Fancy choosing to leave home on a Bank Holiday. I’m glad I did as I went to Eels Foot Inn at Eastbridge, not far from Leiston and Aldeburgh, Suffolk.
It was a lovely day, and although traffic on the A12 was heavy, it was moving. Using satnav to East Bridge, IP16 4SN soon we were in single-track lanes, with grass growing through the tarmac along the centre. Dappled sunlight broke through the trees, and travelling quietly, we were in an hybrid Lexus, so at low speed there was no engine noise. Bliss.
Eastbridge is a lovely hamlet, with little more than the Eels Foot Inn at its centre. As we turned the last corner to find the pub the atmosphere changed. There was the Inn, small, with a row of tables in front. The car park is at one side of the building. We pulled in to find two petanque courts, with teams playing. The car park was packed with cars (what else?), so we drove around to the rear field – that was even more packed. As we searched for a place we could see many more people, a busy barbecue and signs that a band was about to start playing.
We had stumbled open the Second Eel Foot Petanque Championship. A van, set up to sell petanque equipment, had come from Wales! Lovely atmosphere. Lovely people.
The pub staff should have been flustered and overwhelmed, but they were courteous, even laughing at my feeble jokes, and very efficient. We chose baked crab (how often do you see that on a pub menu) and a lamb-burger. Both were excellent, served with a really tasty salad (and that’s extremely unusual anywhere).
I’ll go no further, except to say the menu was both extensive and attractive. The tenants of this pub deserve to succeed. If you want to impress take someone here. The petanque teams will have gone but there’s the chance to stay in the luxury bed and breakfast, or park your caravan in the adjoining field.
After lunch we went for a walk, making the short drive to Dunwich, and I suggest you do find the church because close by there’s a good garden nursery, with well-cared-for plants, that also has a cafe with cakes, one of which now fits comfortably around my waist. Sitting in the sun, in the garden, with a big pot of tea, was tranquil and glorious. OK, the walk – that was towards Minsmere walking through the heather, in full flower. No web site just for the nursery – but http://www.visitsouthwold.co.uk/establishments/557/Bridge+Nurseries+and+Tea+Room,+Dunwich
A wonderful day.