Guide's dining award makes four for double rosette winning pub
'A country gastro boozer' is the perfect description of a Suffolk pub awarded for its reputation with local regulars and visiting diners for the fourth time.
The Sibton White Horse has now been named Suffolk Dining Pub of the Year on four occasions by the Good Pub Guide.
It won the title in 2012, 2015 and 2016 – conceding honours to the Crown Inn, Stoke-by-Nayland, for a year – before taking it back in the 2018 edition of the annually published book.
It marks a double success for the countryside pub, restaurant and guesthouse, near Yoxford, following the distinction of a second AA Rosette earlier this year.
Neil Mason, who moved from Nottinghamshire with his wife, Gill, to take ownership of the 16th century pub 12 years ago, said: “Every award is very gratifying and rewarding for our staff.
“A lot of hard work goes into running a successful pub and restaurant.
“Food is key to the industry these days – and our rooms help bolster that side of the trade – but we also want to maintain a country pub that doesn’t alienate local drinkers.
“The service is relaxed, informal and responsive – and the food is unpretentious.
“We were described recently as a country gastro boozer, which I think ticks all the boxes.”
As well as regular main menu offerings, the kitchen last night served up locally sourced smoked Blythburgh pork belly and honey-soy glazed Gressingham duck, with vegetables grown in the pub’s own garden.
“To step outside and pick fresh vegetables to cook with gives our chef great pleasure,” said Mr Mason, whose 21-year-old son, Luke, tends the pub grounds, as well as studying horticulture at college.
Mrs Mason also plays a key role in the kitchen, alongside head chef Richard Grinyer-Power and his team.
“We’ve achieved a level we’re very happy with and would like to maintain,” said Mr Mason.
Another Suffolk pub, The Turks Head, in Hasketon, near Woodbridge, is among six Best Food Pub finalists at this evening’s Great British Pub Awards at London’s Hilton on Park Lane.
The 2018 edition of the Good Pub Guide is released today and includes a selection of recommended venues to eat and drink across the region.