Getaway: A night at wedding venue The Swan at Lavenham
Some of my favourite things in the world are cosy character hotels, time to relax and enjoy a pampering and, of course, beautiful weddings! So, a trip to The Swan at Lavenham (www.theswanatlavenham.co.uk) was pretty much a perfect offering for me.
My husband and I visited for his birthday and so were looking for an ultra special overnight stay and we were not disappointed. The higgledy piggledy 15th century hotel, spa and wedding venue is among a charming and characterful medieval Suffolk countryside village…if oak beams, wonky floors and history are your thing, then this is the place to go.
When shown to our room, we couldn’t help but giggle at the amount of times we were warned to watch our step or mind our heads as we found our way through the maze of uneven corridors flooded with character and quirkiness. In our room itself, we had to carefully position our drinking glass on the sideboard so as not to let it slide off with the floor’s steep gradient! To us, that’s what makes The Swan at Lavenham adorable. Anyone can offer clean lines and boring magnolia walls, but not many can offer something so charming and bursting with interest.
Having said that, there is nothing shabby about this place. Indeed, the hotel has recently added a new-build, contemporary spa, Weavers’ House Spa. The add-on building isn’t at all out of place and has been kept in complete character with the rest of the venue, albeit with bifolding doors onto a patio with a jacuzzi! Despite the age of the hotel, stepping into the spa brings you bang up to date, with healthy green superfood shots offered as you relax in the conservatory before your treatment – a treat I’ve not experienced anywhere else as yet.
Mr Robertson and I had opted to have hour-long massages in the spa’s couple’s room – him having a 60-minute Drift Away full body massage while I had a 30-minute dose of the same combined with the 30-minute Aaahhh leg and foot energiser. Tucked into our side-by-side Hydrotherm water beds would have been enough to send us both into a relaxing daze, without the heavenly massages which followed. When the 60 minutes of pampering were done, we were both handed a deliciously refreshing sorbet and encouraged to stay in our beds for as long as needed. Even then, our bubble didn’t have to burst as we were guided to the beautifully serene quiet room where day beds, blankets and dimmed lights invited us to have a well-earned snooze.
When evening came, we were excited to see what delights the chef could offer to us as we had a taste of what a wedding party might be greeted with at their wedding breakfast. The fact there was a real wedding on the day we stayed and the bride was occasionally spotted walking through the grounds added to the occasion! When we were handed a platter of canapés, we thought we were getting special treatment as we were reviewing the place, but a quick glance around confirmed every diner is given the same luxury treatment; how wonderful. Our meal was delicious and no doubt would become a talking point at any wedding. With a pianist playing throughout the meal, it really was a special occasion, wedding or no wedding. It certainly would be a wonderfully romantic place to spend a wedding anniversary.
When it comes to The Swan at Lavenham as a wedding venue, the options are endless. We were given a tour of the various rooms which can cater for all sizes of wedding. As you would expect, each has its own individual charm, some with private outdoor courtyard space, others with access to the lawned garden. I would want to make full use of the place and use as many rooms as possible for each part of the wedding day as it is an option to have exclusive use at this grand yet cosy venue. Your guests could also spend the night and share breakfast with you the next day, of course.
We loved our trip to The Swan at Lavenham, finished with a mooch around the village with plenty of vintage shops and those wonderfully wonky buildings to look at!
Disclaimer: Our overnight stay, meal, breakfast and one spa treatment were offered free of charge in return for a write-up on this blog.