The Sun Inn – Dedham, Essex
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Privately owned since 2003 by Piers Baker, The Sun Inn stands in the centre of Dedham, the heart of Constable Country, and is a charming base for visiting this beautiful area. Bikes are provided so you can easily explore the banks of the Stour and Dedham Vale, or indeed go boating on the river if it’s fine. The bright yellow façade of this handsome old coaching inn, with its distinctive pub sign, beckons you to an interior that manages to be airy, spacious and properly pubby, with a mix of beams and wooden floors, comfy sofas in contemporary colours, log-burning stove and bar lined with jolly locals and their dogs. As for the food, you can take a picnic while you explore, stay in to graze at the bar, which has a suitably eclectic wine list, or feast in the dining room on fish from Mersea day boats, meat from rare breeds, wild game in season and, when possible, fruit and veg picked that very morning. The seven bedrooms are sophisticated havens, brightly decorated and sumptuously equipped.
Doubles from £150
+44 (0)1206 323351; thesuninndedham.com