West Suffolk

Campaign for Real Ale

Campaign for Real Ale

Latest News

Here is the latest news including updates about pubs in the branch area.

  • Good News - The Bull in Troston near Bury St Edmunds is to reopen Monday 25 January 2021

    The Bull Freehouse in Troston near Bury St Edmunds has announced it intends to reopen later this Spring. Check their website for latest information https://thebullfreehouse.com/

  • Microbrewery moves over the border to Suffolk. Sunday 17 January 2021

    Sarah Hide with partner Mark Jackson runs Roughacre Brewery
    Previously based at Castle Camps in Cambridgeshire since starting the brewery in 2018, but have now made the move to Clare Hall Barns in Clare which is in the West Suffolk and Borders branch area

    More information is available on their website here Roughacre Brewery

  • AGM DATE ANNOUNCED 17TH FEBRUARY 2021 Thursday 14 January 2021

    WEST SUFFOLK & BORDERS BRANCH

    NOTICE OF BRANCH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

    Notice is hereby given that the Annual General Meeting of the Campaign for Real Ale, West Suffolk & Borders Branch, will be held via the online Zoom platform on Wednesday 17th February 2021, at 19:30 hours.

    The Branch Officers, supported by our Regional Director and CAMRA HQ, have approved a virtual meeting due to the COVID-19 pandemic and our inability to hold ‘face to face’ meetings at the current time. The Zoom access details are : MEETING ID 854 0046 8429 PASSCODE : 266172 Any member who requires assistance connecting with the Zoom platform should contact the Secretary ku.gro.armac.kloffustsew@yraterces

    The under mentioned business will be transacted.
    Paul J Cooper
    Branch Secretary
    15th January 2021

    A G E N D A

    1, Apologies
    2. To approve the minutes of 2019 Annual General Meeting (attached)
    3. To approve the minutes of Special General Meeting held on 26 Jan 20 (attached)
    4. Chairman’s Report
    5. Treasurer’s Report
    6. To approve the 2020 (unaudited) Accounts
    7. Appointment of an Auditor
    8. Election of Branch Officers/Committee

    Excepting Andrew Land, who is retiring, the remaining Branch Officers are offering themselves for re-election. Daniel Heath is nominated, proposed and seconded, in accordance with the constitution, for the vacant post of Pubs, Breweries and Cider Officer.
    The Branch Committee, as proposed is

    Chairman Chris Bailey
    Vice-Chairman Martin Bate
    Secretary Paul Cooper
    Treasurer Andy Parrett
    Membership Secretary Laura Hall
    Pubs, Breweries & Cider Officer Dan Heath
    Social Organiser Martin Bate
    IT, Wed & Social Media Mike Shave
    Beer Festival Organiser Martin Bate

    Any member intending to stand for election, and contest any incumbent, should notify the Secretary, supported by a valid (proposed/seconded) nomination, by no later than Friday 12th February 2021.

    9. Any other relevant business (to be notified in advance to the Secretary)
    10. 2021 Annual General Meeting – proposed Wednesday 3rd November 2021

    You can also download this document here AGM NOTICE Wednesday 17th February 2021

  • Black Boy Pubs in Bury and Sudbury to be renamed. Thursday 14 January 2021

    The Black Boy pubs in Bury St Edmunds and Sudbury to be renamed due to 'racist' connotations - with public set to choose their new names

    Brewery Greene King is to rename The Black Boy pubs in Bury St Edmunds and Sudbury as it believes the name has 'racist' connotations.

    The pubs giant is to hold an online public vote so communities can pick a new name for the historic pubs from a list of suggestions.

    The decision to change the name follows consultation with stakeholders and researching the pubs’ histories, plus consulting with the tenants of both pubs.

    Suffolk News https://www.suffolknews.co.uk/bury-st-edmunds/news/two-historic-pubs-to-be-renamed-due-to-racist-connotations-with-public-set-to-choose-new-names-9148354/

  • We're now on FACEBOOK Thursday 14 January 2021

    West Suffolk & Borders Branch of CAMRA is now on Facebook While we can't meet in pubs, the Committee have been busy keeping the Branch going and now need your help to be the eyes and ears of the Branch at this turbulent time for the pub and brewing industries.

