The Ramsholt Arms - ‘seafood highlight at famous pub’
- Credit: Charlotte Bond
Nicola Warren tries lunch at the riverside pub.
You may know The Ramsholt Arms from its role in the 2019 hit film Yesterday.
I too remember the scene from the pub garden, which overlooks the River Deben, but it’s also ingrained in my mind from a family trip one summer in the 1980s, when my cousins and I splashed about in the river.
So I’d envisaged a nice lunch in the pub garden on a sunny September day, admiring the views over the water.
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Alas, on the drive to east Suffolk, the heavens opened, so, after parking up, sanitising our hands and giving our details for track and trace, we were shown the available tables inside.
It was 12.30pm and the popular pub was already busy, so we couldn’t even get a table by the window to admire the view.
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The only tables left were round the other side of the bar, although I could see the river over my husband Phil’s shoulder, outside the open door.
Our server, who was wearing a mask, brought the menu over.
This gave details of the Covid procedures and made clear it was a reduced menu due to social distancing in place in the kitchen which has reduced the number of staff able to work in it.
After ordering drinks – a Coke for me and bitter shandy for Phil, we took a look at the food options available.
Starters included ham hock terrine with piccallilli, salad and toast; and half a pint of shell on prawns, salad, granary bread and butter and Marie Rose sauce.
Phil ordered the salt and pepper squid with sweet chilli sauce and salad and I asked for the autumn vegetable and basil soup.
As you’d expect from a waterfront pub, there were plenty of main seafood options too.
There was Cromer crab sandwich on granary bread with salad; battered fish and chips with tartar sauce and peas or salad; and the Ramsholt cold fish platter – smoked salmon, shell-on prawns, crevettes, crayfish and mussels with salad and fresh bread.
I went for another seafood option, something a bit different from what I would normally choose – king prawn noodles in a Thai yum sauce, while Phil decided on the local ham steak, brace of eggs, chips and salad.
Other main dishes included smoked chicken salad with honey and mustard dressing; tomato and olive penne with Parmesan; and cheese Ploughman’s including a Suffolk cheese.
Phil was raving about his squid soon after tucking in, so I had to try a bit. It was perfectly cooked, with well-seasoned crisp batter and succulent squid inside, which was not in the least bit chewy.
I was only a few spoonfuls into my soup when I thought perhaps I should have asked what was the ingredients were before ordering as it was quite spicy, and my mouth was soon overwhelmed by the heat from the chilli. It was served with a toasted focaccia, which was warm and fluffy, but I had to leave some of the soup as I wasn’t sure how spicy my noodles were going to be.
Not as spicy as the soup, though, it turned out. This delicious dish was aromatic, as with many Thai dishes, with flavours of coriander and lemongrass and just a hint of chilli.
This generous dish of noodles also included succulent king prawns, pak choi and spring onions.
Phil happily tucked into his ham, eggs and chips. The ham was good quality, the eggs cooked just how he liked them (soft but not too runny), and the chips crisp on the outside and fluffy inside. Though the salad was all fresh and crisp, he would have preferred to have peas with the dish, but hadn’t thought to ask.
So, on to dessert. The options included carrot cake, which was gluten free; chocolate truffle torte; and fruit berry mousse. I couldn’t resist the cookies and cream pie, while Phil liked the sound of the treacle sponge pudding and custard.
We also ordered some hot drinks – a peppermint tea for me, and a coffee for Phil.
The cookies and cream pie had a sponge base, covered with an Oreo stuffed chocolate mousse and topped with a sweet cream mousse and chocolate. I think a touch of pouring cream would have offset the sweetness a bit, although I quite happily ate the whole slice of course.
Phil was full of praise for the treacle sponge pudding, which was sweet but not overly so, and the creamy custard. He offered me a spoonful but I could only manage some peppermint tea before we paid the bill and headed back out into the chilly September day.
We’re hoping for better weather – or a table inside with a view – on our next visit. We’d better get there early!
The bill for three courses for both of us, three soft drinks and two hot drinks came to £70.40.
The bar serves a wide range of wine, beers, ciders – including Aspall Peronelles – and spirits, as well as soft drinks, such as Norfolk Cordial, and hot drinks.
There is a free car park nearby.
There’s plenty of outdoor seating – and you might even choose a table where Himesh Patel and Lily James sat when filming Yesterday!
Those noodles! I would usually go for a favourite option such as fish and chips, but I’m glad I went for something a bit different with this aromatic dish.
Good food – especially the seafood, and local ingredients and drinks on the menu, at this pub in a beautiful location.