Thursday, 30 September 2021

Lavenham Holiday

 After a few days back home, looking out the best of the pictues of a holiday and recapping all that we enjoyed, I spend a little more time getting to appreciate all the places we visited. Of course holidays away have not been possible, and for the moment we were very happy to be able to have spent our holiday in a area that is completely new to us.  The weather was as good as it can get which we took full advantage of, and enjoyed many walks and outside activities.

We chose Lavenham, it had been on our list for several years ago and had our holiday booked originally for May 2020.  Helen Burgess who owns Staddles was most accomodating back then with a full refund as soon as we realised that the country was is a 'no travel' situation.  

With a handsome view of half timbered houses opposite

and a painterly view from the front doorstep towards to centre

This Medieval Wool Town had ample interesting small roads to amble around and fine houses to view. We took advantage of the quiet, almost traffic free evenings to wander around and view fine houses with often glimpses into their beamed interiors.

On one of our late afternoon saunters a few beautiful vintage cars were parked in the square and we got chatting to the owners sitting outside The Angel Hotel as they relaxed. Of course they had been carefully dusted off after their drive,  I could see in gleam of pride on the owner's face when I couldn't hlep but capture the lovely sky in the deep midnight blue of the paintwork.

We visited the Guildhall and also the very interesting Little Hall Museum which is run by the Suffolk Building Preservation Trust. 

If you are visiting Lavenham and have only time for one, then Little Hall is by far the best.  We took advantage of the short introductory talk by one of the volunteers who explained about the history of the town and source of wealth which was from Lavenham Blue woven broad cloth.  A good outline of how the house came to be bought by Gayer-Anderson Brothers and their family history, restoration of the house, and their many other interests which gave a substance to understanding all the furnishings, pictures and works of art in the house. Compared to all the English Heritage Property and NT houses we visited, this I rank far above those.  The gardens too were charming.

Guild Hall to the right across the square

Next door to the Little Hall Museum is The Great House, where we treated ourselves to Lunch just the once! We had to book in advance to get in. We were not altogher impressed with a few of the touches such as a ie one teaspoon of sweet corn kernels as an 'amuse bouche' and finding that we had been charged for bread on top of the price of the menu.  The addition automatically to the bill of the price of planting a tree, to 'off-set the carbon footprint of eating there,  too came as a jolt so I asked for that the later to be taken off, though I did pay for the bread.  By all means charge for the bread, but make it plain that it is a cost on the menu, and not simply have the waiter say would you like bread with your starters.  Putting that aside this was 'fine cuisine.

Middle courses missing......

The desserts were a Tour de Force.

A less cheffy meal but equally delicious lunch was enjoyed at the Restaurant at No 10 which is on the corner of Lady and Water Streets. Service and staff very pleasant and our dishes were easily altered to suit us better. On the Sunday we had our 'Roast' at the pub The Cock Horse, and as for the Indian Curry House The Mensaab, where we enjoyed a leisurely dinner which was just about as perfect as could be.  Whilst we were there, having enjoyed our starters, and waiting for the main courses to arrive,  I happened to hear a 'Mr Burgess' turn up at the bar to collect their order.  What a coincidence is that?  Of all the days and times we could have been in this restuarant, and my just happening to rear and recognise the name, of course we introduced ourselves, such amazing things happened not that infreqently.  

Much fine quality ingredients and food were purchased from the shops in Lavenham, including the Baker, the Butcher, and local small stores.  

Locally we came to adpot a few 'circular' walks with fine views of the countryside and along the disused railway. I just could not help myself but pick some wild blackberries, some of which were cooked to make a lovely topping for my breakfast cereal.

More seperate posts will follow about visits to gardens, towns and properties....


  1. We visited quite a few towns in Suffolk when I was young Noelle and Lavenham was probably one of them. It looks familiar. I think that charges for bread if at all necessary should be upfront and as for being automatically charged for planting a tree that is simply naughty. The desserts look decidedly yummy but no tip from me 😂 Look forward to hearing more about your garden visits.

  2. Yes, we have enjoyed Kavenham in the past too. Lunch sounded and looked lovely and it was a shame the memory was tainted by the bread issue. Am I missing something, but who is 'Mr Burgess'...?

    1. Mr Burgess was just a 'name' to us at this point and of course we had not assumed there even was a Mr Burgess until we met him. The owner of the property and the person who greeted us was Mrs Burgess. Satisfying to know locals used this Indian Restaurant too. It is one of the best we have been to.

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