The Packhorse Inn Pub with rooms in Moulton, Suffolk

Prices from:
£100 per night

David Hancock says:

  • Cool country inn – stunning renovation
  • Striking interiors
  • Innovative cooking
  • Chic bedrooms ooze style & comfort

PerkInn Places Perk

Homemade Biscuits in the Bedroom

Sticky FingersMuddy PawsOutdoor Pursuits90 Minutes from London15 Minutes from the MotorwayPrivate Dining

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Call this inn 01638 389448

Overview

The Packhorse Inn Moulton, Suffolk, CB8 8SP

The personal touch

Former London banker and Moulton resident Philip Turner snapped up his seriously neglected village local in 2012, having recognised its huge potential as a thriving inn and gastropub. A year later, having secured additional funding, money was lavished on the place and Philip pushed open the doors to the new-look Packhorse Inn Moulton in October 2013 to reveal a very cool country inn. The whole place may look pristine, with a stylish interior, but it’s still a pub at heart, with a buzzy bar and a big local drinking trade, although the feel is very much a smart gastropub – rugs on polished floorboards, rich fabrics, bold artwork, leather armchairs and cool Farrow & Ball hues. With its prime location in horse racing country, culinary talent in the kitchen and innovative menus quickly establishing the pub as a place to eat, The Packhorse was an immediate success. The completion of four extra bedrooms, taking the total to eight stunningly chic rooms, has transformed it into a beautiful place to stay and eat. Staff are smart, polite and welcoming, with a good knowledge of the menu, ingredients and the wine list.

Sticky fingers

Children are welcome overnight, with cots and extra beds available for an extra £10 per night (not including breakfast). Smaller portions from the menu are available.

Muddy paws

Dogs are allowed in certain rooms (£10 per stay)

Alfresco

Eat alfresco at posh teak tables on sunny summer days in the sheltered side garden and enjoy the pastoral views across Moulton’s vast village green.

What’s on?

The Club Room is the perfect venue for the regular wine dinners, Meet the Brewer evenings, shoot lunches, drinks parties and the occasional film night.

What’s the Damage?
8 double/twin: £100 – £175 (single £85 – £100)

What Else?

  • All credit cards taken (exc Amex)
  • Alfresco dining
  • Private dining in Club Room
  • Parking
  • Disabled access to dining area & four ground floor rooms

Gongs
AA 5 Star Inn & 3 Rosettes; Best Food Pub for the East in The Great British Pub Awards 2014; Waitrose Good Food Guide

Sleep

The Packhorse Inn Moulton, Suffolk, CB8 8SP

Do not disturb

Under the inspiration of Philip’s wife Amanda, the eight individually design bedrooms ooze quality, comfort and style, with no expense spared in the design, furnishings and detail touches in each of the rooms. The four upstairs rooms in the inn are named after the four hills surrounding Moulton (Folly, Plantation, Primrose and Warren), while the ground floor rooms in the stunning new-build extension are named after four rivers, which flow close to Moulton – Kennet, Lark, Ouse and Stour. Hugely indulgent with a big wow factor, expect to find huge mirrors, quirky lamps, painted furniture, wooden floors, big brass or wooden beds topped with the best linen, down and mohair throws, and unusual objets d’art’. Inn rooms have big bathrooms with tubs and walk-in showers; blue-painted Folly has a roll-top bath at the end of the bed, Plantation has a French-inspired décor and views across the village green, while Coach House rooms have under floor heating, walk-in showers, and access to the terrace.

Creature comforts

Bathrobes; Pevonia bathroom products; claw-foot baths; Egyptian cotton sheets & goose down duvets; fresh coffee & homemade shortbread.

Gadgets

Smart TVs; Free wi-fi.

What’s for Breakfast?

Freshly squeezed orange juice; porridge; smoked salmon & scrambled eggs; kipper; sausage & fried egg sandwich; full Suffolk breakfast.

What’s the Damage?
8 double/twin: £100 – £175 (single £85 – £100)

What Else?

