England doesn’t have a good-food reputation, but hidden in the rough are some food gems. In the beautiful English countryside of Suffolk, the market town of Sudbury has taken more than its fair share of shareable fare. Here are some of our favourites.
There used to be a time when, to find the best food in England, you’d have to go to London. But you can no longer just rely on the capital or the other big cities. In fact, we often recommend visitors go further afield than just London these days.
Peppered amongst the greenery of the English countryside are towns and villages hiding some of the finest food you’ll find in the country – perhaps even the continent.
One town we’ve discovered with more food than most is the little market town of Sudbury. Sudbury is about 70 miles north-east of London and dates back to 8th Century, though its market was only established in 1007. Only.
Within its winding riverside laneways and busy little high street is a collection of restaurants, pubs, bars and cafés worth travelling the British countryside for.
Where to eat in the English countryside – Sudbury, Suffolk
Every year, the Sudbury Food Festival takes over the town centre with stalls, food trucks and education marquees. Buy or try food from the local area and locally produced beer, spirits and soft drinks.
Top tip: Make sure you head into the All Saints Church, where you’ll find even more market stalls selling a wonderful range of delicious local produce.
Sudbury’s first vegan restaurant is always pushing the limits of what you can do with plant-based food products. Everything – from the pastry to the cheese they make – is delicious and clever. Owners Christophe and Holly always work with one eye on the environment, which somehow makes the food here taste even better.
Top tip: The bread (especially the sourdough) that Holly makes and bakes onsite, is to die for. They even mill their own flour here.
The best fish and chips you’ll find in the country. Beautifully fresh fish, perfectly cooked chips and The Codfather’s curry sauce is an offer you can’t refuse.
Top tip: You can dine in, but even better is to get it to take away and head down to the banks of the River Stour to enjoy the countryside at the same time as your feast. I think they give you more chips when you take away too!
This French bistrot in a Tudor cottage crafts dishes that are elegant, pretty and absolutely delicious. From ceviche and tartare to grilled red mullet and 7-hour lamb confit, the 2-course-minimum menus will leave you wanting to order a third.
Top tip: If you’re not in the mood for wine or beer, check out their tea menu. It’s impressive.
David is quite a character and even more a chef. Learning his trade in Europe, he’s brought that flair to Sudbury. Good coffee, great sandwiches and an even better cheese board, influences from Spain, France and Italy resound on the menu. It’s also a kid-free zone.
Top tip: If you’re feeling hungry, ask David if he can still make his burger. It’s epic and delicious.
This family-owned business has two shops in the courtyard; one selling heaven-sent handmade chocolates by the piece, the other well-barista’d coffee. And when good coffee is still hard to come by in England, this is important. Better still, get a Marimba dark chocolate mocha here. It’ll change your world.
Top tip: If you’re feeling super indulgent, get a Marimba Hot Chocolate Melt. It’s a hot chocolate, but they a 30g bar of Marimba chocolate flake to make your drink! A velvety, sumptuous dream in a cup.
The best Indian restaurant we’ve been to for quite some time, Little India is the perfect mix of a traditional English style Indian restaurant with dishes on the menu straight from the streets of New Delhi.
Top tip: If you’re part of a group of four or more, ordering lots of the vegetarian side dishes means you get to taste more food in a thali style banquet without breaking the budget.
*I’m cheating a bit here because this Indian restaurant is in fact in the nearby village of Halstead, but it’s on the Sudbury Road and is only 5 miles from Sudbury. And it’s really good!
Since my parents moved to a village nearby Sudbury, Christina and I have become much more au fait with the area. Whenever we visit the UK now, we’re always excited about where my mum and dad will have found to take us to eat next.
It’s amazing that such a small place that’s relatively isolated from any big towns or cities has such a thriving food scene.
Have you been anywhere recently that’s surprised you with its foodie-ness? Do you have a favourite country town you like to visit? Tell us in the comments!