Hotel of the week: The Crown, Southwold


Where is it?

Where is it?

In the picturesque centre of this tiny seaside town on the peachiest stretch of the Suffolk coast. With its eclectic collection of villas, lighthouse and perfectly preserved curiosities such as the Sailors' Reading Room, Southwold is a tourist board's dream. It has been thoroughly discovered (house prices top many areas of London) but does not yet feel like a suburb. The local twang still resonates in the high street

What's it like?

Shambling coaching inn, rebuilt in 1750. The action is centred on a relaxed and airy gastro-pub at the front, which is the place to hang out (a tiny lounge upstairs is depressing). It's a bit scruffy round the edges - parts could do with a paint job and new lighting - but then this is a cheapish hotel: b&b for two in a double or twin room costs £75.

Ambience?

Relaxed and informal. Walk down the coast through endearing Walberswick and past Dunwich to look in fear and trembling upon Sizewell B nuclear power station, then feel comfortable treading mud and sand back up the stairs to your room. There is no need to change for dinner - you can eat formally in the dining room (which is being refurbished) if that's what you like, or flop in your muddy jeans on to a bench in the bar and tuck in.

Food

Fantastic, the reason for staying here. An early out-of-town convert to modern British cooking, the present chef, Chris Coubrough, has also introduced Pacific Rim options. A great antidote to over-fussy, over-rich hotel food, the cuisine is hearty, the quality consistently high - and all GM-free. A continental breakfast, which includes a huge exotic fruit salad, makes the full English, on offer for a supplement, somewhat redundant.

Clientele

London mini-breakers. Liberal-minded foodies. The value-for-money accommodation attracts cash-strapped Hackney types rather than their flashier Islington neighbours, who favour the nearby sister hotel, the more luxurious Swan.

Service

Sweet, helpful and unaffected in the bar/restaurant; perfunctory elsewhere. The hotel facilities can feel tagged on to the raison d'être of the operation: the food and drink.

Rooms

Top b&b standard: smallish rooms, inoffensive wallpaper, wooden furniture, nice bathrooms. Still has rooms without bathrooms for a real budget outing. The haphazard development over centuries has created a labyrinthine system of passageways and staircases and some weird idiosyncrasies - the fire escape for our floor was approached through our bathroom window.

Address

The Crown, High Street, Southwold, Suffolk IP18 6DP (tel: 01502 722275).

News
More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete today
News
people'I’d rather have Fred and Rose West quote my characters on childcare'
Life and Style
The new Windows 10 Start Menu
tech
Arts and Entertainment
There has been a boom in ticket sales for female comics, according to an industry survey
comedyFirst national survey reveals Britain’s comedic tastes
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
Bruce Chatwin's novel 'On the Black Hill' was set at The Vision Farm
travelOne of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
Sport
footballManchester City 1 Roma 1: Result leaves Premier League champions in danger of not progressing
Arts and Entertainment
Gay and OK: a scene from 'Pride'
filmsUS film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
News
i100
Life and Style
Magic roundabouts: the gyratory system that has excited enthusiasts in Swindon
motoringJust who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Arts and Entertainment
Hilary North's 'How My Life Has Changed', 2001
booksWell it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Management Accountant

    28,000 to 32,000 per annum: Accountancy Action: Our client, a hospitality busi...

    Food and Beverage Cost Controller

    18,000 to 20,000 per annum: Accountancy Action: Our fantastic leisure client i...

    Marketing Analyst / Marketing Executive

    £20 - 24k: Guru Careers: A Marketing Analyst / Marketing Executive is needed t...

    IT Administrator - Graduate

    £18000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: ***EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY FO...

    Day In a Page

    Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

    The children orphaned by Ebola...

    ... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
    Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

    Are censors pandering to homophobia?

    US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
    The magic of roundabouts

    Lords of the rings

    Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
    Why do we like making lists?

    Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

    Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
    Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

    A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

    As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
    Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

    Paris Fashion Week

    Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
    Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

    Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

    One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
    10 best children's nightwear

    10 best children's nightwear

    Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
    Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

    Manchester City vs Roma

    Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
    Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

    Trouble on the Tyne

    Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
    Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

    Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

    and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
    Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

    Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

    The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
    Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

    Last chance to see...

    The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
    So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

    Truth behind teens' grumpiness

    Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
    Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

    Hacked photos: the third wave

    Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?