Eating at the Deben Inns during your Woodfarm Barges stay

There are many highly regarded places to eat in Suffolk, and it’s probably because of the county’s exceptional local produce, which can only be a good thing! You only have to look at a pub menu and it’ll be inundated with the word ‘local’ next to everything from fish to ice cream.

It’s this utilisation of our resources which makes our restaurants, pubs and cafes so great. You can bet your bottom dollar that something fresh and exciting will appear on the menu throughout the four seasons, because there’s just so much for chefs to experiment with.

One Suffolk-based chain of restaurants that does seasonal food particularly well is the Deben Inns. Comprised of six eateries dotted across Suffolk, the Deben Inns offers great local food and drink, and an atmosphere that suits all types of Woodfarm guests – even those with tails!

But with six restaurants to choose from, which one do you visit? Well, if you’re staying on one of our 19th century Dutch sailing barges for a while, you could always knock each one off your list as you go! But if not, we’ve collected a little bit of info on these excellent places to eat in Suffolk to help you make a decision.

This pub dates back to 1456!

© Copyright Mark Percy and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

The Butt & Oyster

This waterside pub sits on the edge of the River Orwell in the hamlet of Pin Mill, and is as much an attraction for those on foot as it is for passing sailors. With a long history spanning back to 1456 when the building was used for court hearings, the Butt & Oyster has catered to both tourists and Pin Mill hamleteers for years, retaining its heritage much like the rest of this beautifully preserved area of Suffolk.

In winter, cosy up in the charming restaurant and admire its uncontrived nautical decor while you enjoy a warming seasonal meal. In summer, arrive early to bag yourself a seat on one of the picnic tables outside, or be prepared to wait!

The Butt & Oyster declare on their website that they adore dogs and even offer treats. There are some fantastic walks around Pin Mill, with the pub well situated as a food and drink break so this is an excellent option for dog owners. Just be aware that dogs aren’t allowed in the main restaurant – just the pub and outside.

Distance from Onderneming (Snape Maltings): 28 miles

Distance from Twee Gebroeders (Woodbridge): 15 miles

This pub was a finalist in the Eat Suffolk Food and Drink Awards in the Family Dining Category

The Maybush, Waldringfield cc-by-sa/2.0 – © Tim

The Maybush

Another riverside pub, The Maybush is situated on the River Deben in the chocolate-box village of Waldringfield. The cosy interior is perfect for autumn and winter days, but in warmer weather the large outdoor area buzzes with patrons wanting a view of the waterway to complement their meal. Once you’ve visited this very pretty pub, you’ll want to visit again and again!

Popular throughout the year, this branch of the Deben Inns was a finalist in the Eat Suffolk Food and Drink Awards in the Family Dining Category. We recommend checking the specials menu on the blackboards opposite the bar to discover local and seasonal dishes.

You can access The Maybush via car and park in the adjacent car park, or take one of the many scenic country walks that lead to the pub, which is a great option for dog owners. You’ll also be delighted to know that dogs are welcome at The Maybush. For an excellent article on walks in this area, click here.

Distance from Onderneming (Snape Maltings): 17 miles

Distance from Twee Gebroeders (Woodbridge): 5 miles

The Fox hosts an annual ‘Fox Fest’ which offers music, food and family fun

cc-by-sa/2.0 – © Andrew

The Fox Inn

Friendly and dynamic, The Fox Inn is at the heart of village life in Newbourne. The pub sits within a picture-perfect 16th century building adorned with dozens of floral hanging baskets – a real treat for the eye.

Despite the pub being located in a quiet, rural area of Suffolk, it receives many visitors from all around, especially during its free events such as the annual ‘Fox Fest’ which offers music, food and family fun.

Dogs are welcome at The Fox Inn, with a treat waiting for them when they walk through the door. This pub is just a 45-minute walk away from The Maybush, so if you wanted to tick two of the inns off your list, I’m sure your dog would love the fresh air!

Distance from Onderneming (Snape Maltings): 17 miles

Distance from Twee Gebroeders (Woodbridge): 10 miles

Instagram @coachandhorsesmelton

The Coach & Horses

The historic Coach & Horses pub is located in a 17th century building in Melton, which was once a coach house. Today, you can still feel the pub’s rich history in the low ceilings and open fireplace; however, the more contemporary decor additions create a pleasant environment for lunch or dinner.

Here, you can enjoy a vast range of pub favourites like slow cooked lamb and traditional fish and chips; but a must-try is the pub’s unique ‘coach’ burger with thick chips and salad, followed by their mouth-watering sticky toffee pudding.

Bring your canine friend along with you, as dogs are welcome here and will undoubtedly enjoy the warm interior and spacious outdoor dining terrace.

Distance from Onderneming (Snape Maltings): 9 miles

Distance from Twee Gebroeders (Woodbridge): 1.5 miles

This pub has a reputation for imaginative food

© Copyright Adrian Cable and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

The Swan

This charming inn is situated in a peaceful village just outside the busy town of Ipswich. Characterised by its bright and airy interior, The Swan makes a pleasant stop for lunch as well as a comfortable location to wind down for dinner and drinks.

The pub has a reputation for imaginative food, offering dishes such as tiger prawn, chorizo and basil pappardelle pasta, and herb crust hake fillet. Those with allergies or special dietary requirements will be thrilled to hear that The Swan offers gluten free, dairy free and vegan menus.

Dogs are invited in on the action too! There’s an excellent one-hour walk starting at the pub.

Distance from Onderneming (Snape Maltings): 18 miles

Distance from Twee Gebroeders (Woodbridge): 7.5 miles

The Wilford Bridge is right near the archaeological site of Sutton Hoo

© Copyright Adrian Cable and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

The Wilford Bridge

The logo of The Wilford Bridge is an Anglo-Saxon helmet, due to the fact that it’s so near the archaeological site of Sutton Hoo, where two 6th and 7th century cemeteries were discovered. The pub benefits from the picturesque location of the nearby River Deben, and the surrounding wealth of countryside with a unique history.

There’s something for everyone on the menu here, from tasty seafood to a range of grill options and surprising vegetarian dishes. There are also specials blackboards which display enticing seasonal offerings.

The staff here are animal lovers, and dogs are welcomed with treats and a cold water tap outside for drinks. They’ve even hosted competitions for dog owners in the past. Bring along your pooch and enjoy the atmosphere!

Distance from Onderneming (Snape Maltings): 8 miles

Distance from Twee Gebroeders (Woodbridge): 2 miles


As you can see, there are many reasons to choose a Deben Inn for a meal out in our county, including their dog-friendly factors. However, as we mentioned, there are many delightful places to eat in Suffolk. So wherever you decide to get your grub, we hope you have a pleasant experience and that you get a chance to sample Suffolk’s delicious local produce.

We welcome you to consider our beautiful, spacious, dog-friendly barges for your stay. If you would like to find out more, just click here.

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