Suffolk is a county that’s full of surprises. Just when you think you’ve got it figured stumble upon a little gem. Somewhere that makes you feel fuzzy and warm inside. Pakenham Water Mill is such a spot. 

If you want to take a step back from the hustle-bustle of modern life, I can think of no better place to recharge the batteries than at this historic little oasis. Where the quiet of the countryside is disturbed only by the flutter and call of ducks as they flock on the millpond. And where the age-old process of grinding flour by stone, in turn powered by water, continues to this day. 

East Anglian Daily Times:

East Anglian Daily Times:

Some of that flour is sold in the shop. And some is turned into cakes, scones and savouries at the onsite just one morning a week (Thursdays, 10am to 12.30pm), until the summer season begins from April 2, with hours extended to include 2pm to 4.30pm at weekends. 

The tearoom is operated by the gloriously-named Sharon Baker, who re-opened almost a year ago following Covid lockdowns, during which time an outdoor tea cabin was created. 

Small, but perfectly formed, it seats up to 22 (more in the courtyard), though on warmer days Sharon says customers love to grab a takeaway, enjoying lunch on the grass by the water. 

“It’s idyllic,” she adds. “And we can’t wait for better weather. At the moment the daffodils are just coming out – that's lovely to see.” 

East Anglian Daily Times:

East Anglian Daily Times:

Sharon describes the offering at the mill as “traditional with touches of today”, with everything homemade as far as possible. 

Thursday mornings offer up egg and bacon rolls, and changing special savoury bakes, such as cheesy bean pastry slices. 

“We have someone who makes all our scones for us in lots of flavours. Typically we always have fruit scones, but at the moment we have cheese and bacon, brie and cranberry, and Stilton. We tend to have a few flavours each time and they are always the first thing to go. We’ve usually sold out by 11am!” 

All the tearoom’s cakes are made with flour milled on site - be that wholemeal, white, spelt, cornmeal or rye. 

East Anglian Daily Times:

“We have anything and everything. Usually about four different flavours. Today it’s lemon drizzle, coffee and walnut, vegan lime and coriander, and gluten-free raspberry and coconut. We always have gluten-free and vegan available.” 

Most popular, she adds, are coffee or carrot cake...and grandma’s tea loaf, or grandma’s bread pudding. 

As we feel the pull into spring, Sharon says sausage rolls and Scotch eggs will return, as will (at weekend’s) the Miller’s Lunch which is “a bit of a fancy ploughman’s”. 

“It comes with ham or cheese, or a bit of both, with homemade chutney, a choice of bread, a drop of salad and pickles. We will have light lunches too. And we’re hoping to negotiate opening a little earlier.” 

She says the tearoom has, for many, a bit of the wow factor as it’s largely undiscovered (unless you’re ‘in the know’).

East Anglian Daily Times:  East Anglian Daily Times:

“It’s really nice. And it doesn’t have the formality you might get with other tearooms. We’re friendly. We have good food. And the setting is lovely.” 

Call 01359 230275 for bookings, or email via the website at where you can also find information about tours. 

Dogs are welcome in the courtyard, but not inside, and there is a section that is step-free for diners with accessibility issues.