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“Romantic weekend destination”
Review of The Mistley Thorn

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The Mistley Thorn
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Mistley
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 10 August 2009

I chose the Mistley Thorn, from the Sawday guide, for a romantic weekend exploring the Essex countryside and was not disppointed. The hotel/restaurant (with a cookery school attached) is located on the River Stour - we were able to enjoy beautiful views across the estuary to Suffolk, an old sailing barge drifted into the nearby harbour and hundreds of swans lined the banks in the evening sun. We sauntered back to the hotel for a meal in the hotel's clearly popular restaurant - oysters, brill, sea bream - and retired to a tasteful, contemporary bedroom (one of only 5) for the night. Dinner and Breakfast were included in the total price, which at £175 I think was excellent value for the quality of the food and wine and the stylish venue. There is a lot of history in the area and the locations of Constable's most famous paintings are only a short drive away so there is plenty to do and we would have been happy to stay longer. Any negatives?: the rooms are above the restaurant and being an old building the ceilings relatively low and corridors narrow. At 6pm on a sunny August evening our room was rather warm and there was a little traffic noise from the road outside but don't let this put you off - it cooled off and the noise (which was not excessive or intrusive) settled down. Mistley, and neighbouring Manningtree, have some lovely buildings and there was a nice feel to the area. We would definitely return.

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank Alastair C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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292 - 298 of 301 reviews

Reviewed 2 July 2009

Arrived hot and tired after lots of walking in "Constable country" and taking ourselves up to room 5 found it hot, full of flies and, with the windows open, screaming children from the property at the back and the noise/smell from the kitchen extractor, my heart sank - this was supposed to be a treat. Anyway, we killed the dozen flies, had a shower, closed the blinds and hoped the kids would be in bed when we returned (they were!). The food in the restaurant was great (really its only attribute), good wine list and real ales but the bistro tables are really packed in and we were in the fireplace with the busy (and helpful) waitresses passing by all the time - I would hate to be in the room at the back either. There are ceiling fans thank goodness. The bedroom was large, clean and comfortable with huge bed and plenty of large bath sheets etc. However, you need to have the blinds down for privacy all the time and its a darkish room - grey paintwork with maroon blinds so lights on, there is no view. I am not a fan of mixing clean pillowcases in between cushions as is the "boutique trend". "My husband had food poisoning from the oysters all night but recovered to eat the delicious and plentiful breakfast. There are a few tables outside but on the roadside by the bus stop and the view is spoilt buy a large fence on the quayside (a source of discontent by the locals it appears). I wouldnt go back esp as it cost £155 for dbb.

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank TreeDorset
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 June 2009

A really great place for a quick weekend break from London - you can catch the train to Manningtree, and there are excellent walks. Mistley is tiny, but good for a nice pre dinner stroll.

The Mistley Thorn is really excellent value. Smart and comfortable rooms, and the cooking is spot on. Smoked haddock for breakfast was sensationally good. Desserts - cheesecake and plum/almond tart were superlative.

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank LGaryThomas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 January 2009

My friend and I were looking for a hotel midway between us both, somewhere with good food and modern decor as neither of us are a fan of chintz or 'tired' hotels in need of a re-furb. We found ourselves a bargain with Mistley Thorn! We actually couldn't believe the deal we got and both questioned the price as it included bed, breakfast AND dinner.

On checking in we were welcomed by the very friendly hotel staff, and made to feel completely at ease. We checked in early, as the room was available, and found clean fresh decor, in muted sage and cream, with comfortable beds furnished in crisp white cotton and Ralph Lauren blankets. Personal touches included home-made biscuits alongside the selection of teas and coffees. A small grumble was that the room was cold however on speaking with a member of staff it was soon toasty and warm.

We started our visit by taking lunch in the restaurant kicked off by one of the best bloody mary's I've had in a long time. We followed this with fresh local oysters and skate wing which was devine.

Dinner was not disappointing either, more oysters, fresh seabass fillet & salsa verde followed by a wonderful chocolate pecan tart (my only criticism would be that the tart would have been more delicious had it been warm rather than chilled).

After a decent night's sleep we strolled down to breakfast and had a wonderful full English with superb bacon and a selection of fruit, yogurt and cereals.

There really is little to fault in this hotel from the bathroom, with it's deep, double ended bath and equally wonderful power shower & large selection of fresh white towels to the fabulous food in the restaurant. We will definitely consider a return visit, perhaps in warmer weather. However the best thing is that this hotel offers absolute value for money that would be incredibly hard to beat in these credit crunch times. All staff we came across in the hotel were welcoming and friendly, chatting to us and recommending things to do and constantly checking if we were okay without being intrusive.

It did feel a little quiet at times however it was the last Tuesday in January and therefore unsurprisingly the place wasn't as full as I imagine it gets at weekends, or in the summer. However this is something to bear in mind if you are looking for somewhere really buzzy as this is more a 'restaurant with rooms' rather than a full on impersonal hotel. We felt this was a small drawback considering everything else it has going in it's favour and for us it was nice to be asked how we were when we turned up for each meal rather than not even being noticed, as is the case in larger hotels.

All in all, a real find!

  • Stayed: January 2009, travelled with friends
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1  Thank sexymonkeylady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 March 2008

Having just read the previous review (thankfully after we have returned) then hopefully I can provide a different and happier review.

