The Swan Lavenham

Hotel Review – By Rachel Ducker

Located in the heart of Lavenham, Suffolk, is the15th Century Swan Hotel, well-placed hotel for exploring the local area and West Suffolk. It’s oak beams, creaking floorboards and uneven walls are steeped in history and charm. There are 45 rooms and suites, seven of which are dog-friendly, two restaurants and its very own spa.


Lavenham is famous for its crooked beamed houses and quirky streets, in fact around 340 of the buildings are listed. This old Tudor wool town is noted to be one of Britains’s best preserved medieval villages and one of Suffolks important wool towns.

Enjoy circular walks, a visit to the Guildhall a spectacular timber-framed building built around 1530 by the religious Guild of Corpus Christi. Set in the historic Market Place, it has recently been renovated and now has exhibitions telling the stories of Lavenham’s fortunes.

If you are looking to venture further the village is just 20 minutes from historic Bury St Edmunds, and Newmarket home to the famous racecourse. Head the other direction for Ipswich and its beautiful waterfront or follow the coast line for charming seaside towns.

The Rooms and bar

Having restored as many of the original features as possible the rooms come in all shapes and sizes and each have their own charm.

As I headed to the spa my husband and son Leo checked in to our suite complete with four poster bed (big enough for three)! Our room had timber beams and a giant fireplace, there was even a separate dressing room area. They shortly headed to where any young lads would probably find themselves, The Airmen’s Bar, which takes its name from being the meeting place for off-duty US Air Corps servicemen who were stationed at Lavenham back in the day. The memorabilia is fascinating to see, so even if you are not staying at The Swan its well worth popping in for a drink.


Having enjoyed time at the spa before, I couldn’t wait to take a seat in the lounge, to relax in a fluffy dressing gown, whilst sipping on a smoothie shot, anticipating the treats ahead.

The treatment – Recovery – was quite different to many others I have had, it starts with a body brushing experience to invigorate and stimulate the blood and lymph circulation, this is the number one way to help breakdown your cellulite, (just what one needs after a lockdown)!

Recovery is ideal for those who are feeling overwhelmed and need a dose of TLC.  This comforting aroma-therapeutic treat begins with gentle palm pressures over the back of the body, stretching and pressure points.  A soothing foot massage to ground your senses and release tension then sweeping over the legs and working on where you need it most on the back neck and shoulders. Completing your spa time with a tranquil scalp massage. 

Wining and Dining

The Swan @ Lavenham

As a family we enjoy getting dressed up for dinner, Leo especially! There are two restaurants at The Swan, The Gallery is the more formal of the two, having dined her before I can tell you the romantic candle lit timber beamed two-rosette restaurant is most impressive, its the perfect place for special occasions and family celebrations.

The Brasserie is a little more contemporary and family friendly so on this occasion this is where we dined with Leo. Whatever menu you choose from though, you’re ensured fresh, and where possible, locally-soured ingredients.

To start on this chilly autumnal day I felt it was fitting to start with the special artichoke soup. Leo had a round of garlic bread, whilst my husband had Cod Cheeks with tempura batter, watercress puree, horseradish (pictured below).

The service was great our young waiter was very attentive and acknowledged Leo, I am sure any parent will tell you that get’s you an automatic thumbs up!

For mains I selected the evenings vegetarian option which was roasted Hand Rolled Gnocchi with summer truffle, young greens, herb oil – it was truly delicious.

Leo followed with his favourite of Fish and Chips (child portion) whilst Sam had fresh Halibut with Arborio risotto, feves, cockles.

Dessert stole the show – we had perfectly made chocolate fondants all round!

The Verdict

The Swan is a beautiful hotel brimming with character. This is our second visit here (this time as parents) so it was nice to experience it in a different way. If you are looking for a cosy hotel, with plenty to do and see in the area, mixed with some unwinding at the hotel spa, The Swan ticks all of the boxes. We loved out stay at The Swan, will we go back for a third time? Most definitely!


To book a stay at the Swan at Lavenham Hotel and Spa and treatments in Weavers’ House Spa call 01787 247477 or visit; rooms start from around £160 per night for two sharing including a full Suffolk breakfast; dinner from the a la carte menu in the Gallery restaurant is from £40 per person for three courses.

Check website for any special offers. Overnight guests can prebook complimentary 30-minute sessions with use of the facilities in Weavers’ House Spa which include  a sauna, steam room and outdoor vitality pool. The ‘Recovery’ treatment is £100 for 90 minutes.

To book call Weavers’ House Spa on 01787 246 246, email or visit

High Street, Lavenham, Suffolk, England, United Kingdom, CO10 9QA