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Hotel Highlights

  • Coolly contemporary rustic-modern decor in a sensitively restored historic mill building
  • Fantastic food by charismatic and passionate chef Lee Bye
  • Beautiful double-ended free-standing stone baths with views over the Mill Pond

Overview

Once a 17th-century water mill, Suffolk's The Tuddenham Mill hotel is a marvel of architectural transformation in the English countryside, its 15 urban-chic rooms and Starck-fitted boudoirs unexpectedly blending seamlessly with their rustic surroundings, exposed original wooden beams and all. It all sits on 12 gorgeous acres of wild land, peppered with ponds and streams. The bar, built around the original mill wheel, is especially impressive, and is as much of an attraction as the foodie-favourite restaurant.

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking Tuddenham Mill with us:

A Mill Bag (a small gift from the kitchen to take home); members staying three nights or more will also get a bottle of champagne

Facilities

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Tuddenham Mill - Suffolk - United Kingdom

Need To Know

Rooms

15.

Check–out

11am; check‑in 3pm, but the Mill is always flexible when possible.

Rates

Double rooms from $255.75 (£154), excluding tax at 20 per cent.

More details

Rates include breakfast.

Also

Praise be: bathroom toiletries are courtesy of Espa, and they're a decent size, too.

At the hotel

12 acres of gardens, boules pitch, DVD/CD library, laundry. In rooms, six‑foot Presotto beds, minibar with free water and juice, free WiFi, Loewe LCD TVs, Bose sound system and iPod dock, Espa toiletries.

Our favourite rooms

We love the three large, airy rooms in the main mill: exposed beams, dinner‑plate‑sized shower heads and double‑ended stone baths big enough for a crowd – definitely worth, ahem, splashing out on. The tubs in the Mill Room and Mill Room East have views of the pond through picture windows. Of the Loft Suites we have soft spots for Loft South and Loft West (although shyer types should note the latter's bathroom opens doorlessly into the bedroom).

Packing tips

Indigestion tablets: you won't be able to stop eating the chef's delightful (and generously portioned) food, especially since it's everywhere you look (including dangerously moreish home-made biscuits in your room).

Also

Dogs welcome in some bedrooms and public areas (except Mill Room East, Mill Room and Mill Room West and the restaurant) for a charge of £15 a night – give advance notice. There’s a two‑night minimum stay on Saturday nights; three nights bank holidays.

Children

Extra beds or cribs can be provided in rooms, £30 a night. There’s a children’s menu, and the chef is happy to adapt the main menu (half portions, no sauce…). Highchairs, paper, pencils and crayons are always to hand.

Read more

Food & Drink

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Tuddenham Mill - Suffolk - United Kingdom

Hotel Restaurant

Chef Lee Bye calls upon his country upbringing to conjure up tempting tasting and à la carte menus, showcasing hearty British fare inspired by seasonal ingredients. Dishes include trumped up traditional fare such as crispy beef shin with avocado carpaccio, crispy pig’s head with clapshot potato and Lancashire baked apples with mead ice cream. A Continental and full English breakfast are offered, each made using excellent locally sourced produce.

Hotel Bar

Spectacularly adorned by the beautifully up‑lit original mill wheel, the Mill’s intimate, relaxed bar serves drinks as long as you stay up…

Last orders

9.15pm in the restaurant. Lunch, 12–2.15pm; then light bites until 6.30pm when the dinner sitting starts.

Room service

24 hours: choose from the restaurant menu when the kitchen is open, otherwise it’s light snacks and drinks.

Smith Insider

Dress code

Relaxed: unstructured shift dresses and polo shirts (suitable for disguising a greedily stuffed belly) should strike the right sartorial note.

Top table

Alfresco, by the pond; upstairs in the restaurant at a window seat with upstream views; or at the raised and curtained off 'Jockey's table'. Mind your head though! There are two private dining rooms, too; we like the Terrace Room (it has a balcony).