    We'll also be posting news of services that are available to keep you topped up, future plans for Branch activities, and all things CAMRA related.

    You'll find a link from this website to Facebook on our Home Page so please take a look, "Like" us to keep updated, and drop us a message if you'd like to get more involved or can give us any info on the pubs and breweries on our patch.

    So whatever your preference, website, Twitter or Facebook, we've got it covered

  • INFO on PUBS currently still offering services Saturday 9 January 2021

    INFO on PUBS currently offering services

    The full list is displayed on the Branch Pubs/Brewery Coronavirus Updates page

    You can also download the list here West Suffolk Pub Services at 8 Jan 2021

  • Team from a Bury local are rasing funds for St Nicholas Hospice Care Thursday 7 January 2021

    In celebration of 1000 years of Bury St Edmunds Abbey, team Oakes Barn from the Bury St Edmunds local of the same name aim to raise £1000 for St Nicholas Hospice Care

    As part of their efforts in January 2021 they are planning to collectively run 1000 miles

    .

    You can support them by clicking here

    1000 mile pledge Oaks Barn fund raising alks for St Nics during lockdown 2021

  • NEW NANO-BREWERY STARTS BREWING DURING PANDEMIC Wednesday 16 December 2020
  • PUBS MATTER -Make sure everyone knows why # pubs matter Monday 14 December 2020

    Pubs Matter is a campaign to get people talking about why pubs and social clubs across the UK are a force for good. We want to shout from the rooftops about why pubs matter to people and communities.

    The organisations behind Pubs Matter represent people that love pubs – the people who run them, the people that brew beer for them and, most importantly, the people and communities who use them. Any organisation, pub or person can get involved – to find out how below clcik the link below

    .

    https://whypubsmatter.org.uk/get-involved/

  • Newsletter Winter 2020 available to read online or download Saturday 12 December 2020

    Click here Newsletters

  • CAMRA Video - The principles behind matching beer with food now available Friday 11 December 2020

    CAMRA has published its latest video guide on its Learn & Discover platform, this time helping its members discover the art of pairing beer with food with drinks educator Alison Taffs.
    https://camra.org.uk/press_release/join-alison-taffs-in-discovering-the-principles-behind-matching-beer-with-food/

  • The Greene King @greeneking Award for Best Beer Writer, Print Publications Gold Award goes to Roger Protz Friday 11 December 2020

    for his book, 'The Family Brewers of Britain' which is available from CAMRA https://shop1.camra.org.uk/product/the-family-brewers-of-britain/
    Well done Roger. In 2019 Roger Protz was one of the speakers at our 28th East Anglian Beer and Cider Festival. Due to CORVID restrictions our festival at the Apex in Bury St Edmunds had to be cancelled this year but we are hopeful that we will be abe to stage the festival at some point in 2021. Watch this space.

  • 2020-21 Rural, Town and overall West Suffolk PoTY winners announced Tuesday 8 December 2020

    Winner of the West Suffolk Branch Rural PoTY for 2020-21 is Pakenham Fox Pakenham

    Pictured below West Suffolk Vice-Chair Martin Bate presenting the award to owner Nick McIlwraith

    Nick and Martin outside Pakenham Fox (CORVID) Photo by Paul

    Winner of Town and also overall West Suffolk Branch PoTY is Oakes Barn Bury St Edmunds

    Pictured below with West Suffolk Vice-Chair Martin Bate

  • Macebearer campaingners hopes dashed Saturday 5 December 2020

    2013 photo from Suffolk Camra Campaigners hoped that their "community" pub would reopen on 2nd December but have had their hopes dashed as Greene King which originally had announced in October the decision not to reopen the pub for the immediate future had sent customers an email stating ‘welcome back’ message in error.”
    Campaigners say The Macebearer Pub is the “social hub” and “bedrock of the local community.
    Watch this space for developments. If

