Award winning restaurant to close

ONE of Suffolk's top award-winning restaurants is closing with the loss of 12 jobs as the economic recession continues to bite.

Richard Smith

ONE of Suffolk's top award-winning restaurants is closing with the loss of 12 jobs as the economic recession continues to bite.

The Captain's Table, Quay Street, Woodbridge, will close after February 14, and the announcement follows the closure of pubs in Bredfield and Eyke, who were also left reeling by the economic downturn.

The Captain's Table is the longest serving restaurant in Woodbridge and is housed in three 16th century cottages.

It has been owned by Pascal and Jo Pommier, a former pupil of Amberfield School, Nacton, since 1998, when they took over from Jo and Tony Prentice who had it for more than 30 years.

The restaurant's honours include a two-rosette award from the AA and the Michelin Bib Gourmand award. But now staff are preparing to look for new jobs when it closes and is put on the market.

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Mr Pommier said: ''We have had a really, really good reputation over the last few years and I think the Captain's Table is unique in Woodbridge.

''But the restaurant is not doing very well and people say that dining out is a bit of a commodity. The turn of the year has been awful, the worst ever, and the utility bills have also gone up.

''We are specialists in what we do and we do everything fresh, making our own bread, ice cream etc.

''Therefore we have the cost of those ingredients - we source the best - and the organic vegetables. There is the time involved in preparation and the extra staff costs required.''

Mr Pommier added: ''This has been Jo and my baby, our first business, and we hope that someone takes it over and gives it a new lease of life.

''We have many happy memories here and it is very sad to be going. Woodbridge is a lovely town and has given us so much pleasure, but at the moment Woodbridge is struggling.

''Our third child is also due in March and that will make three children under two-and-a-half years and I very much want to help out with looking after them which I can not do if I am always at the restaurant.''

Mr Pommier reassured customers that orders for private parties will be honoured and he wants to do outside catering.

richard.smith@eadt.co.uk