Great spot down by the boats with lots of outside tables and interesting interior; popular food with emphasis on local seafood
The good pub guide review
Right on the bank of the River Blyth, which separates Southwold and Walberswick, this Adnams-owned pub is especially enjoyable in warm weather, with picnic-sets on the terrace giving views of the boats on the estuary, and seats and tables behind looking across marshy commons towards the town. Inside, the back bar is nicely nautical with dark panelling and built-in wall seats around scrubbed tables, and cheerful staff serve good wines by the glass, along with Adnams' keg offerings such as Kobold lager and Blackshore stout alongside Broadside, Ghost Ship, Southwold and a guest on handpump. The low ceiling is draped with ensigns, signal flags and pennants, and there's a quaint old stove, rope fancywork, local fishing photographs and even portholes with water bubbling behind them. The lower front bar, with a tiled floor and panelling, is broadly similar, while the large, elevated dining room has panoramic views of the harbour, lighthouse, brewery and churches beyond the marshes (and sometimes even a cruise liner). You can walk from here along the Blyth estuary to Walberswick (where the Bell is under the same good management) via a footbridge and return by rowing-boat ferry (in season). Because of its marshy location, the pub can suffer from flooding in winter: there's a line painted high up on the front wall giving the 1953 flood line. Now it has its own weather station for walkers and sailors.
The good pub guide food review
Locally caught fish is the highlight, with choices such as fried herring milts on sourdough toast, salt-baked tiger prawns with gremolata and fig salsa, devilled whitebait, cod and prawn Goan curry with saffron rice and kiln-roasted salmon and prawn pesto linguine; also platters and good fish (cod, haddock or plaice) and chips. There are sandwiches and a few meat, vegetarian and vegan dishes too, such as smoked Suffolk ham with eggs and chips and red pepper or mushroom and halloumi-style vegan cheese wellington; puddings might include chocolate fudge sundae and baked vanilla cheesecake.