Seafront cafes and quaint afternoon tea shops - your guide to the gastronomical delights of the Suffolk Coast
PUBLISHED: 15:01 10 August 2016 | UPDATED: 15:01 10 August 2016
With so much to see and do on the Suffolk coast, a day trip is just never long enough - so why not make a weekend of it? Or even book a week-long holiday?
This summer the team at The Suffolk Coast have compiled some essential guides to this picturesque stretch of the British seaside, helping residents and holidaymakers make the most of our coastline.
Great Pub Food
Pub grub is the perfect sustenance for a day on the coast, and the this is the ideal place to start our tour of the top eateries on the Suffolk Coast.
Whether you are looking for good quality, home cooked food, a ‘gastro pub’ experience or the convivial atmosphere of a country pub, there is a place for you.
The Sweffling White Horse – the pub with no bar - serves handmade food using local, fantastic quality, full-flavoured free-range ingredients. Adding their extensive range of local brewed real ales and traditional village pub atmosphere and you have a great mix.
Close to Halesworth is The King’s Head (The Low House) at Laxfield. The new management team have brought fantastic food to marry up with the local beers served straight from the barrel.
Whether it’s a hearty breakfast, a simple lunchtime snack, a relaxed meal with friends, indulgent dinner or traditional Sunday roast, you can be sure of a great meal at The Westleton Crown and at The Ufford Crown, near Woodbridge, you will be treated to delicious daily changing menu, plus it’s family and very dog friendly and Michelin recommended. What more could you want!
Meanwhile, down on the coast at Felixstowe, you can enjoy great views of this super-busy port from the View Point Café. This warm and friendly café with both indoor and outdoor seating serves all day breakfasts, snacks, fish and chips, ‘dish of the day’, cakes, ice cream, teas and coffees.
At the Two Magpies Bakery & Cafe in Southwold the sound of happy chatter and frothing milk greets you at the door, along with the sweet scent of cakes, the homely smell of freshly baked bread and the aroma of what can only be described as “really good coffee.”
Just a stone’s throw from Felixstowe Beach, South Kiosk at Martello Park is known as a ‘great little find’ on TripAdvisor, serving home-made baked goods and cake. Make sure you sample the delicious sausage rolls and delectable cakes including lime and coconut, coffee and walnut, toffee apple, chocolate ganache and Bakewell tarts!
Offering Mediterranean style fayre, Café Bencotto’s sophisticated yet informal interior complements the food freshly prepared in the open plan kitchen. And, for the early birds, they now have a mouth-watering breakfast menu.
The Alex Café Bar and Brasserie has a fabulous seafront setting just across from the promenade in Felixstowe where you can watch the world go by whilst enjoying great food and drink!
The Ramsholt Arms is a popular riverside pub and great for alfresco dining being situated on the banks of the River Deben. The pub is also recommended in the Michelin guide and in July 2015 was voted one of the top 20 places to dine alfresco in the UK by the Sunday Times!
Enjoy the secluded courtyard or dine amongst the apple trees in the extensive gardens at The Ship at Dunwich. Tuck into their celebrated fish & chips – with locally caught fish – before indulging yourself with one of the delicious traditional English puddings.
Or head to the seafront in Felixstowe and stop by The Fludyers Hotel and Restaurant, with an extensive terrace overlooking the sea, it’s the ideal place to sample the superior food and take in the impressive views of the Suffolk coastline.
Turn back the clock and enjoy afternoon tea in the quaint Southwold Boating Lake and Tearoom. At this quirky 1940s-style tearoom in Southwold, you’re always guaranteed a warm and friendly welcome.
Staying in Southwold, you could always pop into The Swan Hotel on the High Street for a spot of afternoon tea before taking a stroll down to the harbour or the beach.
And if you’re visiting Snape Maltings be sure to call into The Granary Tea Shop and Café 1885. Perfect for afternoon tea set in one of The Suffolk Coast’s most stunning landscapes.
Who can walk past a bakery and not steal a longing glance at the vast array of mouth-watering cakes, bread, sausage rolls, freshly made sandwiches?
The Cake Shop Bakery in the historic town of Woodbridge is an award-winning family run bakery producing fresh bread and creating beautiful cakes using the best ingredients available and designing cakes that are visually stunning and taste delicious.
Up the coast in Southwold you have to pay a visit to the Two Magpies Bakery in the High Street. This is a bakery that never fails to be full of customers coming in for their morning coffee and pastries, for a loaf of the day’s freshly baked bread or for the delicious treats displayed temptingly in the window.
Want to treat yourself? Or perhaps you’ve a special occasion to celebrate. The Suffolk Coast has great fine dining available.
The Brudenell Seafood & Grill in pretty Aldeburgh has panoramic sea views from every table with a décor that is inspired by the vibrant colours that can be found on The Suffolk coast throughout the year. The menu features fresh local fish, seafood and free-range meats, all lovingly prepared by our head chef.
Staying in Aldeburgh, The White Lion Bar & Brasserie Bleue is inspired by a modern desire to return to simple, ‘back to basics’ food and impeccable service, offering freshly prepared dishes in contemporary surroundings.
There are few places better on The Suffolk Coast to enjoy the blue skies and sunshine than Orford, a small fishing village known for its bounty of excellent local food and peaceful atmosphere. And at the heart of the village is The Crown and Castle where executive chef, Ruth Watson, prepares great food.
The Crown at Woodbridge is a 2AA rosette restaurant and bar recommended in the Michelin guide serving the best of Suffolk produce with contemporary style and care.
