The best of Suffolk at the British Larder

Sandra Roberts finds delicious local food in stylish surroundings near Woodbridge

Sandra Roberts finds delicious local food in stylish surroundings near Woodbridge

Larder. Now there’s a quaint old-fashioned term. How many people have a larder in their home nowadays? Certainly not us and I don’t know anyone else who does either.I can just about remember my granny’s larder though. A big old cupboard with shelves of homemade preserves, butter pats nestling in their dish, Sunday leftovers safe under a mesh lid and of course, cake tins, full of freshly-baked goodies. But it seems the services of the traditional larder are no longer required. Not in these days of modern fitted kitchens and giant American-style walk-in refrigerators.So when a new restaurant opens, calling itself the British Larder, it’s difficult to know what to expect. A culinary nostalgia trip perhaps complete with retro furniture and menu to match? Thankfully not. The only thing this lovely new eaterie has in common with your granny’s larder is that it is full of delicious fresh food.The British Larder at Bromeswell is housed in what was formerly The Cherry Tree pub, an establishment we’d never visited, though friends told us it used to be very dark and old-fashioned. Well, not any more it isn’t. Thoughtful interior design has managed to skilfully blend the best features of a traditional country pub, the low beams and cosy atmosphere, with a new kind of clean cut modern elegance. A tasteful palette of heritage shades combined with plain wood flooring, simple but stylish furniture and subtle lighting lends the restaurant and bar areas a slightly minimalist but nevertheless relaxing and inviting feel.Certainly it was very relaxing browsing the menu in the bar with our aperitifs – a glass of draught prosecco for me and a pint for my husband. He had hoped for Calvors, but was out of luck as it is not stocked.But as it turned out, that was the only disappointment of the evening because the food was excellent. The aim of Maddy and Ross, who run the restaurant is, as stated on the back of the evening’s menu, “to be local. To remain as British as possible without restricting our culinary boundaries.”So, for starters I enjoyed a wonderful plate of late harvest Suffolk Heritage squash, salt baked beetroot and Rosary goats’ cheese salad with rosehip vinaigrette. This was a truly melt in the mouth dish. I don’t know what they did with the beetroot but I could have eaten a plate of it on its own and the goat’s cheese was lovely – tangy but not overpowering. My husband opted for Bromeswell rabbit, ham knuckle and wild mushroom terrine with greengage chutney which produced a verdict of “delicious, moist and flavoursome.”My main course of organic sea trout with local yellow and green bean and lentil salad was delicious. Perfectly pan-fried fish and a salad bursting not just with colour but vibrant flavour too. My husband’s selection of roasted Barbary duck leg with kohlrabi, griddled leek and a red wine sauce, was equally good – “extremely tasty” he said while the kohlrabi was “a revelation.”We’d also ordered two vegetable side dishes – rosemary and sea salt roasties and courgettes with peas and curly kale. Both were delicious but we really didn’t need them and had to leave them unfinished.Pretty full by now, we ordered sticky toffee pudding and two spoons from the extensive dessert menu. I love sticky toffee pudding any day of the week but this one was totally delicious and so light and airy that we could have managed one each.All in all it was a lovely evening with pleasant unhurried service and staff who were genuinely interested in finding out what we thought of the food. The bill, when it came, was possibly a tad on the expensive side. For two-and-a-half courses each, plus a glass of prosecco, pint of lager, two glasses of wine, a Jura single malt and two coffees came to �85. Add in service and you’re not left with much change from a �100.Still, it was our anniversary, and it was a really lovely evening with some of the best food we’ve had. Just like granny’s store cupboard, this is one Larder we’d be more than happy to revisit.

The British Larder SuffolkOrford Road, Bromeswell, WoodbridgeTel: 01394 460310www.britishlarder.co.uk

Comments powered by Disqus