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“Here at breakfast ”
Review of The Swan House

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The Swan House
Ranked #5 of 10 Beccles B&B and Inns
Reviewed 26 June 2014 via mobile

A fantastic place to stay. Selected via trip advisor and booked direct from inn's website. Arrived late last night after a long drive. Owners arranged a late check in. Personal touch and perfect greeting. Room beautiful and breakfast outstanding! Well done!

Other reviews have mentioned creaky floors which is true, but that is the nature of the old building: everything else - the beauty of the renovations and styling - more than make up for a little creaky charm.

This is the first review I have ever felt compelled to write. They deserve the support. We will be back for a longer stay next time.

Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
Thank Lancashirelovely
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Roland B, Owner at The Swan House, responded to this reviewResponded 29 June 2014

Thanks for this excellent review and of course being your first 'Trip' review. Much appreciated

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Reviewed 26 June 2014

Beccles is such a lovely secret, an English small town at its best :interesting shops to mooch around, mellow architecture to admire, people who smile and stop for a chat. And a river runs through it!
Our return to The Swan House did not disappoint. We were given Margot's room complete with Juliet balcony overlooking a sweet courtyard and after a very comfortable night, enjoyed the delicious breakfast which we managed to demolish despite having a fantastic dinner there the night before. We were there on one of the music nights.A charming guitarist knew all the tunes we loved and the place was full with diners having a good time.
The owner knows how to deliver the whole package : great food at good prices. We'll be back.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
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Thank dc143_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Roland B, Owner at The Swan House, responded to this reviewResponded 29 June 2014

So pleased you enjoyed your visit to Swan House once again DC. Thanks for the review

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Reviewed 19 June 2014

Stayed here for an overnight, such a lovely inn. The attention to detail is what this little inn is all about. Each room differs in its own unique way and we felt so welcome. It is very clear this inn is cherished by its owners couldn't have felt more at home. Bar and restaurant is of the same quality as the food is delicious and their unique breakfast is a pleasant way to start anyone's day. Would truly recommend this inn to anyone able bodied as there a quite a few nooks and crannies

Stayed: June 2014
Thank Agnes T
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Roland B, Owner at The Swan House, responded to this reviewResponded 29 June 2014

Thank you for your most insightful and empathic review

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Reviewed 15 June 2014

We visited the Swan restaurant for both our 60th birthdays this was a gift from our children as a surprise and it was wonderful from our first greeting and throughout our meal was outstanding the food was excellent and service was superb very friendly and a lovely red wine was recommended to accompany our meal our best meal in a restaurant for a very very long time we will certainly be coming again thank you to all staff and chefs

  • Stayed: June 2014
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Thank Splcbeamo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Roland B, Owner at The Swan House, responded to this reviewResponded 29 June 2014

A much appreciated review. And so pleasing to have delivered your best restaurant meal in a very long time

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Reviewed 16 May 2014

It is with some trepidation I write this review having seen the responses to any previous less than glowing reviews, We stayed at the Swan House after being booked in by our company travel provider, we stayed in the Eln room. This Inn dates back to 15th/16th century ? and has all the character and quirks of a building of this period, the room was beautiful, very well appointed and spotlessly clean; however it has a huge inglenook fireplace which is obviously very much still in use the smell of woodsmoke which for the first 5 minutes was evocative become overpowering and after a 2 night stay left all your clothes smelling quite pungent. The shower room is another unique feature, a lovely wet room with ferns and a bespoke washbasin and mirror, the downside is the water supply be quick in the shower, we never managed more than 6 minutes "warm" water over the 2 nights leaving you rinsing your hair in cold water.

Another issue which is mostly down to the age of the building and the wooden floors is the noise insulation, we could hear the room above us as though they were in the same room and one of the adjoining rooms had young children in who again we could hear clearly, when you have to be up and away for 7am and you can hear your neighbours TV as though it were in your room it can make you just a little bit grumpy.

We ate in the restaurant on the first night, the food was lovely and the chicken and banana particularly good, what we didn't need was to hear the 2 female staff discussing their "ladies problems" quite clearly at the bar. Breakfast is a sight to behold and I'm sure for a no holds barred weekend away a real treat, for a mid week working breakfast all a bit too much, neither plain wholemeal toast or a cereal of any kind are available, a magnificent platter of smoked/cured meats, cheeses, fruit, croissants etc and a full cooked breakfast is what is served, apologies for being fussy but is cereal too much to ask for breakfast ?

