Luxurious country fare in a picturesque setting
Where Tuddenham Mill, High Street, Tuddenham, Nr. Newmarket, Suffolk, IP28 6SQ.
Contemporary-rustic hotel, contemporary-rustic restaurant? Absolutely. After months of refurbishment, the result is a chic mix of rustic charm and modern-day sophistication: huge wooden beams sear through the ceiling only to meet contemporary prints sitting happily on the wall. Better yet, the central working of the mill – a large wooden wheel covering a wall in the upstairs restaurant and downstairs bar – has been encased in glass and illumninated with atmosperic lights, creating a dramatic visual effect and ambient feel.
Why go? For an idyllic countryside setting and food that’s second-to-none. Escape the frantic, fast-food eating experience of the city, and luxuriate in top quality country fare that’s authenticated by an exceptional country back-drop: take a peek out of the window, and you’ll see the Mill stream stretching in to Suffolk’s rolling hills – a truly beautiful sight. Grab a pre-dinner drink and dip in to root-vegetable crisp snacks at the front room-cosy downstairs bar before heading up to the Terrace Room for a relaxed yet indulgent, hearty feed.
To eat? Scottish head chef, Gordon McNeill, prides himself on using locally-sourced food, whether it’s seafood from the East Anglian coast or free-range eggs from hand-reared chickens. We thought we’d start off lightly (well, you need room for dessert, don’t you?) then thought better of it, and plumped for The Whole of the Duck – to share, I hasten to add. I steered clear of the liver parfait (not a favourite) but the spring rolls and breast with tequila dipping sauce were divine. My main, roast fillet of cod, chorizo and parsley mash with a pea and smoked bacon veloute (£18), may have been a bit pricey, but was easily the most enjoyable fish dish ever to pass my lips – and, as a once-vegetarian, there’s been a few. My boyfriend, as usual, chose the steak option, and lost the power of speech until the whole thing had disappeared off the plate.
And for dessert? Get romantic and share the Assiette of Chocolate – a true chocolate-lover’s dream. Consisting of: white chocolate, whisky and strawberry mille feulle, milk chocolate brioche pudding, dark chocolate and hazelnut ice cream, and a yoghurt and vanilla milkshake, every chocolate-soaked mouthful was pure bliss. Expensive? £10, but it’s worth it.
Any bad bits? The menu changes every six months or so, which keeps it fresh and in-keeping with seasonal food changes. This frequent update, however, could cause problems – my first-choice starter and main were, unfortunately, not available. But, it’s fair to say, I was more than happy with the second offerings.