Last weekend, we headed to the Suffolk region of England to see the "wool towns" of the area. We decided to stay in the small town of Lavenham, where we settled in at The Swan Hotel for a couple of nights. The Swan Hotel dates from the 15th century, and is comprised of 3 different houses from that era, all strung together to offer a charming experience on an overnight stay.
We kept pinching ourselves to remind us that we were sleeping in a building that has been around for centuries. Our room was on the back side on the left corner,
and the interior was warm and cozy, especially after braving the elements of a chilly and damp early March day.
There were intimate and welcoming reception areas throughout with huge fireplaces to warm you after your explorations,
and the Great Hall dining room with fine cuisine known for miles around,
as well as the small gardens offering the guests the ultimate in lodging.
Lavenham is a quintessential English town,
commonly known as "England's Best Preserved Medieval Village,
with 300 listed buildings of architectural and historical significance scattered over several small, narrow streets.
Most homes date from the years 1460-1530, when the cloth making trade was at its height.
This house is currently for sale if you fancy life in a small and picturesque village. Just under £500,000 or $785, 000.
As you wander the streets, you see little has changed since medieval times
when the city was one of the wealthiest towns in England.
The Shilling Old Grange house was built in 1496, but 300 years later, it was the home of Jane Taylor, who wrote the sweet rhyme that I often sing to my grandchildren. Twinkle, twinkle little star....
I could have taken photo after photo of interesting details,
such as these doors
and the crooked houses
that just make you smile
and wonder what it would be like to live in them today.
The stunning Church of St. Peter and St. Paul is one of the many "wool churches" in the area, built from the proceeds of the lucrative cloth trade of the time.
Equally as important is the Guildhall on the Market Square, which was built in 1530 for religious meetings
and the Little Hall, once the home of a rich wool merchant, but which is now a private residence and can be viewed by the public.
Our getaway weekend didn't offer up the best of weather, so after an afternoon of exploring, we decided to have a "cup of tea" to chase off the chills. We chose Munnings on the High Street.
Such a charming place, the owner explained to us that the tea room with her lodgings upstairs, was originally a home built in the medieval era
and today hosts locals and tourists alike who come to sample her homemade treats.
We were the last guests of the day, picking a table by the window
and sitting down only after we scoped out the dessert buffet.
I opted for a slice of lemon-orange cake
and Mike had the traditional "cream tea" with scones, clotted cream and jam. A delicious ending to our first day of the weekend.
There's more to come--hope you'll grab a cup of tea and join me!