Sutherland House sits proudly in the centre of Southwold, a popular seaside town in Suffolk. The Bounce team stopped by to see what the boutique hotel and restaurant had to offer its coastal clientele…
“Sutherland House is full of period charm, from wooden beams to elegant pargetted ceilings and open fireplaces.
Dating back to 1455 this very rustic, but trendy building, complete with its own contemporary bar made of vintage wine boxes, offers diners an interesting and intimate setting.
It shot to prominence in the 17th century when it became a naval headquarters during the Anglo-Dutch Wars and was frequented by the Duke of York (later James II) and the Earl of Sandwich.
Set on Southwold’s bustling high street, this adult only boutique establishment, offers the perfect escape for those wishing to enjoy a peaceful meal in relaxed and calming surroundings.
During summer months, there is also an outdoor seating area at the back of the house, which is transformed into a buzzing al fresco dining area… Not forgetting to mention, its close proximity to the seafront, ideal for an after dinner stroll along the promenade.
Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, it is advisable to book in advance! This place gets pretty busy and if you continue to read you will see why.
Accompanied by my good friend, Lois, (who was more than happy to offer her tasting services for the evening), we arrived and took our seats in the dimly lit dining room.
Owners, Andy and Kinga Rudd, have clearly worked extremely hard to give the building a new lease of life. Stand out features include the funky bar area and beautiful soft furnishings, which add balance to the venue, creating a warming accenting the rustic traditional fixtures.
At first glance, the menu seemed excellently thought out, with a great emphasis on local food… in my opinion, this is always the sign of a great local eatery. In fact, Sutherland House actually print food miles on their menu to quantify this, and only use seasonal ingredients. Many of the fruit and vegetables travel no more than 400 yards – from the hotel’s own allotment – and much of the fish comes straight from the harbour!
A glass of champagne kick started the meal, followed shortly by an ‘Artichoke and Truffle Amuse-Bouche’, served in a miniature cup and saucer. Neither lasted long, a promising start.
If you’re a meat-eater, you must try the award-winning black pudding, which I had the pleasure of sampling in my starter dish. Served beneath ‘Seared Scottish Scallops and Pork Belly, with Parsnip Puree and Pomegranate Seeds’ it was packed full of flavour. This, coming from someone who doesn’t usually entertain Black Pudding!
Lois selected the ‘Candied & Pickled Heritage Beets with Pomegranate, Stilton and Endive Salad’. This little concoction of ingredients had a slightly sweet and sour taste surrounding it, the punch of the beets lead to tones of sweetness, creating a really fresh and zingy dish.
There’s a strong wine list on offer, and Andy was happy make recommendations to pair with food. My favourite glass was the ‘Saint Clair Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough’ by Matt Thomson, which accompanied my main dish. A crisp and powerful white wine, whilst remaining full and well-balanced, with a slightly salty minerality.
Being near to the coast the menu is naturally fish-heavy, so I decided to try the ‘Pan Fried Fillet of Sea Bream with Champ Mash and Pistachio Pesto’, accompanied with some Fried Green Beans & Mushrooms in Garlic. It was particularly good; light and flavoursome and filling but not too heavy. Just what you desire from a main meal.
Whilst I got tucked into my fish dish, Lois got stuck into Steak. The Grilled 28-day aged Rib-Eye Steak complete with ‘Confit Plum Tomatoes, Hand Cut Chips and Café De Paris Butter’, (which contained over 30 different ingredients), looked incredible. Sadly, I didn’t get to try any (thanks Lois), but she did allow me to try a couple of her Hand Cut Chips, and if they were anything to go by, I am sure the rest was amazing.
On to the finale, dessert! You will find a good selection including English classics like bread and butter to lighter alternatives.
On this occasion ‘lighter’ seemed like the best way forward.
Lois opted for the ‘Lime & Ginger Cheesecake with Lemon Tuille and Ginger Puree’, whilst I headed out of my usual ‘chocolate comfort zone’ and chose ‘Pineapple Carpaccio served with Coconut Ice Cream,’ garnished with mint, lime and chilli. It was perfectly sharp and although I must confess, I am not usually a mint lover, this daring twist made the dish very refreshing indeed.
An Espresso Martini topped of the evening and after a quick tour of the five refurbished bedrooms, it was closing time. We really enjoyed our experience at Sutherland House and as locals ourselves; we will be heading back very soon”.
FOR MORE DETAILS:
For more information call 01502 724544 or visit the website www.sutherlandhouse.co.uk