The Black Lion Pub with rooms in Long Melford, Suffolk

Prices from:
£85 per night

David Hancock says:

  • Iconic coaching inn revitalised with style
  • Informal country-house feel throughout
  • Menus combine classics and innovation
  • Smart modern bedrooms
  • Perfect base for antique buffs

Sticky FingersMuddy PawsGood for WalkingOutdoor PursuitsCandlelitVisit a Stately PilePrivate Dining

Real Time Booking Available

The Black Lion Long Melford, Suffolk, CO6 4SE

The personal touch

The Chestnut Group snapped up this striking 17th-century coaching inn in 2017 and spent three months breathing new life into the iconic inn, which stands in a stunning spot overlooking Long Melford’s green and Tudor Hall. Refurbished with style and panache and very much in keeping with the age of the building, you can expect an informal country-house feel throughout, with rugs on board or flagged floors, glowing fires in feature fireplaces, antiques, artefacts and big lamps, and walls adorned with huge mirrors and grand paintings in the cracking bar, relaxing dining rooms and the warm and cosy drawing room. The new conservatory dining space leads to fabulous sheltered terrace for alfresco dining. It’s the perfect base for antique buffs on the Lovejoy Trail, as Long Melford boasts some fine antique showrooms and art galleries, and picture-postcard Lavenham is a short drive away. The Chestnut Group also own The Northgate in Bury St Edmunds and The Packhorse in Moulton (see entries).

Sticky fingers

Children are made very welcome; there’s a kid’s menu and highchairs, and a box of toys to keep little ones amused. The family bedroom has an adjacent room with bunk beds; other rooms have space for an extra bed (£15)

Muddy paws

Dogs are allowed in the bar and overnight in the bedrooms (£10) except for the suite


Summer alfresco dining can be enjoyed on the sheltered rear terrace

What’s the Damage?
9 doubles/twin; 1 suite: £85 – £175

What Else?

  • All credit cards taken
  • Private dining (conservatory)
  • Alfresco dining
  • Disabled access to bar & restaurant
  • Parking: a few space to front; street parking beside green


AA 1 Rosette


The Black Lion Long Melford, Suffolk, CO6 4SE

Do not disturb

The 10 fabulous rooms ramble across two floors and most enjoy great views across the green to Long Melford Hall. Cosy snug rooms, spacious luxury rooms and the grand suite with its huge king-size bed and separate lounge ooze charm, style and comfort – expect rich fabrics, the best linen and down on amazing beds (great sleep guaranteed), big lamps and ornate mirrors, upholstered easy chairs, antique furnishings and period fireplaces. The fun family room has a very neat little kids room with bunk beds. Nespresso machines, homemade biscuits, super-fast wi-fi and smart TVs are standard throughout and smart tiled bathrooms have shower over baths, contemporary fittings, Noble Isle toiletries and bathrobes.





What’s the Damage?
9 doubles/twin; 1 suite: £85 – £175

What Else?

  • All credit cards taken
  • Private dining (conservatory)
  • Alfresco dining
  • Disabled access to bar & restaurant
  • Parking: a few space to front; street parking beside green


AA 1 Rosette

Eat & Drink

The Black Lion Long Melford, Suffolk, CO6 4SE

Mastering the menu

(Starters: £6-£10; Main Courses: £10-£20; Desserts £6-£9)

Food is innovative and well cooked without being over fussy and pretentious – the Black Lion is still very much a pub – and the simply described menu successfully combines classics like fish and chips, chargrilled Heron Farm sirloin steak with hand-cut chips and mushroom ketchup with more imaginative dishes, and homemade pizzas (Suffolk pulled pork, chorizo, salami, onion). Perhaps kick off with goats’ cheese pannacotta with honey roast figs and prosciutto, then follow with duo of English lamb, Jerusalem artichokes, confit celeriac and black olives, leaving room for salted caramel and pecan tart. Menus evolve with the seasons and fantastic local ingredients are sourced locally, including meat from Clarke & Son, the independent butcher in Long Melford, and eggs from Rattlesden Farm just down the road. The good wine list is worth exploring as it offers sound tasting notes and great value (17 by the glass). Arrive early for a classic afternoon cream tea in the conservatory or drawing room.

Time to eat

Breakfast: 8am – 10am

Lunch: 12 noon – 2.30pm (3.30pm Sunday)

Afternoon tea: 3pm – 5pm

Dinner: 7pm – 9.30pm (8.30pm Sunday)

Time at the bar

11am – 11pm

What’s the Damage?
9 doubles/twin; 1 suite: £85 – £175

What Else?

