Thursday, 26 November 2009

The Swan, Lavenham, Suffolk

A few weeks ago I got a text from our friends asking if we were free on the 19th November as they were getting married What? in 3 weeks? Blimey. I must admit, congratulations weren't the first thing on my mind, but more selfishly, was I going to be able to find a new frock in that time?

Seriously it was great news and made even better because the wedding was going to be held at The Swan in Lavenham. Both The Swan and the village of Lavenham are lovely places. The last time were in Lavenham we stayed in a cottage for a long weekend for Tiny's birthday and had a wonderful time.

On the day we drove up it was a lovely crisp sunny day. We arranged to meet a couple of friends in The Angel for lunch as the wedding wasn't until 3.30. I opted out of eating as I was conscious that I was going to have to be shoe-horned into my 'control tights' in an hour or so and therefore thought it best to abstain. The others tucked in though to sausages & mash, home cooked thickly sliced ham sandwiches and sausage, chorizo & bean stew - sorry no photos.

Then it was off to The Swan (all of 100yds away) to book in and begin getting ready. The Swan dates back to the 15th century and is a wonderful building, full of oak beams and inglenook fireplaces and is beautifully furnished.

Our room was very comfortable and had a huge bed - it was almost wider than I am tall. It's always a relief when we get to a hotel room and find that we have a king sized bed, because if it's a standard double Tiny's feet hang out of the bottom and get cold.

Having scoffed one of the packets of complimentary biscuits between us (choc chip cookies if you're interested) we started getting changed. We both had new outfits and if I say so myself, we had scrubbed up rather well.

The ceremony, although quite short, was lovely. There were only 30 of us which made it rather cosy and intimate.

After the photos we made our way to the lounge, where seated on comfy sofas and with a log fire blazing, giving a lovely glow to the room and the guest's faces, we enjoyed champagne and canapes, which was rather civilised.

After quite a while of quaffing, nibbling and mingling we were beckoned through to dine. The room was bathed in candle light and the tables looked beautiful.

The meal was excellent. We started with chicken and roasted pepper terrine, which was moist, well seasoned and very tasty.

The main course of roasted rump of lamb, ratatouille and dauphinoise potato was equally as good. The lamb was tender and cooked to perfection and the dauphinoise was creamy, garlicky and unctuous and the ratatouille still had texture and wasn't too tomatoey.

The meal was rounded off with a lemon tart and raspberry sorbet which I didn't feel belonged together. Having said that, they were both extremely good. Lovely crisp pastry on the tart and the sorbet was bursting with flavour and not overly sweet.

After more drinks and some witty and touching speeches we relaxed over coffee in the lounge. Feeling very full, slightly squiffed and happy we weebled up to bed having had a lovely afternoon and evening.

I thoroughly recommend the Swan. The food, the rooms and the attentiveness of the staff made the occasion very special.

Just one thing though, if you're tall you might find the hotel a little challenging - as Tiny did.
The reason the photo is blurred is because I was laughing.

The Swan Hotel
CO10 9QA


  1. This has made me very hungry. The food looks great and the place really beautiful. I love your blurry, laughing photo at the end.

  2. What a lovely hotel and the food looks fabulous!!

  3. Funnily enough, I know this building. I've visited Lavenham before. What a gorgeous place. I believe it's got the most preserved Tudor buildings of any place in the country (or some other equally astounding statistic).
    The wedding looks lovely by the way. Nice write up Jan.

  4. Several things happen when I read your posts, I laugh out loud, my eyes take on a misty faraway look as I absorb your description of the food involved in your adventures, and thirdly I start drooling.

    I am lucky to have a sister who doesnt live too far from delightful Lavenham, and The Swan is just as beautiful inside as out from the look of your photos! Lovely post, thank you.

    Julia xxx

  5. Very nice! What a lovely wedding setting. Can't wait to meet Tiny now - I think he'll be able to pick me up by the scruff of the neck!

  6. I love this post, and the photo of Tiny. That wedding looks amazing. Very grown up and sophisticated. I was very impressed with you skipping lunch (a thing I have never managed in my life) but when I saw dinner I realised it would have been worth it. Those control tights are merciless but effective.

  7. How come I missed this post? Lavenham looks lovely and the food at the hotel looks great. I have my own tiny - 6foot 6inches of him!!! xxxx

  8. Congratulations to your friends! And I used to live in the next village to Lavenham - it's adorable!

  9. Looks most posh and fabulous except of course for the troublesome ceiling heights.

  10. Lovely post! I remember sitting in the bar under the airmen's signatures...