Local Guide

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Tuddenham Mill - Suffolk - United Kingdom
Eat, drink, see, do: local favourites and more…

Worth getting out of bed for

Get your motor running at nearby WildTracks (www.wildtracksltd.co.uk), where you can thrash all manner of vehicles, from quad bikes and karts to tanks, around challenging courses. Bury St Edmunds is not far, and is packed with browsable shops as well as hosting regular markets: there are street  markets every Wednesday and Saturday, on Cornhill in the town centre; at the Corn Exchange, there’s a craft market on Wednesdays; and the first Sunday of every month sees the town’s Athenaeum fill up with bric-a-brac, antiques and collectibles.

Local restaurants

With Tuddenham Mill’s delicious food confronting you at every turn (home‑made biscuits in your room; jars of pickle at reception), you’ll hardly go hungry, but for a change of scene, take your pick from Newmarket’s restaurants and cafés, or head into Bury St Edmunds: Maison Bleue’s fine French fare focuses on seafood (+44 (0)1284 760623); later, cosy up in Thumbelina‑scale pub The Nutshell for an intimate nightcap (+44 (0)1284 764867). Just outside Bury, at stately‑home hotel Ickworth, Fredericks offers family‑friendly fine dining, overlooking lovely Italian gardens (+44 (0)1284 735350).

+ Enlarge
Brink of the Brecks

Tuddenham Mill

High Street, Tuddenham, Suffolk IP28 6SQ, United Kingdom

Planes

London Stansted is 44 miles from Tuddenham Mill. The hotel also isn't far from the airport in Norwich.

Trains

The nearest stations for rail travellers are Newmarket and Bury St Edmunds. Cambridge and Ely both offer swift regular services to London, Stansted, the North and Midlands as well.

Automobiles

The hotel is just off the A11 and A14.

Other

There's a helipad if you have a chopper and need one.

Reviews

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Tuddenham Mill - Suffolk - United Kingdom

Anonymous review

by Liam Fisher-Jones , Bard's bastion

This hotel review of Tuddenham Mill in Suffolk is taken from our guidebook, Mr & Mrs Smith: Hotel Collection – UK/Ireland Volume 2. We’re late leaving the city. Usually it’s a flat battery or an evasive passport. This time, concerned that we might be heading for the coast, Mrs Smith has a bikini wax. I remind her we’re off to Suffolk, not Copacabana. We hurtle down the…
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Tuddenham Mill

Anonymous review by Liam Fisher-Jones, Bard's bastion

This hotel review of Tuddenham Mill in Suffolk is taken from our guidebook, Mr & Mrs Smith: Hotel Collection – UK/Ireland Volume 2.

We’re late leaving the city. Usually it’s a flat battery or an evasive passport. This time, concerned that we might be heading for the coast, Mrs Smith has a bikini wax. I remind her we’re off to Suffolk, not Copacabana. We hurtle down the M11 with all the Stansted traffic. The delight is that we’re at our destination in 30 minutes, rather than the 30 hours it’ll take the rest of them. From a turn?off just after Newmarket, we wend our way along winding country lanes to the village of Tuddenham. There’s not another car in sight and relying only on moonlight, we wonder if we’ve missed a signpost. Then we spot the Mill’s chimney standing to attention.

There’s been a mill here for close on 1,000 years, but this 18th-century abode is thoroughly modern. About as close to Manhattan as you’ll get in Suffolk, it’s akin to a downtown NY hotel – set in 12 acres of gorgeous Brecks-borders land. The reception, with its generous glass double doors, welcomes you into a large lobby with cool greys and flagstone floors. Catching our eyes in the corner is a blazing fire; the ambience is relaxed and inviting and we are entirely ready to collapse onto the clean-lined furniture. This is a proper, manly building. Nothing fluffy in sight (although we have yet to see the emperor-sized beds).

The current property, created by Collins Millwrights of Melton, dates from 1775 and its brickwork possesses the warmth of Cotswold stone with hues of soft pink running through. Aged oak beams float stylishly above minimalist interiors on every floor. Outside, we spy a lone swan gracing the millpond. A member of staff informs us that he lost a wing in a scrap with a fox (although this hasn’t prevented him hooking up with his own Mrs Swan). When we catch sight of him later, the rosy light that tints the encircling trees has also transformed him, so he appears like a ghostly ballerina.