  • All credit cards taken
  • Private dining (conservatory)
  • Alfresco dining
  • Disabled access to bar & restaurant
  • Parking: a few space to front; street parking beside green


AA 1 Rosette

Food Trail

Take it back home
Tour the brewery that brewed your favourite pint, visit the shop on the farm that reared your delicious Sunday roast beef, and seek out the roadside stalls selling the local crab and samphire on the inn’s menu, the Food Trail features the local artisan producers and suppliers where you can buy to enjoy at home.

Change of scenery
Looking for a pub for lunch following a country walk, a different venue for dinner, or a good café for coffee, light lunch or afternoon tea, then the best in the area are listed below. If you find a new and exciting eatery in the area that’s worthy of a mention on the Food Trail, then please to do let us know –

1 Inn Location - The Black Lion


Mill Green Brewery, Edwardstone, Sudbury CO10 5PX

Very green craft brewery using local malt, their own hops and borehole water. Visit their brewery tap on-site, the White Horse in Edwardstone, for their award-winning beers from the barrel, live music, traditional games and regular beer festivals. They also have The Fleece in Boxford.


The Brewery Tap, 21 East Street, Sudbury CO10 2TP

Their own pub is the best place to sample Mauldons' excellent Suffolk beers such as Black Adder Stout from their Sudbury micro-brewery. Food is incredibly simple, salt beef and smoked gammon baps, pork pies or homemade scotch eggs.


Coddenham Food Store IP6 9PR

At Coddenham, a village near Stowmarket, you'll find a well-stocked deli counter with plenty of locally sourced produce.


The Ram, 5 Market Place, Hadleigh IP7 5DL

A stylish pub-restaurant set in a beautifully revitalised old building in the heart of town. Expect a serious ambition in quite complex dishes but gaining a following.


Willow Farm, Potash Lane, Polstead Heath CO6 5DL

It’s worth stopping at Willow Farm’s roadside stall for orchard and stone fruit such as apples, plums and pears, or you can ‘pick you own’ seasonal fruits on the farm.


Lower Dairy Farm Shop, Water Lane, Nayland CO6 4JS

The Taylor's farm shop for own reared, well-hung, grass-fed Hereford-Angus beef and proper free-range pork as well as family-made preserves, eggs from their flock and home-grown apples, not forgetting their own horseradish.


Wheldon's Fruit Farm, Newton Leys, Sudbury CO10 0QE

Growing PYO since the Seventies, now three generations of Wheldons now work the land. Wide range of orchard and stone fruits, berries, vegetables, and you can also buy regional cheeses and locally sourced meats from the farm store.


Wyken Vineyard, Shop & Restaurant Wyken Road, Stanton IP31 2DW

Shop first in a country store with wool throws and blankets from Scotland, design-led crafts and pottery from England, French grape-picking baskets, and timeless clothes in linens and wool; then head to the Leaping Hare restaurant in a 400-year-old barn and sip a glass of Wyken Bacchus while perusing the Michelin Bib Gourmand menu.


The Blackbirds Inn 36 Ditton Green, Woodditton CB8 9SQ

Quaint village location near Newmarket for this 17th-century thatched pub, recent spruced up by the Chestnut Group and sister venue to The Northgate and The Packhorse. Family and dog friendly, it offers classic pub food, pizzas from the wood-fired oven, and Sunday roast lunches, all freshly prepared from seasonal and regional produce.

Out & About

1 Inn Location - The Black Lion



Assington Mill Courses, Assington CO10 5LZ

Fabulous rural crafts tuition centre in an old watermill with over 50 different subjects being tutored in. Learn about growing your own or harvesting wild foods. Lovely home-made lunches part of the appeal.


Racing at Newmarket, CB8 0TG

Dubbed the headquarters of the 'sport of kings' in Britain, Newmarket is an internationally renowned thoroughbred horse racing venue. The racecourse hosts two of the country's five 'classics' - the 1,000 Guineas and the 2,000 Guineas.


Great Classic Car Hire, Stowmarket IP14 1EZ

Based near Stowmarket, this is the place to seek an exhilarating alternative means of discovering the extensive countryside of East Anglia. The fleet of vehicles covers British, European and Far Eastern classic cars - a classy, ideal way to explore Suffolk on a perfect summer's day.



Kersey Pottery, Kersey IP7 6DY

Located in a picturesque valley setting in Kersey, near Ipswich, Kersey Pottery has a comprehensive collection of handmade tableware, individually decorated bowls and plates and stoneware with distinctive glazes.


Dylan Pym Furniture, Polstead CO6 5AG

Based at Polstead, north of Colchester, Dylan Pym makes handcrafted high quality furniture from solid English hardwood. He takes commissions, too, and encourages customer input.


