Travel: Why You’ll Love... Laven­ham, Suf­folk

Woman's Weekly (UK) - - Come On In! - Woman’s Weekly Con­tent Di­rec­tor, Max­ine

Where I went

This me­dieval vil­lage has en­joyed more than its fair share of brushes with fame. It has taken a turn in films by Vin­cent Price, Stan­ley Kubrick and John Len­non, as well as the Harry Pot­ter fran­chise and Love­joy.

It’s not dif­fi­cult to see why. With a 15th-cen­tury church and tim­ber-clad build­ings ev­ery­where you look, it is an in­cred­i­bly pho­to­genic set­ting.

What I did

Sim­ply strolling around this idyl­lic vil­lage is re­ward­ing enough, plus you can buy Love­joy and Harry Pot­ter tour guides to fol­low, which is lots of fun. We also vis­ited Ken­twell Hall, a Tu­dor manor 10 min­utes’ drive away in Long Melford. Not to be out­done by its celebrity neigh­bour, the house has also been used as a film lo­ca­tion, most re­cently as Mr Toad’s house in a pro­duc­tion of The Wind In The Wil­lows.

Laven­ham Air­field was used by the USAAF

487th Bom­bard­ment Group be­tween March 1944 and

Au­gust 1945. Dur­ing this time, they flew 185 mis­sions and over 6,000 sor­ties. The Air­men’s

Bar at The Swan was a reg­u­lar wa­ter­ing hole for the fly­ers and has a wall pre­served with the sig­na­tures of some of those who Some parts of the ho­tel date back to the 15th cen­tury. Oak beams fes­toon the build­ing, which houses open fire­places and invit­ing nooks with mod­ern, el­e­gant fur­ni­ture. It’s a per­fect blend of his­tory and com­fort, and the ideal place to rest af­ter a day of walk­ing.

What I ate

The ho­tel has a brasserie of­fer­ing clas­sics like steak and chips or Nor­folk mus­sels. The Gallery res­tau­rant of­fers a more for­mal din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. Here you can en­joy beau­ti­fully crafted dishes, but sim­ply done – think posh com­fort food. The skate with gnoc­chi was cooked to per­fec­tion and the throw­back dessert of Arc­tic Roll was bril­liant – much bet­ter than the 1970s ver­sion!

An­other fan­tas­tic place for food is Laven­ham Grey­hound – a mod­ern gas­tropub with a lovely garden, right on the high street. A great menu of clas­sics with a twist, in­clud­ing bub­ble and squeak with fried duck egg and a sim­ple yet de­li­cious fish­cake.

Travel de­tails

The near­est train sta­tions to Laven­ham are Sud­bury, Colch­ester and Bury St Edmunds. The vil­lage is also eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble by road.

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