On check out the above issues were pointed out to the proprietor and were met with a shrug and the response "no one else has issues with them", we had to be in Lowestoft for 3 nights and checked into the Kings Head for our 3rd night at £44 a third of the cost of the Swan House and whilst not comparable on style is fabulous value for money with clean modern facilities.

I'm sure Roland will rebuff all the above criticisms and jump on the compliments for the food etc, and whilst an inn of this character would usually be my first choice for a romantic weekend break (see the Swan in Stratford-upon-Avon review) it doesn't deliver on enough practical levels for me.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled on business
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3  Thank SGR36WELSH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Roland B, Owner at The Swan House, responded to this reviewResponded 18 May 2014

I really don't mind criticism, so long as it's genuinely balanced and honest. Genuine constructive feedback can only be positive. But I will defend Swan House when a reviewer is being unreasonable. And of course that's very easy to do, behind the anonymity of TripAdvisor. Some of your comments I accept, however they are heavily embellished or inaccurate.

As you disarmingly suggest, I am indeed pleased you really enjoyed your dining experiences here, however the 'cereal' complaint is unfair. Our breakfasts are designed to offer our clients a unique dining experience, rather than provide the usual assortment of supermarket aisle products. You said there was not 'a cereal of any kind'. That's untrue as your platter included our own home-made cereal of our Swiss recipe 'Birchermuesli', with rolled oats, fresh hedge berries, grated apple, walnuts, marinated in lemon juice and finished with yoghurt. Now that's both a delicious and healthy real cereal!

The incident regarding your shower is just half the story. I did explain to you that while the electrically heated water system had partially fused, we have an emergency back-up system which I offered you. The system was quickly repaired, as I informed you

The scent of burnt fire wood is a natural consequence of having an open working fire in a room, and of course a 'treat' in a bedroom. Over breakfast you complained of the scent being so invasive, it kept you up all night and that I just cannot believe. If you lodged next to a pig farm, the odour would be obnoxious on arrival, still apparent after 30 minutes, but indistinguishable soon after and I think our readers will relate to that.

Then we have your noise complaint from your neighbouring 'Jeremiah' room. Now this is where you have really been unfair. The Tudor bricked wall between these two rooms is 15 inches thick and quite impossible to hear 'as though it were in your own room'. I've just asked a local magistrate to test your claim, by turning the relevant Samsung TV up to volume setting 30, whilst listening from your Eln room. His comment: "I just cannot hear any noise whatsoever. If I put my ear to the wall I am just aware of a very slight sound".

And I don't think a woman mentioning her 'hot flush' to her colleague, is really an indiscretion worthy of critical mention.

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Reviewed 14 May 2014

We stayed at the Swan House for one night over the early May bank holiday weekend and it was an absolute delight.

I only found the Swan House by chance when doing an internet search for somewhere in East Anglia to enjoy a night away for my husband's birthday and I am so glad we found it as it was perfect for a night away.

The old building has been converted to a "luxury boutique inn" with sympathy to it's roots - providing modern luxury with the charm of a several hundred year old building.

We stayed in Margot's room, named after the proprietor's late mother and it was small, but perfectly formed with everything you could need and more including the comfiest bed I think I have ever slept in (and gorgeous high quality bed linen), a "smart TV" with Netflix and tea and coffee making facilities. And a lovely balcony too which made the room feel even more special! I particularly liked the homely touches in the room - a well stocked bookshelf, some local magazines and a photograph of Margot herself taken in 1948 looking very glam! As someone who loves old photos, I thought that was really nice.

The only downside I can find with the accommodation was the en-suite bathroom. Being a wetroom, everything (and I mean everything!) did get wet after a shower. My husband also had difficulty with the shower being fixed at a low height as at 6' 5" tall he had to crouch to fit under it! That said, the fact that a bathroom has been fitted into the space is an amazing feat and the shower was very powerful and the temperature easy to regulate which is not always the case in some hotel rooms.

