It was a most enjoyble evening last Friday 17 November


where we met for the


We are all looking forward to our biennial

Lavenham Literary Festival in 2024.




Author and journalist

Carla Carlisle

was the guest speaker

at Lavenham Literary Festival’s popular annual Dinner.

In the picturesque Gallery Restaurant of the Swan Hotel,

after a delicious dinner,

Carla was very entertaining telling us about her early life in the US Deep South

and how she came to the UK and married an Englishman.

This is all chronicled in her latest book Another  Country.


Carla talked about Another Country, a collection of her recent articles in Country Life magazine which was published in September 2023. Since 1996 she has written about the divide between town and country, the New World and the Old, for that most English of publications. 

Many of you will know The Leaping Hare and Wyken’s glorious gardens, and may already be familiar with Carla’s regular columns.

Here is a taster of Carla's writing, her style and topics (click to read).

American-born Carla and her husband Kenneth live at Wyken Hall where she established and runs The Leaping Hare, a well-known restaurant, country store and vineyard. Carla has been short-listed for ‘Columnist of the Year’ and ‘Writer of the Year’ but so far she has only managed to win ‘English Wine of the Year’.


Below is a reminder of the 2022 Festival Dinner and Festival events

The 2022 Festival Dinner took place at The Swan at Lavenham. The audience was enthralled by none other than Kate Humble with her entertaining talk entitled "Sharks, Placenta and Chocolate Marmalade Cake".


The main Festival was opened by Tracy Borman with an informative and thrilling talk on her latest book Crown and Sceptre: A New History of the British Monarchy from William the Conqueror to Charles III

Here is a reminder of the exciting, varied and outstanding range of speakers who joined us.

Tom Henry


Simon Edge

Kate Humble

Tracy Borman

Kate Sawyer

Lisa Brennan

Rachel Joyce

Paul Venables

Dr Roopa Farooki

Catherine Larner

Alan Johnson

Lesley Dolphin

Andrew Lownie

Patrick Barkham

Lady Colin Campbell

Lavenham Buildings

Some quotes about past festivals:

Tracy Borman: This is my favourite Festival! I relished the chance to return to beautiful Lavenham, and this year’s Festival was even better than ever (if that’s possible!). It was wonderful to see so many people in the audience, and everyone I spoke to afterwards was lovely.

John Higgs: “A brilliant Festival. I enjoyed every moment of it!”

Toby Buchan: Lavenham Literary Festival gets some marvellous speakers and a lot of richly-deserved support, and I know just how much care and thought goes into the organisation of the event.”

Kate Mosse: One of my favourite events. I just love coming back to Lavenham.”