Next up, one of those “Pub Lunches in Rural England” you folks love. The standard for this is Medomsley, of course.

Mince & Dumplings, Medomsley style

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.

Some odd people live here

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.

A 2nd century BRAPA

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).

Suffolk churches, possibly the best
Ornate Cemetery
Ex-garage, probably future micro with petrol pump dispense

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.

Your colourful row of houses shot
Picture postcard Suffolk

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.

What is it ?

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.

View of the public from the lounge

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).

Three more beers than in 1997

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“.

Note gravy boat

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.

Great scum

The landlord asked me what beer I’d had.

“The Mild, of course”.

“Good man”.


24 thoughts on “AN IXWORTH SPECIAL

  1. Three sausages in a portion of toad in the hole ? Now that is a sign of quality.
    Cracking pub.

    Hello – is that the time ?

    Exit in pursuit of a beer.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Wow that toad looks excellent -huge gravy boat too -I approve !. I hate hearing folk reading menus out too & then when ordering saying “Id like the toad in the hole with mashed potatoes & peas please ” For goodness sake -“Toad in the hole please ” is enough

    Liked by 2 people

  3. PS my lunch at the Grapes in Wapping cost &9.95 for a rather average chicken burger & salad- beer probably way over the £3 mark too !

    Liked by 1 person

      1. No -part owned by Ian Mckellan & reputed to be frequented by Dickens (in 19th century obvs ) Mr Tyke rather likes it but on this occasion the beer selection was poor

        Liked by 1 person

    1. It would appear that you have the good fortune to be informed by me, that the world’s largest tomato, owned by Antonio Martone, and measuring a giant fifteen inches, was grown from a single seed, sent to him, by his family in Naples.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Every single thing about that pub looks excellent. Hoping to get some XX Mild in Ely this week, it’s good but it ‘has’ to be in great condition so we’ll see.
    That was a pine before the Ivy got it… or do you mean ‘Dog begging on hind legs’?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. One of our favourites for good honest food, drink, banter and value. The XX is usually almost as good as the Rose & Crown, which is high praise.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, encouraging, and a bit like a Stafford free house in the 1990s where “A wise choice” was so often the response to whichever of the several beers I had ordered.


  6. Proper Pub Grub – home cooked, cheap and cheerful. That’s all you need to do. Mind you I haven’t had mince and onion since I was a little kid at my Grandmas, although Shepherds (Pedants, please don’t add any facile Shepherd and Cottage pie comments, we all know the difference and will continue to call it whatever we wish, thank you) pie is always a big favourite in our house and it’s little more than assembled potato, mince and onion.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I had forgotten that the dials on those proper old petrol pumps went anticlockwise, presumably so that nobody confused them with a clock.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’ve just had a Toad in the Hole just as good as that – three proper sausages in it and with more potatoes and perfectly cooked broccoli and other vegetables – for £8.95 in the Swan at Whiston.
    Holdens Bitter is £2-something there and the other beers on were Wainwright, Castle Rock’s Elsie Mo and one from Froth Blowers.
    They couldn’t accept card payments this evening but that’s of no consequence to me,

    Liked by 2 people

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