Recently an old school friend got in touch about a new venture her family have embarked on in Suffolk and we jumped at the opportunity to get away from the city. The family have recently taken over a pub called The Queen in a wonderful setting over in Brandeston, Suffolk. It really is a family affair with her elder brother heading up the kitchen and the sisters leading the front of house.
Alex’s kitchen offers up fine dining dishes at very reasonable pub prices, they make sure no dish goes above the £20 mark.
All the ingredients are locally sourced, some coming as local as the fruit and veg patch behind the pub.
His experience is pretty impressive having worked out in New York at the Michelin starred restaurant Eleven Madison Park and then a longer stint in Edinburgh at Cafe St Honore. His ambition was to open his own restaurant before the young age of 30 and just before this milestone he’s done it and done it incredibly well!
Now not only does The Queen offer great food they’ve just opened a couple of Shepherd’s huts in the back garden for a spot of glamping. Perfect for couples and of course friends who want a weekend away in Suffolk. Having just come back from Glastonbury it was absolute luxury to be staying in such beautiful huts, complete with comfy double bed, soft bedsheets, electric lights and plug sockets. Oh and of course the use of clean showers and toilets a stone’s throw away.
At the moment they just have three but the plan is to expand further and add a few more. All the huts are built by a local craftsman called Julian Faithfull, the amount of detail that goes into them is just incredible. It was a great nights sleep, waking up to the birds singing was rather blissful.
Now onto the food, it’s just too good to not share some snapshots, as always Lawrence and I went halves on everything. Starting with hot smoked salmon, buttermilk, cucumber and garden herbs. Followed by venison, pickled carrots, enoki mushrooms and onion. Both were delicious and up there with some of the best food we’ve had.
Mains were choices recommended by some of the staff as we’d sat outside with a drink, first up duck, garden peas, red cabbage, jersey royals and salted baby turnips. Next is always a favourite for us both, hanger steak, thick chips, onion, carrot, black carrot and chickweed. Both were big hearty dishes, served with beautiful arrangements bringing sophistication to the plates.
We couldn’t say no to desserts and we started with chocolate, hazelnuts, caramel and sour cream which Alex mentioned when taken off the menu previously it had been met with anger from customers who loved this dish. We could see why, just heavenly. Then it wouldn’t be a trip to the country without good local Suffolk cheeses, quince and oatcakes.
It was a beautiful evening, with fine weather across a lovely setting and even better hospitality. It also gave us the opportunity to do some sightseeing around Framlingham castle and then of course over to the seaside.
Complete with ice-cream in the rain at Aldeburgh but then following the sunshine to lovely Southwold Pier which is very pretty indeed.
Oh and how could I forget waking up to the delights of The Queen’s breakfast, traditional All English but the highlight was the great mix of pancakes, sausages, bacon and their homemade smoked syrup.
Details and more information on The Queen, Brandeston for either the glamping or the pub can be found here. Do give them a visit though, it was just wonderful.