The Westleton Crown Pub with rooms in Westleton, Suffolk

Prices from:
£135 per night

David Hancock says:

  • Ancient inn; community hub
  • Good food; classics & carte
  • Simple, modern & elegant rooms
  • Secret terrace; alfresco heaven
  • Coast, heath & marsh on doorstep

Sticky FingersMuddy PawsGood for WalkingOutdoor PursuitsClose to Water

Real Time Booking Available
Overview

The Westleton Crown Westleton, Suffolk, IP17 3AD

The personal touch

Halfway between the trendy Suffolk havens of Aldeburgh and Southwold, the Crown sits rather aptly for such a stylish, historic building in an Area of Outstanding National Beauty amongst the ‘reed-fringed creeks, tidal marsh and low, heath-backed cliffs’ of Suffolk’s Heritage Coastline. With the ornithological delights of the RSPB’s flagship Minsmere reserve and nearby Dunwich Heath just two miles away, it’s superb countryside for exploring on foot or by pedal power. The former coaching inn is the hub of attractive Westleton, the fairly plain brick frontage hiding a ‘Tardis-like’ building that extends back from the warm and welcoming traditional bar and parlour room to various lounges and the light and airy Garden Room extension, filled with big rustic dining tables. It’s all log fires, eclectic ‘befriended’ furniture, stripped boards, local photographs, and a real sense of rural chic, so kick off your shoes, whether high heels or walking boots. Why not pick up the ‘Inn to Inn’ walking route and head off across Dunwich Heath to the Crown’s sister pub, the Ship at Dunwich, for lunch.

Sticky fingers

Kids can choose from their own menu, or smaller portions are available, and there are a couple of spacious family rooms with extra beds.

Muddy paws

The pub is very dog friendly – your four-legged friend is welcome in the bar (water bowls & dog biscuits) and the lounge areas. They are allowed overnight in several rooms where you’ll find blankets, biscuits and bowls. Dogs will love the walks across Dunwich Heath and they are allowed on Dunwich beach all year round.

Alfresco

Huge glass doors in the Garden Room peel back in summer to reveal the fabulous landscaped terraced patio garden, replete with teak tables and chairs, colourful flower borders and outdoor kitchen.

 

What’s the Damage?
34 doubles/twin: £135-£200

What Else?

  • All credit cards accepted
  • Alfresco dining
  • Disabled access to bar, restaurant and some ground floor rooms
  • Parking

Gongs

AA 3 Star Hotel & 2 Rosettes

Sleep

The Westleton Crown Westleton, Suffolk, IP17 3AD

Do not disturb

Losing none of their soul or age-old charm, the luxurious yet simply elegant bedrooms, like the rest of this seductively relaxing building, exude all the sophistication and comforts of contemporary living. The feel is simple, light, neutral and stylish, with a clever blend of the modern design and the original period charm of each different part of this property. Rooms above the old inn feature low eaves, steep wide staircases, beams and sloping floors. Named after birds found on the surrounding heaths and marshes, all have White Company toiletries, Fired Earth bathrooms, fluffy towels, Egyptian cotton linen on sprung mattresses, fresh coffee and milk, and homemade biscuits. The best rooms have extra touches such as bigger TVs, feature beds like black steel and linen four poster or nickel-framed Rochester half testers, extra toiletries, complimentary sloe gin, and huge freestanding baths in the bedrooms (some are beautiful slipper baths), and big walk-in monsoon showers. There are six categories of rooms based on size and comforts and the same quality and level of refurbishment – Small Good, Good, Better, Best, Junior Suites and Suites. Personal touches include a 24-hour night porter with drinks & sandwiches available any time day or night, and breakfast delivered to room.

 

What’s the Damage?
34 doubles/twin: £135-£200

What Else?

  • All credit cards accepted
  • Alfresco dining
  • Disabled access to bar, restaurant and some ground floor rooms
  • Parking

Gongs

AA 3 Star Hotel & 2 Rosettes

Eat & Drink

The Westleton Crown Westleton, Suffolk, IP17 3AD

Mastering the menu

(Starters: £5.75-£7.95; Main Courses: £14-£24.95; Desserts £6-£8.95; sandwiches from £6.95)

