Aldeburgh, Suffolk: Dinner at Regatta Restaurant

When I’m away for short breaks I always end up booking places to eat to make sure I can get into what looks to be the best restaurants. Part of me feels ‘going with the flow’ and just turning up at dinner time to a place that looks good and what I’m in the mood for would be nice.  But then there’s the risk of disappointment – the place you really want to go to is booked up and nowhere else looks that exciting. So, I left it to almost the last minute but when I googled ‘best restaurants in Aldeburgh’ and took another look at my Rough Guide, I came across Regatta. And I saw it had just been awarded an AA Rosette – which is pretty good! So, a table was booked … and I’m very glad I did for I had a fantastic meal.

I had a table booked for 8pm, a bit later than I normally choose, but the restaurant was very booked up so I took that and it was fine. I’d had a busy day, the weather was good – if rather windy as it seems to be here a lot on the North Sea coast – and a slightly later supper suited me fine.

I was warmly welcomed and shown to my table. A glass of prosecco was ordered (£5.50) and it came with some excellent bread and accompaniments, which included a whipped Cajun butter. A carafe of tap water came too.

It was a great menu with quite a few specials listed on a nearby blackboard. I could have happily eaten most of it. There were plenty of meat and veggie dishes but I’m keen to eat fish while here. As a keen fish eater, there are few better places to enjoy fish. I chose my starter from the main menu: smoked salmon, crab meat, pickled fennel and an avocado and lime purée (£10.50).

It looked wonderful and it was all delicious – every element perfect and which all came together into a lovely whole, working well together.

I chose a special for my main: Pesto crusted cod with a chorizo, tomato and potato ragu (£21).

It was a generous portion and very good. Cod can take strong flavours and it all worked brilliantly. I had a small glass of Picpoul with it (£5).

I was quite full but couldn’t resist a dessert when I heard a waiter describe the Opera Cake special to the next table. Opera Cake is layers of almond sponge, chocolate ganache and coffee buttercream (£8.50). Wow! It was amazing and I’m so glad I ordered it.

I finished with an espresso (£2) which came with a couple of pieces of chocolate dipped fudge.

It was a great meal. The service was friendly and excellent; the food fabulous and every part of it very delicious. The bill came to £52.50 without tip, which for this Londoner is a very good price for such a good meal.

It was just past sunset as I stepped outside but I cut down an alleyway opposite to head to the beach and walk back to The Cross Keys via the seafront.

It was another beautiful night and such a lovely end to a wonderful day. With the walk to Thorpeness in the morning, I’d walked over 8 miles that day, but what a setting to do it – this is a very special part of England.

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A lifelong lover of good food and travel; writer and book editor

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