  • The Lindsey Rose closed until further notice Friday 4 December 2020

    According to it's website The LINDSEY ROSE which claims to be one of the oldest pubs in the England, is closed until further notice.
    Check it's website https://www.thelindseyrose.co.uk/ for up to date information

  • Cartoon in Sunday Times today on the PMs restrictions killing off wet led pubs Sunday 29 November 2020
  • Our improved mobile friendly website Thursday 26 November 2020

    Accessing your West Suffolk CAMRA website whenever and wherever you are has just become a lot easier as it is now "mobile friendly". In these CORVID times your local news and stories are even more welcome than ever to help keep your fellow members entertained and up to date..
    Please send us your news and comments by email to ku.ro.armac.kloffustsew@retsambew
    Also your feedback or suggestions about the new website would be appreciated.

  • CAMRA Last Orders magazine e-edition Wednesday 25 November 2020

    Due to CORVID restrictions it has not been possible to print and distribute the Suffolk and North Essex CAMRA Magazine LAST ORDERS so resourceful as ever the magazines editor Nigel Smith has published an e-version which other than not containing any adverts is full of the usual interesting and informative information about the local CAMRA scene.
    If you are missing your copy of . you can download your own copy by clicking here E-Last Orders or read it on screen below

  • 2nd Lockdown restrictions on pubs u-turn! Tuesday 3 November 2020

    During the second lockdown due to start on 5th November the government had said pubs would not be allowed to sell take-a-way alcohol but thanks to pressure applied by CAMRA and their members contacting their MPs in unprecedented numbers the government has announced sales will be now be allowed in a relaxation of planned lockdown rules in England as follows:
    - Alcohol can be collected by customers as long as they do not enter the premises
    -Customers must order their drink via a website, phone or text message.
    -Deliveries are also allowed.
    See Coronavirus Update page for pub contact information .

  • Your local beer is under threat. Sign the petition! Thursday 1 October 2020

    The Government is set to increase the tax paid by some small independent breweries in the UK. This could lead to brewery closures and less choice at the bar for you. CAMRA has joined calls for the Government to think again – we need your help to persuade them that this is bad for UK brewing and bad for consumers. You can help by signing the petition. More info click here

  • New quarterly branch newsletters for members Monday 7 September 2020

    The first of what is hoped will be quarterly Branch newsletters has just be published and circulated to members. A copy can also be downloaded from the 'Members Area' of this website

  • Beer Festival Cancelled Wednesday 12 August 2020

    West Suffolk CAMRA organising committee had hoped to be able to reschedule our beer festival for later in the year but regrettably due to the ongoing CORVID-19 situation the decision has been taken that this years festival will not now be able to take place and is therefore formally cancelled
    https://www.burystedmundsbeerfestival.com

  • LICENSEES LONG SERVICE RECOGNISED! Friday 31 July 2020

    The West Suffolk & Borders branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) has recently rewarded local licensees, Barry and Jane Waterman of The White Horse, Beyton near Bury St Edmunds, with a lifetime achievement certificate for their record of long service as local publicans.
    Licensees Barry and Jane Waterman being presented with their award by West Suffolk and Borders CAMRA Branch Chairman Chris Bailey (Left) outside the Beyton White Horse.

    As we climb out of Lockdown Barry and Jane have clocked up a mammoth forty-four years as publicans for local brewer, Greene King, a career which began in Cambridge in 1976. The past thirty-five years of these have been spent at The White Horse, a cosy comfortably furnished village centre pub offering meals and accommodation, and which is renowned for the quality of its locally brewed Abbot Ale. One of the pubs most unusual features is its Well plunging sixty feet, from the bar to an underground stream, and alleged to be the water source for an onsite brewery in the 17 th Century.

    Commenting on the award Barry and Jane say “It’s a privilege to receive such an award and recognition from CAMRA for all our hard work.” Barry, a former Michael Caine impersonator, continued “Earlier this year we were nominated for a national Greene King Excellence Award”. Unfortunately the presentation evening had to be cancelled due to COVID-19. This latest award and recognition from local drinkers makes up for some of that disappointment.”

