Please bear in mind the whole site is a no-smoking zone, including just outside the Garden and Terrace rooms, as the smoke can offend your neighbours. The two large teak tables on the terrace are designated for smokers.
The Crown and Castle’s external line is 01394 450205. To make an outside call, dial 9 and wait for the tone to change. The minimum rate per minute for an outside call is 20p but we make no charge at all if the total of your calls during your stay is less than a £1 or so.
To contact reception during lunch and dinner please dial 200. To contact reception at any other time, please dial 243, To call another guest’s room, prefix their room number with 20 if a single digit room or 2 if a double-digit room i.e. room 7 is 207; room 21 is 221.
The surgery in Orford is located at Chapman House, Rectory Road – 01394 450315. The opening hours are Monday 8.00am to 6.30pm; Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, 8.00am to 1.00pm. Otherwise it is closed but there is a local minor injuries surgery at Framfield medical centre, Ipswich Road, Woodbridge IP12 4FD, phone 01394 615500. Out of hours, take a deep breath and telephone NHS Suffolk 111 or, of course, 999 in a real emergency. (There is a defibrillator at the Fire Station which can be released via a code given by the ambulance service.)
Infuriating as false alarms are, PLEASE do not try to remove or reset the smoke detectors if the alarm goes off. The system is computerised and complex, and it takes a couple of minutes to locate the correct zone and to switch the alarms off. If the units are tampered with it will set off EVERY alarm in the building all over again so nothing is gained anyway!
Please check the details of your nearest escape route and follow the instructions. If you are hard of hearing or incapacitated in any way, please let reception know on arrival so we can supply the appropriate aids and/or help from our staff should the need arise. A weekly fire alarm test is carried out, but we will give you forewarning.
At long last we have fibre optic cabling in the village and FTTC (fibre-to-the-cabinet) has now been installed at the hotel. This had increased our bandwidth from less than 1 megabyte to 30-50 megabytes. Please bear in mind that it’s still not always man enough for streaming or downloading big HD files, depending on how many guests are using it. There is no password required to access the WIFI, just select Crown and Castle from the options given.
MOBILE PHONES, TABLETS, ETC.
Please try to refrain from using any technical wizardry in the restaurant or the bar during meal times, unless you are on your own and the device is being used purely as an e-reader. We’d like you to enjoy each other’s company!
NIGHT SERVICE AND EMERGENCIES
Please dial 239 to access Bill, our night duty manager. On his nights off, a member of staff sleeps in the duty room and can be roused by phoning 242. If there is no answer, then dial 9, and 450205 or 459206.
ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE
Departure is by 11.00am unless a later time has been agreed with reception. Please let us know if you are planning to depart before 8.00am so we can make arrangements for a light breakfast tray. In the unfortunate circumstance that guests have to cut short their stay the full cost of B & B accommodation for that night, and any following nights that may be applicable, will be charged. Of course, if we can re-let the room, these charges will be immediately reimbursed.
FOOD AND DRINK SERVICE
Breakfast in your room - Breakfast can be served in your room from 8.00am to 10.00am. Please order at reception the evening before if timing is of the essence but if you are not worried when it arrives, then please feel free to order it in the morning.
Breakfast in the restaurant - Full English breakfast is served from 8.00am with last orders at 10.00am, we will ask for your preferred arrival time on check in. No buffet, everything is cooked to order.
Dinner - Is at either 6:30pm or 8:15pm, this is so we can effectively social distance. N.B., We always confirm your pre-arranged dinner time when you check in. Please note due to reduced restaurant capacity we cannot always fulfil last minute bookings and booking in advance of arrival it always preferable.
Tea and Coffee - There are tea and coffee-making facilities in your room. The flask of fresh milk is replaced at 2.00pm daily but if you need more in the meantime please call reception and we will bring some to your room. Chargeable tea, coffee are available in the bar and on the terrace during the day.
