Becca Green reviews The Queen at Brandeston

An evening drive through the countryside leads you to a quaint street in the heart of the rural village of Brandeston. You stumble across a country pub whose charm immediately hits you as soon as you drive up to it and you cannot wait to enter.

This is the feeling I had and continued to experience throughout my entire evening at The Queen at Brandeston. We were immediately welcomed by the friendly staff who let us have our choice of table. The interior of the restaurant was intimate and had recently been completely renovated to give a homely and rural country chic aesthetic.

The staff were attentive but not too over-bearing. The manager, Arthur, kindly came to introduce himself and was keen to tell us about future plans for the restaurant, such as growing their own vegetables to be freshly picked daily – look out for exciting things to come!

Before our courses were brought to us, we were served warm homemade bread with butter, which was a lovely touch. Little trinkets scattered around the restaurant also didn’t go unnoticed. There were even blackboards that had the Wi-Fi password written on them, updating the old with the new.

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Then came the food. For starters I chose the purple sprouting broccoli with shallots and poached egg and my colleague chose the succulent ham hock, celeriac, apple and pickles. My egg was perfectly poached and complemented the freshness of the broccoli while the ham hock simply melted in the mouth and was decorated with wild flowers and various pickles.

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The star of the show was my steak which was served with hand-cut chips and red cabbage coleslaw – simple but very well executed. The meat was so tender that it didn’t require a steak knife and it was perfectly cooked to medium rare. The lady who served us kindly recommended a complementary red wine that went perfectly with the richness of the steak and harmoniously completed my main course.

My colleague ordered the pork belly which was accompanied by a whole parsnip, rhubarb and spinach. At first she was hesitant about the rhubarb but was pleasantly surprised how well it worked the tender pork. The presentation of all the dishes could not be faulted. They were elegant but wholesome at the same time, which made for a superb meal.

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Dessert swiftly followed and once again, was faultless. I chose strawberries and cream and to my delight it did not disappoint. An array of strawberries and raspberries were intertwined with lashings of cream and mini meringues. It was exactly what I needed to cleanse my palette.

My colleague opted for the complete opposite, a chocolate and hazelnut dessert that was served with sour cream ice cream. It was indulgent but not too heavy, which made for the perfect end to a wonderful meal.

To anyone who loves great food and an intimate setting, The Queen at Brandeston is definitely not one to miss.

To find out more visit www.thequeenatbrandeston.co.uk or book a table by calling 01728 685307. The Queen, The Street, Brandeston, Suffolk IP13 7AD.