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Overview

The Chestnut Group snapped up this picture-book thatched pub in sleepy Woodditton in August 2016 and pushed open the doors in March 2017 following an extensive refurbishment. Just a year later, the pub suffered a devastating fire that raised this thatched gem to the ground, leaving just the chimney stack and shocking the Chestnut team and the local community.

Like a pheonix rising from the ashes, a new-look Three Blackbirds was unveiled in March 2020 following a painstaking two-year rebuild that restored its original 17th-century charm, whilst incorporating some contemporary new features and a bold design. Step inside and expect to be wowed in typical Chestnut style, with vibrant colours and stylish retro furnishings combining successfully with bare brick walls, beams and ancient fireplaces.

Traditionalists will love the bar, which retains it's classic feel with tiled floor, scrubbed tables, beams and blazing fires. Dining rooms beyond and upstairs come as a surprise, think, jazzy floor coverings, red banquette seating, spotlights, modern prints, and plank walls here and bold statement wallcoverings there - it's really cool, funky and relaxing. Nine stunning bedrooms in the new-build Barn at the rear of the pub are the icing on the cake.

Rooms from

9 doubles: £120

Good to know

All credit cards accepted

Alfresco & private dining

Disabled access & bedroom

Electric charging points

Parking available

Dogs very welcome

Dog-friendly

Special overight package for your canine friend includes a cosy blanket, posh treats from Pooch's of Norfolk, a sausage breakfast, and footpaths through fields and woods to explore.

Scenic & serene

Constable Country is one of the best areas for exploring on foot and in this vast patchwork of fields and hedgerows, you can imagine the artist John Constable seeking inspiration. The experience of walking from East Bergholt to Flatford Mill is hard to beat.

Rooms

A high-spec, beautifully crafted wooden barn house the nine newly-built bedrooms - it stands tucked away beyond the car park and offers guests a peaceful sanctuary away from the hub-bub of the pub.

Named after varieties of berries, there are five rooms on the ground floor, all are dog-friendly with direct access to the landscaped courtyard, and one (Juniper) is fully kitted out for disabled guests, plus it has its own parking space. Rosehip is the spacious family room with a Hypnos sofa bed. An external staircase leads to Damson, Sloe and Blackberry rooms which are flooded with natural light and overlook paddocks.

All rooms are cosy warm and come with king size beds with Harrison Spinks mattresses, thick duvets and colourful blanket throws, soothing hues on tongue-and-groove walls, radios, 32-inch flat screen TVs, cool lamps and lighting, superfast WIFI, and fresh coffee, milk and homemade biscuits. The bathrooms are contemporary in feel with trendy brick-tiled walls, monson showers (two have showers over baths) and sustainable Bramley bathroom products.

Restaurant & bar

Food is innovative without being pretentious, with a simple menu that combines hearty pub classics with imaginative and modern options.

The menu evolves from season to season with the kitchen team sourcing quality ingredients from local farms and artisan suppliers. Dishes are well presented and full of flavour, with starters ranging from chicken and pistachio terrine, cured egg yolk and mustard mayonniase to seared mackerel, toasted focaccia, beetroot and horseradish.

For main course, choose a pub favourite like Newmarket sausage and mash with red wine gravy or try the truffle gnocchi with meatless farm ragu and parmesan. Who cannot resist a side of dirty posh chips with parmesan, truffle oil and peppercorn. Puddings may include chocolate and malt brownie with praline and cherries. Don't miss the pork T-bone sharing roast on Sundays - booking advisable.

To quaff, expect to find tip-top local ales and craft beers on tap, a raft of gins behind the bar and a select, well-chosen wine list with decent tasting notes.

Private dining

The only room to survive the devasting fire in 2018 is the Gun Room, a fabulous upstairs private dining room seating 10 (or 22 standing) - it's the perfect space for wedding suppers, business meetings and shoot dinners.

Things to do

Close to Bury St Edmunds, Ickworth's spectacular Rotunda was commissioned by the 4th Earl of Bristol to house his priceless artefacts collected on tours around Europe in the 18th century. The Italianate garden includes box hedges and Mediterranean planting.

At Wicken Fen, you can discover a secluded world of flowering meadows and reedbeds as described by the National Trust who manage the site as 'a window onto a lost fenland landscape'. Here, you'll find hen harriers and bitterns, dragonflies, moths and wildfowl. There are also herds of Highland cattle and Konik ponies.

Lord 'Ned' Iveagh and his family have created a delightful emporium at the heart of the family 'farm' (the Elveden Estate - the largest ring-fenced arable land in the UK), full of delicious foodie, retail and leisure opportunities. The food hall and attached café-restaurant, full of estate produce are just part of the appeal. Elveden's Christmas experience is a worthy discovery.

Getting here

Directions

Nearest railway station: Newmarket

Taxi from station: 15min

Drive: Cambridge 28min; Bury St Edmunds 30min; London 1hr 29min

Address

36 Ditton Green, Woodditton, Newmarket, Suffolk CB8 9SQ

Prices & availability