The English pub is alive and well

Good beer, fine food and a warm welcome in a delightful thatched pub

Image: Henry Westcott

If you should find yourself on or near the Suffolk coast, perhaps paying a visit to the neolithic burial site at Sutton Hoo, or playing a round of golf at Woodbridge, take note: the nearby village of Shottisham is the venue for one of the prettiest pubs in the area – a proper old thatched English village pub with good food, excellent beer and a very friendly atmosphere.

I was introduced to the Sorrel Horse by a friend who has a house locally. We’ve spend several weekends there, and as the village has no local store, the pub tends to be the focus of our visits. Many an afternoon’s drinking in the cosy main bar (I recommend the Woodfordes Wherry bitter, a light, sweet beer with fruity hop aftertaste) has rolled on into evening, at which point our thoughts turn to a leisurely dinner. The pub’s food is uncomplicated, fresh and is best eaten in the dedicated dining room. Their locally sourced fish and sausages both stand out as excellent.


Riders, meanwhile, are well catered for as the pub has its own paddock and is more than happy to make your equine friends welcome.

At a time when the English pub is increasingly under threat, with a reported closure figure of two pubs per day, it’s heartening to find a local that’s surviving and even thriving. Indeed, the local community recently rallied around to purchase the freehold of the pub when it came up for sale (shares are still available at £500), thus ensuring that this warm and vital amenity will remain at the heart of the village – and at the heart of my weekend visits to Shottisham – for years to come.


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