THE MARQUIS, SUFFOLK
Perching above the pretty Brett Valley in Upper Layham, around 30 minutes from Ipswich, The Marquis makes a refreshing change to the ‘ye-olde’ style country inns and chocolate-box buildings that characterise the county. The building dates back to the 17th century and its ten luxury rooms have the lilt of history, without feeling twee. Original beams and fireplaces meet heritage tones and fine textiles – a nod to the region’s past – while the view of the valley is quite something to awake to.
In the dining room, chefs Tom Bushell and Sam Clover put seasonal, local ingredients at the heart of their menu. Modern British is the deal here and the only Suffolk-pink you’ll find will be the blush of their perfectly cooked lamb chops. Elsewhere, guinea fowl is poached and served with pickled girolles; goat’s cheese tortellini comes with sorrel and beetroot soup and a Josper grill does an equally fine job with a Stowmarket chicken breast as it does a tomahawk steak. Light strawberry consommé with fromage frais sobert and borage flowers is our pick when it comes to puds – the modern presentation errs on the right side of restrained: colourful, attractive but not overdone. Panoramic windows, muted tones and an open kitchen provide the ideal backdrop. BG. Doubles from £165. 01473 377 977, themarquissuffolk.co.uk