Two weekends ago I went out for dinner at The Townhouse in Ipswich. I couldn’t wait as I’d heard nothing but good things and it’s not long re-opened, following a fire. I’d had a glimpse at the menu online, but I really didn’t know what I was going to have to eat, or what to expect.
We arrived a lot earlier than our booked table, so enjoyed a drink downstairs in the bar area. The ambience was so intimate and cosy and I loved the candles in wine/champagne bottles. There was some light music in the background too. We were sat next to the wine rack which was really well-stocked and I enjoyed a small glass of sweet rosé, which went down far too easily! We were given the menus to peruse and after ordering, we were taken upstairs to the dining area and our table.
The atmosphere upstairs was just as good as where we previously sat and the dining room was a largely intimate experience, with the majority of the tables set for two. We sat in the middle of the restaurant, next to a couple who had the luxury of a table on what I can only describe as a balcony – with views to the bar below. I loved that the walls were covered in the works of local artists, which were available to purchase. There was a great mix and it’s such a nice way to appreciate local talent, as well as add some character to the place.
Now onto the food – I’m not even lying when I say this is the best meal I’ve ever had, and that includes both top London restaurants and abroad. I didn’t take any pictures, because it’s far too nice a place for me to keep whipping out my phone. To start I chose the scallops, served with pancetta on a ring of black pudding. It was presented beautifully, all stacked up and covered in herb salad. The two giant scallops were really meaty and complemented the black pudding well. It was so flavoursome, I’d have been more than happy to eat it again and it was by far, the nicest starter I’ve ever had. The starter left me with high expectations for the main course and I wasn’t disappointed at all. I chose the fillet of beef ‘deconstructed wellington’. Again, this dish looked spectacular and tasted even better. As the waiter brought the dish to the table, I couldn’t wait to dig in – fillet steak stacked on a potato rosti and a bed of wilted spinach, topped with a puff pastry lid and of course a fine pâté. Served with a Madeira jus, it wasn’t dry at all.
After two hearty courses and half a bottle of prosecco, I had no room for dessert and actually needed a nap. The service was excellent throughout, from the bar staff who brought the drinks to the table and then upstairs when we moved for dinner, to the waiting staff who were friendly and efficient. The meal was quite pricy – two courses, a round of drinks and a bottle of prosecco at just under £100 but it was definitely worthy and will take a lot to surpass in terms of quality. If you go anywhere this weekend, be sure to visit The Townhouse, you won’t be disappointed.