Whether dressing up for dinner in the smart Garden Room restaurant or in walking kit straight from the beach for a light bite in the bar, the single menu covers it all, from simple treats like salt beef and horseradish sandwiches, hearty Adnams Ghost Ship battered fish and hand-cut chips with mushy peas and tartare sauce, to the epicurean heights of roast hake with tomato, saffron and mussel bisque, lamb shoulder, red pepper couscous, spinach, crispy shallot rings and tagine sauce, or slow-roasted pork belly, Lyonnaise potatoes, apple purée and Aspall cider jus. Puddings may include iced banana and hazelnut parfait, caramelised banana and caramel sauce, or cherry frangipane tart with cherry and Kirsch ice cream. With an eye for presentation and flavours, James Finch’s cooking is definitely style and substance, using fresh, seasonal produce from some super local producers to great effect, including Blythburgh pork, local estate game, and asparagus from Emmerdale Farm Shop. Don’t miss the afternoon teas (from £6.75) and the excellent Sunday roast lunches – booking advised. Beer drinkers will be pleased to note that a tally of four real ales is on offer and with Southwold being only 7 miles away, it means cracking Adnams ales (Southwold Bitter) are a permanent feature among the row of four handpumps. Alternatively, there’s a good list of well-chosen wines (16 by the glass).

Time to Eat

Breakfast: 7am – 10am (10.30 Saturday & Sunday)
Lunch: 12 noon – 2.30pm
Dinner: 6.30pm – 9.30pm

Time at the bar

11am – 11pm

What’s the Damage?
34 doubles/twin: £135-£200

What Else?

  • All credit cards accepted
  • Alfresco dining
  • Disabled access to bar, restaurant and some ground floor rooms
  • Parking

Gongs

AA 3 Star Hotel & 2 Rosettes

Food Trail

Take it back home
Tour the brewery that brewed your favourite pint, visit the shop on the farm that reared your delicious Sunday roast beef, and seek out the roadside stalls selling the local crab and samphire on the inn’s menu, the Food Trail features the local artisan producers and suppliers where you can buy to enjoy at home.

Change of scenery
Looking for a pub for lunch following a country walk, a different venue for dinner, or a good café for coffee, light lunch or afternoon tea, then the best in the area are listed below. If you find a new and exciting eatery in the area that’s worthy of a mention on the Food Trail, then please to do let us know – gabrielle@innplaces.co.uk.

1 Inn Location - The Westleton Crown

2

The Lord Nelson, 42 East Street, Southwold IP18 6EJ

The 'Nellie' as she is affectionately known is the closest thing to a brewery tap that Adnams has, the place to come and enjoy its benchmark Southwold ales and absorb the Southwold drinking culture at its best. If it's good enough for Chairman Jonathan Adnams!

3

Emmetts Hams of Peasenhall, Main Street, Peasenhall IP17 2HJ

The Royal Warranted favourite of the dear old Queen Mum, Mark David is a charcutier par excellence, crafting amazing legs of pork into cured and smoked gammons of sheer class, made here since 1820. Quirky variations on the normal ham and bacon don't end at Green Unsmoked, Mild Cure or the Smoked Suffolk Black, how about spicy molasses Christmas Cure, black peppercorn, Earl Grey, fennel seed and many other interesting flavourings. Also a heavenly continental deli and courtyard cafe.

4

White Horse, Sweffling Low Road, Sweffling IP17 2BB

A rare beast in Suffolk, a proper drinking house in the middle of nowhere, with two alternating beers and one cider drawn from the taproom casks, keg-free (but there are 5 bottled Suffolk lagers). Food is interesting bar snacks, and either ploughmans and savouries in the summer months or hot Marlesford Farmcafe pies from the Aga come winter, bliss! Of course, there are traditional pub games and dogs welcomed.

5

Eels Foot, Eastbridge, Leiston IP16 4SN

This charming coastal inn, close to picturesque Dunwich Heath and RSPB Minsmere, is the home of local folk music. They have a great tradition of instrumental acoustic sessions here, they 'jam' at 'Squit Night' every Thursday whilst the last Sunday of the month is more trad' scene.

6

Fish Hut at Aldeburgh Beach (north end of Aldeburgh Promenade) IP15 5BJ

Unusually the in-shore boats are dragged up high on the rolling shingle beach of this cosmopolitan chic resort town. Dean and Alby’s fish shack is legendary in these parts, take your pick of the flappingly-fresh morning’s catch, which they will happily gut and scale for you.

7

Harbour Inn, Black Shore, Southwold IP18 6TA

Stopping off is a must for well-kept beer and hearty good pub food on a ramble along Blackshore, named after the black-painted fish sheds and the colour of the river mud. Despite the constant stream of wandering tourists, this is a working harbour, replete with house boats, chandlery, shipbuilders and a handful of working and charter fishing vessels.

