Our destination, the Salthouse Harbour Hotel in Ipswich provided us with a great getaway to enjoy a night away. It’s usually lovely to have a change of scenery and this was the plan when my mother and I wanted some time together and celebrate her birthday.
This hotel in Suffolk has been on my radar for sometime, having been recommended to me by a friend. It’s ideal for a night or two away for a special occasion. It’s fashionable and describes itself as a ‘boutique hotel with a contemporary feel,’ located on the Ipswich Waterfront at Neptune Quay alongside bustling cafes and wine bars, DanceEast and the University of Suffolk’s Ipswich Campus.
The Waterfront has been the at the heart of Ipswich’s transformations over the town’s 1,500-year history. From early Saxon settlers and Viking invasions to global maritime trade and luxury yacht building. From here you can take either of two river trips on the Orwell Lady or on the Sailing Barge Victor. During the winter, Barge Victor offers the popular Birds by Barge trip, a special bird-watching experience.
The view from our bedroom over the marina was stunning, offering a spectacular sunset and sunrise in addition to posh motorboats moored up! Our bedroom was warm and luxurious with a comfortable king-sized bed. I was impressed to see a Melin Tregwent cover on the bed, made from a tiny Welsh wool on the coast of Pembrokeshire which I have previously visited.
Each bedroom in the hotel has been individually designed. Some feature copper baths overlooking the marina, ours had a luxurious roll top bath and walk-in rain shower with eco-friendly toiletries.
Dining at the hotel’s restaurant The Eaterie is a delight. The staff are friendly and knowledgeable about the menu, the food is mostly sourced locally. There’s a mixture of well-known producers supplying Dedham Vale steak and locally caught wild seabass, as well as the famous Binham Blue and Baron Bignod cheeses.
For starters, there’s an incredible selection of nibbles priced around £5, these include tempura gherkins, crispy Cajun calamari, honey and sherry glazed chorizo or larger starters from £6.50 to £15 including, duck liver and calvados parfait spiced apricot and truffle brioche, south coast king scallops, Morcela sausage, truffled celeriac and shaved bottarga.
The main courses include 28 day aged chargrill steak served with chunky chips, confit tomato and bearnaise sauce £28, red wine poached quince butternut squash with Binham Blue, Castelfranco salad, clementine and truffle dressing £15, seafood goujons £17 and wild mushroom and artichoke rigatoni with smoked almond pesto, £18.
My choice was the wild local seabass, chorizo and tomato cassoulet, £22, all tasty and beautifully presented. If you have room, then you won’t be disappointed by the puddings, sadly we were too full! But tempting as they were, we could have had dark chocolate fondant, plum jam and Mirabelle plum sorbet!
After a comfortable night’s sleep and a delicious breakfast with a glass of birthday bucks’ fizz for my Mum we set off home taking a diversion via Goodies Food Hall off the A140.
This upmarket ‘farm shop’ is a smaller version of Harrods food hall. It’s a deluxe food emporium, stocked full of delicious goodies and drinks, specialist items from biscuits to chutneys, fresh fruit and vegetables, cakes, chocolates, you name it, they have it with a good range of goods from local producers too.
I was pleased to bump into my friend providing a tasting of her new Kombucha brand, Kulture Tonic which is being stocked – another fantastic product from a local producer!
Goodies Food Hall has a well-earned reputation for quality meat and local produce. Their master butchers are on hand to assist at their amazing butchery department where you will see these professionals at work.
They pride themselves on being local, even the beef is handpicked from Bramfield meats which is matured for 28 days to produce the best quality cuts. Their pork is sourced 11 miles from the Food Hall. The Gunton Hall Estate supplies venison and seasonal game that includes wild duck, pheasant, partridge and rabbit.
The cheese counter is impressive! It stocks around 60 cheeses, making it one of the largest cheese counter selections in the region. Goodies has its own ready meals range and a bakery too.
Adjoining the shop is a new restaurant which serves breakfast, brunch, lunch and afternoon tea, seven days a week!
Fact File: To book call 01284 714014 | firstname.lastname@example.org | Prices from £135 night B&B.
Salthouse Harbour Hotel, Neptune Quay, Ipswich, IP4 1 AX.
Goodies Food Hall – French’s Farm, Wood Lane, Pulham, Diss, IP21 4XU
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Thank you to Salthouse Harbour Hotel for hosting me.