    Presenting the award, Chris Bailey, local CAMRA Branch Chairman added “The village local forms the cornerstone of many communities, evidenced no more so than during the recent lockdown when so many publicans stepped up to the plate to support the vulnerable in their communities. As our Branch longest serving publicans Barry and Jane’s unprecedented commitment to Beyton and the wider community is testimony to this and emphasises how important it is to Protect your local Pub. I would urge those who value these community assets to join CAMRA and help save them from closure.”

    The final thoughts from Barry and Jane, when asked to recall the most memorable events of their long career were two fold; firstly was the ‘smoking ban’ which hit the licensed trade hard – “We had to reinvent ourselves to stay in business” and, secondly, “The kindness and compassion of customers, locals, and friends from across the licenced trade following the unexpected loss of our daughter, Sarah, a victim of the Swine Flu epidemic, in January 2011.”

  • LOCKDOWN PUB HEROS RECOGNISED Tuesday 21 July 2020

    The local West Suffolk & Borders branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) has rewarded local licensees, publicans and brewers this week with a special ‘Lock Down Champions’ award.

    The awards are in recognition of those thirty-six pubs and brewers in West Suffolk who have continued to serve their local communities during the past four months of lock down by opening their businesses to deliver a host of new initiatives … beer off sales, takeaway meals, pop up shops and extra services for struggling communities, all of which have really proved that ‘The Pub is the Hub’ in many town and rural communities.

    A small handful of publicans and brewers have also been recognised with an ‘Above and Beyond’ award in recognition of their extra efforts to support their communities. Ranging from local brewers Nethergate and Brewshed, who have provided essential services direct from the brewery door, to local pubs who have provided take away meal services, home delivery to the elderly and vulnerable and community shops. Amongst the latter are the Gardners Arms, Tostock and Stanningfield, Red House.

    Martin Bate, CAMRA branch Vice Chairman said “ Our members felt it important that we recognise the efforts of so many local licensees who during the lock down, and whilst suffering an unprecedented loss of business and their own financial hardship, have gone beyond the normal call of duty to support their communities”

    David Marjoram of Gustopronto Limited, owners of Ingham’s Brewshed, who personally served more than 25,000 pints of takeaway real ale from his pop up outlet at the brewery whilst his five pubs were closed by the lock down, said “Receiving this award at such a difficult time for our industry is kind, thoughtful and much appreciated. It is good to know that our efforts have been valued by so many and that CAMRA and its membership recognise this”

    Martin Bate continued “Pubs are now re-opening but it will be several months before normality returns. The limits on numbers, social distancing and less trade will add further pressures, particularly for those in rural villages. We urge everyone to support their ‘local’ as a customer. Sadly, because of the pandemic, we have already seen pubs in this area close permanently. This really is the time of ‘Use it or lose it’.

    Above - David Marjoram of Brewshed receives his Above and beyond Lockdown Champion award certificate from CAMRA branch officers Paul Cooper and Martin Bate.

  • Best pub beer gardens in Suffolk Thursday 16 July 2020

    The East Anglian Daily Times newspaper has come up with a list of 19 of the best pub beer gardens in Suffolk but only 4 are in our branch area; unless you know different in which case please let the Webmaster know and we will publicise to our CAMRA branch members. Check out the EADT list here

    Martin Bate Branch Vice-Chairman has suggested the following have large gardens that you might like to support if/when the pubs/clubs are open

    Bury St Edmunds Constitutional Club - Bury St Edmunds Old Cannon Brewery - Cockfield Horseshoes - Cowlinge Three Ways - Fornham Woolpack - Hartest Crown - Hawkedon Queens Head - Lavenham Swan - Lawshall Swan - Long Melford Nethergate Brewery Tap - Pakenham Fox - Rattlesden Five Bells - Stradishall Cherry Tree - Sudbury Bay Horse - Sudbury Mill

