Upstairs at the Mill
“Pin-sharp, modern British cuisine in a renovated mill” - AA Inspector
Our Inspector's view
From the outside, the weatherboarded 18th-century Tuddenham Mill looks solid enough to carry on its grinding career today, but a peek inside the doors reveals a seductive modern boutique hotel. Meticulous renovation means its heritage remains intact – the fast-flowing stream that turned its waterwheel is now a thriving wildlife habitat, while the impressive cast-iron wheel that was once its beating heart is atmospherically lit within glass walls to form a centrepiece to the first-floor restaurant. With its framework of exposed beams, bare black tables, gauzy curtain partitions and views over the millpond, it's a classy setting for chef-patron Lee Bye’s confident cooking. As a local lad, he’s in touch with his East Anglian roots and has an instinctive feel for combining ingredients from the surrounding region to good effect, thus a typical opener strikes a balance between no-nonsense and contemporary refinement via langoustines with caviar, beurre blanc and Japanese cresses, a simple yet stunning dish in terms of texture and flavours. Another clever construction might be Aberdeen Angus rib-eye steak partnered with seared marrow bone, triple cooked chips and a smooth peppercorn sauce, the beautiful piece of rib-eye takes on lovely flavours from its marinade and the wood-fired oven. Fish dishes such as Gigha halibut with wild nettles, smoked eel and cobnuts are equally well handled. Desserts are executed with memorable dexterity, bringing entertaining plays of flavour and texture in ideas such bitter chocolate marquise served with tiramisù cream and honeycomb. Again, it sounds straightforward in terms of the simplicity of the dish, but a beautifully smooth, rich chocolate flavoured marquise and the well-balanced subtle flavour of the tiramisù cream is a great combination. For an alternative way to experience Bye’s cooking, try Tipi on the Stream. It’s set on the water’s edge and offers a more casual menu and relaxed atmosphere.
Facilities – at a glance
- Seats: 54
- Private dining available
- On-site parking available
- Steps for wheelchair: 18
- Accessible toilets
- Open all year
- Wines under £30: 33
- Wines over £30: 138
- Wines by the glass: 13
- Cuisine style: Modern British
- Vegetarian menu
Also in the area
About the area
Suffolk is Constable country, where the county’s crumbling, time-ravaged coastline spreads itself under wide skies to convey a wonderful sense of remoteness and solitude. Highly evocative and atmospheric, this is where rivers wind lazily to the sea and notorious 18th-century smugglers hid from the excise men. John Constable immortalised these expansive flatlands in his paintings in the 18th century, and his artwork raises the region’s profile to this day.
Walking is one of Suffolk’s most popular recreational activities. It may be flat but the county has much to discover on foot – not least the isolated Heritage Coast, which can be accessed via the Suffolk Coast Path. Southwold, with its distinctive, white-walled lighthouse standing sentinel above the town and its colourful beach huts and attractive pier features on many a promotional brochure. Much of Suffolk’s coastal heathland is protected as a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and shelters several rare creatures including the adder, the heath butterfly and the nightjar. In addition to walking, there is a good choice of cycling routes but for something less demanding, visit some of Suffolk’s charming old towns, with streets of handsome, period buildings and picturesque, timber-framed houses.
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