In Southwold you should pay a visit to The Crown Hotel. The food is famously good and the wine list is wonderful too. The Crown was awarded Suffolk Dining Pub of the Year for the 2nd year in a row by The Good Pub Guide 2014 and a TripAdvisor 2015 Certificate of Excellence.
The Cookhouse Restaurant is a unique place to eat or have a drink whilst enjoying stunning views along the Orwell river. Part of the Suffolk Food Hall emporium underneath the Orwell Bridge, the Cookhouse serves great bistro style food using the best local produce and seasonal recipes; making it ideal for a delicious freshly prepared lunch, a treat for the kids, a celebratory dinner, Sunday brunch… and more.
The restaurant at Thorpeness Golf Club & Hotel overlooks the iconic House in the Clouds and offers a more traditional dining experience with fresh local produce complimenting the daily changing menu.
Or head to the Salthouse Eaterie on Ipswich Waterfront where the dishes are modern and will surprise you with a curious twist of something deliciously different.
Suffolk Food Hall at Wherstead, near Ipswich, is the place to find great local food. Started by Suffolk farmers who wanted to ensure friends had the best access to much of the fresh and original food produced locally; the Food Hall brings together the best local specialists and has a wide selection of artisan and luxury food and drink including a market hall, scratch baker, traditional butcher, fishmonger, delicatessen, chocolatier and greengrocer.
Once you’ve stocked up on local ingredients, head to The Food Hub Cookery School to learn how to use them! The state of the art catering kitchen is set on a working farm at Kenton Hall Estate; delivering seasonal and sustainable cookery courses. Whether you are an amateur cook or a food enthusiast let these courses inspire you.
Here on the Suffolk Coast, we are completely spoilt with a huge selection of local food and drink producers, selling jams, honey, Suffolk-cured ham, strawberries, asparagus, breads, cheeses and ales... you name it, we make it! And it’s all available at our local farmers markets:
• Aldeburgh Farmers Market - 3rd Saturday of each month 9am – 12 noon, Aldeburgh Church Hall, Victoria Road.
• Beccles Farmers Market - 1st and 3rd Saturday of each month 9am – 1pm, Beccles Heliport, Ellough, B1127.
• Halesworth Market - 2nd Saturday of each month 9am – 1pm, The Old Print Works, Throughfare, Halesworth, IP19 8AP.
• Snape Maltings Farmers Market - 1st Saturday of each month 9.30 – 1pm, Snape Maltings, near Saxmundham, IP17 1SR.
• Woodbridge Farmers Market - 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month 9am – 1pm, Woodbridge Community Centre, IP12 4AU.
• Felixstowe Craft and Food Fair - last Saturday of each month from 10am, Manning’s Amusement Park, Sea Road, Felixstowe, IP11 2DN.
• Orford Country Market - every Saturday 9.30am – 12.30pm, The Town Hall, Market Hill, Orford, IP12 2NZ.
• Southwold Farmers Market - Fridays 9am – 1pm, The Courtyard, Adnams Cellar and Kitchen Shop, Victoria Street, Southwold
• Easton Farmers Market - 4th Saturday of each month 9am – 1pm, Easton Farm Park, Woodbridge.
• Saxmundham Farmers Market - every Friday 9am – 12.30pm, Market Hall, Saxmundham, 29 High Street, IP17 1A.
As you’d expect from a county like Suffolk, we have some wonderful local food producers.
Munchy Seeds is a family run business and has been the highest profile brand in the UK’s roasted, flavoured and coated seeds market for 16 years. All seeds are suitable for Vegetarians and coeliacs, they are all free from gluten, wheat and yeast and have no artificial colourings, flavourings or preservatives. Just naturally delicious and available in handy snack packs or tempting tubs in 8 tasty varieties.
Love fish? You’ll love Anchor Smokehouse in Lowestoft. Their Smokehouse is over 130 years old and they still use the traditional oak smoking methods - not an electric kiln in sight! Their fish is available to buy online and can be sent to anywhere in the UK. They also have a local fish van that delivers around Essex, Cambridgeshire and Norwich.
Giddens & Thompson Greengrocers, located in the historic market town of Bungay, are purveyors of high quality fruit and vegetables, providing a wide selection of seasonal, fresh and locally sourced produce.
No trip to Suffolk would be complete without taking home a crate or barrel of Adnams finest! Adnams shops offer a top class tasting experience and showcase their innovative range of quality beer, wonderful wines, handcrafted spirits and gifty bits and bobs.
And for something just that little bit different… we have that covered too!
Cruise the calm waters of the River Orwell with Allen Gardiner River Cruise Restaurant. This 63 foot former air/ sea rescue launch built in 1942, has ample space on deck and in the wheelhouse and a comfortable dining saloon.
Staying on the water, the Lady Florence River Cruise Restaurant provides a unique and exciting dining experience offering brunch and a la carte lunch or dinner cruises from Orford Quay, Orford.
Over the water now for the Boardwalk Restaurant on Southwold Pier. Whatever time of day, the views across the sea and around the idyllic coastal bay of Southwold are stunning from here. Hear the waves lapping beneath your feet as you tuck into a fabulous feast at lunchtime or dinner, there’s always fresh fish on the menu and a delightful range of platters to pick from.
For more food and drink ideas, see The Suffolk Coast website
Looking for ideas for family fun days out? See our guide to free days out on the Suffolk Coast here