Abby Knight discovers why The Sun Inn, Dedham, is a little slice of Sunday heaven
It’s not often we get the opportunity to slip away on a Sunday for a night’s break – the idea of waking up to a leisurely breakfast on a Monday morning when everyone else is busy at work has always appealed – so when I saw that The Sun Inn in the beautiful village of Dedham was offering a special rate, my husband Chris and I jumped at the chance.
Located in the high street of this famous village just on the Essex Suffolk border The Sun Inn has a been a resting place for travellers for over 500 years. Over 15 years of independent ownership, The Sun Inn has been restored to its former glory with an elm bar, open beamed dining room, oak floors, a snug oak-panelled lounge and welcoming open fire places.
We arrived just in time for lunch which on Sunday can be a hearty roast or you can choose from a range of tempting starters, a classic pasta course including squid linguine and main courses that includes game in season and day-boat landed fish. As we knew we were having dinner later, we opted for garlic infused mussels and a delicately flavoured vegetable risotto to share, washed down with a glass of very pleasant English fizz. The staff were super attentive and were easily able to tempt us to a pudding: my buttermilk and rhubarb dessert with polenta biscuit was divine and my husband opted for a yummy deconstructed-style apple pie.
There are bikes for hire to explore the on-the-doorstep Constable country and boats to take out on the Stour when the weather is really good. We opted to walk across the fields to Flatford Mill and were happy that just enough early spring sunshine came out for us to enjoy a cup of tea outside.
On our return we were shown to our room: the seven beautiful en-suite bedrooms are all individually decorated with sumptuous beds and a heap of Egyptian cotton-covered pillows. Rooms at the front overlook the impressive church while those at the back enjoy views of the garden. Our Wards room had a decadent king size bed and we loved the vintage crockery provided for tea with tempting home-made flap jack.
The Sun Inn is a popular destination thanks to the warm, friendly atmosphere and food created under the talented eye of head chef Jackie Levine. His clever trick of cooking with the seasons really pays off with surrounding farms providing fruit, vegetables and meat to make every meal an experience.
Our evening meal was mouth-watering: my main course was juicy cod with a pretty side of spring greens and my husband opted for the Mersea Spring lamb cooked to perfection. We were both tempted back to the dessert menu which included Jack’s take on a classic artic roll with crunchy pistachio and velvety ice-cream.
Rounding off the evening with a night cap in the snug and a game of dominoes we went to bed happy!
The Sunday offer includes breakfast which we took at a blissful 9am! As well as tasty fruits, yoghurt and pastries, you can have breakfast cooked to order: Chris couldn’t resist the Full English with award-winning Dingly Dell sausages while my mushroom and spinach omelette with smoked Northumberland cheese got me off to a great start!
All too soon our Sunday escape was over but how refreshed we felt. Thanking Sam and the rest of the staff for a great time, we assured them we would be back for Al Festo: two days of free music and fun 13-14 July, with a chance to try over 15 craft beers and fabulous BBQ food.
The Sunday Sleepover at The Sun Inn costs £200 and includes Sunday lunch and dinner from the main menu to the value of £55pp, and a cooked breakfast Monday morning. This offer is not available on bank holidays or in conjunction with any other offer.
For details and to book visit: www.thesuninndedham.com/book-a-room/
The Sun Inn Dedham, High St, Dedham, Colchester CO7 6DF | Tel: 01206 323351