We too stayed in Room1 which was spacious and warm, had a great comfortable bed, 2 wicker chairs and good views across the river. The bathroom was large, suitably equiped and warm. Which was welcome because it was quite cold outside.

There was no problem with eating in the restaurant which was busy but not full. We got the time we wanted and felt in no rush to leave the table. There was a large range of fish dishes which suited us and presumably were sourced locally.

The breakfasts were good too. Choice included full english, kippers or smoked salmon. On one morning they seemed keen to clear away the cereals and fruits but then we were the only people staying and they did ask first which was okay.

In terms of value for money it was brilliant but we did get a special internet rate as we stayed on Sun/Mon - check out their website.

Finally, the staff were very friendly and helpful throughout our stay and I felt that if there was a problem it would have been easily resolved.

  • Stayed: March 2008, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank FelixStowe10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 March 2008

We stayed 1 night in Room 1 paying £105 per night which included breakfast - we also ate in the restaurant the same evening, the total bill came to approx £190.

We arrived at 3pm to find the room was freezing cold the guy who showed us the room even commented on how cold it was and said we may want to turn the rad up, which we did! Half an hour later we were still cold, the guy came back and adjusted the thermostat to 20 degrees -still far to cold we later turned up the main thermostat to 24 degrees - you don't expect that kind of penny pinching in a hotel charging £105.

The room -

Broken bathroom windows which meant cold air in the bathroom at all times (with a stone floor this wasn't a very relaxing experience)

1 chair to fight over!

No biscults for our tea - petty but don't put it on your website if you are not going to provide it!

Room noisy (next to the road) and over the restaurant

Our meal -

Booked for 7.30pm to be told we only had 2 hours before the next guests need the table! By 8pm we were on our deserts, all rushed, no break inbetween even when we asked for a breather and our wine turned up half way through our main course. Can't be certain but my husband had osyters and ever since has been suffering from food poisoning. The restaurant was extremely busy but it really felt so impersonal and a money making exercise.

Breakfast -

The hoover started at 8am on a Sunday morning (I know they have to clean the place but really at this time in the morning) we went down to breakfast at 8.30am hoover still going and inbetween serving us the waitress was emptying the bins! We also felt that we had intruded on their time no one said good morning. Again breakfast rushed husband had not even finished his ceral when his cooked breakfast arrived, instead of taking it back to keep warm the waitress just made room for it on our table and walked off, no offer of a refill for his 1 cup of coffee. Again our breakfast experience was over within 20 minutes.

Overall, what a shame I hate writing such a poor review we really did have high expectations for this place but for us they were clearly trying to offer nothing for quiet a high price. I'm just glad previous reviews had a great time and perhaps the hotel was having a bad day.

Sorry but I can't recommend nor will we be back....

  • Stayed: March 2008, travelled as a couple
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8  Thank SLBK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 August 2007

We have just returned from a three day break away, the only downside being that not all of it was spent at the Mistley Thorn!

We arrived on a Friday evening and were checked in efficiently by Harriet who looked after us thoroughly during our time there.

Our room (room2) was fantastic, huge, spotlessly clean with a beautiful double ended bath. The decor was carefully chosen, modern but without being over the top.

The surroundings are also lovely. We walked to Manningtree, the next village along by the estuary and fed the swans. The hotel itself is opposite 'Swan Basin' and the view from room 2 overlooks this.

Our meal really was superb. I wanted a light white wine and Harriet gave me a some to try before we picked a bottle. For starters we had the Haddock chowder and the Crayfish cocktail, both very good. The Crayfish came with a spicy salsa type sauce, very alternative. I chose the fillets of Brill with sauce Vierge, garlic mash & Samphire. I couldn't have chosen better - absolutely delicious. Moonface had seared Tuna with mango & pineapple salsa, also gorgeous. Puddings, like everything else on the menu were so obviously home made. The Strawberry cheesecake was enormous and the Chocolate & Hazelnut cake was even bigger. I'm afraid it beat me!

Breakfast was also a gastronomic event. There was nothing that we were left needing and we were left alone to enjoy it at our leisure with the hotels free papers. Harriet was very informative about the local area and things to do even though she has only been there for a few months.

Don't be put off by the fact the hotel is on main road. Although it is fast, it was not very busy when we stayed there, so quiet in fact that a lot of people were sat outside drinking.

The hotel provides a fabulous base to explore the prettier side of Essex and the food and rooms really do offer excellent value for money. We have stayed in many a place for the same sort of price and not got anywhere near the quality or service.

The owners are opening an Italian Bistro in Manningtree soon, one to watch out for!

Our next stay will be for longer, I am sure!

  • Stayed: August 2007, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank jamie01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Mistley Thorn

Address: High Street, Mistley CO11 1HE, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Essex > Mistley
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Mistley
Price Range: £104 - £169 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Mistley Thorn is located in the centre of the historic coastal village of Mistley and is two minutes walk from Mistley station, which has direct services to Colchester, Harwich and London Liverpool Street. Built as a coaching inn circa 1723, The Mistley Thorn offers award-winning dining and accommodation in tastefully designed surroundings opposite the River Stour. American born executive chef Sherri Singleton has developed a menu using the best of the area’s seasonal produce. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Mistley Thorn Hotel Mistley
The Hotel Mistley
The Mistley Thorn Essex

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