Drinks - The bar is open all day to resident guests with last orders at 11.00pm. You are welcome to take drinks to your room. If you bring your own drink and ask us to supply ice, glasses etc. there can be a charge of £10. In the restaurant by prior arrangement, the corkage charge is £15 for sparkling wines and champagne and £10 for still wines.
ALLERGIES AND INTOLERANCES
We stock many gluten-free and dairy-free products as a matter of course and are happy to guide those with intolerances through the menus to avoid eating foods that disagree with them. We do have a separate menu available with extra vegetarian and vegan options available. Advance warning is always most helpful.
However, as we say on our website, we are not able to cater for life-threatening allergies, e.g. nuts, as we cannot provide sterile preparation areas.
LATE NIGHT ACCESS
If you are staying in the main building and think you may be returning later than 10.00pm please ask at reception for a key to the back door.
ROOM TERMS AND RATES
There are many packages and rates available at any one time. If you are in any doubt, especially with regards to dinner allocation, please check with one of our nice receptionists for clarification.
CREDIT AND CURRENCY FACILITIES
We accept Visa, Mastercard and debit cards. We do not take American Express or Cheques.
We have a decent selection of DVDs for guests to borrow at reception. The list of titles is at the back of this folder. To play a DVD use the slot in the right-hand side of the TV, except if you are in rooms 10 and 11.
We currently aren’t providing a copy of the I. However, for guests who wish to use vouchers or buy their own newspaper, the kiosk is available inside the Town Hall – the big red-brick building just past the Oysterage on the right-hand side of the market square.
BLANKETS AND PILLOWS
We can make up your bed with blankets and sheets, if requested. Our pillows are anti-allergy hollow fibre pillows – one puffier than the other, deliberately – but we can provide feather pillows or an orthopaedic pillow, if preferred. You should find two spare pillows in the chest (garden rooms) or wardrobe (other rooms).
Waffle dressing gowns are available at reception. Should you wish to keep one, or inadvertently pack and not wish to return one, they are charged at £25 per gown.
The odd forgotten item, such as lens cleaner, toothbrush, shaving foam etc, is available at the main reception. Please feel free to take any soap or toiletries home with you. If you wish to buy more of the wonderful grapefruit soap, the big bars are available at reception for £5.00 each and the small bars for £2.00 each.
If you would feel more secure with a rubber bath mat in the bath or shower you will find one already present in the bathroom. If it’s missing, please ask for one to be brought to your room. We also have a Stick ‘n Stay grab handle available should you wish for extra security in the shower.
LOO BRUSH (yes, an odd subject but the question has come up!)
As they are not objects of beauty we do not leave then in the guest’s bathrooms but if you would like one delivered to your room at any time, please do not hesitate to ring reception.
You will find hair dryer in the top drawer of the dresser (garden rooms), or in the cupboard (main building). There is a plug next to the long mirror so you can see what you are doing.
Please ask at reception if you need more hangers in your room.
IRONING, LAUNDRY AND DRYING FACILITIES
We can iron any crumpled garment until 4.00pm, when our housekeeping staff leave. Otherwise, please call reception for an iron and ironing board to be brought to your room. We do not offer a formal laundry service but in an emergency, we are happy to wash the odd item. Should you wish to dry golfing, walking or any other damp outer clothing, please ask at reception. We can put appropriate items in the tumble dryer or hang up other garments to dry.
We are happy to store drugs (legal ones, not crack cocaine) food purchases, freezer blocks or dog food in one of our fridges or freezers. Please hand items that need chilling to a receptionist.
If you have forgotten your spectacles, please ask to borrow a pair – we keep a selection.
We have two pairs of decent 8 x 32 DCF waterproof binoculars at reception that can be borrowed against a returnable £75 deposit.
we love well-behaved dogs and we love thoughtful owners even more!
If you wish to bring your dog up to the hotel at meal-times we have one ‘doggie’ table (30), just by the hall fireplace that can be reserved at either 6.30pm or 8.30pm.