  • HELPING OUR PUBS TO HELP YOU Wednesday 8 July 2020

    Pubs offering take away service CLICK here
    Other businesses are also offering services. A FULL LIST IS AVAILABLE TO DOWNLOAD here

  • Want some nostalgia about the Griffin pub? Wednesday 1 July 2020

    Some interesting recollections (well for us oldies anyway) just in about The Griffin from someone who used to manage the pub/restaurant back in the 1960s. Check it out on our Nostalgia page

  • Please support local beer, pubs and cider as we come out of lockdown Monday 1 June 2020

    Pubs, clubs, breweries and taprooms have faced unprecedented challenges during the COVID-19 lockdown. Some pubs and clubs are reopening, some will stay closed for now, and some are still offering takeaway and delivery services
    Information will appear here soon but in the meantime you can download an update on what pubs in our West Suffolk and Borders branch area are doing by clicking here

  • South African food at the Three Ways in Cowlinge Thursday 30 January 2020

    Visitors to the Three Ways pub and restaurant in Cowlinge could in a few weeks time be able to sample a few South African culinary favourites after the business was bought by new owners.

    Basie and Ellie van Rooijen, who were both born and raised in South Africa, took over the ownership of the 300-year-old property last Thursday following the retirement of Chris and Sue Smith, who had owned it for 14 years.
    Infomation from Havehill Echo more info https://www.haverhillecho.co.uk/news/village-pub-s-new-owners-enjoying-a-warm-welcome-9097936/

  • Local pubs report Thursday 23 January 2020

    CAMRA member Stuart has been around some local pubs recently. If you would like to let other members know what you find please email webmaster, see contacts page, as this way others get to know where to find good beers.
    This is Stuarts report
    On Sunday last went to the Bennett Arms at Rougham. After hearing favourable reports of late I decided to have a look only to find GK IPA and Adnams Ghost Ship the only beers on offer. The Sunday lunch time trade appeared steady but the Ghost Ship was , at best, nothing more than average. I will try again as they seem to be trying hard and are open all day every day.
    Forward to Tuesday this week and popped into the Fox and Hounds, Thurston to see a beer I had never heard of, Lacons Audit Ale. Ever willing to try something new, I ordered a pint and only when it was pulled did I realise it was 8%!!!!!!. One pint was enough but it was a truly great beer, light copper coloured, mildly sweet malt and a glorious slightly fruit after taste. Green Jack Mahseer is to follow in a few days.
    Closer to home on Sunday this week, The Dove had Gone Fishing on, and again it was in first class condition. Wandering back home I stopped of at the Spread Eagle , normally not one of my local ports of call, and had a really good pint of Abbot, and with 10% discount for CAMRA members a very good buy.
    I have also noticed that The Oakes Barn has dropped Wherry as its standard ale in favour of Grain Brewery Threeonesix - a very palatable beer and well worth a taste.

  • Latest pub news Saturday 14 December 2019

    News just in from our pub slewth Stuart
    In the last week I have been to a few pubs which bo not always appear on our Radar. The Bradfield Manger was serving Fullers London Pride and Adnams Ghostship which were both in very good condition. Those together with a very good and inexpensive lunch + dog biscuits for my furry friend provided for a decent lunchtime break.
    Next to the Affleck Arms at Dalham. This used to be in the GBG many years ago, but after several changes of tenant dropped out and it seemed to be forgotten about. However, on a very recent visit the owner and landlord John, who took it back under his wing a couple of years ago, has done an incredible job. On my visit there was Humpty Dumpty Stout, GK London Ale, Skinners Betty Stoggs and amazingly St. Austell Hicks Special Draught, also known as HSD, Diesel or in Cornwall, High Speed Death . Having not tasted this in 17 years it was a must and it was spectacular - I had forgotten how good it was. The Skinners was also very good but I got no further than those two. This pub is a true local - no music, food ( except for themed nights and a food van outside on Friday evenings) fruit machines great atmosphere and cash only, although he will accept internet banking. Well worth a visit.
    On then to the Lidgate Star which several years ago was voted The Telegraph Pub of the Year for, I think 2 years in a row. I always wondered why? Two beers on hand pump one of which was a "charity" concoction which I have to say was very palatable and another which I forget ( I must follow Andrew and photograph the pumps ). However, the pub had as much atmosphere as a wet weekend and had only 3 diners in on Saturday lunchtime at 13.00.

