Eating and drinking
Suffolk is fast gaining a reputation for artisan food and drink with many emerging as well established great producers. We are well served by local pubs and riverside restaurants and there's lots of information once you arrive about where to go (and we're always happy to advise on our current favourites). This selection of a few local eateries - for different occasions - should give you a flavour of what's here.
The Racehorse Inn in the village is closed at the moment - the nearest pub is the Huntsman and Hounds in Spexhall (on the main road between Halesworth and Bungay). Slightly further away (3 miles) is the Triple Plea in Halesworth - a lovely quiet bike ride south on the cycle route that runs past the gate. Both do decent food and have some outside space.
The White Hart at Blythburgh is amongst our favourites - good food and a fab location with a large beer garden overlooking the Blyth estuary (albeit on the A12). There's a footpath at the end of the beer garden from which you can walk down the estuary and return to excellent food in the bar area or the restaurant or sit outside and enjoy views over the estuary. You'll need to book for busy weekends 01502 478217
Our favourite new Halesworth haunt is de Argentiens at Ancient House which is brand new and great fun! It's a gin-cum-wine bar and food place in a very old building right in the heart of Halesworth. Delightfully welcoming, lots of character and excellent drinks. At the time of writing (the very end of 2017) they hadn't started their food menu, so we can't answer for the quality yet but given the excellence of their wine and gin list and the care with which they've restored this lovely old building, it promises to be good! Booking likely to be recommended... And if you fancy borrowing the bikes, it's a lovely 3 mile cycle ride, mostly on quiet back routes.
You should also check out The Boarding House in Halesworth for excellent dining. More suited to couples looking for an interesting eating experience in the evenings than for families with children (though they also have an excellent lunchtime menu and in summer there's a lovely walled garden with tables set out on the grass and chickens, which kids love). Tyler and Pauline, who run The Boarding House, also host art exhibitions in the restaurant, so there's plenty to look at besides the interesting menu and wine list with lots of local produce and excellent local wine as well as a good choice from further afield.
The Queen’s Head at Blyford has been a real treat with great food, specialising in well cooked and imaginatively presented local food and is well worth trying. There's a large beer garden which is great in summer or good weather though the pub is small inside, so book ahead if you want to be sure of a table inside. About 5 miles away, it makes for a lovely bike ride.
Baileys of Beccles is a great deli during the day and is now open for Spanish inspired eating in the evening at weekends. Highly recommended (for more inspiration see the entry under the Trips section!) 01502 710609
The Star Inn at Wenhaston is a great traditional local pub with a great atmosphere, deservedly winner of Suffolk Camra's Rural Pub of the year 2015 and 2016 01502 478240
The Ship at Dunwich is well worth a visit for the good locally sourced seasonal produce as well as the proper pub interior and good friendly service - there's a lovely open fire in winter and a big terraced garden in the summer. It gets busy though in the height of the season 01728 648219
The Harbour Inn at Southwold down by the stuary is a lovely place to eat at any time of the year. Great food with a range of different spaces to eat - large grassed area with picnic tables out at the back; a raised paved platform up top and lots of quirky rooms inside. It's very popular in the height of summer! 01502 722381
Valley Farm Vineyards in Wissett is an award-winning local vineyard offering self-guided tours as well as (pre-bookable) tastings. Under new ownership, the Vineyard is beginning to get quite a name for itself, the owners are very welcoming and it is a gentle bike ride away! The newly re-opened Plough at Wissett would make a good stop for lunch if you fancied making a day of it 01986 873047
The Castle Inn in Bungay has good local food and themed food evenings - this is more a restaurant than a pub 01986 892287. They're rather pleased to have had a 4* review by AA Gill (stuck behind a paywall, but you can see a copy of it here on the Castle Inn FB page) If pizza is more your style - and you don't want to make your own on our cob oven - under the same management is Suffolk Stonehouse Pizza also in Bungay. It's a small, cosy restaurant - great fun, with plenty of local produce and imaginatively named toppings 01986 894553
A visit to Walberwick should definitely include a visit to The Bell Inn, a quaint pub with plenty of space for inside eating as well as a large beer garden from which you can see the sea; a very easy place to drop in for food or a drink 01502 723109
The Eel's Foot at Eastbridge is a good local pub if you are visiting RSPB Minsmere - great food, lovely setting and you can do some really good walks from there (into Minsmere and across to the beach and heath at Dunwich). They also offer cycle hire and there's some quiet lanes to explore down towards Snape Maltings 01728 830154
If you are visiting Norwich, check out The Bicycle Shop on St Benedict's Street- it's a great place to eat and people watch! Very popular, good simple food and great music in a separate space downstairs. It's small though so call ahead to book or check what's on 01603 625777
For a good walk/cafe/plant pitstop, check out Dingle Hill Tea Rooms and nursery. There's lots of outdoor seating, it's child-friendly and a beautiful spot to start or finish a walk around Dingle Marshes and Dunwich. It's one of our favourites! 01728 648872
In case you hadn't noticed, we attach great importance to good food! There's lots of good local produce around and we love seeing people cooking here and trying out different things. There's a range of things to pick on-site from our own veg and fruit troughs dotted around the barn and we are always happy to recommend good places to shop for some of the best produce that Suffolk has to offer!