I have visited this pub before, not least for the wedding of friends Rob and Jade a few years ago. It’s a grand building by the River Waveney and the venue’s early history is detailed, quite magnificently, at https://waveneyhousehotel.co.uk/history/. From when it was built in the mid sixteenth century, this was the grandest residential property on the street and it was turned into a hospitality venue in the nineteenth century. One of the owners of the property was John Leman (1544-1632) who became the Lord Mayor of London and the school in Beccles is still named after him.
Here’s how the building looked in the 1960s.
There’s a pleasant conservatory area next to the main dining area, but we were rather more taken with sitting outside in a rare departure from our normal very internal drinking policy. Outside is so often full of dangers such as wasps, bitey insects, snakes, seagulls, pigeons and local drunks that it’s not worth risking, but we didn’t encounter any of those potential issues here.
Not a bad view of the Waveney River. I can see why people have weddings here and there are also 12 rooms for those wanting accommodation.
I went for the Southwold Bitter from Adnams which was well kept and surprised keenly priced given that there was some decadence to the hotel. Although to be fair to them, the service was informal and friendly, I think they’re keen to attract drinkers and diners in so want to be reasonably priced.
The lunch and evening menu. Unfortunately we were too late for lunch and too early for the evening meal….. The dining environment looked clean and comfortable, with the on-line reviews being positive, so I’m sure it would be delightful.
The on-line reviews are generally positive, but I particularly liked the response to this one:
“Had Sunday lunch today with the family.The main coarse roast beef was very poor, the presentation of vegetables was a disgrace. The roast potatoes were very poor. The price was £16.00. Will not be going back. The previous owners food was much superior. If you want a good Sunday roast avoid this venue.”
With the reply being:
“Same owner for last 20 years plus first complaint about roast seriously in that time”.
And then loudchildgate kicked off one night….
“We was on the top floor, we was only in the hotel a maximum of an hour before we went out for dinner. While I was out I had a call (8:30pm) saying there had been a complaint made about me and my kids. “There was banging and a constant baby crying for two hours!” Firstly my “baby” is a 3 year old that if she did winge it was a maximum of 5 minutes. And also we wasn’t even there for two hours.. the “banging” that they was insisting of was my son waking around. (He has autism and adhd and won’t sit still for any period of time) however he does not make any noises or bags.. I explained all this and I was told “just to be respectful of others”. So right away it was ruined, I didn’t even want to go back after dinner. And I couldn’t go down for breakfast in the morning so went elsewhere. But if a child winges, or there is a little bang or two and THAT is warrant for a phone call on my private number while out having a meal, it’s ridiculous. And the way the dealt with it was awful”
But anyway, I digress from our core responsibility of meandering around pubs on our study tour. This venue exceeded my expectations, I had expected something a little more stuffy and expensive, but yet the atmosphere was laid-back and inviting. The view over the river is really most pleasant and we deserved a little decadence on our tour.