A tap, hose and water bowl are located under the Parlour window. Please slosh muddy dogs (especially spaniels) before returning them to your room. Call in at reception and ask for more dog towels on your way, so comfort and warmth can be instantly applied to the shivering victim.
If your retriever has retrieved something from a muddy part of Orford or brought some sort of stick back, please ask them to leave it outside.
The bed cover supplied is to protect the white duvet covers from being irreparably damaged by muddy paw prints. Please make sure dogs do not come into contact with them or the white bath towels. Please also keep food bowls and water bowls on the tray provided.
Please clean up after your dog: the disposal bin can be found on the far end wall of the garden rooms, along with more plastic bags.
It would help enormously if you could let us know immediately if any accidents occur so we can clean them up before they stain irrevocably. We reserve the right to apply an appropriate charge for cleaning and replacement (if required).
Reverend Giles Tulk, Team Rector of St. Bartholomew’s (C of E) in Orford, can be contacted on 01394 450610. Please check on the website or church board for times of services.
The nearest Roman Catholic church is St. Thomas’s, St John’s Street, Woodbridge – 01394 383551. Mass on Saturday evening starts at 6.00pm and the Sunday service starts at 11.00am. If you need a priest urgently, call Father Edmund Eggleston on 01394 388828.
The nearest Methodist church is on Broad Street in Orford, with the Sunday service starting at 10.30am.
HOLE IN THE WALL (ATM)
24-hour cash machines are located at the Woodbridge branches of Barclays, Lloyds and HSBC. Orford Village stores has a cash back facility.
Olive Dental Practice, High Street, Saxmindham - 01728 602537
Island House Dental Care, Woodbridge - 01394 388088
Steven Dewbery, Quary Street, Woodbridge - 01394 385130
Specsavers, Woodbridge - 01394 615300
Smith, Ryder-Davies and Partners, Woodbridge - 01394 380083
Rendlesham - 01394 420964
Fromus Veterinary Group, Saxmundham - 01728 602599
NEARBY SITES OF INTEREST
Orford Ness, National Trust
The Ness is an extraordinary, 12-mile long shingle spit that was used for much of the twentieth century by the MoD to test weapons, including the stability of nuclear bombs. It is now a wild life haven with wilfully odd opening times.
Built as a coastal defence in the C12th by Henry II, this is a near perfect example of a Norman keep, with panoramic views over the estuary. Currently the castle is open Wednesday to Sunday 10:00am till 3:00pm. Bookings in advance must be made to avoid disappointment. Dogs (not just guide dogs) are allowed in unless the castle is very busy.
RSPB Havergate Island Sanctuary
Havergate Island is the only island in Suffolk, and home to Britain’s largest colony of avocets, plus many other wading birds, including breeding terns, brown hares and other delights. Access is via boat on pre-booked trips only – and you need to be able-bodies. Boats leave Orford Quay at 10.00am on the first Saturday of every month, except for May – July. No Dogs.
Off the B1083 just this side of Woodbridge, Sutton Hoo is the burial ground of the Anglo-Saxon ‘kings’ of East Anglia. The site has just reopened after a multi-million-pound refurbishment. It is open 10.00am – 5.00pm every day until the end of October, after which it closes at 4.00pm. to visit Sutton Hoo, bookings must be made in advance (before 3pm the previous day)
Minsmere RSPB Nature Reserve, Westleton
The reserve is situated on the coast, north of Orford and offers both families and birdwatchers a great day out. There are nature trails, bird-watching, a wealth of wildlife and a brand-new visitor centre. The reserve is open daily from dawn to dusk (except 25th and 26th December). The visitor centre is open from 9.00am until 5.00pm until the end of October. Please note dogs are only allowed in the car park, not on the nature trails or in the reserve itself.
