The village of Dedham is pretty as a picture. Set in the glorious Dedham Vale in the heart of ‘Constable Country,’ on the Essex-Suffolk border, its high street is a mixture of smart Georgian and impressive medieval half-timbered houses. One particular building that stands out because of its buttercup yellow exterior is The Sun Inn.
The former 15th-century coaching inn is for those looking for a ‘quintessentially British pub’ – just that! – and with a nod to its ‘inn’ heritage it’s ‘a pub with rooms.’
Inside it’s simply charming. From the inviting curved elm bar, oak-panelled lounge with comfortable sofas and restaurant area with bespoke banquettes, to exposed oak beamed-ceilings and polished wooden floors. Colourful local artwork which you can also buy, adds a splash of colour to the muted colour-scheme.
A pub for all seasons; in the winter months guests can relax in front of the crackling log fires and on warmer days retreat outside to the delightful pub garden with outdoor bar.
Tantalise your tastebuds
The Sun Inn is the perfect pitstop for those looking to refuel with a pint of the local Adnams beer or sample the delights of the restaurant which offers a superb ‘seasonal’ menu championing local East Anglian produce from game to local fruit and veg. Dishes are Italian-inspired and include various classic pasta (pictured) and risotto options.
The menu can only be described as a feast for the senses. For starter I opted for Truffled Mushroom Ravioli with Pancetta, Butter and Sage Sauce and for my main Fillet of Cod, Mustard Cream, Agretti, Leek and Smoked Haddock Croquette. The cod was cooked to perfection and combined with the flavours of the haddock in the croquette – was simply delicious! The Truffled Mayonnaise which I requested with a side of chips was another taste explosion! My friend meanwhile enjoyed a Spiced Chickpea and Chard Frittata with Ricotta, Olives and Chilli followed by a beautifully tender braised shank of pork – ‘Dingley Dell’ with Tomato, Saffron, Sherry and Mushroom Orzo.
An extensive wine list included Romanian Alamina Feteasca Neagra, a smooth, rich red which was the perfect accompaniment to our meal.
If you have room for pudding there’s temptations to mull over such as Blood Orange Chocolate Mousse and Ginger Cake or Deep Friend Apple Pie with Cinnamon and Caramel Ice Cream.
The perfect nightcap is a stay in one of The Sun Inn’s seven en-suite rooms. Each one is beautifully decorated, blending sumptuous period features including timber framing, wood panelling and feature fireplaces. Opt for the more classic Elsa (below) with its Oak king size-bed or the more contemporary Dovecot with large skylight and vaulted ceiling in tongue and groove painted wood.
On the doorstep:
Explore Dedham’s colourful array of shops from boutiques to a traditional tea room. Take a leisurely ramble to Flatford Mill – where John Constable’s ‘The Haywain’ was painted. Or take a scenic boat trip along the Stour River.
The Sun Inn, High Street, Dedham, Essex CO7 6DF
01206 323351/ www.thesuninndedham.com
Rooms from £145 per night (two sharing), B&B or £200 dinner bed and breakfast.