The Crown Inn
The lowdown Nestled on the Suffolk/Essex border, with stunning views of vast green fields, well-tended flower beds and skittish lambs, this is the ultimate English country escape. But don’t assume a shabby, out-of-date decor, as the owners have managed to cleverly maintain the cosy country vibe, with a luxe, contemporary boutique twist. Hence the ginormous walk-in showers, in-room WIFI, floral arrangements a-plenty, neutral colour palette and young, on-the-pulse crowd who call this hidden gem their local.
The food Think a buzzy pub, with extraordinarily good grub. And be warned, as the staff and general service will convert you into a life-long loyal visitor. We asked for the main course of risotto with seared scallops, peas and bacon to come as a starter and they happily obliged (none of that ‘the chef says no’ nonsense), followed by chicken breast with potatoes, broad beans and pancetta, and a black forest trifle too divine for words for pud. And what better way to start the next day than a vat of their local coffee, smoothie of the day and porridge with hazelnuts, raisons and honey.
The rooms The 11 luxury en-suite bedrooms are comfy yet chic (we soon scribbled down the details of where they sourced the fabulous wallpaper), with all the mod-cons. I’m not sure if it was the country air, too much good food and wine or the large king size bed and marshmallow-like pillows, but we both got some seriously good shut-eye.
InStyle's tip Go for room from 107 which has doors leading onto a private terrace with breathtaking views.
The details Rooms from £80 per night B&B. Telephone 01206 262 001 to book or visit crowninn.net.
By Alice Ripman
Follow them on Twitter The Crown @ Stoke By Nayland