Wednesday, 7 May 2008

A drop of Suffolk ale

Today I meandered from Southwold to Norwich and came across a boozy little gem called St Peter's Hall which lies just outside the picturesque little town of Bungay (still in Suffolk).

It's an interesting place, a 13th century moated manor comprising many fine ecclesiastical pieces which were salvaged following the dissolution of nearby Flixton Priory.

In 1996, the hall was bought by John Murphy who has turned it into a brewery like no other - certainly a world away from my local brewery on the far-from-picturesque Wandsworth one-way system, adjacent to which I must have spent many a tedious hour stuck in traffic.

The main restaurant is a lofty banqueting hall complete with 17th century tapestries and fine stone fireplaces - a little on the grand side for my pit-stop lunch. Next door there's the more cosy Library Bar, but on a glorious sunny day like today I opted for the beautiful pub garden.

I'm not the world's biggest ale fan but it seemed rude not to partake - if only to get my hands on one of the brewery's quirky receptacles - as you can see, they are more medicine bottle than beer bottle. And I have to say that Suffolk ham and eggs washed down with this mild brew was a rather refreshing combination.

St Peter's Hall
St Peter South Elham
Suffolk NR35 1NQ

Tel: 01986 782288

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