I have been visiting this place for years now - I tend to think of it by it's older name of Tickle Manor - a change of ownership has seen the name become Tickled Pink. I prefer Tickle Manor, but it remains my favourite tearooms to this day. A crooked little timber framed cottage jammed up in between two neighbouring houses, it is just the cutest place! Aim for one of the tables upstairs and try to get by the window that looks out over the street at the front. From here you can watch Lavenham go by, and admire the pink cotage 'Cordwainers' opposite as it leans over it's pretty gardens.
Tickled Pink likes to tease its visitors with a quaint tale of how it got its name from a Frenchman, M. Ticoleur, who resembled Oliver Cromwell and was tickled to death by a goose feather. This is all fairytale, but a funny one - the story is printed on the back of the menus.
Now, this is going to sound like an odd thing to recommend, but you must visit the bathroom! It is heavily beamed and the loo is wedged in a corner under a sloping roof - mind your head!
Favorite Dish: Tickle Manor used to specialise in fabulous ice creams, but alas those days are over. They do, however, continue to offer wonderful Poughmans Lunches, with fresh bread, cheese and pickle. This is where my Kiwi partner was introduced to his first taste of genuine Stilton cheese, and oh my word, what a fantastic lunch that was. Also baked potatoes with a good range of fillings. They make a really great pot of tea! One thing that hasn't changed in all the years I have been coming here is the way they serve the meals on beautiful Portmerion china. You may be inspired to visit one of the shops in the High Street, Martin Hoggs, and invest in a few peices.
On our visit to Lavenham the rain was threatening so we popped into The Swan for some lunch. The Swan is a luxury (renovated) 14th century hotel located on the main street. It is housed in one of those fabulous Tudor buildings which looks like it may fall down at any moment.
The hotel has a nice restaurant, though we just wanted a quick lunch, so chose to eat in the character-filled bar instead. The bar is very traditional looking, with a low wood-beamed ceiling and old-style seating.
Favorite Dish: Alex tried one of the local beers, and for lunch he had the Steak sandwich. I had a sandwich with Bacon, avocado and brie - tasty. I may have also helped Alex eat some of his hand-cut chips : )
The Cock pub is on the edge of Lavenham, right opposite the church. As there is a large free public carpark right behind the pub, it makes sense to park your car, enjoy Lavenham, then return for a beer and something to eat before going on your way. It is one of the few thatched buildings in the town (in fact, it may be the only one, I can't think of any others.) and it has a couple of relaxed bars inside and a nice beer garden. Nothing flash, you can get a perfectly good bar meal here along the lines of a steak, a ploughmans or scampi and chips.