A weekend in Ipswich: places to eat and stay

Ipswich waterfont and Marina (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Ipswich waterfont and Marina (Getty Images/iStockphoto) - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

We reveal some of the best restaurants and places to stay in the East Anglian waterfront town

There’s plenty on offer around Ipswich – from independent boutiques and national retail chains to Portland Road, the home of Ipswich Town Football Club. Plus, it plays host to some delicious food and drink and relaxing places to stay.

Where to eat

Aqua Eight

Creating pan Asian cuisine for the people of Ipswich, Aqua Eight boasts an inspired menu that fuses flavours taken from across China, Thailand, Indonesia and Asia. The chefs work with East of England farmers and suppliers, including Suffolk fishermen, to deliver dishes packed with seasonal locally-sourced ingredients. We’ve heard that the soft-shell crab is a must try – but if you can’t decide the knowledgeable staff will be on hand to help you choose.


For French inspired fine dining, the award-winning Mariners is a unique waterside restaurant that is housed within a refurbished 1899 Dutch barge, five minutes walk from Ipswich town centre. Menu highlights include the warm vine tomato and confit yellow pepper tart tartin and the Suffolk pork belly confit with mixed pepper and herb roulade.

Bistro on the Quay

From its location in a former salt warehouse overlooking the new marina, the light and airy Bistro on the Quay is not to be missed. The relaxed restaurant is headed by husband and wife team Anthony and Kathy Brooks, who offer a refined seasonal menu that is the stuff of foodie dreams. Don’t miss the roast crown of wild partridge with savoy cabbage and bacon bubble and squeak.

Where to stay

Salthouse Harbour Hotel

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Rated as the number one hotel in Ipswich by Trip Advisor, the boutique hotel in the vibrant Harbour quayside has rave reviews. The luxury interior mixes modern urban with classic decadence – expect to find sculpted furnishings, luxe fabrics and features such as walk in rain head showers and underfloor heating. The hotel is also home to popular 2 AA Rosette restaurant Eaterie – where you can find modern dishes created from foraged and local produce.

Belstead Brook Hotel

Built around a sixteenth century hunting lodge, with a leisure club and swimming pool, Belstead Brook Hotel is set amongst peaceful gardens just outside Ipswich. The rooms are traditionally decorated and include an ensuite bathroom and flatscreen TV.

Holiday Inn

The Ipswich Holiday Inn has everything you need for a relaxing stay, from the bar and Junction restaurant to its onsite health club – complete with Jacuzzi and sauna. The air conditioned rooms are complete with tea and coffee making facilities and the all important high-speed internet access. Plus, you can order from room service 24 hours a day, so you’ll never go hungry!


Things to do

Christchurch Park and Mansion

Orwell Country Park

Ipswich Transport Museum

Entertainment at New Wolsey Theatre and the Regent Theatre and Corn Exchange



Do you have a favourite place to visit in Ipswich? Let us know @SuffolkMag