A Suffolk country pub with lofty ideals

PUBLISHED: 16:24 26 July 2011 | UPDATED: 19:45 20 February 2013

A Suffolk country pub with lofty ideals

A Suffolk country pub with lofty ideals

John Seery visits The Brewers Arms in Rattlesden

John Seery visits The Brewers Arms in Rattlesden

Weve been meaning to try out the Brewers Arms at Rattlesden for quite a while. There was a rumour that Delia Smith, who lives nearby, sometimes drops in and a couple of readers have singled it out for praise. And in 2009 it got an entry in the Good Pub Guide Certainly its a pub in a lovely village .

From Woolpit and the A14 you drop down into a little settlement nestled in a valley, partially hidden by trees yet identified by the tower of St Nicholas Church.

You will find the pub easy enough as it overlooks a brook and a little green with a gorgeous buttercup-coloured thatched cottage next door completing the picture of a rural idyll.

So far so good, my only slight concern being that the Brewers has recently changed hands and was this too early to be judging the new team in the kitchen? We had one of those slightly unsettling moments when, having booked a table in advance, staff didnt seem to be aware of any booking but fortunately a table was available and all was well .

The menu hints at pub food punching above its weight. You dont often find seared foie gras and caramelised pear, or seared scallops with cauliflower puree, at too many locals but they have prices to match, 9.50 each.

Perhaps we should have put these dishes to the test but being a little pushed for time we opted for the mains and all delivered .

My Heveningham Hall lamb (nice local namecheck), red wine and tomato pie, mash and savoy cabbage (10.50) was mighty tasty even if the cabbage didnt seem like the right kind of seasonal vegetable to sit alongside the pie.

Full marks for an excellent haddock, mushy peas, chips and tartare sauce; really chunky white fish and crispy chips (10.50). Mussels in white wine (9.50) was wolfed down by our daughter leaving my wife pleased with her smoked haddock, baby spinach and parmesan cream (12.50) .

The puds werent quite so inspired. The sweet and slightly sour mix of double chocolate brownie and creme fraiche saw our children, 11 and 15, pushing it around their plates rather than consuming with gusto and the affogato biscotti was described as a little ordinary. They were 5 and 4, respectively .

These prices are on a par with some restaurants so the Brewers have set the bar high. Our bill for four, with two glasses of house red wine, some cokes and a pint of lager shandy came to 74 .

Its tempting to say that if the prices became a little more competitive the food here would be a steal, and the pub an absolute must-visit in mid Suffolk, but the place was busy so theres the counter-argument.

The eating area is comfortable without having the finishing touches of style some restaurants boast, but the service was friendly and at the right pace.

All in all its the kind of local a lot of villages would love to have on their doorstep. Why not drop in?

The Brewers Arms, Lower Road, Rattlesden .

Tel: 01449 736377 .

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