Beccles is a lovely place for a weekend get away, or longer if you can manage it. We had another marvellous Airbnb stay, this time at the former Butler’s rooms in a large Georgian Palladian mansion. It was an island of tranquility, surrounded by rolling hills and woodland, and just a 15 minutes stroll from the market town of Beccles. Although we’re Londoners to the bottom of our urban hearts, we thoroughly enjoyed our stylish stay in the countryside.
To The Manor Born
Our host, Paul, couldn’t have been more helpful and he pre-booked Upstairs at Baileys for us. We’d never seen anywhere quite like this before. Downstairs is a superb Deli and at the back of the shop is a staircase that leads up to a slice of Spain served up in Suffolk. The dining room is small but perfectly formed. It was half full on the Saturday evening that we visited, although the Beccles carnival was taking place on the same weekend so that may have diverted other diners.
The Catalan chef knows his stuff, and there’s a mouth watering selection of tapas to start. I could have happily stayed with the tapas for the whole meal, but restrained myself so that we could enjoy one of the tempting main courses as well. We shared three tapas dishes. The Tapa de Iberico, air dried ham from acorn fed Iberico black pigs that quite literally melted on the tongue; grilled scallops served on a meaty and flavoursome homemade black pudding; and Patatas Bravas. The only disappointment here was the potatoes, which we expected to be served in a spicy tomato-based sauce but unfortunately there was no spice to be had here and the dish was more like tiny roast potatoes. We didn’t let that stop us from polishing them off though!
Onto the mains, and we both plumped for the Arros Verdures, a mixed vegetable and wild mushroom paella. I could feel this dish doing me good as I devoured it, juicy vegetables and perfectly seasoned rice. Yum! It was all too healthy though, so for dessert we shared a Mille Feuille with Crema Catalana, Chantilly and winter berries. I loved this although A. found it a bit heavy on the cream, as if there was such a thing!
We felt thoroughly spoiled by our sumptuous Spanish banqueta. The staff were lovely, although it did take a while to get coffee and the bill at the end of the night. Price wise, we had a lovely bottle of wine with our meal and the bill came to c£80 which we thought was excellent value for money.
Loo Review (PMC Rating): ★★★☆☆ The loos here are downstairs and part of the deli cafe. It’s a shame that they don’t match the rather lovely decor of the upstairs restaurant.
Upstairs at Baileys, 2 Hungate, Beccles, Suffolk NR34 9TL Saturday, 20th August 2017