Back in December, Jamie and I were kindly invited to a complimentary meal at The Beagle in Ipswich. Part of The Vintage Inns chain is a country pub serving seasonal, warming pub-grub. Despite being right on our doorstep, we’d never visited – certainly a mistake we wont be making again!
Recently renovated, the interior is warm and homely, and full of character. There was a lovely atmosphere the night we visited – a Thursday leading up to Christmas. The restaurant was packed full, but despite being one of the busiest weeks of the year, our waiter Tom took us to our seats and looked after us well all evening. I don’t envy anyone working in hospitality that time of year!
For starters, Jamie and I decided to share, opting for the handmade dough sticks. These came toasty warm with 3 dips – garlic butter, pesto and chipotle chilli mayonaise. This was the ideal warm-up course for us – we can never resist some garlic bread!! Despite garlic being my absolute fave, I was pleasantly surprised by the pesto and mayonaise dips too.
After our starter, we were certainly excited for our mains. I went for a meat feast pizza. This was stone-baked with chicken, pork and fennel sausage and crispy bacon on top. As if that wasn’t enough (it most definitely was), I added some fries on the side too. My meal was perfect – there’s nothing better than a pizza you can tell has clearly been made from scratch – rustic, fresh and delicious!
Jamie opted for a 10oz ribeye steak, served with triple cooked chips, salad, onion rings and some peppercorn sauce. Both of us are big steak lovers so we’ve definitely had our fair share of not-so-great steaks and this wasn’t one of them. Jamie asked for it rare, to which it was cooked to perfectly. The peppercorn sauce was delicious – so much so that I kept dipping my own chips in it too. And Jamie’s triple cooked chips? To die for!!!
Main course filled us up, but with a breather we were ready to tackle dessert. With so many goodies on the menu, we decided the best option was to try as many as possible with the pudding tasting platter. This included warm brownie, ice cream, eton mess, vanilla creme brûlée and toffee and butterscotch duo. Despite being named the tasting platter, these desserts were definitely not tasters! Each was amply sized which meant we struggled to clean the lot. My favourite had to be the creme brulee and
Our meal at The Beagle was delicious – hearty, homely and we left feeling well fed and well looked after. It certainly won’t be long before we give The Beagle and the Vintage Inns another visit soon.
Do you have a Vintage Inns pub near you? What’s your fave pub grub?
*Our meal was complimentary but all views remain 100% honest.