Much as I love Blackpool and Preston, I was pleased to get away from MicroCaskGin bars and back to pubs that look like pubs (blimey, listen to me), even if they are gentlefolk dining pubs in the heart of pashmina Suffolk.

I mean, look at the White Horse in Sibton;

20 minutes from Southwold, 20 minutes from Latitude, 20 minutes from Ed Sheeran’s home town. And 20 minutes from where tiny RetiredMartin used to come on holiday at the Cakes & Ale caravan park in Leiston 45 years ago. Never been back.

In fact, I hadn’t been to this blob of rural Suffolk`for five years, and goodness me it’s quiet. No wonder John Peel loved it. It’s not for me, though the two pubs in Laxfield are corkers.

I’d phone the White Horse in Sibton twice and sent them a Facebook message to confirm they’d be open on Saturday. I guess if you’re not open Saturday lunchtime there’s no point.

A smart car in the car park;

I said “nice car” to the gentlefolk owners, even though I had no idea what it is. Batmobile ?

It’s a classy affair. Staff still masked up, Landlady bringing out fish and chips, no obvious Sheeran.

No Adnams Southwold either. What happened to the plain Bitter ? Hardly ever see it these days.

Let’s not complain, tough. My last Suffolk tick is cool, and strawy (is that a word ?), NBSS 3+ I guess.

And it’s a different world to those North Western micros, upmarket country folk with a bottle of wine in a bucket saying “Have a taaaaaste of this” and “That’s terrrribly nice“. I love positivity.

I had a nosey round the pub, making sure not to fall in the cellar,

and admiring the 17th century smoking shelter.

OK, I only saw one other pint pulled (Wherry), but mine was good so who cares ?

Cheered by my tick I walked into the village, which confusingly turns out to be Peasenhall rather than Sibton, about which WIki has little to say bar this analysis of occupations from 1881 (thanks to Katie Aldridge).

No “pub tickers” in 1881.

I do however note that Peter Purves, born in Preston where I was 2 days earlier, now lives in Sibton, though he’s not in the village shop when I pop in for a Mother’s Day card and Bakewell tart and tell a lady who wins £100 on a scratch card that “her day is getting better and better” for no reason.

In other news, ain’t daffs lovely ?

17 thoughts on “SUFFOLK HAS FALLEN

  1. That photo with the sun pouring through the window is truly glorious. Looks like a lovely pub indeed.

    Your reference to Ed Sheeran got me wondering if you often see pubs including a photo or some such thing to pay homage to to a local lad or lass who went on to become a celebrity.

    Speaking of English popsters I saw that Heaven 17 are playing a show in my area this fall. I’ve got half a mind to go, purely out of curiosity!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My grandparents lived close to Leiston, in a small village, called Friston. I have fond memories of the summer holidays, my sister and I spent there.

    Fond memories of Suffolk too, although it was largely “un-discovered” by the pashmina and green wellington brigade, back then.

    ps. Something about those roof tiles, that instantly says East Anglia.


  3. There are a heck of a lot of White Horse pubs in Suffolk, which is why yours is called the Sibton White Horse. I once made a special cycle ride to photograph the Sweffling White Horse (four or five miles from Sibton; no idea how far from where I was staying) even though I knew it only opened in the evening. Of course I was young and foolish at the time (this was 2013).

    Camra’s East Anglia Pub of the Year 2015 despite only opening from 7pm four nights a week. They must be doing something right, even if it’s bribery. (Just kidding, in case any lawyers are reading this.) 🙂


    1. the Sweffling White Horse is now up for sale, though the current owners are staying on till its sold, so its still open as much as it ever was, but its a tricky area for pubs to thrive and survive in my opinion as youve really got to become a foodie pub, rather than just wet led, and then it all becomes about local food and slightly gastro style just to draw in people whove inevitably had to drive to get to you and probably passed half a dozen places doing the exact same thing.


    1. Id agree. Im certainly not a fan of Ghost Ship and would always choose the bitter in preference, but Ghost Ship seems to consume 99% of Adnams marketing & promotion budget and consequently ends up being the perennial lone Adnams beer on most bars thesedays unless you find one of their increasingly fewer remaining tied pubs or a decent real ale pub.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Pub tickers came under Unknown Occupation, as indeed they still do. Note the two Animals, one of which was almost certainly a Cauliflower. Note also the early adoption of VAR in the village, presumably an early human version requiring that required regular ‘Mineral Substance’ assistance. There’s so much us social historians can learn from these posts.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Congrats on completing them all, even Ive never managed to visit all or even more than half of the GBG pubs listed in Suffolk and Ive got a headstart being a local, I know ,I should hand over my CAMRA membership card and GBG instantly in shame.

    But as Im sure you encountered quite alot of those rural Suffolk pubs in the guide are a total pain in the thorax to get to, being that the county is near completely devoid of useful public transport that takes you anywhere near them, which means you have to rely on a des-ignated driver to drive you. The local CAMRA branch actually used to run very successful bus trips as a kind of recognition of this, but Covid canned them, and even though they were successful,the bus company seems to have lost interest, so I dont know what that might mean for guide entries going forward.

    Curiously I have been to the Sibton White Horse, though I didnt stop for a beer, its just a handy rest & snack stop between Framlingham and Southwold if you are cycling that way, but it was certainly one of those pubs I thought I really need to come back here to try it properly, but have inevitably never managed to.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Obviously I don’t do all 60 odd (?) entries every year, just the half dozen new ones, so incredibly easy, even from Sheffield rather than Waterbeach. Generally they’re open when you’d expect, too !

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s