Review: The Cherry Tree Inn, Woodbridge - Good food and games
PUBLISHED: 19:00 24 July 2019
Nicola Warren reviews the pub that won Best Family Dining at the Eat Suffolk Food and Drink Awards 2019.
Last Thursday evening, my friend Lisa and I travelled to Woodbridge for a meal at the Cherry Tree Inn.
We'd called ahead and booked a table as Thursday night is quiz night at the pub and we wanted to make sure we'd got a spot for dinner.
The pub is also popular with families and took the Family Dining Award at this year's Eat Suffolk Food and Drink Awards.
Although we weren't planning on taking part in the quiz, which starts at 9.30pm each Thursday, we were pleased to see some games at the side of the bar.
We decided to try the card game version of the TV show Catchphrase and started to set it up while deciding what to eat and drink.
There's a wide selection on the menu here, plus three blackboards of specials, so we had plenty of choice.
We were tempted to share a vegetarian mezze (which is also available as an individual starter) of olives, flat bread, sun blushed tomatoes, paprika hummus, grilled halloumi and roasted red peppers.
But in the end we both decided on something from the specials board - haddock goujons with samphire and a beurre blanc sauce for me and ham hock terrine with chargrilled ciabatta and real ale chutney for Lisa.
I ordered these and our mains at the bar. To drink, I chose a half pint of Adnams Mosaic Pale Ale and Lisa went for a Disaronno and Diet Coke.
I enjoyed the peachy notes of the pale ale as we started our game, and groaned at some of the catchphrases we couldn't decipher.
It wasn't long before our starters were brought out. For some reason I'd expected my goujons to be breaded but these strips of haddock were coated in batter, fried until golden.
The batter was beautifully crispy and the haddock cooked just right - opaque but still moist. It was delicious with a smothering of the creamy sauce and the salty cooked samphire.
If these are anything to go by, I'd definitely try the main course of beer battered fish, chips and mushy peas on another visit.
Lisa enjoyed the chunky home made terrine on the ciabatta with a generous helping of chutney to cut through its richness.
Once the plates were cleared, we resumed our game.
My main dish of oven roasted salmon fillet, from the regular menu, looked impressive when it arrived.
Unfortunately the server had brought out the pork belly from the main menu for Lisa when I'd ordered the pork burger from the specials menu. This was soon rectified though.
It was while I was eating the starter I realised I'd forgotten just how big the portions are here, and my main was no exception
This large shallow dish was filled with creamy risotto with spinach and sunblushed tomatoes and a drizzle of truffle oil, topped with salmon and a handful of rocket to the side.
The salmon was well seasoned with black pepper and, like the fish in my starter, cooked beautifully. The risotto was lovely and creamy but, for me, the rice needed some bite to it. The rocket added a nice peppery taste to the dish.
I just admit I stole a sweet potato chip or two from Lisa's plate just to try, these were lovely and crisp on the outside and fluffy in the middle. She enjoyed her sage, apple and pork burger, which was also served with dressed salad, from the specials menu.
We took up our game again once we'd ordered our desserts and two lemonades and noticed that more and more tables were filling up, people taking their places before the popular quiz.
Lisa let me try a corner of her sticky toffee pudding, butterscotch sauce and vanilla ice cream, which was lovely and sweet and rich.
My boozy tiramisu was not sweet at all in comparison and very cold from the fridge. There were two layers of whipped cream and two layers of amaretto and coffee soaked biscuits. These tasted very strongly of both, and weren't sweet enough for me, although I admit I have a very sweet tooth. I think I'd order the Cherry Tree chocolate sundae next time, which I was considering on this occasion.
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Game finished, we totted up our scores and it was a draw! We decided to call it a night before the quiz started and headed for a walk along the River Deben to help all of the lovely food go down.
Location and parking
The Cherry Tree Inn is on Ipswich Road in Woodbridge, opposite Notcutts. There's a large car park, but if it's full there are council-run car parks nearby.
The bill came to about £65, which included two starters, mains and desserts and four drinks. I thought this was good value for money for the standard of food offered.
Staff were all friendly and came back to check if the food was okay once during each course.
There's a large play area in the pub's beer garden and a children's food menu. Many of the items from the main and dessert menu can be scaled down for children too.
Gluten free options
We noticed that a lot of the dishes were gluten free, including my salmon dish, the pan-fried pork belly and ham, egg and chips. There were also vegetarian and vegan options on the main menu.
There's a nice relaxed atmosphere at the Cherry Tree Inn. On Thursday nights, it gets busier as the evening goes on, and there's a nice buzz about the place.
Good food, friendly service - and pub games - make for an ideal evening with friends or family.
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