Where I ate:
Arlingtons, Museum Street, Ipswich
Situated in Museum Street, Arlingtons used to be just that – with an upstairs gallery. These days it’s a buzzing French bistro, with seating both up and downstairs. I had never been before, but after a quick investigation on the website, knew it would be a very good meal and evening in general.
The brasserie is certainly unique and the layout is excellent – the downstairs is pretty much open plan. The seating up in the gallery is just for tables of two, which is where we sat, while the downstairs accommodates for larger parties with a mix of chairs and booths.
The history is well worth looking into and there’s even a market on Sundays – how many restaurants can boast that?
What I drank:
Large glass of pinot grigio
What I ate:
Steak frites, followed by crème caramel
From the brasserie classics menu, I opted for the steak frites (with peppercorn sauce, as opposed to the blue cheese option). I’d previously had steak in Paris and it wasn’t anything special really, so was looking forward to something good quality and cooked to perfection. This is exactly what I received – the sauce had permeated well and even covered the chips; bonus! The side salad was also very good, although a little warm on the leaves nearest the steak. It also contained a lot of interesting vegetables chopped julienne style, I even think there was celeriac in there.
Crème caramel is one of my favourite desserts and hand on heart, this was better than the one I had in Paris – and better than some flans I’ve also had in Spain; high praise indeed! I was really full from the steak as well, but just could not resist.
The staff were excellent and very friendly. The woman who seated us asked us if we’d been before and when we said we hadn’t, was keen to hear our thoughts when leaving. It was refreshing to see people in that sector feel so passionate about their place of work and enjoy their job – waiting staff really need to take note. Although I can fully understand why they feel that way, Arlingtons was lovely and I’m sure I’ll return!