Next up, one of those “Pub Lunches in Rural England” you folks love. The standard for this is Medomsley, of course.
But Ixworth‘s Greyhound comes close. And has added Grockle.
Just to show how far behind I am blogwise, despite the 3 posts a day, this calorific feast came before the Bury St Edmunds Festival, which was 40 posts ago.
Actually, I popped out here mainly for a walk, having exhausted all of Cambridge’s hill potential.
The Ixworth village sign is a solid start. It may be the only thing here that’s not at least Grade II listed.
Quite a lot packed into a village of 2,365, almost none of whom were visible on Tuesday lunchtime. They’re either watching Jeremy Kyle, at school or having tea and cake at the Bury Garden Centre.
Pleasingly, that means no-one to obscure my pictures (unlike Lavenham).
There’s a very low-key town trail; you can probably get a leaflet from the library as long as you leave your shoe as a deposit or something.
The walks down to the river and priory ruins are as good as West Suffolk gets. As of today, planning permission for a brewery tap at the top of this tree is still awaited.
I got a good hours walk out of it before making a return to the Greyhound, 22 years after an exemplar pint of XX Mild. Only the Free Press and Rose & Crown have reputations for their Mild to rival the Greyhound.
Would the XX be as good ? Would it be the same barrel of Mild ? Would the locals be whining about Ipswich Town ?
Yes, No, and I never found out.
Succumbing to the lunchtime special “Toad In The Hole” (Note for Americans : Not actual toads) I was ushered to the separate dining room, and felt it would be inappropriate to complain that I couldn’t eavesdrop on the Old Boy’s banter. Keep drinking and dining separate.
I didn’t even need to look at the pumps before calling “…and a pint of Mild please” to the cheeriest landlady in Suffolk, a cheery county.
I might have been a bit nervous about quality if I’d seen five pump clips (unless that’s the rare Mad Goose/Mild/Abbot mix).
But the XX was fantastic, cool and chewy and drinking far more than its 3%.
I had five minutes to admire it, and a chalk board with real suet puddings, before lunch arrived, to the accompaniment of “Band of Gold“.
I hadn’t even asked how much it cost, so sure was I that we weren’t looking at Brunning & Price. About £8 for stodge and pint, tremendous value for a lunch special.
Within 20 minutes it was filling up with gentlefolk, some of whom would soon be eyeing my table and then reading out the menu line-by-line. You can still get folk to travel out from Pakenham and Tostock if you offer something different.
Sometimes you CAN go back. A mini classic.
The landlord asked me what beer I’d had.
“The Mild, of course”.