A cosy Suffolk country inn which has a set of comfy rooms and serves food that is a definite cut above the rest.
Halesworth Rd Sibton Near Saxmundham Suffolk IP17 2JJ 01728 660 337
It was always Neil and Gill Mason’s dream to run a country pub, and around 12 years ago they finally managed it in the White Horse, which is a traditional country pub par excellence, with an atmosphere that couldn’t be cosier or a welcome warmer. It has big open fireplaces with wood burners and lots of horse paraphernalia on bare brick walls, but there are a couple of major differences. Not only have they made it into a destination for food without alienating the regular drinkers, who still prop up the bar while everyone else tucks in. But they also have five cosy rooms in a separate block next door so you can linger a little longer after enjoying your dinner, and in fact the inn makes an excellent base for visiting the nearby Suffolk Coast – Dunwich and the popular Minsmere RSPB reserve are nearby, Walberswick and Southwold not much further, and there are lots of opportunities for country walks not only to the coast but also to the picturesque neighbouring villages of Peasenhall and Yoxford (Neil and Gill can supply suggestions).
As for the rooms, they have been recently furnished in a contemporary country style and have decent-sized bathrooms, tea- and coffee-making facilities, biscuits, mineral water, Freeview TVs with DVD players and free wifi. Outside, the grounds are home to a small caravan site during summer and play host to the odd beer and music festival, and they have a barbecue during summer months in the pub garden, where you can also admire the green-fingered Neil’s well-tended kitchen garden, whose herbs, salad, fruit and veg all finds it way onto the restaurant menu. Neil and Gill are very proud of the fact that the pub has just been awarded two AA rosettes, and the quality is certainly restaurant-quality in terms of preparation and presentation. It also makes the most of the great produce that Suffolk provides, with a classic pub grub menu at lunchtime, and a more refined dinner menu of starters and mains that changes about a quarter of its dishes every week, which is just the way the locals (who form much of the regular clientele) like it.
All in all it's a very comfy weekend retreat in the heart of the Suffolk countryside – perfect for walking enthusiasts, twitchers or just exhausted couples keen to escape the pace of city life for a few days.
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Five guest rooms in a separate block next door to the pub, consisting of 4 doubles and a twin with wet room that's kitted out for disabled visitors.
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Double rooms £80–£100 a night depending on time of year; two-night minimum stay during Easter–October. You have to take a DB&B deal on summer weekends, but prices are reasonable at £155 a night for 2 people.
- TVs with Freeview
- Pub with Rooms
From the A12, turn onto the A1120 at Yoxford, go through the village and continue for around 4 miles to Peasenhall; turn right opposite Creasey's butchers and continue along Pouy St for a mile; the pub is on the right. From the A14, leave at junction 50 and follow the A1120 for 30 miles until reaching Peasenhall; turn left opposite Creasey's butchers, and follow Pouy St to the pub.
Open all year.