Barham – Sorrel Horse Inn

We popped into the Sorrel Horse (a pub name that I’ve never heard of, but there’s another similarly named location near Woodbridge which apparently has a bar billiards table) whilst marshalling the LDWA 100 near to Ipswich. I had a vision of some sort of gastropub so I was already slightly pre-annoyed as it sounded decadent, but it soon became apparent this is a properly welcoming and accessible pub.

The pub history seems a little complex, but CAMRA suggest that this building dates from the late fifteenth or early sixteenth century, located on the old Norwich road. There has also been a Sorrel Horse Inn for at least a few centuries, but it only moved into this building in the early nineteenth century. That’s not entirely rare as pub licences and names often moved about a bit, but either way, there’s a long heritage here. There’s also still accommodation offered at the Sorrel Horse, which is fairly near to Ipswich, but still in a countryside location not far from the River Gipping.

We sat outside as it was warm and there were no wasps visible, and there’s plenty of space. They probably needed to clear the tables away a bit faster, but it was one of those environments that was welcoming and comfortable. There was a kids play area at the pub, but that was kept separate and there are numerous other outdoors areas located away from it for those who don’t want to sit next to screaming and over-excited children. But it’s a useful facility for parents who want to try and visit the pub and have children in tow.

The food menu and I was tempted by a few options, but I couldn’t order any given that we only had about 30 minutes before we needed to go and marshal nearby. The pub uses The Round app which worked well and it was easy to order, with the staff members being visible and personable. Judging from photos on reviews, the food appears to be home-made and perhaps a little rustic in its appearance, but the prices are reasonable.

There were three real ales available, all of which were perhaps a little routine and not overly exciting to me, but I went for the Young’s London Original and it tasted fine, was well-kept and at the appropriate temperature. Prices were moderate and the crisps were suitably delicious.

I popped inside the pub to use the toilet and it had a relaxed and traditional feel to it (the pub, not the male toilets), and somewhere that I’d rather fancy coming back to (again, I mean the pub, not specifically the male toilets). I like under-stated and comfortable pubs and I can cope with having Young’s London Original…… Nice.