The Crown and Castle

César award in 2013

Beside the castle in a beautiful and quiet Suffolk village, this red brick inn is owned and run by TV presenter Ruth Watson, her husband, David, and Tim Sunderland, the partner/manager. The owners 'clearly know how to hire, and keep, good staff', said a reporter this year. A reader agrees: 'The staff are well trained, always anxious to help.' 'You feel they really want you to be there,' is a comment in 2013. Bedrooms in the main house have sea views; each of the rooms in the garden (umbrellas are provided) has a terrace facing the castle. 'Our room was warm and inviting; in bad weather it is a pleasure to stay in and read.' Two terrace rooms which interconnect through a common lobby are new. Ruth Watson, who oversees the cooking, has been joined by a new head chef, Charlene Gavazzi. A new menu was introduced in June 2013 with Italian dishes (risotto alla Milanese) alongside British favourites (steak and kidney pie, mash, buttered cabbage). Breakfast is 'a rural feast'. (John Saul, CH, and others)
  • We had a lovely stay. The staff, without exception, were unfailingly cheerful and helpful. Our room was in a separate block, a few yards from the main house; umbrellas are provided. It was large and immaculate, neither fussy nor cluttered. Excellent lights for reading in bed. The bed was large, the mattress was good and there were plenty of pillows, And the room was extremely quiet. The shower was the best I have seen anywhere. Dinner was superb: itl was leisurely and the wine list was excellent. Portions were generous without being huge; we retired feeling well-filled but not bloated. One of the best breakfasts we have had anywhere; everything was served to us. We were asked when we wanted the toast, so it was still warm when we ate it. All ingredients are local. Our bill was made up quickly and without fuss; there were no awkward “extras” and, though pricey for Suffolk, we felt that the hotel had given excellent value for money.

    Andrew & Moira Kleissner, 05/03/2014

  • Blissfully comfortable the C&C is an oasis of good food, wonderful beds and the feeling of being beautifully looked after. Staff are excellent (all of them!) Not big, not fancy but two days here felt like a weeks rest!

    Susan Chait, 18/08/2013

  • The Crown & Castle is simply excellent, one of the most comfortable hotels we stay at. The beds and rooms are nothing exceptional, just very comfortable, warm and inviting. In bad weather it is never a chore to 'stay in' and read, or go to sleep at every opportunity. The food is very good, including the breakfast. The dinners have always been a joy, they are different without being scary. The staff are wonderful, and make you feel so special. You leave feeling they really did want you there -- not all establishments make you feel like that. Some make you feel they are doing you the favour.It has always amazed me that of all the hotels we visit, so few make the effort to contact you and keep in touch, with news and offers etc. it really does work. The Cesar is thoroughly deserved.

    C H, 02/03/2013

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Local attractions

Butley-Orford Oysterage
Eat oysters and smoked fish in an idiosyncratic café.
Orford Castle
A 12th-century castle, built by Henry II.
Sutton Hoo
An Anglo-Saxon burial site, with an Edwardian house.
Orford Ness
National Trust Nature Reserve

Show on map

Contact Details

The Crown and Castle

Orford, nr Woodbridge ORFORD Suffolk England IP12 2LJ


01394 450205

Further Information


21, 10 (all on ground floor) in garden, 3 (on ground floor) in terrace.


all year.


lounge/bar, restaurant, private dining room, gallery (with Wi-Fi), 1-acre garden.

Background music



not under 8 in hotel and Trinity restaurant (any age at lunch).


allowed in bar, 5 garden rooms.

Credit cards

MasterCard, Visa.


per room B&B £130-£245, D,B&B £199-£315. À la carte £32. 1-night bookings refused Fri/Sat.