Orford, so close to London, really is one of the last bastions of old England, good for a weekend away from it all, a mini holiday or even an overnight break; whatever the cause be sure to include the Crown and Castle somewhere on your itinerary. Ruth Watson, she of Fat Girl Slim fame, besides showing people the way towards enjoying their eating whilst retaining a decent figure, caters for those who soldier steadily on enjoying the good things of life, notably decent food at the Trinity restaurant.
The 19 en-suite bedrooms are divided between the main house and the garden, the latter being particularly suitable for guests bringing dogs, or those who prefer to be on the ground floor. Each garden room also has the benefit of a small terrace with table and chairs ideal for reading the papers or soaking up the afternoon sun. (The east coast enjoys particularly dry weather with lots of blue skies.)
Bedrooms in the hotel itself are all on the first floor and either look out over a pleasant neighbouring garden and the market square, or have far-reaching views over the tranquil estuary and out to the North Sea, where ships dot the horizon.
With 2 AA rosettes and a Michelin Bib Gourmand, this is an exclusive dining destination in Orford, but without the usual trappings so diners are pleasantly surprised by the informal brasserie like atmosphere. Guests can begin the day with a hearty breakfast that could bring Suffolk dry cured bacon, black pudding, Old English pork sausage; poached eggs on buttered toast; smoked salmon and scrambled eggs or eggs Benedict with muffin, ham, poached egg and hollandaise.
The menu changes on a daily basis, specifically to reflect what is in season and typically starters on the à la carte could include rabbit rillettes with piccalilli, Oxford smoked eel with new potato and beetroot salad or an Eastern take on roast quail, marinated with spices and served with Asian style slaw.
The rump of Suffolk lamb comes with dark meat bridie and parsley root puree and an Aberdeen Angus steak with dark and cream peppercorn sauces accompanied by hand-cut chips has a good ring to it. Other tantalising choices could include pan fried hake with white wine and mussel sauce and silky mash or pancetta wrapped rabbit with carrot puree and wild leeks.
For dessert, there could be a hot treacle tart with vanilla ice cream or very dark chocolate soufflé cake with cream. Their award winning wine list features around sixteen wines by the glass, some excellent champagnes and a wide variety by the bottle with particular preference to Italy.
With a picture-book, Norman castle (or keep, to be precise) just yards away, the hotel stands on the corner of Orford's old market square, and has a south-facing garden to the rear, where guests can eat al fresco in the summer.
To gain further information, just visit their extremely comprehensive Website