I’ve written many times on the joys of a proper country inn. 

At this time of year, as frost begins to nip at our heels, these places, tucked along hidden lanes in our hamlets and villages, come into their own. 

There’s something infinitely cosy and reassuring about the crackle of a pub fireplace, and the cool froth of a real ale. 

Unfortunately, these kinds of spots are, today, few and far between. But...they do exist. And more fool us if we don’t seek them out. 

Once such gem is The Greyhound in Pettistree. I last visited a few years ago when it was under the patronage of recent outgoers Stewart and Louise McKenzie who said their goodbyes earlier this year. 

Louise’s nods to their Scottish roots wove a comforting thread through the menu, generous with savoury mackerel pate, plates of game, homemade soda bread and oat cakes. 

Happily, all is not lost, as the next generation of custodians have moved in, with a mandate to create a toasty atmosphere and a menu led by honest, traditional, hyper-seasonal cooking. 

East Anglian Daily Times: The Greyhound in PettistreeThe Greyhound in Pettistree (Image: Charlotte Bond, Newsquest)

Former ad man Will Orrock, interior designer fiancé Cassidy Hughes, chef Harry Mckenzie and wine buff George de Vos have escaped the rat race of London to bring to life their shared vision of running a rural inn. And that’s very much what this place is. None of them are particularly enamoured with the word ‘gastropub’. 

That’s not what they’re about at all, says Will, who adds that he in particular has become jaded by the fast-paced era of social media. He wants to keep The Greyhound close to its roots, humble and “as analogue as possible”. 

“I had so many years in the advertising world, working with various brands doing all the social stuff. It was good. I had a great time. But I want to move away from that. There’s a real urge to do something hands-on, and food and drink fits the bill well.” 

Besides a bit of cosmetic work, and the opening up of an old fireplace, little has been done to the pub, which has been decorated to transport drinkers and diners back, rather than forward in time. 

East Anglian Daily Times: Inside the new-look Greyhound in PettistreeInside the new-look Greyhound in Pettistree (Image: Charlotte Bond)

East Anglian Daily Times: Relax by the fire at The GreyhoundRelax by the fire at The Greyhound (Image: Charlotte Bond)

“We’ve very much gone for a look that makes it feel like the place has been this way for a long time,” says Will. “We’ve spent time decorating and changing the lighting and things, but really we’re drawing much more inspiration from traditional inns.” 

At the bar drinkers are greeted by three hand-pulled cask ales, and five beers on keg, largely from local breweries. While George has created a wine list, built around growers who share the team’s ethos of being as natural and ethical as possible. 

Will explains: “The brief is to work with wine makers who make every effort to leave a plot of land better than they found it. The nice thing about our list is we’re not working with big co-operatives, but with people who make their own wines. They know what’s going on with the land, and what’s going into it. We’ve really got some lovely wines available here.” 

This idea of sticking to the land, and being rooted in place and season translates onto Harry’s menu too. The chef and co-owner has spent time working in some of London’s most exclusive restaurants, including The River Café. “He has quite an exciting approach to food,” says Will. “What we’re doing is changeable. What we’re aiming for is hitting that feeling of what a pub should be at certain times of year, giving a sense of season and place.” 

East Anglian Daily Times: Harry's food is hyper-seasonalHarry's food is hyper-seasonal (Image: Charlotte Bond)

He bills the menu as ‘countryside cooking’ with Harry making everything, from pickles and preserves, to the day-to-day sauces and stocks, bringing together all the skills he’s learnt across nearly two decades...but without any of the ‘fancy stuff’. Some of his most recent conjurings include homemade pancetta and salamis made with pork from Suffolk’s Lower Dairy Farm, where pigs graze freely in the orchards. 

“It’s about using very local produce,” says Will. “Because Suffolk is absolutely rich with offerings. The seafood, the meat, the vegetables, the grains. Harry is very excited and has been getting to know the local suppliers here. He’s running a daily menu that’s incredibly producer-led. One of the guys he’s been getting to know is Mike Warner at A Passion For Seafood. Mike will call him up, tell him what’s been landed, and Harry will build a dish around the best catch.” 

East Anglian Daily Times: A terrine starter at The GreyhoundA terrine starter at The Greyhound (Image: Charlotte Bond)

East Anglian Daily Times: Head chef and co-owner Harry brings with him a wealth of experience, including time working at London's River CafeHead chef and co-owner Harry brings with him a wealth of experience, including time working at London's River Cafe (Image: Charlotte Bond)

Changing daily, The Greyhound’s menu is a love letter to British ingredients. At this time of year Will says customers can expect slow cooks, and long, lazy lunches. He recalls current dishes they’ve been working on, from teal with liver toast, bread sauce and crab apples, to fallow broth with cappelletti and sherry, salt cod with sea beets and butter sauce, and baked apples with Calvados, prunes and bay custard. 

“The menu is written with an element of intrigue – we don’t reveal too much, so customers get a bit of a surprise at the table. It might read ‘roast beef and dripping potatoes’ but what arrives will be a bit ‘extra’. With a beautifully-made sauce, or a hedgerow jelly, for example. 

“There’s something very special about Harry and his food. It really does make you smile. It's hard to explain. We hope people will come and try it and feel like we do about it. I think that generosity and love really comes across.” 

Booking is essential for diners. Find out more at greyhoundpettistree.co.uk