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5 of the best Suffolk stays

Escape to the rolling countryside, vast sands and historic market towns of Suffolk for a bracing, wintry weekend break. If you like the thought of getting cosy in the county’s finest accommodation, then read on. Here are five of the best luxury Suffolk stays: The Salthouse Harbour Hotel, Ipswich Rising above the shining sails of the rejuvenated Ipswich harbour-front, The Salthouse Harbour Hotel is a beautiful boutique hotel where tradition meets cutting-edge design and innovation. From the vivid green Chesterford in the glass-fronted lobby (affording spectacular views of the harbour) to the luxurious Sail Loft Marina suites with deep copper bathtubs, it deserves every one of its four stars and AA Inspectors Choice rosettes. There’s a playfulness to the decor, too, with exotic hints of the East in the artwork and nods to the past in the retro telephones by the beds. Salthouse The high standard continues in the hotel’s ‘Eaterie’ restaurant, which serves modern British cuisine alongside an impressive wine menu. Try the belly pork with chutney and chorizo, and for dessert, the milk chocolate terrine with peanut praline and banana icecream. And if you’re in Bury St Edmunds, check out The Salthouse’s equally beautiful sister hotel, The Angel, ideally situated opposite the Cathedral and Abbey Gardens. The Packhorse Inn, Moulton Tucked away in the tiny, unspoilt village of Moulton, The Packhorse Inn reopened last autumn as a blend of pub, restaurant and hotel, excelling equally in each department. The light, airy bar and restaurant makes the perfect dining destination, with chef Chris putting a contemporary spin on traditional favourites and introducing some more exotic offerings you won’t find in your average country gastro pub. Packhorse Inn Each of its four en suite bedrooms offers a unique slice of modern country house luxury: dogs are welcome in some rooms, so ask in advance if you plan to bring your pooch and take advantage of the wonderful walks nearby. The Swan, Lavenham You may know Lavenham best by its screen name of Godric’s Hollow, home to Harry Potter’s parents when they receive their fatal visit from Lord Voldemort… a higgledy-piggledy cluster of Medieval shops, antique centres and tearooms, it’s clear why Lavenham was chosen to play a part in this most British of film franchises. The jewel in this rustic crown is The Swan, a grand yet welcoming AA four-star hotel with heaps of character. Dating from the 15th century, it offers 45 rooms – each a little different from the last – cosy open fireplaces in the downstairs lounge and a sophisticated decor throughout. Feast upon locally-sourced, seasonal dishes in the Gallery restaurant, or try one of their famous afternoon teas in the lounge, complete with cute swan-shaped meringues. The Swan at Lavenham Paddocks House, Six Mile Bottom If you’re planning on a trip to Newmarket Races this summer, keep the newly reopened Paddocks House in mind. Part of The House Collection (there’s another in Ely: Poets House), it’s said to have once been the country retreat of Lord Byron’s sister. It’s quietly situated in Six Mile Bottom, just down the road from Newmarket itself, along a lamp-lined gravel drive. Beyond its grand Tudor facade you’ll find spacious, sophisticated rooms in a moody, monochrome pallette, with a copper tub in each one and even a cinema room in the Master Suite. Pass the popcorn! Paddocks House Meanwhile, downstairs, The Dining Room offers top quality modern British cuisine plus spectacular countryside views that really will make you feel like the lord or lady of the manor. Ravenwood Hall, Bury St Edmunds A beautiful Tudor hideaway, Ravenwood Hall, set within seven acres of countryside and woodland just outside Bury St Edmunds, is the perfect choice if it’s cosy, romantic luxury you’re after. Batten down the hatches and indulge yourself in their richly furnished Dining Room: try some local game or local ale-battered tempura, or choose something hearty from the grill. Ask for a four-poster room for a truly indulgent trip back in time, then try your hand a spot of croquet on the lawn and meet the resident goats, geese and miniature ponies before breakfast. A true country house experience, with the service to match.

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