  • New name for Red Lion Tuesday 1 October 2019

    Pub that has been known as The Red Lion for more than two hundred years has a new name The Guinness Arms.
    As it was in 2017 when closed TG pic just ahead on opening in Oct 2019 As it is just before due to open in October 2019

  • Lavenham Swan Saturday 28 September 2019

    It's reported today that The Lavenham Swan has closed just four months after reopening following a previous closure when former holding company Stuart Inns collapsed.

  • Retirement today Monday 16 September 2019

    Landlady and Landlord Liz and Tony Fayers of the Rose and Crown in Bury St Edmunds, a regular meeting place for branch meetings and the current Branch Pub of The Year and Suffolk Pub of The Year, have leased the pub on the corner of Whiting Street and Westgate Street from Greene King since 1986. Members of West Suffolk and Borders CAMRA wish them a long and happy retirement.

  • AA pub-guide Tuesday 30 July 2019

    Some Suffolk pubs listed - is your local one of the 14, for more information click here

  • Latest pub news Thursday 6 June 2019

    Suffolk's 'pub guru' has been on his bike again. This time for a wander around what he called east and southeast Suffolk but he obviously had his sat nav upside down as in reality he was in our branch area of West Suffolk.

    Icklingham Red Lion.
    Not open yet, but huge amounts of work going on (a lot of vans there Yesterday) so evidently heading in the right direction.
    Mildenhall Half Moon.
    New signage but still a Hungry Horse, so no change apart from that.
    Mildenhall Maid's Head.
    Looks like the removal of GK branding I noticed last year *is* permanent and not just during works. Didn't get chance to look in and see if there's anything other than GK beers on though. I seem to recall that's all there was last time.
    Mildenhall Bell.
    On the market but still trading. Big renovation work going on which involves blocking half the road so it needs traffic control, which is a bloody nuisance on the High Street.
    Beck Row King's Head.
    All GK branding has been removed and there's a new sign (plain and boring) and a new paint-job. It evidently HAS gone ex-GK as there's a bloody-great poster advertising Doom Bar on the fence, which I'm sure GK wouldn't allow if that was a guest ale.
    Kentford Kentford.
    Updated opening hours:
    Mon: closed Tue: 1200-1500 Wed-Thu: 1200-1500, 1800-2300 Fri: 1030-1500, 1800-2300 Sat: 1600-2300 Sun: 1200-1600 May close early if quiet
    Gazeley Chequers.
    I had an interesting chat with the owner and the brewster. They're now open Thursday and Friday, 1700-"late"; precise closing time depends how busy they are (they're licensed until the small-hours). They're also experimenting with opening during the day at weekends, though again this will depend on how busy things are, so I recommend anyone planning a visit calls ahead. Apparently trade is picking up, albeit slowly (well, it is only a small village) with people coming in from several villages around the area.

    All their beers (from the in-house Munson's Brewery) are served via keykeg. I tried three - a nice chestnut ale, an un-fined hoppy light ale (which despite a strong hop nose had a good balance of hops and malt) plus a VERY tasty saison (not a style I usually like but I could drink this all night, except for the fact that it's a hefty 7.5%). I only had a small taster of each, as I still had at least 25-30 miles more to pedal...

    They plan to increase production and have bought Alan Thompson's Old Chimneys kit. (And some good news for lovers of Alan's Good King Henry, this will apparently continue to be brewed elsewhere even though Alan's closed his operation down).
    Lidgate Star.
    Updated opening hours:
    Mon: closed Tue: 1700-2200 Wed-Sat: 1200-1430, 1700-2300 Sun: 1200-1700
    Flempton Greyhound.
    Still empty. I think this is one to write off.
    Tony Green

  • The acolades just keep coming Saturday 1 June 2019

    Rose and Crown voted the 2019 CAMRA Suffolk Pub of The Year

    Thoroughly deserved award for this 'traditional Suffolk pub' which goes under the radar a lot of the time.

