Thursday, 26 May 2016

Writing Life: Felixstowe's Ferry Boat Inn

Restaurant Reviewing for the East Anglian Daily Times

Felixstowe Ferry, Suffolk

I'm quite lucky that in my work for my local newspaper, the East Anglian Daily Times (EADT), I quite often get to review restaurants. I'm a freelancer so generally the other members of my team get to do regular reviews but I occasionally get thrown a bone and get to choose from the seemingly unending list of restaurants, pubs and cafes that are up for review.

I know this is basically a big boast, sorry about that, it is one of the major perks of my job (another was getting sent free jam and salted caramel spread from Tiptree for writing an article about them, that was a dream). However, it is sometimes a bit daunting, if the restaurant organises it it's fine as they know what's going on, but quite often I find myself calling a restaurant and asking them to give me a free three course meal for two. Luckily I haven't been laughed away yet or told where to go. The EADT is pretty well known in these parts and a good review often gets more people through the door.

Look at me I'm showing off again.

I wanted to mention a review that I've done recently and that should be in the East Anglian Daily Times this Saturday (28th May) in the EA Life magazine.

I've recently found out that I have a wheat intolerance, so I had to look for somewhere in Suffolk that offered wheat/gluten free options. I didn't expect to find one in the hamlet of Felixstowe Ferry, but find it I did at the Ferry Boat Inn, a 15th century pub and restaurant.

Ferry Boat Inn, Felixstowe, Suffolk

The town of Felixstowe is on the Suffolk coast; s a wonderful mixture of sandy beaches and tacky seaside arcades ad rides, like Blackpool on a very, very small scale. Felixstowe Ferry couldn't be further from this. We drove past Felixstowe and then kept going as the town disappeared and the flat reedy sands stretched on and on. It felt like we would keep driving until we reached the sea but, just before the beach the Ferry Boat Inn appeared.

It was bloody freezing when we went at the end of April, still hailing, and it was quite bracing by he sea to put it mildly. But it was also rather beautiful in a stark kind of way and there was an impressive sky that evening. It sort of felt timeless; like the scenery and the old beamed inn hadn't changed in all the years that they've been there (if you looked past the car park).

I'm rambling.

I'm not going to go into detail about the food here as I should obviously be encouraging you to go out and by the East Anglian Daily Times this Saturday (unless you don't live in East Anglia, sorry).
I will say though, spoiler alert, that it was good. And it's not just gluten free food; they have a huge menu with a big selection of meals, including lots of fresh fish and sea food. Here's a sneak peak of my starter.

King Prawn Starter at the Ferry Boat Inn, Felixstowe

I thought it was great that they have gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian and vegan menus, giving options to people with different dietary requirements. Not something you often find in such an out of the way eatery.

Definitely worth a visit if you're in the area, and reasonably priced.

I'm quite busy at the moment for the EADT, but will crack on with some more book reviews soon. Next up should be The Killing Lessons by Saul Black, so keep an eye out.

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