Thursday, August 7, 2008
The Crown Inn
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The Crown Inn
Stoke by Nayland
Tel: +44 (0)1206 262 001
Stoke by Nayland is a quintessentially English village set in the heart of ‘Constable Country’ in Suffolk and being perched on a small hilltop has the most incredible views over the famed Dedham Vale and the Stour Valley.
The historical wealth of the area, all from the production of wool, is best demonstrated by the magnificent and imposing fifteenth century church that dominates the skyline and the village. In the Middle Ages, the wool trade was the main source of commercial wealth in England, and tradition has it that the woolsack was introduced in the House of Lords to symbolize the importance of wool in the commerce of the realm. In the wool trade no area was more important than East Anglia.
Stoke-by-Nayland is home to two incredibly good pubs, both have acquired a great reputation and people travel from all over the area to visit and eat at them. The first is The Angel Inn and the second is The Crown.
The Crown has a range of local beers but where it really shines is with an extraordinarily eclectic and huge wine list. Rather cleverly their menu has wine suggestions beside each of the dishes and they are not trying to push the upper end wines either.
The food here is fabulous, they use as much local produce as is available and their Daily Special’s change as often as the weather, which is to say very regularly!
The seafood is all local East Coast and all fresh, and the blackboard keeps tabs on how many dishes are left. The crab is from Cromer, the pork is organic from a local farm well known in the area and the duck free range from just over the border in Norfolk. This is exactly what an English village pub should be doing; showcasing the very best of produce from the area and only serving food in season.
The Crown has a large terrace at the back with a huge fenced in garden for the children to run around in, which is fantastic if you want to have an undisturbed lunch.
Inside light woods on the floor have lifted the usual darkness of country pubs and with big open spaces and the French doors onto the terrace you have a very pleasant light and airy atmosphere.
If you ever find yourself in this part of the world I thoroughly recommend a trip to both Stoke by Nayland and to the Crown. You will not be disappointed by either. This is The Fat Expat's pledge to you!