  • All credit cards taken (exc Amex)
  • Alfresco dining
  • Private dining in Club Room
  • Parking
  • Disabled access to dining area & four ground floor rooms

Gongs
AA 5 Star Inn & 3 Rosettes; Best Food Pub for the East in The Great British Pub Awards 2014; Waitrose Good Food Guide

Eat & Drink

The Packhorse Inn Moulton, Suffolk, CB8 8SP

Mastering the menu

The food side of the business has been built around creative modern British cooking, so expect fantastic local ingredients, simply described menus and beautifully presented dishes. Food is innovative and well cooked without being over fussy and pretentious – The Packhorse is still very much a pub – and the menu successfully combines classics like Red Poll burger, fish pie, bananas and custard, and excellent bar snacks, with more imaginative main dishes like loin of Suffolk lamb with celeriac, gem hearts and sweetbreads, or Cornish sole with razor clams and pomme purée. The focus is on local, seasonal produce, notably Red Poll beef and lamb reared in Moulton, the latter used in the inn’s unique shepherd pie (served in a kilner jar), Fordham pork, Elveden Estate and local allotment vegetables. The midweek set lunch menu is steal – 2 courses (£18.50).

On the menu

Salt cod fish finger, warm potato salad & parsley
Smoked haddock & egg fishcake, buttered spinach
Loin & shoulder of Fordham pork, pear, spring onion, pomme puree
Red Poll burger, Suffolk Gold cheese, courgette pickle, onion rings
Trout fillet, clams, samphire, ruby chard
Pear & almond frangipane, amaretto ice cream
Bananas & custard

Sunday Roasts

Roast sirloin of Suffolk beef, Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes & seasonal vegetables
Braised shin of venison, dauphinoise potato, broccoli

Time to Eat

Breakfast: 8am – 10am
Lunch: 12 noon – 2.30pm
Dinner: from 7pm

Local, local, local

Lamb & beef from Moulton farms; lamb graze the village green.
M&M Butchers, Stowmarket suppliers other locally reared farm meats
Game: regular supplies of mallard, partridge, pigeon, pheasant, munjac come from Box Tree Farm, near Wattisham, Suffolk, and from locals and guests after a good day’s shooting.
Venison: Denham Estate (www.denhamestate.co.uk)
Deben mussels; lobster from Aldeburgh, Mersea oysters
Vegetables from Elveden Estate (www.elveden.com)
Peter Graham Wines, Wymondham, Norfolk (www.petergrahamwines.com)
Aspall’s Cider, Debenham, Suffolk (www.aspall.co.uk)

Behind the bar

The bar may not be big but the choice of interesting drinks should keep even the most serious imbiber happy for hours. Beer aficionados will find tip-top Woodforde’s Wherry, Adnams Ghost Ship, Fuller’s London Pride and Purity Mad Goose on tap, alongside Aspall’s Harry Sparrow Cider and Camden Hill Lager. For the gin lover there’s seven bottles to choose from, notably Sipsmiths and Chase Elegant, and the boutique range of spirits extends to Vodka – Absolut, Chase Marmalade, Grey Goose, Belvedere Red and Sipsmith Barley. You’ll also homemade fruit gins and vodkas, Fever Tree and Fentimans mixers, and a first-class list of wines from Peter Graham Wines, including 18 by the glass.

Bar snacks

Haggis, neeps & tatties
Tempura squid, sweet chilli sauce
Goat’s cheese croquettes, beetroot pickle
Antipasti platter for two

Time at the bar

11am – 11pm

What’s the Damage?
8 double/twin: £100 – £175 (single £85 – £100)

What Else?

  • All credit cards taken (exc Amex)
  • Alfresco dining
  • Private dining in Club Room
  • Parking
  • Disabled access to dining area & four ground floor rooms

Gongs
AA 5 Star Inn & 3 Rosettes; Best Food Pub for the East in The Great British Pub Awards 2014; Waitrose Good Food Guide

Food Trail

Take it back home
Tour the brewery that brewed your favourite pint, visit the shop on the farm that reared your delicious Sunday roast beef, and seek out the roadside stalls selling the local crab and samphire on the inn’s menu, the Food Trail features the local artisan producers and suppliers where you can buy to enjoy at home.

