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Seven hundred years old, the Bildeston Crown is a rare find. Uniting an old world, historic aesthetic with a modern restaurant that prioritises imaginative and modern gastronomy, this 15th-century coaching inn is the perfect luxurious bolthole.

Oozing history at every twist and turn, the charming building revels in opulence and warmth, no expense having been spared in complementing the original period features with modern comforts giving a rich sophistication, including bespoke hand-decorated walls by Adam Caulkin. Husband and wife team Chris and Hayley Lee run the Crown with passion and panache. Add Chris's innovative modern British cooking and elegant, individually decorated rooms that ooze style and comfort and you have a cracking rural inn for a relaxing foodie break away.

The delightful sheltered courtyard, with its posh brollies and olive trees in planters, is the perfect spot for summer drinking and dining.

Rooms from

Doubles and twins: £80

Good to know

  • All major credit cards accepted
  • Disabled access
  • Private & alfresco dining
  • Parking available
  • Dog stay: £10

Quiet romance
With a cracking bar, dedicated wine list and innovative menu, the Bildeston Crown is the perfect place to spend an evening à​ deux.

A touch of culture
Close to picture-postcard Lavenham and Long Melford and within easy reach of the Dedham Vale and Constable Country, there's plenty of cultural pursuits to keep art and history lovers happy.

Fine dining
The restaurant's head chef, Chris Lee, has recently been awarded 3 AA Rosettes and for the past few years, they have been named as one of Suffolk's top 3 restaurants in The Good Food Guide.


Befitting its 15th-century origins, the bedrooms upstairs come in all shapes and sizes. Chic fabrics, tactile textures and bold colour schemes adorn these rooms, blending in beautifully with the beams, timbers and period charm of the building.

Every opportunity has been taken to indulge and spoil guests - think deep pile carpets, wooden French-style beds, upholstered chairs and sumptuous drapes. If you like sleeping in a grand four-poster bed, book Room One, a quiet, elegant and luxurious room in hues of gold and rose pink with triple-aspect windows, an antique four-poster and dark wood furnishings.

All of the smart tiled bathrooms include bathrobes and Green & Spring bathroom products; a few have deep tubs and huge walk-in rain showers. A hearty breakfast sets you up for a good browse around the nearby landmarks of Lavenham and Kersey, full of quintessential Suffolk charm and quaint teashops for a civilised stop-off mid afternoon.

Restaurant & bar

Chef/patron Chris Lee is cooking at the top of his game, gaining respect from food critics and his peers, as well as wowing the guests that beat a path to the inn's door for his innovative modern British cooking.

He brings an exciting dollop of culinary exuberance the Bildeston Crown, offering an eclectic range of innovative and imaginative dishes suiting every budget and palate. Pop in for a pint and a retro nibble, enjoy a classic sandwich combo or tuck into a pub classic with a twist, perhaps Red Poll cheeseburger with foie gras, truffle mayonnaise and fries.

Guests wishing to indulge can try the seven-course tasting menu or opt for the 'Select' menu to experience the Chris Lee's culinary flair. Expect top-notch local ingredients, notably game from surrounding estates and locally caught fish from Aldeburgh and Orford. Behind the bar, you'll find local Adnams beers and Aspall's cider, and a cracking list of wines (15 by the glass).

Private dining

There are two private dining rooms - one is small and intimate seating up to 16 people and is perfect for a family gathering - lunch or dinner or a smaller event. The other room seats up to 34 people and can be organised for welcome drinks followed by a lunch or dinner celebration - it is also very popular for wedding breakfasts.

Things to do

Guests looking for some creative activities can head to Assington Mill Courses, a fabulous rural crafts tuition centre in an old watermill. Learn about growing your own or harvesting wild foods, and enjoy a delicious home-made lunch when you're there.

History lovers will enjoy Lavenham Guildhall, one of many notable buildings in this picturesque medieval village. Inside, you'll find a museum devoted to the history of Lavenham, with fascinating displays depicting 500 years of farming and industry.

Long Melford is also the home of red-brick Melford Hall, a Tudor mansion later restored by the Hyde Parker family. Beatrix Potter was a regular visitor here, and there are sketches by the children's writer, as well as a good collection of naval paintings and Chinese porcelain.

Getting here


Nearest train station: Ipswich
Taxi from station: 30min
Drive: Sudbury 23min; Bury St Edmunds 30min


104 High Street, Bildeston, Lavenham, Suffolk IP7 7EP

Enquire to book

To make a booking enquiry, please use the form below or you can call our reservations team on 020 8161 0100. Our phone lines are open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 11am - 3pm.

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