The Westleton Crown: Perfect for a picture postcard countryside staycation surrounded by seaside towns
Imagine a postcard of a picturesque country pub, perched proudly on the edge of a charming village green, flowers blooming, colourful parasols, the essence of great British hospitality.
One glance tells you, should you choose to pop by, that the welcome will be warm, the food hearty and the accommodation chic and inspired.
Rustic wooden tables throng its pretty approach, alive with animated chatter as thirsty folk and their four-legged friends decide it’s a delightful pit stop for a pint in the sun. A real grass roots diamond.
How right they are. Every inch an inn of distinction, The Westleton Crown is the king of quintessential watering holes set in the delightful rural village of Westleton, Suffolk.
With a scattering of traditional seaside towns right on its doorstep, 34 ensuite bedrooms and a sublime conservatory-style restaurant opening onto a lush, landscaped terrace ideal for drinking and dining al fresco, this vibrant East Anglian gem is a proud jewel in the Chestnut crown.
Arriving at teatime after a steady drive from Nottinghamshire, we were instantly enamoured by the utopian inn on the green; thriving, inviting, justifying our journey at first sight.
After a warm greeting, we were soon checked in and admiring our stylish home for the weekend, Grebe, one of the hotel’s ‘better’ rooms nestled in tranquil countryside to the rear of the premises.
Rated snug, good, better, best, family and single for the solo traveller, whether you simply want a good night’s sleep, a little more luxury or a pooch-perfect place to rest your head, each beautifully designed bedroom has its own unique character, a wild bird name and a dash of rustic charm.
Grebe duly impressed with king size bed, contemporary décor, comfy sofa, airy skylights, elegant bathroom with freestanding bath and even a small, furnished balcony to breathe in the surrounding beauty.
Walls adorned by striking photography of the tiny, duck-like birds, we had everything we needed for a relaxing stay, whilst the endearing theme reminisced our strolls down Cromford Canal in Derbyshire, where a rare Grebe duo regularly show off their ducking and diving skills to delighted walkers.
Al Fresco Appeal
Unpacked and seeking sustenance, early evening passed in a blissful haze as we unwound in the landscaped loveliness of the garden terrace, enjoying a bottle of wine al fresco beyond the charming conservatory-style restaurant, the perfect prelude to our eagerly anticipated evening meal.
Renowned for mouth-watering farm, sea and plant inspired menus, fresh, locally-sourced ingredients and hearty, honest hospitality with zero pretentiousness, food at The Crown is a revelation for the tastebuds.
Whether it’s a full East Anglian breakfast feast, a sociable lunch with friends or a romantic meal under the stars, the impressive, varied menu caters for all times, tastes and occasions.
We began our banquet with a Suffolk charcuterie of chorizo, salami, Parma ham, pickles and sourdough having spotted our fellow diners devouring the appealing platter, followed by succulent Hereford sirloin steaks with beef dripping chips, watercress, shallots and garlic and tarragon butter.
Unable to resist the temptation of dessert, sticky toffee pudding with toffee sauce and saffron vanilla ice cream topped off a superb meal that surpassed our every expectation, enhanced by a twinkling terrace nightcap under breathtaking open skies.
A historic coaching inn dating back to the 12th century, what a marvellous transformation The Crown has undergone with Chestnut, proud owners of an ever-growing collection of pubs with rooms in the East of England.
Renowned for a warm welcome, great food and a memorable stay, each individual Chestnut property we’ve visited oozes character, inspiration and genuine home from home appeal, setting the staycation standard high and hitting the mark every time.
Now a stylish hotel and eatery attracting visitors countrywide to a hotbed of scenery, history and wildlife, whether you’re hiking, dog walking, bird watching or simply want to be beside the seaside, The Crown is a brilliant base from which to enjoy nature’s abundant delights.
Set within the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and bordered by 50 miles of glorious coastline, the village is home to RSPB Minsmere, a flagship nature reserve with seven bird spotting hides, thrilling nature trails and a cosy tearoom, making it a huge hit with birdwatchers looking for a rare spot.
Or, if you’re more the bucket and spade type, it’s also just a short drive from the sand and shingle beaches of Dunwich, Southwold and Aldeburgh.
Blessed with a burst of sunshine, we spent several happy hours exploring Southwold on foot, meandering past traditional, rainbow-coloured beach huts, perusing the old pier and enjoying afternoon tea at Southwold Boating Lake Tea Room, sitting prettily opposite the beach and main car park.
Arguably the highlight of our adventures though, was experiencing a section of The 60-mile Sandlings Walk, featuring an area of low heath, Britian’s rarest wildlife habitat and a real must for nature enthusiasts.
Passing through Eastern Suffolk along riverside paths, across flourishing heathland and through peaceful forests, we were treated to a confetti of butterflies, dozens of colourful species fluttering past as we enjoyed our picnic and flask.
Home to 22 recorded species of butterfly, we happily counted at least seven in the passing flurry before heading back to the sanctuary of Grebe for a restorative bubble bath, scrumptious supper and that authentic Chestnut hospitality that never grows old.
For more information or to book visit www.westletoncrown.co.uk or call 01728 648777. Double bedrooms at The Westleton Crown are available from £120 per night and includes breakfast. Dog friendly rooms available.