A bitterly cold day saw me, once again hurtling down the A140 into Suffolk; but not too far over the border. My companion was driving whilst I was privately wondering if I would be able to get out of her lovely purple sports car without a steam hoist – me being a bulky OAP wearing two coats. We had an unscheduled trip around Eye (which incidentally looked like a really pretty small town full of cottages painted in sugared-almond colours) before locating the Queen’s Head, (Boadicea) and found that there was only parking room for about 4 vehicles, one of them being a skip; so we drove into the (free) municipal car park alongside the pub. This left us with a walk of a couple of hundred yards (my short legs don't stretch to metres). So we were both glad to spot the log fire in the bar and our reserved table which had a clear view of the street outside.
I was surprised when I inspected the menu as one whole page was given over to 17 different Tapas options, but there were only about three choices of what I call a PGD; (proper gravy dinner) lasagne, four-cheese and red onion tart, and a chicken breast concoction - and a ploughman’s lunch. In the end we decided to ‘do a Princess Diana’ and have a starter and a pud. My starter was an extravagance of fish, with smoked mackerel, Gravlax (cured raw salmon, thinly sliced, in a dill and mustard sauce), and a terrine of crabmeat: also a couple of hunks of wholemeal bread and a pot of butter. It is such a shame that fashion decrees that salt is now the ingredient most despised by chefs everywhere. Elizabeth David would turn in her grave if she knew that ‘forget not the salt’ was being disregarded – especially in bread.
My companion’s choice was chicken liver pate with toasted bread and salad garnish dressed with balsamic vinegar. The pudding selection included caramelised banana with raisins, and rum sauce and ice cream; this was my companion’s choice. Mine was tiramisu which officially came with cream, but I asked for ice cream instead. A cafetière of coffee for the two of us followed; I take mine black and wished it could have been a little stronger.
We both enjoyed what we had, and it was good value for money: the place was very attractive with its scrubbed pine, beams and log fire, but being old fashioned eaters, (I really don't like chilli, olive oil, and garlic) we both felt a little out-of-place there. I can imagine a crowd of Tapas lovers, in the evening, would transform the place into warm and lively location, full of fun. The Queen’s Head has been awarded the prestigious cask marque in recognition of their outstanding quality ales, which I neglected to try as I am a wine lover.
I would not want to take a disabled person to this pub; every single doorway had a small step up or down, and some of the doors were narrow – this is the price you pay for quaint old fashioned surroundings. That and the distance from the car park would deter me. The loos were clean although the poor orchid in there had seen better days.
No there was nothing at all wrong here, providing you are the right sort of people, and we weren’t. Don’t be put off by this report, look at their website and bear in mind what sort of food you will find.
Two Starters £11.45
Two puds £10.45
One Wine £4.95
One tonic £1.30
One cafetière £3.60
Please note that the restaurant is closed all day Monday.
7 Cross Street, Eye, Suffolk IP23 7AB
Tel: 01379 870 153
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