A first new Guide pub in many years in Rugby, followed by an overdue newbie in Sudbury. Which is possibly the only thing those two towns have in common, unless you know better.
There’s a temptation to make this post about opening hours, or more specifically the display of opening hours, but I know you have boredom thresholds.
But this was a second attempt in a week to visit the Bay Horse, which was firmly closed when the GBG and WhatPub said it was open.
As you’ll see, the board listing Opening Hours didn’t help.
The website was silent, and the phone just rang. That seemed odd, as there’s 5 rooms out the back.
The full house of opening time irritations. It fair makes you spit, as we say in the Fens.
But these things happen, and we popped back at the weekend.
One of the bigger towns in the Suffolk wilderness between Cambridge, Bury, Colchester and Ipswich, you always assume Sudbury is an upmarket commuter town, a Lavenham with shops.
A stroll down pedestrianised North Street shatters that illusion. Look at the shop names, straight from the Essex School of Puns.
This Chinese takeaway (one of about 325 in town) has a sense of humour.
This is their “Good View“.
Church, Gainsborough museum and meadows apart, the town is proud of its surviving classic ’80s culinary options. It must be worth a visit just to have Starburger for lunch and Wimpy for tea (we didn’t).
A look at the map shows you the size of the light industry to the east, and this feels like a proper working town, with lowkey shopping, fruit and veg market traders and a busker singing “Take me home, country roads” and Tom Petty’s greatest hits.
Mrs RM wanted to do the Sudbury Trilogy of GBG pubs. I managed to divert her away from the Greene King pub with a horse on it.
Instead, a trip round the ring road to the Tap.
On our previous visit, the Mauldon’s Brewery Tap had been rammed. On Saturday lunchtime, it lacked the famed soup and chilli but compensated with a crystal clear pint of Silver Adder (Mrs RM score – “MMMm“), ginger beer and crisps at bargain prices.
It’s a calm, unfussy place to drink local beer with folk even older than you, worthy of its many accolades. The sun streamed in through the huge windows, Old Boys talked about their shopping, it was glorious.
With their beers so good, why the need for Adnams and Oakham as well ? At the risk of becoming a stuck record on this, seven beers (and craft keg as well) seemed ambitious.
Still, a proper mix of pub seating, proper pub games, and a slice of Suffolk life.
If Pub Curmudgeon made pubs like this that didn’t serve Draught Bass, he might well make them like this.
How would the rest of Sudbury size up though ?