Change of scenery
Looking for a pub for lunch following a country walk, a different venue for dinner, or a good café for coffee, light lunch or afternoon tea, then the best in the area are listed below. If you find a new and exciting eatery in the area that’s worthy of a mention on the Food Trail, then please to do let us know – gabrielle@innplaces.co.uk.

1 Inn Location - The Packhorse Inn

2

Ooshi Bubble Tea World, Regent Street, Cambridge CB2 1AB

Perhaps a sign that cosmopolitan chic has spread to the provinces, dive into the unique wacky world of Taiwanese bubble tea. Jasmine green, Assam black or Oolong is blended with either fruit or milk, as well as ice, fruit syrups or tapioca pearls and then shaken to give it the bubbly froth. Once experienced, never forgotten.

3

The Rupert Brooke, Grantchester CB3 9NQ

The second Chestnut Inns property and sister to The Packhorse shares the same values - locally sourced food, great service and a traditional role at the heart of this historic and literary community, reputed to house more Nobel Prize winners than anywhere else. Travel here on the river by punt from nearby Cambridge.

4

The Dyke's End, Reach CB25 0JD

HRH Prince Charles described it as 'this splendid pub' and it is well worth the trek off the beaten track into remote fenland to find it. A lovely hamlet with this community pub at its heart, saved by the villagers.

5

Elveden Estate, Elveden IP24 3TQ

Lord 'Ned' Iveagh and his family have created a delightful emporium at the heart of the family 'farm' (the largest ring-fenced arable land in the UK), full of delicious foodie, retail and leisure opportunities. The food hall and attached cafe-restaurant, full of estate produce are just part of the appeal. Elveden's Christmas experience is a worthy discovery.

6

Eat Cambridge Festival CB2 3QB

A fortnight of fantastic local food and drink, a jam-packed schedule of tasty fringe events and a huge food and drink fair at the Corn Exchange. Mid May.

7

Fitzbillies, Trumpington Street, Cambridge CB2 1RG

For over 90 years, this veritable Cambridge institution has been at the heart of 'town & gown', serving up bakery and patisserie of high standards, including legendary sticky Chelsea Buns. Now owned by a food writer, it includes a great cafe/restaurant for lunch and a coffee counter alongside the original shop.

8

La Hogue Farm Shop and Cafe, Chippenham CB7 5PZ

In a quiet rural setting, this is a real treat, not just the expected great range of produce and specialities, but a passionately-run shop and good lunchtime cafe, and also a butchery counter and delicious meals to go. Lovely alfresco setting too.

10

Cambridge Food Tour CB2 3QB

Walking food tours taking you off the beaten path through the eyes of local foodies around the city. Either join a public date or arrange a bespoke private one.

11

The Star Inn, Lidgate CB8 9PP

Built at the time of the Spanish Armada, it is no longer perhaps the quirky Iberian outpost it once was, but the varied natives dishes continue amongst more familiar gastro pub favourites. Lovely village and even lovelier pub.

12

Coddenham Food Store IP6 9PR

At Coddenham, a village near Stowmarket, you'll find a well-stocked deli counter with plenty of locally sourced produce.

Out & About

1 Inn Location - The Packhorse Inn

Activities

2

Racing at Newmarket, CB8 0TG

Dubbed the headquarters of the 'sport of kings' in Britain, Newmarket is an internationally renowned thoroughbred horse racing venue. The racecourse hosts two of the country's five 'classics' - the 1,000 Guineas and the 2,000 Guineas.

3

Golf, Mildenhall IP28 8SD

A number of golf clubs are dotted around the Suffolk countryside, but the one closest to Moulton is the Royal Worlington & Newmarket near Mildenhall. Founded in 1893, the club has been described as the best nine-hole course in England.

Shopping

13

Martha V, 9-11 High Street, Newmarket CB8 8LX

Martha V is a high profile fashion boutique in Newmarket's High Street, stocking over 26 different labels, including Betty Barclay, Libra and Michaela Louisa. Browse the store and relax over a complementary cup of coffee.

