Good Hotel Guide Review
In a medieval wool town of wonky timber-frame houses, this French-style ‘restaurant and bedrooms’ hides its 14th-century origins behind a Georgian facade. It is owned by Dominique Tropeano, proprietor of Colchester Zoo, and is run with elan, not to say panache. Bedrooms range from seriously snug Bohème, under the eaves, to Élysée, with two king-size beds and two velvet chaises longues, perhaps a nod to the estimable military Gayer-Anderson twins, who lived here in the 1920s. Readers found attic Montmartre ‘a bit of a hike’, with sloping ceilings but ‘lots of space, a sizeable bathroom, a walk-in wardrobe, coffee, fruit and sherry’. The bed was a little short for a man of 6ft 2in. Mind your head: in Bastille, ‘the most lethal beam was padded’. In the dining room, Swann Auffray’s inventive menus might include cod fillet, almond and broccoli concasse, fishy broccoli cream, almond espuma; a coco-bean stew cooked in butternut juices, scented with star anise. ‘Dinner was excellent, the staff all very charming.’ You can order a picnic at 24 hours’ notice. (John and Elspeth Gibbon)
all year except Jan, restaurant closed Sun eve–Tues lunch.
restaurant/bar, in-room TV (BT, Freeview), patio dining area, street parking, unsuitable for disabled.
all ages welcomed, extra bed £15, cot, high chair, children's portions.
only assistance dogs allowed.
Amex, MC, Visa.
B&B doubles from £189, small double/single from £117/£105. Set-price dinner £35.50–£39.50, tasting menus £58–£68. 1-night bookings sometimes refused Sat.