29th January 2023.

Before we left for Sheffield I’d have ticked the new East Angular entries in full by the end of October. Now I’m oop North, and with the GBG delayed till October of late, it’ll be February before I can fully pink Suffolk and co.

Zero (none, 0) new Suffolk town ticks this year, but two newbies very close to Ipswich and the Orwell Bridge, which I conservatively estimate to have crossed 317.2 times.

The Brook Inn can’t make up its mind if it’s in Washbrook or Copdock (the village sign claims both),

but it’s definitely low-scale gastro, certainly on a Sunday.

One obvious sign you’re in a gastropub is the absence of anyone behind the bar, as you’ve come from the front door rather than the car park and therefore avoided the greeter and aren’t sitting down waiting to have your order taken,

like these two;

Ron and Edna (probably) are daringly having a slice of lemon in their diet coke, the default drink in a pub where I didn’t see another half of cask pulled while I was there.

In fairness with the Adnams Bitter (first Adnams for ages) at £4.75 a pint I doubt I’d be leaving behind the Ipswich Spoons pubs to drink cask, and while it’s cool and bubbly (NBSS 3) it lacks a certain something.

Bamboo screens and screeching dogs, pondered dessert menus and lounge jazz, all your boxes ticked.

The Boot in nearby Freston was, in contrast, a genuine oddity. (photo from the pub).

There’s a cinema, a smoke house, a Kombucha shed (?), an animal trail, a wigwam,

and the biggest car park I’ve ever seen. Even the overflow has a overflow.

And when you’d expect Sunday lunch to be winding down, the rambling “restaurant with a seat for the drinker” is beyond busy. Where pubs are busy, they’re often very busy. So well done, the Boot.

I squeeze into the bar and avoid the plates of food whizzing past my head. What’s on the pumps ?

Well, nothing.

Do you mind me asking what you’re taking a picture of ?”

The hand pumps” I reply, as I’m honest.

But we don’t have anything on handpump !” says the chap, before reeling off a list of crafty sounding keg beers I couldn’t remember let alone read. So I pointed at the wall; the keg was very good indeed.

The absence of cask may be temporary but I see the Boot is no longer on the GBG app, though What Pub doesn’t mention the lack of cask. But I doubt anyone who visits the Boot cares.


  1. I was at the Brook in around 2009.

    On a summer’s evening we walked down the decommissioned old road from the Holiday Inn as far as Copdock, then turned around and went back. I think that Dave Roll, latterly some-time Chair of Shrewsbury and West Shropshire CAMRA might have been with us too, as he often was.

    It was a food pub then, but gastro – thank heavens – hadn’t really taken over at that point. From your pics I think it’s been knocked about inside since that visit.

    The finer detail escapes me now though, which is a pity, as I have a vague recollection that there was more of interest to tell about that evening.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s in that area just west of Ipswich full of retail estates and chain hotels. I tried to find something of interest to say about Copdock/Washbrook and failed. Head 3 miles west and you’re in Hadleigh, where Mrs RM did IT work for Babergh Council. Nice town but not much pubwise.


  2. Hi Martin, sorry it’s been ages since I last posted a comment– got to the point where you probably thought you were finally rid of me. 😉

    I love the humility of Fremlin’s not wanting to make any claims beyond the borders of the county.

    Ooh, bamboo screens. I think we’ve found a new thing for the list of “things that shouldn’t be in pubs.” Not sure where Simon would rank them in relation to decorative piles of logs and bookshelf newspaper…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Nice shot of the Orwell Bridge, although it reminds me that since the passing of my parents, I rarely visit East Anglia, these days.

    ps. That Fremlin’s plaque is almost certainly fake, and a rather poor one at that. Fremlin’s might once have had a few pubs in Essex, but they never expanded into Suffolk. Local meant local, back then.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. That factory in Wrexham actually copies originals, no matter how poorly they do so.
        I’ve now found my 1940 Fremlins adverts that modestly proclaim “FREMLINS – FAMOUS EVEN IN KENT”, “FREMLINS – Famous in Kent – Famous in Christendom !” and one titled “Witches and Wallop” which explains fermentation, and all three with the nice Elephant trademark I remember when I were a lad.


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