by John | Oct 19, 2012 |

Walkers' Blog: The Anchor Inn, Nayland


Find out what happened when we visited the delightful Anchor Inn in Nayland. 

Constable Country is something of a gourmet's delight with some excellent pubs offering really good food.

As it was a reasonably sunny Sunday, we decided to have a walk along the Stour Valley from Flatford Mill and then find a good pub for lunch.

The bar was crowded and the few empty tables had reserved signs on them - our hopes of a Sunday roast dwindled. But a quick word at the bar and we were led upstairs to a large and comfortable first floor dining room (where there is plenty of space for families with young children).

On the banks of The Stour in the pretty village of Nayland, this is a lovely pub for anyone exploring Constable Country, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty on the Suffolk Essex border.

We opted for the Sunday roast, choice of beef, pork, and even venison, rejecting the starter simply out of consideration for our waist lines, a good decision as portions were large. The puddings looked lovely but again were beyond us.

I had the roast pork (with a flourless gravy in respect of my gluten allergy - good work), the pork didn't quite melt in the mouth but was flavoursome and the accompanying roast potatoes and vegetables were excellent and perfectly cooked. My only caveat was that there were no condiments on the table and no offer of apple sauce, mustards etc, which I rather enjoy with a traditional roast.

If you fancy a short sojourn after your meal then wander through the pub's newly created traditional kitchen garden, which is situated on the flood plain of the Stour River. In its early stages, it promises much for the freshness of food in future years. The pub uses Suffolk Punch horses to work the ground and if you are bringing youngsters with you I would recommend a visit on one of their demonstration days.

Nayland itself is an attractive timbered village of ancient leaning cottages lying on the northern bank of the River Stour. The name Nayland means an island, and the village grew up on the higher ground above the river flood plain. An early manorial centre, Nayland provided a good place for safe crossing of the river where it is believed there was once a wooden castle.

Markets were recorded in Nayland in 1227 and, by the late Middle Ages, it was a successful small town occupied by affluent cloth merchants, many of whom were very well off by the standards of the day. Their riches were reflected in fine Tudor streets lined with extravagant timber buildings, many of which remain to this day.

The village makes a great centre from which to explore Constable country and the wider Stour valley.

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