6 ISSUES FOR JUST £6 Subscribe to EADT Suffolk today CLICK HERE

Eating out: The Grange Hotel, Thurston

13:19 18 October 2010

Eating out: The Grange Hotel, Thurston

Eating out: The Grange Hotel, Thurston

John Seery investigates the enduring appeal of a Thurston Hotel

John Seery investigates the enduring appeal of a Thurston Hotel




Around about the late seventies, the Thurston Grange Hotel was the kind of place courting couples from the Bury St Edmunds area used to turn to for a civilised drink and a snuggle.
Actually Im not sure when a cuddle becomes a snuggle but it was all quite innocent and Im moving off the point, which is that The Grange was considered rather upmarket, and far enough away from the town to avoid some oik recognising you and shouting out something unsavoury.
How do I know this? Well, I was there (with a blind date) and I recognised some familiar faces among the smitten couples around me.
I remember how quiet the place was save for the raucous call of peacocks on the lawns and how different it was from the jukebox-blaring, beer-and-darts pubs of Bury like the Griffin and the One Bull.
Such recollections flickered across my mind (apart from the blind date I cant recall who dumped who but it was a short-lived relationship) when visiting the old place again recently with my wife. As far as I could tell, the driveway, with trees on the left, open fields to the right, hadnt altered much. Nor had the quite stunning Tudor style country house itself its more rustic and homely than imposing.
We walked into a hushed shabby chic lounge bar occupied by a family debating the evenings menu, plus a man at the bar, supping a pint and staring into middle distance. It all looked quite familiar and that, in nutshell, could just be the advantages and disadvantages of the Grange.
If time hasnt exactly stood still, its clear the owners havent sought the help of an interior designer to give it the wow factor of some boutique hotels like the Hotel du Vin chain. Resisting wholesale change may well be keeping established customers happy but are they reaching new diners?
Anyway, after taking our drinks order our bar lady then became our waitress for the evening and you couldnt ask for a more courteous, pleasant person.
Loin of tuna and crab cakes were our starters, both tasty with the crab cakes crisp and nicely textured and the
tuna not too dry.
Mains of organic salmon with pancetta and pie of the day which turned out to be steak and ale accompanied by potatoes and after a brief delay some vegetables were also appetising.
The latter got me thinking about the trades descriptions act on pies. Does a small bowl of tasty meat and rich gravy, with a square of pastry balanced on top, constitute a pie? Who cares? said my wife. Just tuck in.
Good honest food without too much embellishment was our verdict and the bill, with drinks that included a pint of cider, a gin and tonic, a glass of the house red and coffees, came to a very fair 51.80.
As we left, a man at the bar came over to talk to the family eating on a table near to us.
Nice to see you, do you come here much? he said. Oh, weve been coming here for years, came the reply. Proof of the Grange s enduring appeal.


The Grange Hotel, Thurston, Suffolk.
Tel: 01359 231260

0 comments

NEWSLETTER SIGNUP

Most Read

Friday, July 3, 2015
May House, Walberswick, Durrants Holiday Cottages

Planning the ideal getaway? Durrants Holiday Cottages has teamed up with Suffolk Magazine to offer one lucky reader the chance to win £700 towards a holiday in one of our self-catering holiday cottages, houses or apartments of your choice.

Read more
Wednesday, July 1, 2015
Southwold is a part of The Countrywide Great Tour route this summer.

Southwold is a part of The Countrywide Great Tour route this summer. We reveal some of the best restaurants and places to stay in the East Anglian seaside town

Read more
Thursday, July 2, 2015
Win a Newmakers zebra rocker worth £149

Great British Life is offering a beautiful kids zebra rocker worth £149 to a lucky reader

Read more
Yesterday, 12:47
On my way to Southwold one very cold day in January, I could not believe my eyes when I drove through Blythburgh.
I have been past the same spot countless times over the last five years, but never had  I seen the water so still and the sky so beautiful.
It was so cold that even the beach was covered in a blanket of white  in Southwold.

In the second of his series on Suffolk’s rivers Garth Cooper visits a favourite haunt, Southwold Harbour on the River Blyth

Read more
Yesterday, 09:57
Sister Marian Davey is the Chaplain to the Port of Felixstowe.

Sister Marian Davies is the east coast’s sea chaplain, looking after the spiritual welfare of hundreds of seafarers every week. John Cassidy went to Felixstowe, Britain’s largest and busiest container port, to see her in action

Read more
Yesterday, 10:21
Fishy BBQ with Charlotte Smith-Jarvis.

There’s more to outdoor cooking than burgers and bangers, says Charlotte Smith-Jarvis

Read more