Dunwich was at one time a medieval port of some size and importance, but the original village was virtually destroyed by a terrible storm in 1326. Further storms and erosion followed and now the place is little more than a hamlet beside a shingle beach. Two minutes’ stroll from the briny, the Ship at Dunwich is a well-loved old smugglers’ inn overlooking the salt marshes and sea; today it’s popular with walkers and birdwatchers visiting the nearby RSPB Minsmere reserve. The Ship keeps Dunwich on the map with its ancient fig tree in the garden, hearty meals, and ales from Brandon’s, Earl Soham and Green Jack – to name just three of the local brews on offer; look out for ale festivals held on bank holiday Sundays. The delightfully unspoilt public bar appeals with nautical bric-à-brac, a wood-burning stove in a huge fireplace, flagged floors and simple wooden furnishings. The Ship is locally renowned for its fish and chips, which include a choice of cod, whiting, plaice or hake. Beetroot and vodka home-cured salmon with beetroot relish, horseradish cream, house bread and Charlie’s leaves is tempting. Or skip the starter for a reed cutter’s platter: a delicious plate of Blythburgh free-range baked ham, Suffolk Shipcord or Binham Blue cheese with pickles, coleslaw, dressed salad and crusty roll. Hot dishes include slow-cooked Blythburgh pork belly with leek gratin, Lyonnaise potatoes, apple and date purée and red wine gravy. Desserts continue in similar robust vein – Colin’s sticky toffee pudding with custard, cream or ice cream is one example.