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Forget The Good Life: this is The Cook Life

By Sarah Groves, also posted in News on

Teresa and Garry Cook at The Crown Inn at SnapeIt’s always a pleasure visiting Teresa and Garry Cook, landlords at The Crown Inn at Snape. Not just because The Crown is an historic pub situated within one of the loveliest parts of the Suffolk coast, but because a visit there reminds me of halcyon childhood visits to a farm. Chickens and ducks roam happily, the sound of contented baa-ing drifts in on the breeze, goats cheekily lean over the fence to check you out, and tasty salad leaves tempt a sneaky pluck. Teresa and Garry grow almost all of their own produce for their pub. Everything they can’t grow or obtain themselves, such as seafood and game, is sourced locally. Teresa and her sister Maria, who also works at the pub, were brought up at a farm just across the road from The Crown where the family kept Jersey cows. With a lifetime’s knowledge of rearing livestock, it made sense to use this in conjunction with Garry’s expertise as a top Chef. Incredibly cute piglet at The Crown at SnapeThe pub’s current range of livestock includes chickens, Aylesbury ducks (plus an Indian Running duck), geese, days-old Kelly Bronze turkeys, Suffolk sheep and rare breed goats and pigs. Fruit and vegetables for the kitchen are grown on their two allotments in Orford, as well as in a kitchen garden (literally six steps from the pub kitchen door) where Garry grows fifteen different salad leaves as well as edible flowers and herbs. The family rent around 35 acres of meadows and marshland to house their pigs, sheep and goats. Teresa is particularly proud of her prize-winning pedigree pigs. The Crown is home to one of the top Gloucester Old Spot and Large White herds in the country. The bar is festooned with rosettes won by their champion pigs and sheep at County Shows. Summer vegetable broth at The Crown Inn at SnapeThe allotments in Orford grow a wide range of vegetables, mostly in poly-tunnels, and also a bounty of summer fruits – redcurrants, white currants, wild strawberries, gooseberries, blackcurrants, raspberries, and tayberries. Any surplus is made into purées, jams or jellies to use out of season. What’s growing in the allotments is reflected in the daily menus. The summer lunchtime menu included a summer vegetable broth, beautifully decorated with fresh pea shoots and flowers. The pork platter is made entirely from meat from their own pigs, and the summer pudding terrine is made from home-grown berries. If you’re looking for a fantastic Suffolk food experience, you can’t do better than this: entirely local, completely traceable and utterly delicious. Of course, you’ll find fresh Adnams beers and a healthy range of wines on the bar too.

Bed & Breakfast at The Crown

The Crown Inn at SnapeJust five minutes’ walk to Snape Maltings and a short drive to both Orford and Aldeburgh, the Crown Inn is an ideal base from which to explore the local area. The Crown offers two en-suite rooms with tea and coffee making facilities on a bed & breakfast basis. You can guarantee that the bacon and eggs will be outstanding! You can find Teresa and Garry at The Crown Inn, Bridge Road, Snape, Suffolk IP17 1SL. Tel: 01728 688324 and online at snape-crown.co.uk Why not enjoy an iFootpath walk while you're here? You can view pictures from The Crown Inn at Snape on Flickr

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Sarah Groves

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