Boyton and Hollesley Marshes
As an alternative to Minsmere, one of our regular guests very kindly gave us information on this walk during which you may well see anything from avocets to glossy ibis, spoonbill and black-winged stilts. For full information of how to do the walk, please ask reception for a copy of the itinerary.
The Red House, Golf Lane, Aldeburgh IP15 5PZ
Closed for the winter and reopening in spring 2019, the Red House was lived in by the composer, Benjamin Britten and his partner, the tenor Peter Pears. Visitors may explore the exhibition space, visit the library and studio, and walk around the garden. The whole site, including the house itself, is open from Thursday to Sunday between the hours of 11:00am to 3:00pm. Tickets are £8.50 which are valid for a year.
Built in the C12th by the Bigod family (Earls of Norfolk), it is one of the finest examples of a curtain walled castle – and you don’t have to like Ed Sheeran to enjoy walking around the ramparts. There are fabulous views. The opening times do generally echo Orford Castle but, happily, Framlingham Castle is open from 27th December to New Year’s Day from 10.00 to 4.00pm. Dogs are not permitted as the ramparts are not suitable for them. Please note, you must book in advance to visit.
WALKING AND MAPS
This area provides marvelous walking, whether it’s by the river, across the marshes or through the forest. We have a good selection of walking, cycling and places-of-interest maps at reception. They range from a free A4 sheet to nice hand-drawn maps (£3.00) and more detailed, illustrated maps that can be borrowed against a returnable £10 deposit.
For walkers, the Butley Ferry is now working and open on weekends until October. Crossings are not bookable, but if the weather is dodgy and you want to confirm the ferry is operating, the voicemail message on the mobile number 07913 672499 will tell you what’s happening. There is a small charge for people and bikes, but dogs go free (or they can always swim across).
Church Garage, Snape (at the crossroads) - 01728 688327.
Open Monday – Friday 7.30am – 9.00pm / Saturday and Sunday 9.00am – 9.30pm. It also offer a vehicle breakdown recovery during opening times.
The nearest railway station is Woodbridge (20 minutes’ drive away) with a regular service to London Liverpool Street, via Ipswich. Trains depart roughly every hour throughout the day. Northbound there are services to Lowestoft, Norwich and Great Yarmouth.
M&R have a rank at Woodbridge Railway station which is useful for guests arriving by train. To return, it is cheaper to hire Castle Cars as they are based in Orford.
M & R Cars - 01394 386661 or Castle Cars - 01394 459447
Orford village stores, Front Street
The shop is now around the other side of the building and is considerably smaller than it was. However, it is also open more which is a good thing. It is now open every day from 8.30am to 5.30pm, except Sundays when is open from 10.00am to 4.00pm. You can use your debit card to withdraw money at the P.O counter.
The Meat Shed, Baker’s lane
A survivor of the hard pruning of the old Village Stores, Andrew has reopened his butcher’s shop in the tiny lane two up on the right, going towards the Town Hall from the C & C. He will be glad of your support.
Pump Street Bakery, Market Hill
Open Wednesday to Saturday from 9.00am – 2.00pm and on Sunday from 10.00am to 2.00pm. It is currently just for takeaway bread and pastries. They have rightly earned a national reputation for superb bread, doughnuts, Eccles cakes, sausage rolls, cake etc., and have a lovely room with a communal table for eating good home-made snacks and real coffee.
Pinney’s smoked fish shop, Quay Street
Open Monday to Friday from 10.00am to 4.30pm; Saturdays 9.00am to 4.30pm and on Sundays 10.00am to 4.00pm for excellent smoked fish and, of course, oysters from the river.
The various shops, galleries, tea shop, café and pub are housed in the converted C19th maltings and the whole site is now owned and run by Aldeburgh music. Open daily from 10.00am – 5.30pm except for Sundays when is closes at 4.30pm (5.00pm in winter), there are also wonderful walks along the river to Iken.
