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AA Notable Wine List 2016-17
AA rating

About this rating

Restaurants are awarded from 1 to 5 Rosettes for culinary excellence. One Rosette restaurants are highly recommended in a local area and five Rosettes have reached the pinnacle of culinary excellence at a world class level.

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Inventive regional cooking and a waterwheel

AA Inspector

At a glance

Open all year
Vegetarian menu
Private dining
Wines by the glass
Service charge
Credit cards accepted

The 18th-century mill, augmented in the Victorian era by a steam engine and towering brick chimney, may have ended its grinding days in the 1950s, but its heritage remains intact at the present-day boutique hotel. For one thing, the fast-flowing stream that turned its waterwheel has been dredged of centuries of silt and is now a thriving wildlife habitat, while the majestic cast-iron wheel itself, framed by beams, glass walls and net curtains, forms a diverting centrepiece to the first-floor restaurant. This is what you might call a USP. It's a setting that seems to demand cooking with plenty of personality of its own, and fortunately, in head chef Lee Bye, a country boy with an instinctive feel for the surrounding region, that department is capably taken care of. The confident style may be seen to striking effect in an opener of seared wood-pigeon with crunchy Roscoff onion, silky girolles and dazzling pumpkin purée, the whole dish unified with a rich chicken jus. An alternative could be a little cauldron of plump mussels in St Edmund's golden ale with crispy kale and garlic, before the main business turns to stone bass in Debenham cider with seaweed butter and lovage, or well-rendered pink lamb rump with a yogurt-laced meatball ragout and pickled courgette. Sticklers for tradition will relish the prospect of a judiciously timed Angus bavette steak garnished with a walloping great king oyster mushroom, bone marrow, a clump of watercress and chips, while vegetarians set about fenland cauliflower risotto with Bosworth Ash goats' cheese, salsify and raw pear. Texturally varied dessert enticements might take in sea buckthorn curd with Italian meringue, clementine sorbet and blueberries, adorned with crunchy oats, or buttermilk pannacotta with pistachio granola and poached Discovery apple, and for the less sweet of tooth, fine British artisanal cheeses come with Garibaldi biscuits and chutney. At the outset of proceedings, appetisers run witty variations on cauliflower cheese and pork scratchings, and the barley malt bread is not to be missed either. The five-course tasting menu offers a leisurely-paced tour through Bye's versatile repertoire. Those lucky enough to be staying over can count on fortifying breakfasts into the bargain, built around Dingley Dell pork sausages, locally smoked kippers, and Goosnargh yogurt topped with almond granola. Completing the deal – though not perhaps for breakfast – is an outstanding wine list of resourceful scope, filled with mature vintages of the classics, but with plenty of modern gear too. A list that can find room for Slovene Malvasia, Chilean Carmenère and Suffolk Pinot Noir among wines by the glass is one that has its heart in the right place.

Also at this location

Opening hours

  • Open all year
  • Lunch served from: 12
  • Lunch served until: 2.15
  • Dinner served from: 6.30
  • Dinner served until: 9.15

Chef

  • Chef: Lee Bye

Food and drink

  • Cuisine style: Modern British
  • Vegetarian menu
  • Wines under £30: 33
  • Wines over £30: 138
  • Wines by the glass: 13

Price guide

  • Starter from 7.50
  • Main course from19.50
  • Dessert from8.50
  • 2-course lunch from17.50
  • 3-course lunch from22.50
  • Service charge
  • Credit cards accepted

Accessibility

  • Steps for wheelchair: 18
  • Accessible toilets

Facilities

  • Seats: 54
  • Private dining available
  • Private dining seats: 36
  • On-site parking available

Additional information

  • Seats: 54
  • Private dining available
  • Private dining seats: 36

Getting here

M11 junction 9 towards Newmarket, then A14 exit junction 38 in direction of Norwich. Turn right at Herringswell road

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Nearest train station

Newmarket
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Three-course lunch from£22.50**Based on the minimum price for a 3-course lunch *Based on the minimum price for a 3-course lunch
*Based on the minimum price for a 3-course lunch
*Based on the minimum price for a 3-course lunch
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