    Roger Protz celebrates Mild Month at Rose and Crown Roger Protz celebrates Mild Month at Rose and Crown

  • And the winners are.............. Sunday 31 March 2019

    West Suffolk and Borders Branch Town Pub of The Year Rose and Crown fr TG The Rose and Crown, BSE

    West Suffolk and Borders Branch Rural Pub of The Year From Suffolk CAMRA Tony Green Five Bells, Rattlesden

    West Suffolk and Borders Branch Cider Pub of The Year Pak Fox fr Tony Green The Fox, Pakenham

    Well done to all our finalists

  • Pub of the Month February 2019 Sunday 31 March 2019

    Report just in from our branch pub Maestro Andrew

    Feb 2019 PoTM pic from Andrew
    Our February Pub of the Month was the The Rose & Crown at Hundon. An interesting pub this: lots of space outside including a very pleasant paved area and a field by the church with seating and a stage. Plenty of potential and licensees Helen and Iain would appear to be realising it. Inside, both bars are cosy and welcoming. The food offering, basic pub fare, is good value – most meals are £6.95, including an excellent steak and kidney pie doing a reasonable impersonation of a Baleen whale! On the bar we chose from London Pride, Doom Bar, Landlord and Sharp's Sea Fury (5% and formerly Sharp's Special I'm told). The latter proved a favourite and was arguably beer of the day. To be honest, I could have happily spent the afternoon here but duty called......
    On to Hundon's second hostelry, The Plough. This is a more food orientated pub on the edge of the village but it's worth noting that it does stage an annual beer festival. Nelson's Revenge and Nethergate newcomer Venture (3.7%) were available.
    Our next stop was Clare where we got to visit four different but centrally located establishments. First up was The Globe which I would say is the more “pubby” with West Coast Wherry, Young's Bitter and Colchester Trinovantes Gold (4.3%). Friendly locals, most watching the rugby, and a very leanable bar.
    Almost next door is The Cock. Now here's a busy pub serving St Austin's Tribute, Ghost Ship (first appearance of the day, makes a change!), Dark Star Hophead, Nethergate's Venture plus Rosie's Pig and two other ciders I neglected to record. Children, diners, rugby fans and drinkers, something for everyone here as long as you don't have a cockerel phobia – interesting wallpaper. Down the road from The Cock we found The Swan. A rather nice beer selection of Landlord, Ghost Ship and (hurrah!) Bank's Mild. What was, I believe, a lounge bar is now a restaurant but it's separated off from the drinkers' compound in such a way as to preserve a pub atmosphere. If you're “refurbishing” a pub, please take note.. Over the road is The Bell Hotel which does pretty much what it says on the tin. GK IPA and a nice pint of Abbot. That was it for Clare and I think it's safe to say that, pub wise, most people will find something that suits them. It's an interesting village in its own right and a good place to while away an afternoon.
    Our penultimate stop was The Lion at Stoke By Clare. Now, this is a real boozer. GK IPA, Adnam's Southwold and more Sharp's Sea Fury. Personally, I've never been a great fan of Sharp's beer but Sea Fury is a good old fashioned brown bitter with a punch. Was it as good as the pint at The Rose & Crown? The jury is still out on that, but cracking pints in cracking pubs.
    Finally we popped into The Six Bells at Horringer. Not long reopened, The Bells serves Brewshed beers (Pale, Best and American Blond at 3.9, 4.3 and 5.5% respectively) and appeared to be in rude health, although it would be nice to see some bar stools.
    An interesting trip and a good range of pubs. Thanks to our driver Martin who (yet again) had to sit drinking orange juice while watching us enjoy ourselves

  • Sudden closures of two West Suffolk pubs in Lavenham and Long Melford Saturday 30 March 2019

    The Lavenham Greyhound and Long Melford Swan buildings are both owned by Greene King but were leased to the company that has now closed the pubs