High House Farm, Sudbourne
Piers and Suvi Poole own this lovely, principled fruit farm. They supply us with our discovery breakfast apple juice and seasonal fruits, as well as the fantastic loganberry jam we serve at breakfast. Leave the village, turn right at the crossroads and follow the signs for about 1.5 miles.
Friday Street Farm Shop
A huge shop selling a vast range of local produce from eggs, cream, chicken and bacon to organic vegetables and herbs. There is also a traditional fishmonger’s and butcher’s shop. It is open every day from 9.30am to 5.30pm and can be found at the junction of the Snape road and the A12.
The nearest supermarket is Waitrose in Saxmundham. It is open from 8.00am to 8.00pm every day except Friday when it closes at 9.00pm, and Sunday when the hours are 10.00am to 4.00pm. A large Tesco at Martlesham Heath is open 24/7 except for Sunday evening.
The Walled Garden, Park Road, Benhall
A very satisfactory nursery in a delightful walled garden (hence the name), Jim and Marion (owners) specialise in shrubs and perennials and stock a good dry/shade range. Opening hours are 9.30am – 5.00pm Tuesday to Sunday.
Wooten’s Nurseries, Wenhaston
The nursery is now in the hands of some Loftus ex-employees. They trade from the old iris fields, just around the corner from the old nursery. Although they are running lots of events, open days and courses throughout the year (please see their leaflet at reception) they are only open on the first weekend of each month from March – November for actual purchasing but you can buy online at any time.
Please phone for green fees, accessibility, terms, etc.
Thorpeness Golf Club - 01728 454926
Aldeburgh Golf Club - 01728 453309
Woodbridge Golf Club - 01394 383213
Regardless (Orford Marine Services)
In theory, the good ship Regardless (open-topped and dog friendly) runs on the hour between 11.00am and 4.00pm. Everything depends on season, weather, tides, numbers and if the boat has broken down so we advise to always check first. We are happy to do this for you.
Lady Florence - 07831 698298
As booking terms are complex, and involve meals, please address any queries to them directly.
TOURIST INFORMATION CENTRES
Woodbridge Tourist Information Office - 01394 382240
Aldeburgh Tourist Information Office - 01728 453637
THE CROWN AND CASTLE’S MANAGEMENT TEAM
There is always a Duty Manager available to help; please see the notice on the reception desk in the main building.
General manager – John Morrell
Assistant manager – Danielle Ham
Restaurant manager – Maciej Karendys
Head chef – Jake Lawrence
Reception – Leah Bridges, Mel Hawes
We hope you enjoy your stay and promise to do everything we can to ensure that is the case.
We have lots of policies currently in place to keep everyone safe, including ourselves. We kindly ask that in all public spaces a face mask is worn unless eating or drinking. We also have a one-way system through the main house, the entrance being the back door and the exit the front door. Please be careful when exiting, as the front door does open out onto a road frequently used by tractors. We have multiple hand sanitizing stations which we ask you to use when entering the building and before entering the restaurant.
We have made a few changes to housekeeping. Daily housekeeping for residents staying more than one night will only be completed on request. We are of course happy to do this for you, we just ask you to arrange this with reception. To avoid going into your room we always have an array of fresh, fluffy towels, toiletries, tea and coffee to hand please just ask reception. We have moved check out time forward to 11am to allow the housekeeping team extra time to a thorough clean of the rooms.
We have made a few changes to the way services run in the restaurant. In terms of dinner, we offer two sittings (6.30pm or 8.15pm) this helps us to run at half capacity with the appropriate distance between tables.
We operate a similar system for breakfast (sittings of 8-8.30am or 9.30-10am) to avoid the traditional last -minute rush! We will ask your preference of time on check-in.
The bar and terrace are open for drinks however the bar seating area is somewhat smaller than before lockdown. Please arrive in plenty of time to guarantee a table. If the bar is full we are always happy to deliver a drink to your room or terrace on request.