The High Street, SOUTHWOLD, IP18 6DP. Tel: +44(0)1502 722275 Fax: +44(0)1502 727263.
The Crown pub/hotel in Southwold is one of our favourite places to stay and eat. It stands on the large market square of the picturesque Suffolk coastal resort of Southwold, where nothing much has changed in 50 years. It's owned by the Adnams brewery chain, so the beer and wines are magnificent - in fact, Adnams' main wine warehouse and kitchen shop is just across the Crown's car park at the back of the hotel. There are about 12 rooms, I think, including a great family suite in the rafters which our children love to stay in. This is about £90 B&B per night all in, with double rooms about £50-£60. I've seen only 1 of the other rooms, but like the family room it was larger than the average hotel/B&B room and fairly recently decorated. The style is plain white walls, with nice rich curtains and old-style furniture. The carpets are particularly lush! Comfortable beds and efficient central heating for those cold winter breaks. The family room in the rafters has original beams running around the sloping ceilings and a huge separate bathroom across the landing [not for any other room's use]. The phone number is 01502-722275. There is a lounge for afternoon tea, 2 large bars [one serving bar food; main courses about £6 to £12] and a restaurant area. The restaurant is quite smart (we've always had great local seafood and game), but the bar food is particularly fine value. So much so that you have to arrive really early to bag a table [you can't book tables in the bar], and at busy weekends there's a steady stream of stroppy and frustrated customers looking for lunch who've left it too late! Meals at the restaurant are not cheap - reckon on £25 to £35 per head a la carte including wine - but they do more economical deals on 2 or 3 courses. They also have a really sensible arrangement whereby they offer a glass of wine matched to each course by the excellent Adnams wine merchant operation. I've just di
scovered while trying to book in the restaurant in a couple of weeks that it's being re-furbished in February and March 2001. I doubt this will change anything, just brighten up the decor. The best game plan is to arrive as a large group in time to occupy a table in the bar area for morning coffee, read the papers and chat while some of your party 'do' the town in shifts, then let the morning slip imperceptibly in to lunch! I suppose you could then move across the hall to the nice quiet lounge for tea, then back to the restaurant for supper... The staff are all really friendly, and I can't think of a single negative thing to say about the place. Please don't all book at once!