WE are lucky to have the delights of medieval Lavenham right on our doorstep with its fine eateries, coaching inns and over-hanging Tudor buildings.

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The Swan, Lavenham

• The cost of the dinner and five different wines was £65 per person

• Overnight stays are offered at a special rate of £120 when booked with the wine evening

• Frerejean Freres Champagne tasting dinner Thursday, February 28

• The Swan Hotel, High Street, Lavenham, Suffolk CO10 9QA

• 01787 247477 or www.theswanatlavenham.co.uk

But this time around Le-Anne Reeves and her partner visited not for the history but for the grape - they spent the night at The Swan and enjoyed a gourmet wine tasting dinner.

MY partner, Paul, and I are complete novices when it comes to wine. Although we strive to be more adventurous, we always seem to buy the same wine, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio or Merlot.

So we thought this package from The Swan would be an ideal opportunity to learn more about this most complicated of subjects over a gourmet candlelit dinner in the beamed and vaulted Gallery restaurant.

Our evening started in the lounge with canapes and our first glass of wine, after this we were shown to the elegant restaurant.

The night was hosted by a representative from Hegarty Charmans and Adnams. There was a short talk about each of the five wines we were to drink, I must admit they were all lovely and certainly complemented the set three-course dinner.

The talk did not last too long, was entertaining and informative and did not interfere with the flow of the courses.

The meal itself was superb, the dessert was my particular favourite and the homemade fudge with coffee was to die for.

Treating ourselves, we also booked an overnight stay so after a night cap in the bar we retired to our spacious superior double room.

We had seen photos prior to our stay and were not disappointed when we were given our keys. This was certainly one of the most stunning, lavish rooms we have ever had the pleasure of staying in, with a view over the rear garden, it was spotlessly clean and extremely comfortable.

We could not fail to have had a superb night’s sleep.

In the past we have had lovely evening meals in various hotels only to be disappointed with the breakfast; it is as if this is an after thought. But this was certainly not the case at The Swan. The Suffolk full breakfast was scrumptious.

As if that is not enough, little extras like luxury toiletries and an option to have a picnic lunch made for you to take out, make a stay at The Swan even more special.

This is somewhere we shall certainly return to, the staff were attentive and helpful and the cosy atmosphere of this impressive 15th Century building was a delight.

Even as novices we felt very comfortable sampling the wines offered and will now be much more adventurous with our choices.

We often visit the Adnams shop in Southwold, and as they are stockists of the wines tasted during our session we shall be purchasing a few bottles, along with our usual Adnams ales, on future shopping trips.

The Swan is hosting another tasting event on Thursday, February 28, this time focusing on Champagne.

Whether your knowledge of Champagne could be written on a postage stamp or you are a Champagne enthusiast who knows which year is the best vintage, I am sure you would find it an interesting evening in an enchanting setting.

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