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Overview

The Arts and Crafts-era inn has a prime spot just a stroll from the sand dunes and beach in this smart village on the Suffolk coast. It is the perfect spot to go a crabbin' on the quay with a bacon-baited line, or dip your toes in the chilly water, but then again, there are some rather more sybaritic opportunities to be enjoyed here particularly when it comes to matters of food, beer and wine. It's true to say that Mark and Sophie Dorber have elevated the place to the status of a food and drink destination.

When it comes to beer and wine, Mark is your man (he's a founder of the Beer Academy) and the Adnams ales on tap are tip-top, but do delve into Mark's fabulous beer and wine list for a treasure or two. When it comes to food, Sophie leads the line, delivering a menu that is rich with fine produce from local farmers, fisherman and shoots, and shows a modern touch. Things come together perfectly when it comes to the food and wine/beer matching - do take their advice. Make the most of the glorious rear terrace on sunny days, especially when the pizza oven is fired up.

Rooms from

Doubles/twin: £110

Good to know

All credit cards accepted

Disabled access to bar, dining room and chalet rooms

Parking available

Alfresco dining

Water and waves

Catch the foot ferry from the quay to Southwold Harbour and follow the coast path into this traditional seaside town or head south on the Suffolk Coast Path to the historic village of Dunwich.

A touch of culture

Aldeburgh is famous for its annual classical music festival in June; Snape Maltings is the venue for the Snape Proms; and the Suffolk Herring Festival in Halesworth comprises arts, music, theatre and tastings.

Dog-friendly

Dogs are very welcome in the bar and in three of the garden chalet bedrooms (£10 per night), which have direct access to the large garden and the footpath leading to the beach.

Rooms

There are four simple and bright bedrooms in the main pub and a further six in cedar-clad chalets out back. Two of the rooms above the pub (above the restaurant in fact) have sea views, with the two larger rooms the pick of the bunch.

The bright, spacious chalets to the rear of the pub have a contemporary finish and have been built with environmentally-friendliness in mind (water butts etc.), while the surrounding landscape has been planted with attractive borders. They offer peace and quiet away from the hubbub of the pub; all are spacious, neat and tidy with a seaside feel and three have a private patio and direct access to the large lawned garden. Go through the garden gate to join the footpath past the allotment to reach the dunes, beach and coastal path. The inn is ideally placed for exploring the pretty village with its quay and interesting shops.

Restaurant & bar

The Dorber's support for the food growers and producers of Suffolk is not just lip service, with the local land and sea providing a good deal of what's up for grabs on the menu. It all ties in nicely with the Anchor's green credentials. There's no preaching, though, and no pretentiousness to the culinary output - this place is all about elegant, earthy food and a passion for fresh local ingredients.

It doesn't get any better than sitting on the sunny terrace on a summer's weekend when the outdoor pizza oven is fired up. Even the fish and chips is a cut above: beer-battered cod with hand-cut chips, mushy peas and jalapeño tartare sauce. Sunday lunch brings in the crowds for Blythburgh pork and rib of Suffolk Red Poll beef. The main menu is supported by daily specials such as roast partridge with potato purée, lentils and game jus. There are usually three to five Adnams beers on handpump at any one time - but there's much more besides, such as eight draught craft beers and lagers and the grape is far from neglected; Mark's list is devoted to the great, the good and the flavoursome. The list kicks off with some 20 wines by the glass - kept in fine fettle by the Verre de Vin system - and there's evident passion for France.

Things to do

The world-famous Aldeburgh Music concert halls are based at the impressive Snape Maltings as is perhaps East Anglia's leading foodlovers' emporium, with its own pub, café, food hall, a plethora of shops and home to the equally renowned Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival the last weekend of September. Don't miss one of the best monthly farmers' markets on the first Saturday.

Minsmere Bird Reserve, between Southwold and Aldeburgh, and one of the Suffolk coast's most familiar landmarks, Sizewell Nuclear Power Station, is an RSPB nature reserve and one of the best sites for spotting wildlife in the UK. These reedy marshes are a haven for rare birds and serious ornithologists.

Stroll to the River Blyth in Walberswick, venue for the British Crabbing Championships between 1981 and 2010, 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.

Getting here

Directions

Nearest station: Darsham

Taxi from station: 14min

Drive: Off A12 18min south of Southwold; 40min north of Woodbridge

Address

Main Street, Walberswick, Southwold, Suffolk IP18 6UA

Prices & availability