“Historic pub converted into a popular restaurant with smart rooms in a scenic Georgian port town”
We found the rooms to be warm and welcoming with original dark oak beamed ceilings, duck-egg-green wainscoting and hand-knit burgundy throws over the kingsize beds.
Despite the limited ceiling height in our second-floor Premium Room (#7), we felt very comfortable and relished the sun-drenched views of the Stour Estuary from our window. Most Premium Rooms have a similar view. Some of the Standard Rooms are quite small, they are still charming; Room 6’s river view makes it particularly good value.
The Annex holds Premium Rooms 9 and 10, plus Standard Room 11. Located above the cookery school, they reflect Mistley Thorn’s simple yet stylish vibe. Premium Room 10 has a kitchenette and can be booked with Standard Room 11 to create a mini apartment.
Situated to the rear of the original building, Little Thorn Cottage has its own kitchenette, 2 bathrooms and a double bedroom (though it sleeps 4 comfortably). There are no river views, but we felt it made a great base for exploring the area.
Sherri's been over from the States long enough to know that a kettle with tea and coffee is a must. Bottles of mineral water and biscuits are also a nice touch. Spotless bathrooms have REN products waiting by the bathtub/shower. Premium Room 5 has a double-ended bathtub and shower.
By early evening, the bar at the Thorn usually has a sprinkling of local residents who come for a chat over a glass of prosecco and a plate of oysters (native and Pacific) on the half-shell. We didn’t hesitate to join them and felt rather sophisticated, especially when Sherri came behind the bar and reminisced about her days catering on film sets in L.A. From movies to Mistley…
The restaurant is open for lunch, afternoon tea and dinner; special dining events are often held, too. Emphasis is on locally sourced ingredients and fresh seafood. Our starter of griddled diver scallops with pea puree mint and lemon was spot-on. The Adnams beer battered local fish main was delicious. Non-briney types and vegetarians are not overlooked, and when it comes to the puddings, words cannot describe Sherri’s yummy key lime cake. On Thursdays, the 'Moules Madness' menu is particularly good fun: choose from marinière, Thai-style or mussels in cioppino.
At breakfast, cereals and fresh fruit are laid out buffet-style; you can also choose to order a cooked full English breakfast, kippers or organic smoked salmon with eggs. Homemade muffins and eggs benedict make an appearance at Sunday brunch, which is open to the public.
Sherri also runs popular cookery workshops at the Mistley Kitchen in her own house beside the Thorn. And a short walk away, in Manningtree, is her other restaurant Lucca (an Italian specialising in tasty pizzas). Other options include The Crown at Stoke by Nayland and The Sun Inn in Dedham.
Children are welcome; cots and extra beds can be provided. There are toys, books and crayons to keep kids happy. The restaurant has highchairs and a tasty children's menu (no frozen nuggets!). The cookery school sometimes hosts kids cookery classes, too.
Split-level Little Thorn Cottage has a private entrance, a double bedroom, and a lounge that can sleep 2. With a kitchenette and two bathrooms, it's a very practical option for those with little ones. In the annex (above the shop and cookery school), Premium Room 10 and Standard Room 11 can be booked together, ideal for a family. Room 10 has a kitchenette and the external corridor can be closed off, creating a mini apartment. Premium Room 2 has a double sofabed; all rooms have space for an extra bed or baby cot.
Babysitting is available by arrangement.
Baby listening/monitors are available on request.
Baby cots and toys are available on request.
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
A children's menu is available in the restaurant.
Jimmy's Farm (of TV fame): nature trail, gardens, farm shop (20 minutes' drive).