We’re sleeping in the upper eaves of the mill, and it turns out to be a huge, double-height, beamed barn of a bedroom, resplendent in sleek, Italian-designed minimalism. The iron brace holding up the ceiling is also perfect for those inclined towards pull-ups, dispensing with any need for a gym. Mind you, it’s clearly all about relaxation here and a complimentary bottle of Fleurie helps us settle onto the six-foot bed. We can’t help but wonder what the mill-workers that used to toil their lives away here would make of our lazy-lubber weekend.

Knowing that this hotel revolves around its restaurant, and wizard Scots chef Gordon McNeill, we’re thrilled it’s time for dinner. Besides, it’s a car journey to the nearest eatery, and after seeing that most of the other diners aren’t even guests, we’re keen to find out what the fuss is about. Centre stage, behind the bar, is the original waterwheel; it becomes a real showpiece by night when its full glory is illuminated by pulsating up-lights. Even patrons who take a table upstairs can peer down, through a glass floor-panel, at the mighty and beautiful machinery – lovingly restored, yet still resolutely functional.

The kitchen team doesn't disappoint, delivering inventive, courageous, witty and hearty fare – not suited to the squeamish, though: Gordon’s signature dish, ‘A Taste of the Highlands’, features haggis spring roll and shin of beef stovi. It far surpasses the modest ‘Taste’ of its title. Opposite me, a seafood salad is being devoured – Cromer crab, crayfish tails, king scallops, peeled prawns – a reminder that we’re not far from fleets of fishing vessels. The wine list is not only excellent, but also reasonably priced, with carefully chosen producers showing off their gems. Even the glassware is fabulous; bulbous bowls that fill your palm, perfect for each slug of shiraz. Clearly, Tuddenham Mill is a place that’s perfectly suited to foodies who like proper portions and are happy to hole themselves up in this culinary fantasyland.

The following morning, we discover another feather in Tuddenham’s cap is that there’s no chance of bed-head. Why? Goosedown duvet and pillows mean we arise crinkle-free and refreshed. Greeted by duck?quacks, we peek out after our 10-hour slumbers. A huge egg-shaped bath (hatched in South Africa) sits next to the bed, with views over the pond. The Starck-fitted ensuite couldn’t be more designer-savvy, stocked with Jo Malone pampering materials and Missoni dressing gowns.

Just when you thought we’d been spoiled enough, we discover that breakfast is the biggest treat. Mrs Smith and I think it the best we’ve ever had. The ‘Kickstart’ smoothie has more oomph than a Suzuki GSXR. Just as well, since I was going to need every morsel of energy it provided to get me through the enormously portioned ‘Full Mill’.

Tuddenham is nestled neatly between two of the country’s most historic towns: Cambridge and Bury St Edmunds. The toss of a coin took us east to the cathedral town of Bury but rather than view its architectural treasures, we headed straight for the world’s smallest pub – the Nutshell. It was full to the rafters, although not with the expected hordes of tartan-togged American tourists jostling for a photo opportunity, but three local patrons. Despite the dimensions of this shoebox-sized inn we get seating sufficient to enjoy a swift half of ale and an eavesdrop – gleaning tips on how to sleep surreptitiously on a factory production line.

Back at the mill, Sunday lunch trippers are flowing in to relax in the swish interiors and revel in the delights from north of the border. It’s a venue that smacks of ‘special occasion’, a step above your gastropub or country-house hotel. The staff are young, friendly, professional and yet suitably unfussy. Everyone, from the owners down, seems genuinely happy working here, creating a jovial vibe that seeps into every corner. As for guests going home contented, that’s a given – particularly as you can parcel up some of that Tuddenham magic, to go. Keep the culinary dream alive and buy Gordon’s jams, chutneys, relishes in the lobby. Then, to go with the lime-basil-and-mandarin-scented toiletries squirreled away in your suitcase, give your ablutions back home a designer boost: pop a stripy Missoni robe on your room-service bill. This is a hotel that exemplifies those golden hospitality ingredients – quality and attention to detail. So, when it comes to giving satisfaction to sophisticated sensibilities, a run-of-the-mill chic countryside retreat, this is not.

