A town of 10,000, which at least it has a railway station (trains to Ipswich or Lowestoft, very slowly), two Beer Guide pubs, and seemingly one beard trimming shop per resident (don’t ask why).
From the station down to the Waveney there’s plenty of the Flemish touches the town is famed for.
And a number of attractive alleys, or scores. The Cambridge score was 1-0.
Some folk getting very excited by the sight of water, I think it’s something Freudian or similar.
The town has a rare east Anglian hill,with good views of the river from St. Michael’s, which was attracting a gaggle of visitors from Harleston.
But the highlights were some half-timbered buildings stolen from Lavenham when it wasn’t looking.
There was a slightly more modern design aesthetic for the chip shop,
and some “busy” looking pub signage giving the town a pleasing jumble of styles.
A good mix of pubs too, though the only central GBG entry is the notably lively Caxton Club, and another of them appears to be called “Graze“.
The Spoons hasn’t made the Guide yet, despite the “Best Egyptian Statue in a Suffolk Pub 2014 Award“. Tellingly, the black coffee here was an outrageous £1.50 !
The town centre is a lot smarter than I remembered, full of boutiques and deli/cafes. Not quite Southwold, but heading there.
Some smart houses on the mile walk south to the Butcher’s Arms ,which is a bit unprepossessing to say the least. On the way there I overtook a bloke in a Punk IPA hat, which must be deeply symbolic since I was about to imbibe Boring Brown Bitter.
Inside it’s spacious and inviting, and easy to see why it’s in the Guide.
Admit it, you counted the pumps. I meant that’s a decent looking head on the pint. I was the third person through the door at 4, but still asked which beer was selling fastest.
The two who’d sneaked in early had the Woodforde’s. Dull pump clip, but cool, rich beer (NBSS 3.5) in a proper glass for a change. If only Wherry was as good.
Plenty of seating options, including the inevitable classroom desks (!), so I tried several of them out before sitting next to the locals.
It was pleasant, though probably a lot more lively on Monday Nights when music and quizzes keep the pumps going.
Not quite a superhero of a pub, but the sort of local boozer we need to cherish before it’s too late.