First impressions: If there was a rating system for impressive hotel entrances The Angel would be five-star. Standing proud in the pretty market square this imposing hotel is a heavenly looking coaching inn covered in ivy (don’t worry once inside there wasn’t a spider in sight). If you block out the cars parked in the square you can almost imagine the hotel’s most famous former guest, Charles Dickens pulling up in a coach and horses and when you take in the glorious view from the windows of the pretty abbey you can see where he got his inspiration from to pen The Pickwick Papers.
Room for romance: Fortunately the four-star interiors have come on a long way since Dickens’ days. The rooms are contemporary chic with all the quirky details you’d expect from a boutique hotel. The pièce de résistance though is the huge copper bathtub in the equally huge bathroom of our Romance Room. Bypassing the welcome gift doughnuts, huge bed and glorious sunset views I head straight there and wallow up to my neck in bubbles until I’m suitably shrivelled and uber-relaxed.
Wine and dine: Before dinner we descend to the vaults to the Wingspan bar. Eclectic and atmospheric with old-school travel-themed décor, it’s a fun place to start the night, and as it turns out, finish it! The hotel's restaurant, The Eaterie, offers traditional English classics like Dedham Vale steak and chips and has an impressive wine list. Any budding foodies will be spoilt for choice though with the fantastic Maison Bleue restaurant steps from the hotel and the postcard-pretty medieval wool town of Lavenham with its Michelin-starred restaurants a 10-minute drive away. At breakfast you can feast on a Suffolk Grill and Suffolk bacon sandwich with meat sourced from the pig farms the region is famed for. And if you can fit through the ancient door don't leave the town without a visit to Europe's smallest pub – The Nutshell. H2bs will also love a tour of the town's Greene King Brewery.
We love... the extravagantly large bathrooms and the historical setting. After a truly relaxing stay soon-to-be-wed couples will love strolling hand in hand round the flower-filled abbey gardens complete with ancient ruins.
We don't love... arriving by car (no horses and carriages at this former coaching inn) and fighting for a parking space in the square.
Go there: B&B from £105 per night, visit theangel.co.uk or call 01284 714 007