The Guestbook

Reviews of Tuddenham Mill from Smith members

Whenever you book a stay through us, we’ll invite you to comment when you get back. Read the Guestbook entries below to see what real-life Mr & Mrs Smiths have said about this hotel…

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

I loved my loft room.

Don’t expect

I coudn't work out the TV, but that could be me – LOL.

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

I liked the food and the bed was very comfortable. The rooms were very nice.

Don’t expect

I found it can be somewhat noisy from the road.

Rating: 8/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

I liked the beautiful loft room, location and setting of mill and millstream. The staff were friendly and helpful.

Don’t expect

The skies were cloudy so we couldn't use the telescope but I guess this is out of your control!

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on No

We loved

I liked the size and location of the Loft Room East, but would like the toilet to be separated.

Don’t expect

The exterior of the Mill is becoming a little tired and would benefit from redecoration.

Rating: 9/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

The room is gorgeous and light. We had great food - a fantastic breakfast.

Don’t expect

We were glad we didn't book a room in the Mill building as it's right on the road. I would advise a Loft Room: they were stunning.

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

The loft suite was absolutely beautiful. The staff was very friendly and accommodating; nothing was too much trouble. The view over the mill stream was lovely and so tranquil. The food was fantastic! We ate in the restaurant Friday and Saturday and both nights were superb. The afternoon tea was delicious! They catered for our dietary needs (coeliac) effortlessly. Nothing could've improved my stay. It was perfect.

 

Rating: 10/10 stars

SilverSmith

Stayed on

We loved

The peace and quiet was wonderful, as was the food. The afternoon tea with banana cake was sinful enough, and then they presented the salted caramel for dipping… genuine bliss.

Don’t expect

More staff in the bar during the day could perhaps be an improvement? But honestly, that's a minor point – we found the service really friendly.

Rating: 9/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

I liked the room and the view, and the staff and food were lovely.

Don’t expect

The food is a bit limited in choice and a bit too highbrow for me. There are only two bikes for hire, and I think they should have more.

Rating: 7/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

The superb food and amazing staff.

Don’t expect

Nothing.

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

I loved everything!

Don’t expect

Outdoor Heaters for drinks on the terrace at night would be a good addition.

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

The staff was very friendly and helpful. The room was amazing. The setting was quiet and peaceful. Can't wait to go back. Ten out of 10!

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

I liked how friendly the staff was and loved the setting and the peace and quiet. The whole place was amazing. Ten out of 10!

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

I loved the beautiful loft suite room, overlooking water meadow with evening sunshine on the veranda. I enjoyed the excellent food from the new chef.

Don’t expect

I would've liked early check-in.

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

This was a true gourmet break: we arrived for a beautifully intricate afternoon tea, inventive five-course dinner menu accompanied by an extensive wine list and delicious breakfast. The star course of the dinner was a buttermilk pannacotta with soft meringue and mint granita. The room was a refuge of calm, bright, light and spacious; the only reason to leave really was for food or a glass of wine on the terrace. I loved the details: Missoni bath robes, a carafe of sloe gin by the bed, a vast bath and light streaming through plantation shutters overlooking the mill pond where during our stay a pair of swans was happily cruising. And of course the exposed beams of the mill roof making it a fascinatingly architectural space.

Don’t expect

For a secluded neck of the woods the road was surprisingly noisy and is obviously a main route through to Bury St Edmunds so rush hour included lorries rattling past at the end of the day and in the morning, but the evening was much more peaceful.

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

The Mill Room was very spacious and felt comfortable. The large stone bath was an amazing little extra.

Don’t expect

The food menu I felt was limited, and slightly over priced. Road noise was a slight issue as the Mill Room overlooked the road (although this wouldn't be an issue for other rooms).

