The last few weeks have been insanely busy with work and house repairs and family occasions of all flavours. Family occasions leads me to my birth month, which I share with both parental units (pretty selfish of them I think) and thus leads to annual busyness and diary synchronisation. This year I had it all planned to fit in everyone and bugger off to Norfolk for a couple of days chips and sunshine afterwards to lessen the pain of being well into my official mid thirties. Then Work happened and dictated a paring down in festivities. Sad face. Sad employed face however, which could be much sadder afterall. To bring this long story short I spent the last day of 35 with the older male sibling being fed untold delights of immeasurable wonder before setting off on day one of 36 for an action packed day out in the cutesy market town of Sudbury in Suffolk. Sadly most of this was also pared down due to an unscheduled stop on the M25 but again one must not moan. One must get cleaned up and go for dinner.
The Loft came about as to complete this trio of birthday mishaps, the very eatery I had been desperate to try, and had thus prompted this visit to Sudbury in the first place, was so incredibly rude when I tried to book a table that this plan too changed abruptly. I won’t name names but unusual bovines by the river won’t ever be seeing any of my hard earned dinner monies. So a last minute Tripadvisor trawl came up with a lot of curry houses and a highly rated Polish place. I’ve never really done Polish food properly and it was close to our lodgings so that was that.
What a ridiculously marvellous turn of fate to end up here for dinner.
You will find The Loft on Gaol Street, a few minutes from the main town centre, and when you do find it you will be treated to a comfy, airy space made bright with large picture windows to the front though somewhat surprisingly it is a ground floor establishment. There is a rather charming split of furniture- classic solid, glossy wooden tables and high backed dining chairs in one end morph seamlessly into more rustic constructions of old palettes and sack cloth around the bar. Very nicely done and a summary of the food on offer here which is both quality and relaxed at once.
The Mr and I got ourselves a menu and got stuck into a couple of gloriously cold Tyskies to get started. The food here varies around the general theme of meat and cheese as you might expect, leading us to begin with a ham wrapped baked Camembert and the seriously understated ‘pork dripping’. I must admit it was the house pickles that came with the latter that prompted me to order this, I do love a pickle and this is certainly something we know the Polish to do well. The pickles were brilliant- sweet, sour and crunchy and the perfect cleanse to a mouthful of rich and surprisingly meaty dripping smeared over some fresh white bread. It was akin to a light and exquisitely silky pate- simple, filthy and divine. I hope I don’t need to tell you that a parma wrapped baked Camembert is a very good thing too.
The Mr won when it came to the mains as he stuck to the golden rule of going somewhere new by going with the house special- in this case pork schnitzel. And what a schnitzel, taking up most of the plate so as to literally be served on top of some seasonal veg with a thick ketchup and aioli on the side. I had a noteworthy chicken breast cooked sous vide with sun dried tomatoes and herbs and some excellent roast potatoes. The addition of coleslaw to this dish seemed an odd choice until serving as it complemented the rest very well providing a creamy crunch to go with the soft chicken. A lot of places are touted as ‘homely’ cooking but The Loft really was like a special meal we would have at home, a Saturday dinner if you will, and plenty of it. Desserts were wonderful but ill advised in terms of physical comfort- we skirted the recommended waffles for a traditional and slightly odd Polish cheesecake made with quark and raisins and a very thin cake base for me and a full serving of pancakes and stewed cherries for the boy. Ooof.
It wasn’t busy but it was an early Sunday evening service with 2 other tables eating but this had no impact on atmosphere as such. The staff were incredibly friendly and warm, we spent most of the evening with service from the manager/owner whose chatter and warmth only added to the homely feel of the evening. It was pretty perfect for the occasion and in an untraditional way my heaven of utter indulgence- the summer dining holy trinity of beer, meat and cheese made comfortable without losing the general feel of still having a treat night out. With cheesecake.
Value at The Loft is astounding when considering the volume and quality of the food on offer with three courses for two plus several large beers coming in at £50 plus a little change, although this was at a small discount as the manager refused to prepare our bill until I had a look at their Twitter page which prompted me to speak a password for a ten percent discount!
As the preceding too many words would indicate, I can’t praise The Loft highly enough and I can’t wait to go back, particularly when the weather turns and I may feel more inclined to try out some goulash and the vast range of flavoured vodkas on offer, many at less than three quid a go, not to mention the waffles.
Great value, lively people and brilliant food you may well not have had call to try before so go there’s do try them out, even if it isn’t your birthday.