Ipswich IP4 1FH

Shopping in East Anglia's historic waterfront town offers a multiple choice of global brands, independent retailers and small shops. Queen Street is the place to make for to hunt out something a bit different.


Jessica Muir Gallery, Hall Street, Long Melford CO10 9JR

Resident artists Jessica Brown and Jean Muir showcase an eclectic mix of work from established artists and new designers, specialising in textiles, ceramics, paintings and original prints.


The Hunter Gallery, Hall Street, Long Melford CO10 9JQ

The longest established gallery in Long Melford, established in 2001, exhibits local, well-known artists from Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk and specializes in a wide range of styles and media to suit all tastes and budgets. Regular exhibitions.


Long Melford Antiques Warehouse, Hall Street CO10 9JB

Four floors and more 250 dealers exhibiting a huge range of antiques, collectables, decorative items and 17th to 20th furniture – perfect for browsing and buying on a wet day.


Jim Lawrence, The Ironworks, Lady Lane, Hadleigh IP7 6BQ

Fallen in love with the light fittings, door handles and curtains rails in your room at the Crown, then buy them online or visit Jim Lawrence's treasure trove of a showroom and buy them for your own house; home and soft furnishings too.


Long Melford & Lavenham CO10 9RA

If you love browsing, then embark on a fascinating antiques and crafts tour of Suffolk. The village of Long Melford has at least 16 antique shops, along with many independent galleries and tearooms, while Lavenham has more of the same.

Places to visit


The Beth Chatto Gardens, Colchester CO7 7DB

Located at Elmstead Market near Colchester, the Beth Chatto Gardens are a perfect example of how an overgrown wasteland can be transformed into a horticultural work of art that is an inspiration to all who visit. There is also a welcome tearoom within the site.


Melford Hall, Long Melford CO10 9AA

Devastated by fire in 1942, this Tudor mansion at Long Melford was later restored by the Hyde Parker family in whose possession it remains to this day. Their cousin, Beatrix Potter, was a regular visitor here.


Ickworth, Bury St Edmunds IP29 5QE

Close to Bury St Edmounds, Ickworth's spectacular Rotunda was commissioned by the 4th Earl of Bristol to house his priceless artefacts collected on tours around Europe in the 18th century. The Italianate garden includes box hedges and Mediterranean planting.


Gainsborough House, Sudbury CO10 2EU

This fascinating museum and art gallery stands in the centre of the market town of Sudbury and is probably most famous as the birthplace of the artist Thomas Gainsborough. Dating back to 1520, the house has many striking features as well as various Ginsborough paintings and portraits.


Lindsey St.James's Chapel, Hadleigh IP7 6QA

One of the region’s secret gems, this chapel near Hadleigh is just the place for history detectives. The 13th-century place of worship boasts early medieval architecture and flint walls under a thatched roof.


Flatford Mill, East Bergholt CO7 6UL

At Flatford you can stand in the very same spot that Constable stood and spot the same view he did. Study the scenes that inspired him and found expression in his paintings and visit the small exhibition that provides an insight into the man and his talent.


Bourne Mill, Colchester CO2 8RT

A mile to the south of Colchester, Bourne Mill is a Grade I listed building, originally constructed as a fishing lodge and used for banquets and social functions. Expect a working waterwheel, millpond, and woodland that is home to a great variety of wildlife.


Lavenham Guildhall CO10 9QZ

With its ancient timbers and crooked lines, Lavenham Guildhall is one of many notable buildings in this picturesque medieval village. Inside, you’ll find a museum devoted to the history of Lavenham, with fascinating displays depicting 500 years of farming and industry.


Moyse's Hall Museum, Bury St Edmunds IP33 1DX

Overlooking the market place in Bury St Edmunds, this ancient 12th-century building has been a jail, a workhouse and a police station over the years. In its role as a museum, Moyse’s Hall examines the town’s early history and provides a fascinating insight into superstition and witchcraft


There’s a great choice of cycle routes and cycling opportunities within the county of Suffolk and further afield. Explore Lavenham’s woodlands and valleys on a 21-mile trail or embark on the 28-mile Jockey’s Trail in Newmarket. If you enjoyed the much-loved television drama Lovejoy in the 1980s and 90s, you might like to link the many locations used in the series by following a network of very pleasant off-road cycle routes and quiet country lanes.

Getting there

Location, Location, Location

By Road: Located off A134 just north of village centre at the junction of A1092 and B1064

By Rail: Nearest railway station is Sudbury (3.5 miles)


The Green, Long Melford, Suffolk, CO6 4SE

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