STOP PRESS: runner-up for Best Sunday Lunch in the Observer Food Awards 2015
Good food is at the heart of the Crown and Castle. Part of the reason is that co-proprietor and executive chef, Ruth Watson, is a food writer (two Glenfiddich awards) and the author of three cookery books. Our restaurant, the Trinity, has a relaxed but lively ambience. Most importantly, it neither looks nor feels like a typical hotel restaurant. With 2 AA rosettes and good write-ups in all the major guides, guests often cite the food as a major reason for staying with us. Our wine list has also won many plaudits in the guides, not least for the reasonable pricing structure.
NB agreed reservation times are always ARRIVAL times – not when the first forkful of food goes in! Our doors open to non-resident guests at 12.15pm for lunch and at 6.30pm for dinner. We do not serve morning coffee or afternoon tea, being a restaurant with rooms rather than a hotel.
Lunch: from Monday to Saturday we open at 12.15pm for a non-bookable, casual lunch with latest arrival at 2.00pm from October to March, and 2.15pm from April to September. On Sundays we serve a more formal lunch for which bookings are advised.
Dinner: we open at 6.30pm for an a la carte dinner with the latest arrival time at 8.00pm on Sunday-Thursday from October to March.
The latest arrival time is 9.00pm on Friday and Saturday nights, during the Christmas and NYE period, and from April to September.
Our a la carte dinner menu changes every two days but if there is a dish that’s absent but you know we do (and you like), please ask if it is available. Also, we are happy to cook or present any ingredients more simply.
The Sunday lunch menu changes weekly. The Monday to Saturday Casual Lunch menu changes seasonally.
We are happy to cater for vegetarians, coeliacs and vegans, but can offer a much better choice if we have notice – especially for the latter. The only exception to this is on Christmas Day lunch, Boxing Day brunch, New Year’s Eve dinner and New Year’s Day brunch when the kitchen is under too much pressure to offer a separate menu as well. We also cannot cater for those with serious nut allergies at any time as we cannot guarantee our small kitchen to be completely free of nut contamination.
VIEW SAMPLE MENUS
A great deal of time is devoted to sourcing wonderful local produce (not a fad nor a jump on the band wagon), and creating menus which offer robustly flavoured but elegantly presented food. Suffolk is blossoming with more and more artisanal food producers, markets, food fairs and shops. The Aldeburgh Food Festival (held at Snape Maltings) is on over the last weekend in September, but there are numerous places to eat good food and shop for good food throughout the year.
Here are some of our favourite producers and slow-food fanatics:
www.suttonhoochicken.co.uk for the best free-range chicken
www.butleyorfordoysterage.co.uk for fantastic smoked salmon and smoked fish in general
www.pumpstreetbakery.com for brilliant artisan bread, especially sourdough
www.stokessauces.co.uk locally made tomato ketchup and other bottled sauces that we use to accompany our Smart Pub Lunch menu (all a la carte sauces are, of course, home-made)
www.high-house.co.uk for the best apple juice and fruits in season
www.aldevalleyspringfestival.co.uk a celebration of Suffolk’s finest food, art and gardens
www.petersyard.com the most enticing of artisan crisp breads, quite unlike the norm
nikobchocolates.co.uk fantastic hand-made chocolates, including very special nougat and original 2-bite (or 3) confections
nealsyarddairy.co.uk simply the best for British and Irish cheeses
NUT ALLERGIES: we regret we are not able to accommodate serious and/or life-threatening nut allergies as we cannot guarantee the provenance of every item of food that comes into our kitchen. All hotel booking confirmation letters include this warning.
However, we are delighted to cater for vegetarians and vegans, and for fish eating ‘vegetarians’ (who properly should call themselves pescatarians), our normal a la carte offers a good choice. We have home-made gluten-free bread and cereal on offer for coeliacs. For those with a dairy intolerance, we always have soya milk, spread, yoghurt and ice cream available. For guests intolerant of other ingredients, or who simply dislike something, we will happily offer guidance through our normal a la carte but cannot offer an individually tailored menu.
Children & Dogs
DOGS: we welcome a limited number of well-behaved dogs in five designated Best Garden rooms, a few dogs in the bar, and we have one (bookable) doggie table in the restaurant area. So please be aware of this should you not like them.
CHILDREN: we welcome children of any age in the restaurant at lunchtime and those over 8 years old in the hotel and at dinner time so please be aware of this should you not like them.
Guests' own food and drink
Guests’ own alcohol
We prefer that guests do not bring in their own liquor as selling drinks and wine – and food and accommodation – is our core business. (As Tim says, he doesn’t take his own spark plugs to the garage when he is having his car serviced!)
However, we do recognise there are occasions when someone wants to bring a special bottle, which does not mean Blue Nun! The corkage for still wines is £25 and £35 for sparkling wines.
We also make a room service charge of £10 for guests bringing in their own liquor but wanting us to supply ice, ice buckets, glasses, etc. – mainly because it’s cheeky.
Birthday cakes, etc
The strictures on traceability and preserving the sanctity of the food chain are beyond draconian. For this reason we regret we cannot allow produce other than that made in our own kitchens to be served.
But don’t panic: given a heads-up, we always honour birthdays and anniversaries with a complimentary cupcake and lighted candle, as well as a few chocolates.