14

Jessica Muir Gallery, Hall Street, Long Melford CO10 9JR

Resident artists Jessica Brown and Jean Muir showcase an eclectic mix of work from established artists and new designers, specialising in textiles, ceramics, paintings and original prints.

15

The Hunter Gallery, Hall Street, Long Melford CO10 9JQ

The longest established gallery in Long Melford, established in 2001, exhibits local, well-known artists from Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk and specializes in a wide range of styles and media to suit all tastes and budgets. Regular exhibitions.

16

Cambridge CB2 3BJ

Cambridge's excellent range of independent retailers offers something for everyone: an abundance of boutiques, scores of designer labels, a daily market and All Saints Garden Art and Craft Market every Saturday.

17

Long Melford Antiques Warehouse, Hall Street CO10 9JB

Four floors and more 250 dealers exhibiting a huge range of antiques, collectables, decorative items and 17th to 20th furniture – perfect for browsing and buying on a wet day.

Places to visit

6

The Manor, Hemingford Grey PE28 9BN

Take a stroll through the picturesque village of Hemingford Grey, near Huntingdon, walk along the towpath of the River Ouse and soon you reach the entrance to The Manor, a wonderfully atmospheric, continuously occupied, 900-year-old house that for many years was the home of the children's author, Lucy M. Boston. The garden is open all year; the house can be viewed by appointment only.

7

Ickworth, Bury St Edmunds IP29 5QE

Close to Bury St Edmounds, Ickworth's spectacular Rotunda was commissioned by the 4th Earl of Bristol to house his priceless artefacts collected on tours around Europe in the 18th century. The Italianate garden includes box hedges and Mediterranean planting.

8

Wicken Fen, Ely CB7 5XP

Discover a secluded world of flowering meadows and reedbeds described by the National Trust who manage the site as 'a window onto a lost fenland landscape'. Here, you'll find hen harriers and bitterns, dragonflies, moths and wildfowl. There are also herds of Highland cattle and Konik ponies.

9

Gainsborough House, Sudbury CO10 2EU

This fascinating museum and art gallery stands in the centre of the market town of Sudbury and is probably most famous as the birthplace of the artist Thomas Gainsborough. Dating back to 1520, the house has many striking features as well as various Ginsborough paintings and portraits.

10

Denny Abbey and the Farmland Museum, Cambridge CB25 9PQ

Situated 6 miles to the north of Cambridge, this former Benedictine abbey has a fascinating history and an impressive array of family-friendly attractions. The site's Farmland Museum includes a fenman's hut, blacksmith's and wheelwright's workshops.

Walking

www.walkinginsuffolk.co.uk
www.discoversuffolk.org.uk
Between Newmarket and King’s Lynn lies some of East Anglia’s most isolated fen country, which is great for exploring on foot. This is a flat landscape characterised by rivers, channels and dykes and during the seasons, especially in winter, the light creates a very evocative atmosphere. On Moulton’s doorstep are the sprawling, shaded acres of Thetford Forest – another obvious destination for walking.

Cycling

www.sustrans.co.uk
In this remote corner of eastern England, you can discover a network of cycle paths and routes linking a host of picturesque villages and towns, pubs, cafes, historic houses and numerous visitor attractions. There’s something for everyone, including a handy 8-mile cycle route linking Moulton, Gazeley and Barrow. For something longer, head for south Suffolk and explore Lavenham’s woodlands and valleys (21 miles) or embark on the 28-mile Jockey’s Trail, starting in Newmarket.

Events

www.visitcambridge.org
www.aldeburgh.co.uk
www.aldeburghfoodanddrink.co.uk
Cambridge’s calendar is always packed with fairs, performing arts events and workshops. The Cambridge Folk Festival and the Cambridge Literary Festival are among the best known annual fixtures. Head for the Suffolk coast and there’s usually something going on: in June, the famous Aldeburgh Festival, devoted to classical music, visual arts, master classes and films; in September, the annual Aldeburgh Food & Drink Festival.

Getting there

Location, Location, Location

By Road: Moulton is signposted off A14 (junction 39), 3 miles east of Newmarket and 11 miles west of Bury St Edmunds.

Address:

Bridge Street,, Moulton, Suffolk, CB8 8SP

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