The Crown Hotel, Southwold, Suffolk, October 2016

Poshing it up a bit tonight. We had tried to get in to The Nelson but as usual it was full, so we had a short stroll around and happened upon The Crown. They had a few tables free, so we requested one and settled in for some dinner.

Do I need to tell you this is an Adnams establishment? Probably not. So away we go. A pint of Cashmere IPA, which I had the other day, a very decent pale ale but doesn’t fit in the category of IPA.

Keeping with my fishy theme (we are beside the seaside after all), I had a very tasty piece of hake, crispy skin, lovely risotto with fennel and pea shoot salad.

Mrs MOFAD also had fish, in the form of steamed sea bass with noodles and pak choi, and a ginger, chilli and sweet soy broth. Also very tasty.

Hazel & Matt had pork belly and rump steak respectively, and Hazel’s request to swap out the fennel accompanying her dish was accommodated without any fuss.

Mrs MOFAD fancied a pudding, and had this Cambridge burnt cream (creme brulee with a Fens twist) with “cat’s tongue biscuit”. Both were very good.

A very pleasant meal in a very pleasant hotel. If you’re looking for something other than good pub dining in Southwold, this should fit the bill.

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The Star Inn, Wenhaston, Suffolk, October 2016

Well, this was an interesting experience. Before I go any further, let me just say that the food was lovely and there was a nice pint too. And the staff were also very friendly.

Ok, here we go.

I don’t normally take photos inside pub toilets. I know that’s not a sentence you should need to write. But this pub was different. Very different. To almost any pub we’ve ever visited. A distinct League of Gentlemen feel to some of the decor. Are you local?

So let’s start with that toilet. An Adnams sign. NFS. Or “Normal For Suffolk”, since there are so many Adnams pubs. This was in fact just one of two that we visited this week that wasn’t actually an Adnams pub. There was a vaguely interesting old car picture on the far wall. Looks reasonably normal.

Let’s swing round to our right shall we? What’s that over there? Bar skittles, tournament horseshoes and something else that is all perfectly abnormal for a pub toilet. This is all rather weird. And these are just the bits that I could photograph because no-one else was watching.

The bar area was a similar mish-mash of things. Old newspaper articles, a lovely old fireplace, a dartboard, some randomly arranged 1970s style rope light, a harp with one string, skulls, spiky things, hooks and rings and more besides. It’s just all a bit odd. Not unpleasant, just odd.

On then to the food and drink. This pulled pork baguette was one of the best things I had all week. A real decent baguette (not just some part baked thing that you buy at the supermarket and heat up in the oven for 5 minutes). The pulled pork was really nice too. And a simple side salad with a nice dressing.

A range of local ales on too, including Adnams (for the tourists apparently) and then things from smaller breweries. I had a pint of Starling by Green Jack, a smaller brewery based just up the coast in Lowestoft. A very tasty light bitter, and just the kind of thing you hope to find in a nice village pub.

This pub has to be experienced to be believed. Great food and drink, and plenty of quirks to keep you talking!