8

Adnams Brewery and Distillery Tours, Adnams Wine Shop, Pinkney's Lane, Southwold IP18 6EW

Suffolk and especially this north-eastern part of the county is Adnams country, few landlords far and wide would risk not serving their well-known beers, such is their renown. Visit the brewery and the recently-installed distillery for tours to see how the ales, spirits and liqueurs are produced and of course a good slurp or two to find your favourites. Tutored tasting and sampling in their excellent Cellar & Kitchen Store in Victoria Street is included. Alternative 'Make Your Own Gin' Experience too. Pre-booking essential.

9

Snape Maltings Farmers' Market Main Road, Snape IP17 1SR

The world-famous Aldeburgh Music concert halls are based at this converted maltsters as is perhaps East Anglia’s leading foodlovers’ emporium, with its own pub, restaurant, food hall, a plethora of shops and home to the equally renowned Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival, which is held on the last weekend of September. It is also the venue for one of the best monthly farmers’ markets on the first Saturday.

10

Friday Street Farm Shop & Cafe, Farnham IP17 1JX

Not just a great place to buy locally-grown food and amazing Suffolk products but also visit the lovely cafe-restaurant, wet fish shop, homewares store and new butchery. Seasonal summer PYO soft fruits too.

11

Wissett Wines, Rumburgh Road, Wissett IP19 OJJ

One of East Anglia's better wine producers, they are known for their award-winning still Madeleine d'Angevine and their sparkling blush pink 'Gloriana' bottle-fermented blend. Self-tours around the estate followed by tastings in the shop.

12

Maple Farm, Kelsale Clay Hills Road, Kelsale IP17 2PL

A gentle drive south past Dunwich, this organic farmstead harvests the most amazing seasonal veggies, free-range eggs, Suffolk honey plus organic meats and even their own home-grown milled flours. Honesty box farm shop sales. (best to use Sat-Nav to find the farm).

14

Crown Inn, Snape Bridge Road, Snape IP17 1SL

This 15th-century smugglers' haunt, full of history in the old beams, red brick walls and the iconic wooden settle in front of the inglenook. They are known for their home-reared livestock producing fine well-hung meats for their seasonal cooking and great Adnams beers of course.

15

Emmerdale Farm Shop, Westleton Road, Darsham IP17 3BP

On the home farm of The Anchor's excellent butcher, the Thickitt family's huge farm shop-deli has been running for decades, long before they became fashionable, a new meat counter is worthy of a visit alone, let alone for all the local products.

16

Two Magpies Bakery, 88 High Street, Southwold IP18 6DP

An artisan bakery and intimate magical cafe with great music, cool arty interior and of course, amazing pastries, breads and fine beverage essentials. All the loaves feature their sourdough culture for depth of flavour and seek out the locally-inspired Double Broadside cake.

17

Flavours Food Festival, Henham Park, Blythburgh NR34 8AN

Taking place in early June at this country parkland estate, a foodlovers’ treat with producers, chef demonstrations, music and lots for children to enjoy. Also, it’s home to the cultural family-friendly Latitude music festival in July.

18

Suffolk Herring Festival, Lowestoft NR32 1HH

This celebration of the local silver darlings, the herring shoals, which helped ‘make’ Lowestoft into the famous nearby fishing port, takes place every two years and due to be next held in late October 2015. A showcase of arts, music, culture, tastings, special menus and lots more. Check the website for details.

Out & About

1 Inn Location - The Westleton Crown

Activities

2

Southwold Electric Picture Palace, Blackmill Road, Southwold, Suffolk IP18 6AN

This is a cinema outing with a difference, recalling those distant, fondly-remembered days when going to the pictures was something of an occasion. Seeing a film here transports you to that magical era and to make the visit even more special, there are usherettes, a commissionaire and a front-of-house manager in evening dress.

3

Crabbing at the Quayside, Walberwick IP18 6TN

Make for the River Blyth in Walberswick, venue for the British Crabbing Championships, and enjoy some rare family time by the water. With the aid of string and bacon, you can try catching a few native crustaceans. The kids will love it and the occasion will no doubt rekindle happy memories of family holidays over the years.

Shopping

9

Norwich NR2 1RL

One of the best-preserved medieval cities in the country, Norwich is a top shopping destination with lots of independent retailers and smart restaurants. For something slightly unusual visit Colman's Mustard Shop and Museum in the Royal Arcade. We've all grown up with those distinctive little jars of mustard; here, you can discover how it all began and then visit the shop for a wide selection of mustard pots and spoons. Look out, too, for St Gregory's Antiques and Collectables in Pottergate, just the place for that rare item or quirky find.

10

Cork Brick Gallery, 6 Earsham Street, Bungay NR35 1AG

Located in Bungay, not far from Southwold, Cork Brick Gallery showcases the varied and exquisite work of local professional artists. The shop stock is constantly changing.

