The Street, WESTLETON, Nr Southwold, IP17 3AD
Opposite the churchyard, this red-brick, former coaching inn is essentially 18th century, although some sources say its origins are considerably older. The RSPB's Minsmere coastal nature reserve is about two miles away, and Suffolk's glorious Heritage Coast is also within easy reach. The pub retains plenty of character and rustic charm, complemented by all the comforts of contemporary living. In addition to winter real log fires, you'll find locally brewed ales, including Brandon Rusty Bucket and Adnams Southwold Bitter, as well as a good wine list, with 20 available by the glass. The 'hearty' and 'sophisticated' food, to quote the Crown, includes daily specials and classic dishes, freshly prepared from top local produce, all on the menu in the cosy, dog-friendly bar, the elegant dining room, and the garden room. Sandwiches are made with home-baked bread. A more substantial meal might comprise pressed ham hock terrine, spiced plum chutney and toasted brioche; Moroccan braised lamb shank, coriander couscous and vegetable tagine; or grilled fillet of sea bass, herb-crushed new potatoes, ratatouille and basil pesto; followed perhaps by warm ginger pudding, kumquat confit, vanilla ice cream and toffee sauce. For vegetarians, perhaps four-cheese macaroni with sautéed wild mushrooms; or sweet potato, baby spinach, parmesan and wild rocket risotto. Retire to one of the 34 comfortably and individually styled bedrooms. Outside, the large terraced gardens are floodlit in the evening.