Rating: 9/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

I loved the food, the service was excellent and the setting was very peaceful.

Don’t expect

There seemed to be an issue with flies.

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

I liked the lovely food, excellent attentive service, sweet treats and sloe gin in the room!

Don’t expect

There was a bit of foot noise from the first-floor rooms but not so much that it spoiled the getaway.

Rating: 9/10 stars

SilverSmith

Stayed on

We loved

We loved the bath in the suite.

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

They really live up to their tag line: urban chic. Rooms are big, spacious, so comfortable and have lots of amenities (we stayed in Mill Stream). There are free bicycles to borrow, fully kitted out. I was very impressed. The great food is very creative. Overall, my stay was very relaxing and pampering.

Don’t expect

The staff was very friendly but lacked experience. Most questions couldn't be answered straight away but they always looked into it and responded. There are lovely grounds but, as mentioned by others, it is right on the road so a bit distracting while dining and I was glad our room was in the separate building where we couldn't hear anything. Food comes in small portions, as previously mentioned, for the price charged.

Rating: 9/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

Modern but still traditional, the mill is beautiful and our room was stylish and very relaxing. Service from everyone was exceptional.

Don’t expect

Perhaps a few more suggestions of things to do, places to see, would be good, but this is only a very small grumble

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

The Water Meadow Room we stayed in had a lovely view over the meadow and you could either open just the door or the whole glass panel. The room is spacious and light and even though I wouldn't normally say white walls are my taste it suited the room perfectly. The room has a feeling of calm; it's relaxing and very welcoming. There is also a switch-controlled blackout blind that's full length, which is handy if you want to leave the door open during the night. The bathroom is spacious with both a bath and separate shower area with all the toiletries you could wish for. The bed is very comfortable and the duvets and pillows are lovely. There is also a waterside area outside where the ducks and swans are a pleasure to watch. It is actually a stream but the water doesn't flow that quickly so it gives the impression of being a big pond or small lake area. The food was as I expected and very good. The staff are also very helpful and most pleasant and welcoming.

Don’t expect

It would have been nice if there were an openable window in the room – even though the folding glass panels were great, we're used to having a window open at night. However, we did lower the blackout blind to the floor and left the door open (without any wildlife entering our room). Breakfast was a lone kipper on a large plate, looking a bit lost – some sort of garnish or toast, etc, would have made it look more appealing. At the evening meal, a lack of vegetables with the deer made the meal very small and unbalanced. During our three-day stay we would have dined in the restaurant more often if the prices had not been so expensive: Two main courses and two desserts with one bottle of wine was almost £100.

Rating: 9/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

The staff were amazing and were happy to accomodate my partner's dietary needs. Our room was amazing: the little extra touches of everything in the room were free and the Apple TV was a bonus.

Don’t expect

I would only say that air conditioning would've been good as the loft was very warm when we arrived.

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

Comfort and excellent food and staff.

Don’t expect

Toothbrush holder.

Rating: 8/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

This hidden romantic gem in Suffolk is the perfect destination for a weekend away from busy London. We stayed in the main building and very much enjoyed our room, which was very stylish and peaceful. The restaurant and the chef deserve a special mention and are worth a trip! You should hurry up and book before the chef moves his talents to London. The breakfast was one of the best we've had in the countryside.

Rating: 9/10 stars

SilverSmith

Stayed on

We loved

Lovely big and super-comfy beds. Fabulous bathrooms with a great shower. Dog-friendly and loved the treats the hotel left for them.

Don’t expect

We wanted to leave the car, go for long walks with the dogs and perhaps visit a few pubs for drinks and food on the way. Nothing to do with the hotel, but in the area there is very little to do without driving as most pubs are closed, and the Mill ends up standing on it's own. The peace and quiet is a positive for us, but it did mean that two nights was enough, and at first we did question whether to cancel the second night. Pleased we didn't as we really did chill out and enjoy the food and wine of the Mill.

Rating: 7/10 stars