11

Southwold Pier IP18 6BN

A shopping trip with a difference, this is where you can potter and browse against the stunning backdrop of the North Sea. Expect plenty of gift items and souvenirs in this quaint seaside setting.

13

Snape Maltings Farmers’ Market, Main Road, Snape IP17 1SR

The world-famous Aldeburgh Music concert halls are based at this converted maltsters as is perhaps East Anglia’s leading foodlovers’ emporium, with its own pub, restaurant, food hall, a plethora of shops and home to the equally renowned Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival, which is held on the last weekend of September. It is also the venue for one of the best monthly farmers’ markets on the first Saturday.

Places to visit

4

Elizabethan House Museum, Great Yarmouth NR30 2QH

Located in Great Yarmouth, this amazing National Trust museum represents a real hands-on experience, bringing to life the day-to-day routine of the generations of families who have lived in this fascinating 16th-century building on South Quay.

5

Southwold Museum, 9 -11 Victoria Street, Southwold IP18 6HZ

Housed in two Dutch-gabled cottages, the Southwold Museum is a little gem on the Suffolk coast. The story of the town's fishing industry is told in fascinating detail and there is also a display of relics and items washed up on the shore here over the years.

6

Orford Ness National Nature Reserve, Orford Quay IP12 2NU

Bleak and exposed, Orford Ness is a long, natural barrier of shingle south of Aldeburgh. The only way to reach it is by National Trust ferry from Orford. The Ness is where rare and fragile wildlife exists in a precious environment once used for testing atomic bombs.

7

Minsmere Nature Reserve, Dunwich IP17 3BY

Minsmere, one of the Suffolk coast's most familiar landmarks, is an RSPB nature reserve and top destination for wildlife in Britain. These reedy marshes are a haven for rare birds and serious ornithologists.

8

Sutton Hoo, Woodbridge IP12 3DJ

It's a name that crops up from time to time in history documentaries and travel programmes, but there's nothing to beat actually visiting these atmospheric ancient burial mounds near Woodbridge. Sutton Hoo is where the 7th-century Anglo-Saxon Kings of East Anglia lay buried and undiscovered until they were unearthed in 1938.

12

Snape Maltings, Bridge Road, Snape, Saxmundham IP17 1SR

Renowned for its glorious associations with fine music, Snape Maltings at Aldeburgh is also an excellent shopping venue. There are nine independent shops here, including a boutique, fresh food pantry and a bookshop and stationers.

Walking

www.walkinginsuffolk.co.uk
www.discoversuffolk.org.uk
The Suffolk coast is a fascinating area for walking. This evocative landscape, visibly eroded and overwhelmed by the sea through the centuries, has many miles of secret paths and hidden tracks that were once the haunt of smugglers evading the excise men. It’s a fascinating place of mystery, of moody reed marshes and wide, breathtaking skies. One of the most popular walking routes in the region links many of the Suffolk coast’s great landmarks. The Suffolk Coast Path runs for 50 miles between Felixstowe and Lowestoft and takes in a variety of sea wall stretches, marsh, heath and foreshore.

Cycling

www.discoversuffolk.org.uk
www.cycle-route.com
Like so much of East Anglia, the Suffolk coast is essentially flat and cycle-friendly. North and south of Westleton, around the river estuaries and across the remote heaths there are many miles of cycle trails, quiet country lanes and off-road routes to enable you to spend a few enjoyable hours in the saddle.

Events

www.aldeburgh.co.uk
www.folkeast.co.uk
www.suffolkherringfestival.net
www.flavoursfoodfestivals.co.uk
Without doubt the annual Aldeburgh Festival in June is the event in this part of the world. Founded by Benjamin Britten in 1948, the festival focuses on classical music by past and present composers and the Suffolk coast setting is delightful. There’s also an assortment of films, visual arts and master classes. The Snape Proms and FolkEast are in August and September is the month when Aldeburgh Food & Drink Festival is held. The Suffolk Herring Festival comprises arts, music, culture, tastings and special menus and there’s also the Flavours Food Festival, held at Henham Park near Blythburgh, a popular event that always appeals to foodies. There are producers, chef demonstrations and entertainment for children.

Getting there

Location, Location, Location

By Road: Westleton is located 2 miles east off A12 between Southwold and Woodbridge

By Rail: The nearest railway station is Darsham, 3 miles from Westleton, with Ipswich (25 miles south) being the nearest main line station (direct trains to Liverpool Street).

Address:

The Street, Westleton, Suffolk, IP17 3AD

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