On days when you head out towards the coast, with nothing in mind but an extended weekend, it’s quite likely that you forget to reserve for stay. From the time you left the M25 this has been a growing nag, particularly as the lady on your left, curled up and contented, is blissfully unaware of your oversight.
What to do? Just when a full and frank confession seems to be the only route left, you enter East Colne, pass the church on your left and find yourself in the High Street. There, on the right hand side stands Drapers Hotel and Brasserie - your salvation, you hope, gleaming in the sunlight of a bright East Anglian day. "Just going to check", you announce, and off inside to find they had a cancellation only that morning. Ten minutes later as you breathe a silent prayer of thanks she purrs into your ear, "this is just beautiful, you clever man", and the rest is well - history?
The majority of people do not have to resort quite so much to lady luck. With nine completely different rooms you can choose your mood, be it Lap of Luxury or Beach Side, whatever. From a large sumptuous bed, with deep filled duvet and pillows, through to an umbrella for use in unpredictable English weather, they think of everything that will help make your stay memorable for all the right reasons.
Show me two people on an away weekend who have little regard for the skills of the chef and I'll show you two deeply troubled people who are missing one of the best bits of the whole experience. Drapers Brasserie sees to it by means of a brasserie and restaurant menus the choice is wide and it's yours.
Pan-fried chicken stuffed with spinach and ricotta is served on crushed new potatoes, and lamb steak with roasted garlic mash potatoes and seasonal vegetables mingles well a starter of prawn cocktail and Marie Rose sauce.
Pea and mint risotto finished with dolcelatte cheese and parsnip crisps, or a smoked trout fillet with pink grapefruit and marinated mushrooms offer an unusual combination of flavours. Since it is unlikely that whole plaice, grilled of course, will not have travelled too many miles or hours, and served with capers, prawns, cucumber and potatoes parisienne could be another highlight.
Forget not, as the Diddy Man would say, forget not the humble but very tasty indeed red onion tart with deep fried goat's cheese, rocket and citrus balsamic.
But if it's informality you're after head for Threadneedles Bar and Bistro where a wide ranging and extensive menu offers plenty of old favourites and not a few new ones. Their aim is to serve freshly prepared, delicious cuisine with excellent service and only the churlish would cast any doubts on that. Wednesday is their special steak evening at Threadneedles with two rump steaks and a bottle of house wine for only £25, whilst Saturday nights have an Italian theme along with an exclusive Italian menu.
For the benefit of our under-organised friend in the introduction and others like him, you can book in advance by phone, email or on-line, and their Website
will keep you up to date.