“SuffolkEater” reviews… THE DENNINGTON QUEEN


Dennington Queen Front

Encouraged by the favourable entry in the 2014 Good Food Guide, we went to dinner at the Dennington Queen on Easter Monday. An ample car park, in front of an attractive well painted, attractively illuminated period building, led in to a clean, spacious, pretty and comfortable bar and dining area. Just two other tables were occupied, but the staff were in good form, welcoming, friendly and attentive.

The menu offers pub grub like ham, eggs and chips, fish and chips and grills, but also includes some interesting proposals. Six starters including: a soup of the day (mushroom, garlic and basil on our visit); slow roasted Cajun pork belly, pineapple & cucumber salsa; and marinated feta cheese, sun dried tomato & haricot bean salad, herb croutons. After this you may choose from seven main courses, four desserts and cheese.

Two of us took starters: smoked fish arancini with whole-grain mustard cream sauce, and faggots in a red onion gravy. Arancini is an Italian dish of scoops of savoury risotto formed into balls, coated with egg and bread crumbs and deep-fried. A nice idea – enjoyable without dazzling the tastebuds. It came with a small salad of greens heavily laden with coriander. The faggots, usually served ‘dry’ were declared of good flavour and they and the gravy were happily supped up.

We paired off for mains, two having ham, two fried duck eggs and chunky chips and two slow baked lamb. Ham pronounced “OK”, but not of the freshest and with rather a lot of fat. Chunky chips, good but not exceptional. On the other side of the table: two plates of slow roasted lamb on a bed of sloshy ratatouille with three new potatoes. The top of the lamb looked dry and cooked up. But it flaked well, and doused with some of the ratatouille tasted moderately Mediterranean. The whole dish, however, looked unappetising and tired.

One gooey chocolate mousse and cheese and biscuits completed the meal. The latter were the freshest and best part of the meal, four (small) pieces of English and French cheeses in excellent condition.

Around the table we drank: two pints of bitter, a bottle and a glass of gentle but quite fruity San Giovese rosé (£15.95) and sparkling water. Good coffee to finish. Bill including tip: £125.00.

Summary: Meal for two with wine £60.00 up. Open every day.

Verdict: Delightful building, very pleasing atmosphere, food on this showing, underwhelming. Value-for-money: if the food had been better it would be good.

The Dennington Queen, the Square, Dennington, Suffolk. IP13 8AB Telephone 01728 638421 www.thedenningtonqueen.co.uk


“SuffolkEater” is a four-headed, four-stomached reviewing body, who choose a restaurant, partake of different items on the menu, pay for the meal, depart and write about the experience. The foursome are experienced eaters-in and diners out, and unknown as reviewers to the places they

BOOK REVIEW – The Undelivered Mardle, by John Rogers. “A Memoir of Belief, Doubt and Delight”. 158 pages, hard back, published by Darton, Longman & Todd at £12.99, with a foreword by Ronald Blythe..


  The Undelivered Mardle - John Rogers     John Rogers   Oct 2012


A “Mardle” is a talk of local interest. The people of Letheringham had asked Rendham resident John Rogers to deliver such a talk to them at their ancient priory church. Early on the day he was to drive to Letheringham to give his Mardle, Monday March 26th 2007, John was struck by a severe heart attack that took him to Ipswich hospital and quickly on to Papworth. It is no small achievement to survive a heart attack in your 70s and then write your first book – and a moving, heart-warming, fascinating and informative one at that. But he felt a compulsion to do so.

“I didn’t know whether to aim the book at believers, or non-believers”, he says, so I chose neither”. The result is his undelivered Mardle (it has been given since, by the way).

To say this handsome little book, with its evocative cover drawing by John’s successful artist daughter Lucinda Rogers, is about a church, the church, spirituality and the search for faith and truth, is perhaps to remove it from the reading list of doubters and non-believers, which is a great pity. It is finely observed, beautifully written and exceptionally interesting.

Sometimes  writers will say they feel the spirit of other writers looking over their shoulders as they work. I can think of two, albeit a rather disparate pair, who would have approved as, looking over his shoulder, they regarded John Rogers’ script. The great “retro” Englishman John Betjeman would have heartily approved of his knowledge of the story and structure of a church and its physical and spiritual place. A tap of on the shoulder, too, from the once Poet Laureate, for the elegance and style of the writing. Patrick Leigh Fermor, I would wager, would like the cut of John’s literary jib and the passages of erudite description transposing into a personal encounter, or a reminiscence. Suffolk-bound the narrative may be, but John comes across as a true traveller.

You may sit round a table with John Rogers enjoying good food and a glass of Burgundy, with happy inconsequential chatter, when suddenly he will pose a question touching upon one’s deepest beliefs and thoughts. Like the book it is done with a gentle smiling style that draws forth consideration and response. Read “The Undelivered Mardle” and I will wager it will make even the most cynical among us think about life, our present place in the world and the human spirit.



Review – “Sax Stories” by Belinda Moore This slim, well presented book offers profiles of forty citizens of Saxmundham, many of them with photographs. They are a good cross-section of the populace and a helpful and enjoyable introduction for the shorter term residents of the town, like myself and my wife (a mere three and […]

[Continue reading...]

REVIEW – March 2013


Pottering Around   I wander along our High Street on most days and often wonder why there are so few people about. I find it rather a dull looking street; perhaps it still feels it should have the A12 traffic passing through it. This is a pity because there are some good shops run some […]

[Continue reading...]

REVIEW–The White Horse, Sibton


  By “SuffolkEater”   We are always somewhat suspicious of places that advertise quite widely and extol their own virtues on websites. So we approached dinner at the Sibton White Horse with a little caution. We needn’t have done. Basically what their Promos say you will get is what you do. And that is good, […]

[Continue reading...]