I’m enjoying Richard Coldwell’s series of posts on posh Suffolk at the moment, if only as a guide on how to avoid out-of-town Londoners.

Richard has recently been braving Southwold , a place where pashminas are required dresswear to enter the pubs and sourdough shoppes, and where Yorkshiremen are heard to groan “‘Ow much !!!”.

Everyone has to visit Southwold once, but for fiscal relief head for Kessingland.  Do not stop in Lowestoft. Even for the Stanford Arms (well done them for making Top 4 pubs in UK again).

Some rare OS extracts with sea in them.


Kessingland 2.PNG

Kessingland is to Southwold what Saltburn is to Staithes, I guess. A bit of reality away from the chocolate box.  Known, if at all, for the safari park at the entrance to a village with a pleasing dead end.

Towards the beach, you get proper shops, rather than patisseries.


And unlike Southwold, some real development/micro pub opportunities here.


There’s a family fun pub by the entrance to “Africa Alive“, but the Beer Guide newbie is a proper basic boozer.


The Sailor’s Home is more the functional seafront place you’d find in Skeggy or Chapel St Leonards than your Walberswick gastro, which suits me fine.

No mobility scooter at the door, but inside at 3pm, that lovely sight of professional drinkers at the bar.


Richard would have made a better job of catching the atmosphere, which verged seamlessly from calm to chaos as dogs entered and left, and conversation became animated as someone said;

That Harry Kane, ‘is luck will run out”   That could have been me.

Classic rock (Aerosmith, Blue Oyster Cult etc) reminded me that this is very Suffolk, a place where “Stairway to Heaven” has been Number 1 for 46 years.

I could see immediately why the pub had finally made it into the Beer Guide.  I’m sure you can as well.


No-one else much seemed to be drinking the ales, so I went for the local Green Jack (to a nod of approval from the local in the hat), forgetting it was 6%. It didn’t taste like 6%, but it was nicely kept all the same (NBSS 3).


I think I enjoyed the pub even more than the beer; it’s rare to find such a haven of tat, the best since the Decoy in Fritton (where by extraordinary coincidence I also had Green Jack in an IPA glass).



The view to the sea wasn’t quite as good as you get down the road,


but the dunes were peaceful and not overrun with dog walkers,and I like shingle.



If you think Suffolk is all smart, come here. If you want to see the survival of the wet-led seaside boozer in 2017, come here.  But if you want artisan boulangeries, you know where to go.

And if that isn’t enough recommendation for Pub Curmudgeon…




  1. I’ve been studying Southwold and it’s environs really closely recently. We really like the town, but as regular visitors, have become part of the problem; it’s a dead town full of second (third and fourth in many cases) homes and holiday lets. To find out what has happened you have to get on the local bus service, which goes via the places where people live, winding it’s way through housing estates and small villages. It’s only then it becomes apparent that the indigenous population has moved away from the honeypot coastal towns and villages and migrated a few miles inland to small, working towns and villages. Kessingland being a good example. It’s a sad fact, how people working in a prosperous area can takeover less affluent communities. Hopefully the local folk can milk the cash rich tourists and survive. A good way of doing this is to sell small loaves of sourdough bread at 5p shy of £3 each. I nearly bought Mrs C a Croissant for breakfast the other morning, but not at £1.80 ea. – seriously! You can get a bag full in Morribogs for that. Fair play to this little boozer, which I know will be full of friendly folk, Suffolk is like that.


      1. You need a mortgage in that Magpie Bakery – nice, but you definitely need a mortgage. Strange too, despite there being a Tesco Express (whose prices are always rounded up to the nearest 50p and often £1) the Tesco supermarket in Saxmundham is soo much cheaper, even with the near twenty mile round trip!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Professional drinkers blocking the bar, more like it. We had the same trouble at the Kings Head in Dereham, on Saturday night.

    One of my pet hates, and if it wasn’t for the fact I don’t like hospital food, or wasting good beer, I would be tempted to accidentally spill some of my pint down the back of one of these selfish, bar-hogging individuals.

    “No-one else much seemed to be drinking the ales.” I think I’d rather take my chances with the out-of-town Sloney Ponies in Southwold.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. thanks for the review martin, im paul and i run the sailors home in kessingland, im glad you enjoyed the ambiance, we have worked hard over the past 13 years at keeping the pub as traditional as we can, good banter, good beer and good grub, not pretentious and we try our best to look after everyone, just as pubs used to be! you are welcome anytime, thanks again


  4. If you want, friendly folk, good food and beer and as a bonus live bands at the weekends, you couldn’t do better. We travel 30 miles to visit here on a regular basis. Love it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. We absolutely love Kessingland and have had 10 holidays at Park Resorts the last being in October We always have at least 2 meals at The Sailors Home during our weeks stay.We love the Home Cooked food it is alway so lovely and the staff always friendly and welcoming and my hubby loves trying the beers We love being right near there he sea and the beach and walking our dog there

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Try visiting the Sailor’s Home on a Thursday night when it’s open mic night or Sunday after noon great music and great atmosphere with great ale and Paul the great manager, and also on the beer festival weekend you can’t beat it.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Having spent 7 years renting in Southwold we have just moved to Kessingland and as well as finally having neighbours who actually live full time around us, we have the fabulous Sailors Home – Poppy & Emma have made us feel so very welcome and we feel we are in a real community. Southwold may be beautiful but it doesn’t cater for true locals, Independent shops are closing by the month and the community is suffering.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh mate. The Sailors Home is a real treat in the evening, especially when they’ve got the locally famous Bully singing which is effectively karaoke yet he’s the only one who gets to sing.

    Had a great time there on boxing day a couple of years ago since Sammies family is from around there.

    Liked by 1 person

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