Picturesque Lavenham is best known for its pretty, half-timbered mediaeval Cottages and a 15th century church. Sitting proudly in the Market Square you will find ‘The Great House’.
It’s been called ‘one of the best restaurants in England’ by The Sunday Times; has won the 2016 AA Inspectors Choice Gold awards; is a Sawday’s British 2015 Food award winner and one of only two 3 AA rosette restaurants in Suffolk. Little wonder – the team recently celebrated 30 years of ownership by head chef-cum-cookery-writer Regis Crepy – with three decades to refine its offering.
Last month, Bounce Magazine were delighted to be invited along for dinner, bed and breakfast, here is what we thought.
‘The building dates back to the 14th and 15th centuries, built by a wealthy family. Since 1985 it has been owned by Regis and Martine Crepy. Primarily a restaurant, it’s five boutique bedrooms, of differing sizes, are comfortably fitted with stylish contemporary furnishings, juxtaposing original beams and inglenook fireplaces.
We stayed in a luxurious suite with a four poster bed, overlooking the village square and its charmingly crooked buildings.
There’s a complimentary decanter of Sherry and a Nespresso machine tucked out of the way in the wardrobe, and a shower room in the corner. Everything you need for a restful break away.
After a short rest and a quick change for dinner, we made our way down to the restaurant. The dining room is separated in two so it feels private but not empty.
As we ventured into the main dining area white, crisp tablecloths hung over evenly spaced tables, which were completed with gleaming wine glasses, simply beckoning us to try some of the French wine on offer, all with the added touch of candlelight, creating a warm and romantic ambience.
Shortly after taking our seats to our surprise, a selection of amuse-bouche’s arrived along with a freshly cooked bread, (with the most scrumptious butter).
The serving staff were friendly well-trained, attentive and efficient, in fact we left it down to them to select a wine which would accompany our dishes.
The menu is mostly classical in style, and our well-paced meal began. To start, I opted for the ‘Isle of Man half shell Queen Scallops – Baked Baby Scallops, Buffalo Mozzarella Cheese, Fennel and Leek Concassé with a Hazelnut Butter Sauce’. It was incredibly flavoursome with a hint of fennel running through the dish balanced by creamy mozzarella and rich butter sauce. One of my favourite starters to date, I have to confess!
My partner chose the ‘Home Smoked Trout Fillet, Red Beetroot, Dill Caviar, Pickled Radishes, Glazed Baby Beetroot and Ginger Emulsion’. It was served like a piece of artwork you didn’t want to see destroyed. The trout was a great consistency whilst the other flavours balanced the dish to complete it.
Following the starter, I selected the ‘Flat iron “Red Pool” Beef with “Le Puy” Letils Cream, Parsely Espuma and a Black peppercorn Sauce’. The beef simply melted in my mouth and was simply delicious, just thinking about it now makes my mouth water all over again! My partner selected the ‘Shimpling Park Farm Lamb Cutlet with Rocket Salad Gel, Garlic Cream and Lamb Jus Reduction’. I am not a huge Lamb fan, but he commented it was packed full of flavour, tender to eat.
It would have been rude to dine in a French Restaurant without trying the cheese selection!
We selected the milder range of cheeses, straight from the cheese trolley, which came complete with grapes, crackers and bread. Paired with an amazing, full-bodied French red wine, I can see now why people love a cheese course!
Then, finally onto dessert. I selected something a little different to what I normally would and selected the ‘Pinapple and Chocolate, with Vanilla Gluten Free Sponge Cake and Tonka Bean and Vanilla Sorbet’. It really didn’t last long! The best part, of this dish was the fruity Pineapple, which cleansed the palette and gave my mouth a sweet hit at the same time.
My chocoholic partner could only have selected the ‘Chocolate Marquise; Dark and Milk Chocolate Ganache, Hazelnut and Chocolate Praline Gateau and Speculoos Ice Cream’. Doesn’t that sound impressive! The image below speaks for itself I think!
Overall, we loved our stay at The Great House, Regis team were very welcoming and we certainly can’t wait to visit again in the near future’.
FOR MORE DETAILS:
For more information call 01787 247431 or visit the website www.greathouse.co.uk.