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Crowned one of the best…

On Southwold’s fine High Street, proudly sits The Crown.

This month Rachel Ducker was invited along to meet The Crown’s new chef, Stephen Duffield.

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R: How long have you been at The Crown?

I’ve been here for three months now.

R: Are you local to Southwold? Where did you grow up?

In Great Yarmouth, so yes, I am local.

R: Did you know of The Crown before you came to work here?

I knew of The Crown, as I trained at The Imperial in Great Yarmouth. I started there in 1981, as an apprenctice.

We knew of The Crown then, my boss, who trained me, used to come here. I was at The Imperial for 27 years and finished in 2008, where I then went onto work at Snape Maltings for two and a half year’s.

That job came to an end and in 2010, so I started working at Somerleyton Hall, where my wife and I set our own business up, running the tearooms, doing weddings and private catering. After four years there we opened our own restaurant in Harleston and now I am here.

“My view on cooking is that no matter how simple a dish is, there is a standard and a quality that comes with it.”

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R: When you were younger did you eat all of your veggies?

Oh yes! I was fairly good; I had no choice, as my father done most of the cooking.

R: When did you realise you wanted to be a chef?

When I was about 12 years old, before that I had no idea what I was wanted to do. In those days all seasonal jobs were either washing up in hotels or working in the amusement arcades, so I got a washing up job at The Westwick Hotel.

From watching what was going on I quite liked the idea of becoming a chef, so that’s how it all came about.

R: Do you have a favourite food to cook with?

I like cooking most things. My view on cooking is that no matter how simple a dish is, there is a standard and a quality that comes with it. If it’s a sandwich you need nice bread and nice fillings, that’s how I like to cook.

R: What can we look forward to in the coming months at the Crown?

Hopefully once we’ve got the summer out of the way, what I would like to do is put a bit more of my own influence into the menus. I am very much into simple done well.

Obviously, it has to fit in with the Adnams ethos and continue to use local produce. Its also about the overall experience of a meal, I am not a fan of the formality of some restaurants. There is nothing wrong with formal dining but here now, we’d like people to drop in more often.

I would love to introduce Oysters onto the menu but I feel that’s a little into the future.

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R: What is a busy night here?

Anything up to 125 people, a standard night is about 65 covers and Sundays are usually weather dependent.

Whether you opt for the bar or the restaurant, expect modern food with lots of eclectic ideas and local seafood in abundance.

Dishes such as Steamed Seabass with Noodles, Pak Choi, Ginger, Chilli and a Sweet Soy or Slow cooked Blythburgh pork Bell with Rosemary Baked Potatoes, Fennel and a Rocket Salad, while desserts might range from Cambridge Burnt Cream to Chocolate Panna .

As for drink you would naturally expect quality here.

The full Adnams wine list is grand in its breadth and individuality, and there’s the added prospect of exploring more than 20 top tipples by the glass.

It’s an exceptional, highly distinctive and informative tome, with temptations on every page. You can sample before you choose too!

For more information visit 90 High St,  Southwold IP18 6DP

Phone: 01502 722275

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