church to the little period cottages, we had a lovely afternoon walk in nearby Long Melford. The high street has some attractive constructions from different periods including a curiously decorated house (see photo) and a Railway Assurance building.
I also finally had a chance to spend a couple of hours in Bury St Edmunds which is really pretty and reminded me of Cambridge a bit. The cathedral was already closed by the time I got there, but the grounds were open and here it is possible to see a number of interesting things from the remains of the medieval church, a WWII memorial garden and an aviary as well as an imposing Norman tower gateway.
So, once again Lavenham made me feel so welcome and at home. I couldn’t stop looking at houses and day dreaming of moving there!
Have you visited? What do you think about beautiful Lavenham? Let us know in the comments.