The Salthouse Harbour Hotel and Restaurant is a one of a kind, magical fairytale of a hotel and proof that the star rating system we have in this country is flawed. Although rated 4* this Hotel is way above and beyond any 4* I have ever stayed in and better than most 5* hotels in both its accommodation, service and food. The Salthouse is situated on the Northern tip of the River Orwell, in the heart of Ipswich`s up and coming waterfront marina complex. It has a selection of modern delux rooms and suites and boasts one of the best restaurants that Ipswich has to offer.
When you pull up at the hotel entrance the first thing that you cant fail to notice is the floor to ceiling mural on the wall opposite the foyer. Specially commissioned by SPQR, a well known urban artist this is a life size painting of a zebra with a convict riding on its back and just a taste of whats to come inside the hotel. Every wall, nook and cranny of the Salthouse is bedecked in the most eclectic, unique and fascinating selection of artwork, from life size wire sculptures to sparkling antler heads and silicone paintings. Staying at this hotel is like overnighting in a modern art gallery but one where you can enjoy a relaxing soak in a stand alone copper bath whilst over looking a marina and with a bottle of (very reasonably priced) champagne! The designer of the hotel has thought about every inch of space and item that fills it and has somehow created a warm, welcoming and elegant atmosphere in a very fun and quirky way.
We stayed in one of the Sail Loft Marina rooms, a stunning spacious room with a large king size bed, copper bath and views over the marina, which was filled with more pieces of intriguing and stunning art. After an afternoon relaxing in the room we went downstairs to the Restaurant which turned out to be the cherry on the cake as we feasted on some of the best food we have had for a very long time. I could have ordered every item on the menu as it all sounded so mouth-wateringly tempting but in the end I opted for the `Breast of partridge on a blackberry jam with crispy thyme scented polenta, parsnip crisps, chestnut puree and medley of wild mushrooms` followed by the `Skate wing with caper butter sauce` Special. Both were stunning and as delicious as they sounded, the Chef here really knows what he is doing and how to combine flavours with a unique flair. Paired with an extensive wine list to cater for every possible palate and pairing this really was an incredible dining experience and one not to be missed if you are in the area.
So if you want to treat yourself and your senses to a weekend of pleasure and indulgence for the eyes, tastebuds and mind, the Salthouse Harbour Hotel is a surefire winner.
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