Idyllic Essex – a weekend escape

Escape to idyllic coastal Essex for the perfect autumnal weekend away, with world-class music, as part of Roman River Music’s Festival ‘17. From Brahms to Biber, Pritchard to Prokofiev, an indulgent weekend of classics awaits you. Explore Essex hidden gems, its beautiful autumnal sunlight, local produce and fresh sea air.

On Friday evening, enjoy dinner at the sensational gastropub the Sun Inn, Dedham, then head to St Mary’s Church for 8pm to hear Mendelssohn’s Octet, Strauss’ Sextet from Capriccio and more by members of the ground-breaking multi-ethnic group Chineke!, some of the country’s leading established players and Clio Gould.

Stay the night in the beautiful rooms at the Sun Inn and, if you feel like it, an early morning walk along the stunning Dedham Vale, Constable country.

Saturday morning, enjoy the magical sounds of solo violinist Harriet Mackenzie including Bach, Prokofiev and the fascinating graphic scores of Deborah Pritchard, in the tiny, beautiful Abberton Church with a sea view overlooking Mersea island.

In the afternoon, take lunch at the Black Buoy on the quayside at Wivenhoe, followed by Debussy’s La Mer and some fresh new work by Sally Beamish, played by the amazing Trio Apaches piano trio in Wivenhoe’s medieval church.

Saturday evening, superstar pianist Benjamin Grosvenor plays Brahms, Debussy, Ravel and more in a perfect, intimate recital venue Fordham Church

On Sunday morning, start the day with Quartets by Mozart, Vaughan Williams and Britten, featuring 26-year-old star oboist Tristan Cox, among the light, whitewashed medieval walls of Fingringhoe Church. Fresh seafood awaits for lunch, at the world-famous Company Shed on Mersea Island, or try the Whalebone or Peldon Rose pubs.

Sunday afternoon, stroll along the beautiful seawalls or explore the coastal nature reserve at Fingringhoe Wick or Abberton reservoir, and finish with baroque arias and sonatas from rising star violinist Bojan Cicic at 6pm in Copford Church’s atmospheric, candlelit stunning interior, full of medieval frescoes.

The Sun Inn, Dedham, CO7 6DF. 01206 323351. thesuninndedham.com

The Black Buoy, Wivenhoe, CO7 9BS. 01206 822425. blackbuoy.co.uk

The Company Shed, West Mersea, CO5 8PA. 01206 382700. thecompanyshed.co

The Whalebone, Fingringhoe, CO5 7BG. 01206 729307. thewhaleboneinn.co.uk

The Peldon Rose, Peldon, CO5 7QJ. 01206 735373. thepeldonrose.co.uk

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