The Senior Management Team (SMT) of Xorg Inter-Galactic recently enjoyed a brief sojourn in the ancient Suffolk town of Lavenham. We stayed at the splendid Swan hotel, making use of a discount voucher via Travelzoo which meant we got two nights for the price of one. The deal included a bottle of champagne each evening but, whilst this was enjoyable, it did tend to make us a tad bloated prior to dinner - with the result that we were more than a tad bloated after dinner.
The Swan dates from 1425 and comprises three buildings, joined up over the centuries. As a result it is all exposed timber beams, uneven squeaky floors, low doorways and ancient brickwork. Not a straight line either vertical or horizontal in sight. Open log fires in the public areas so the gentle smell of woodsmoke lingers. The restaurant area is quite marvellous as it is formed from a former wool-trading hall, complete with minstrel's gallery. Best of all, it is carpeted, there is no piped muzak, and the kitchen is separate - so it is quiet. The service was excellent; the staff were a mixture of locals and eastern Europeans and were very keen.
The food was spiffing. Fresh grilled sardines on toast; belly pork with crackling and dauphinoise spuds; duck leg; liver and bacon with horseradish mash; and many more. The breakfast was served to you freshly cooked rather than from a buffet, monitored by a very competent lady maitre d' from Ipswich.
Only one minor quibble; the housekeeper forgot to replenish the bathroom requisites (shampoo etc) but otherwise five stars and recommended - although I would flinch at paying the full price which is clearly aimed at American tourists and a better class of person.