Breakfast was fantastic - 3 courses, starting with homemade tea loaf, then a platter of cold meats and local cheeses (along with the best warm croissants we have ever tasted!) and then a cooked breakfast using homemade and local ingredients. Freshly squeezed orange juice and freshly brewed tea were also enjoyed. It was both very nice (and different to the usual breakfast) and also very filling - we didn't need any lunch after a three course breakfast!

All of the staff were very nice and friendly, and the proprietor was not a distant figure hidden away which was nice too.

The location of the Swan House is ideal for exploring Beccles (a very nice market town and the start of the Broads) - centrally located, it was easy for us to find from the station when we arrived.

All in all I can't fault this place for a night away with a hint of cosiness and luxury. A great find!

Room Tip: Margot's Room has a balcony!
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank mrsboo82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Roland B, Owner at The Swan House, responded to this reviewResponded 18 May 2014

Thanks for recognising us as a 'great find' and pleased to read the 'proprietor was not a distant figure hidden away'!

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Reviewed 31 March 2014

Please first let me point out that the set three course menu for sunday mother's day lunch was first class, compliments to the chef :) ! £25 per head, great price and worth every penny! (no good for kids under the age of 12 as they refused to provide a childrens menu!!)
Here come the bad bits...1. Arrived at the restaurant to find that they had not recieved my preorder of main courses for our party which they had requested i email to them on the 18th March (12days before the day of the booking 30th March). 10 mins later they found it. 2. When booking the table over the phone, i realised that they did not have the option of a childrens menu, i found this odd, to be a mother in the first place you need to have had a child, i.e. mothers day doh!) The manager didnt want to make one available! Eventually they backed down and said if the child didnt want to eat all three courses then they would refund the price of a standard starter which was £5. Fine. On the day of the meal the child eat the starter and the main course but they just assumed that they didn't want dessert without asking first. It turned out he did want dessert. Fair play they did supply another dessert. Thank you. 3. This is what annoyed me the most epescially after all the other little hiccups. When it came to paying the bill, they did not take into account the deposit that i had paid (£25) previously when making the booking. I only noticed this after i had paid the bill. I was then told that i could not have a refund until the following day as they could not find my deposit payment and the manager had left the building! I found this unbelievable, why was the supervisor not given the authority do do this when she was left in charge with no other managers available? By having to wait until the next day for my refund they were implying that i was lying and had not paid the deposit (wrong again!!) I would like to report that they have now refunded the deposit. Moral of the storey, great food, managment, unorganised.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank Zoe P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Roland B, Owner at The Swan House, responded to this reviewResponded 10 April 2014

I'm pleased Zoe you found our food great, and obviously disappointed you thought we were disorganised. However I shall explain that your pre-order, unbeknown to us, went into a 'spam filter' and as soon as you pointed out you had emailed us, we searched and found it within minutes. I think you have misunderstood my point regarding child portions. You asked for a reduction for your son, who I believe you said was twelve. I pointed out to you that in my experience most twelve year old lads will 'out eat' most adult woman! However, my solution was less a case of 'backing down', more of finding a 'Soloman's solution' to suit you, by offering a reduction, if your son had just two courses. As you know, and as I suggested, he ate all three! The one point I agree with and apologise for, concerned your deposit. Once again, I am pleased you really enjoyed your lunch.

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Additional Information about The Swan House

Address: 34 New Market | (Near the Church Tower), Beccles NR34 9HE, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > East Anglia > Suffolk > Beccles
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 10 B&Bs / Inns in Beccles
Price Range: £73 - £99 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ideally situated in the bustling, traditional market town of Beccles, the Swan House offers beautiful and idiosyncratic room-only accommodation. Our distinctive rooms provide the perfect, cozy base from which to explore the Suffolk heritage coast, the Norfolk Broads and beyond. East Anglia at her most beautiful and varied is literally on the doorstep. After an intrepid day of exploring, come back to a delicious meal in our characterful restaurant, and a good night's sleep in a room designed to provide every comfort. Indulge in fully sprung mattresses, crisp white bedding and flat screen TV's. And all of this in a convivial setting, with open fires to warm you in the depths of winter, and al fresco dining throughout the warmer months. PLEASE NOTE: The Swan House Restaurant is currently closed for refurbishment and will re-open in April 2017. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Swan House Beccles, Suffolk

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