George Pell and the team behind the hugely successful pop up L’Escargot Sur-Mer will reopen as The Suffolk this August following a dramatic yet sensitive refurbishment of the historic building. Located in the heart of Aldeburgh, The Suffolk will become home to a 60-cover restaurant named Sur-Mer, rooftop terrace complete with sea views, bar, 12 and 24-seater private dining rooms and six elegantly appointed bedrooms which will open in September.
Front of house will be headed up by owner George Pell, who has spent the last 15 years working in some of London’s most renowned members clubs and restaurants including Soho’s iconic L’Escargot (where he remains a Partner). Pell’s renowned flair for delivering a warm and polished dining experience will be seen throughout The Suffolk.
Suffolk based architect Charles Curry-Hyde, whose 30 years’ expertise lies in designing changes to precious and listed buildings, has led on the restoration of this former inn, which dates back to the 17th century. Interior designer Kate Fulford, also from Suffolk, hopes to create a sophisticated but relaxed setting and has been influenced by the building’s original details. The furniture and colour scheme will be sympathetic to these features and reflective of Aldeburgh and surrounding areas.
George Pell commented on the opening:
“I’m incredibly excited to have the opportunity to bring the sense of life and purpose back to this great building and make it, once again, the heartbeat of Aldeburgh. For me, this is the realisation of a childhood dream to have a restaurant beside the sea and the fact we’re opening in Aldeburgh is such a treat, there is truly nowhere else like it on the planet. The Suffolk will be a place for the locals to enjoy - to treat as their own; to read the paper and have a glass of wine in but it should also be special enough to make people want to travel to enjoy a long leisurely lunch with a lobster and chips. The team and I can’t wait to welcome our first guests in August.”
The seafood focused menu headed up by Head Chef James Jay will champion Suffolk’s plentiful bounty and hopes to remind guests of nostalgic memories of holidays by the British seaside. Producers including traditional smokehouse Pinneys of Orford, Fen Farm Dairy and Sutton Hoo Chicken will feature plus a handful of local day boats delivering sustainable fish and shellfish from the Suffolk coast.
As well as a selection of oysters from the British Isles, guests dining at Sur-Mer can expect dishes like Lobster Bisque with Crab Toast; Razor Clams with Avruga and Sorrel; Barbecued Monkfish Tail with Samphire Butter and Whipped Baron Bigod served with Game Chips and Onions to finish.
The bar and rooftop terrace with sea views will have smaller plates designed for sharing including Herring Rollmops, Lobster Sliders, Emmett’s Black Ham & Baron Bigod Croquettes and a selection of grilled flatbreads with toppings like Brown Shrimp & Cod’s Roe; Mussel & Anchovy with Seaweed Butter and Dry Aged Suffolk Gold with Scallions. There will also be a separate Sunday lunch menu featuring sharing dishes like Lobster Wellington, slow roasted Gressingham Duck with plum sauce and Sutton Hoo Chicken stuffed with morels.
Suffolk-born Chef James Jay’s in-depth knowledge of the county’s produce will be evident throughout The Suffolk’s menu. Jay joined the team in March 2022 to run the Sur-Mer pop up at New Street Market in Woodbridge with George, and was Head Chef at The Anchor, also in Woodbridge, for ten years previous to that.
The concise but thoughtful wine list will feature mainly French wines starting at £24 for a bottle and £6 for a glass. The cocktail menu will serve a handful of classical favourites including The Suffolk’s Coastal Martini in partnership with local distillery Fishers.
The Suffolk's six uniquely designed en suite bedrooms will open to the public in early September.
Bookings for Sur-Mer at The Suffolk can be made from 9 August. Reservations are now live - www.the-suffolk.co.uk