Welcome Blog

02 June 2020

Welcome Back


On behalf of myself and James Sanders our General Manager of The Swan at Lavenham Hotel and Spa we’d like to keep you, our loyal guests updated with our pre-opening preparations.

Before I continue I hope you, your friends and family are all keeping safe and well during this extremely challenging time? If you or a loved one have been personally affected, our heartfelt thoughts go out to you from everyone at The Swan.

Whilst we all wait with bated breath for the government to announce the next stages of the return to some level of normality for all of us, we are working towards 4th July with regards to opening our hotel, restaurants and spa. Whilst things are changing daily and the government are still to release the final legislation for the hospitality sector, we have not let this stop our preparations for your safe and welcome return.

James and his fellow Hotel Folk have been working hard to retain the balance between The Swan experience you have learned to expect whilst giving you the confidence you need to eventually plan your next visit. Let me take a few minutes to explain some of the changes you may expect to see.   

I’m sure many of you have met Justin Kett, our fabulous and creative Head Chef. Justin and his fellow culinary Folk have been working through our restaurant menus to ensure you can enjoy them in The Gallery or Brasserie 487 or within the comfort of your own room.

Whilst the quality of your food will remain as tip-top as before, you’ll notice some changes at breakfast as we move anyway from buffet-style service with every dish prepared to order and delivered to your table. For the time being, we have decided to suspend brunch service and commence with lunch from 12 noon.

With some uncertainty around the level of ingredients we will be able to procure in the early days Justin has prepared a simple, but delicious lunch menu available in both The Gallery and Brasserie 487 until 2.30 pm. The infamous Swan Afternoon Tea comes back in force with a decadent sweet and savoury option to enjoy in either The Gallery, one of our many luxurious lounges, or in the fragrant courtyard garden.

Dinner has not been overlooked, however, you will notice some changes in The Gallery as we reduce to a choice of four courses for now. If you’re looking for something less formal, then you can enjoy the Brasserie 487 surroundings with dinner in both restaurants available from 6.30 pm. As ever our waiting Folk will be on hand to bring you your refreshment of desire from our extensive drinks selection.


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Now, some of you may remember Deborah Tullett, who returns to The Swan as Food and Beverage Manager. Deborah has a dedication to the details and working closely with James has designed a new dining experience to make sure that you feel comfortable and able to relax. The first and most obvious is adherence to the 2 metre social distancing guidelines ensuring tables are well spaced throughout the restaurants, of course, if you would prefer to eat in the comfort of your own room Deborah and her fellow restaurant Folk can arrange this for you.

For those looking forward to booking a table, we will ensure all reservations are organised to observe the current 2 metre rule.

We will course be asking you to look after yourselves a little more than usual, whilst we’re happy to bring your choice of tea or wine to your table, we’ll allow you to pour it for yourself. You’ll also notice our tables won’t be pre-laid, all cutlery will be brought to you throughout your meal with each course.

For now, the Airmen’s bar will be closed for eating and drinking, you are of course able to take a wander and look at the amazing history adorning the walls, however, we kindly ask you to take your drinks into the top lounge or the garden to enjoy.

Jade Parsons, our Head Receptionist is looking forward to welcoming you all with a friendly smile. You’ll notice a few small changes in reception, we’re kindly asking guests to check in a little later at 3 pm and check out a little earlier at 10.30 am simply to allow housekeeping to complete an even more thorough clean of our bedrooms before the next guest arrives.

Whilst our Day and Night Porters are happy to assist with your luggage we will not be carrying this service out as a matter of course, please organise with Jade or one of her Folk and she can arrange this for you. You’ll notice all in-room reading has been removed therefore you’ll receive a more enhanced pre-arrival e-mail on completion of your reservation.

Turning to housekeeping, our Head Housekeeper Sophie Deere has also been making some subtle changes. Some examples include the earlier check-in and check-out times as referenced above. Turn down services and daily housekeeping for residents staying more than one night will only be completed by request. We are of course happy to do this for you, we just ask you to arrange this with Jade at reception. We always have an array of fresh, fluffy towels and toiletries to hand, one of Sophie’s team can also oblige.

In the public areas of the hotel you’ll notice housekeeping Folk are always on hand to ensure all popular touch-points are regularly sanitised as well as lots of sanitiser stations around the hotel. Your safety and our high standards of cleanliness are of utmost importance to us.

And finally, Weavers’ House Spa. Alex Hurt, our Spa Director has made the difficult decision to not publish any pre-opening guidance until the government have published more details. Until further notice, we cannot promise the Spa will be open to residents or non-residents by 4th July. Our Spa Boutique will reopen 15th June for pre-orders only which can be collected from the Spa by appointment. Please contact weavers@theswanatlavenham.co.uk to organise that well overdue Temple Spa top-up.

Some of the saddest stories I have been hearing are of friends and family events that have had to be cancelled, our events coordinator Matthew South can help you get those all-important dates back in the diary. Please contact functions@theswanatlavenham.co.uk 

I do hope this information has put your mind at ease and given you some reassurances as to the steps we are taking to make sure your return is a safe one. If you would like to consider booking something to look forward to you can with the assurance of our no strings attached flexible rate, on this rate, there's no deposit required and free cancellation up until 2pm 48 hours prior to arrival all you need to do is enjoy the excitement of booking a trip away from home.


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As things change I will update this page and as I opened I very much hope you are all safe and well.

Kindest Regards


David Scott

Chief Executive Officer – The Hotel Folk


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