Ipswich: Soggy summer leaves diners saying: Stuff the salad...bring me soup!

RESTAURANT menus are usually packed with scrumptious salads, yummy fish dishes and tasty tapas at this time of year.

But it seems the soggy and chilly weather which has made Suffolk shiver in recent weeks has left diners drooling for a more warming meal.

With forecasters predicting more rain for the county, many of our restaurants are catering for an increase in demand for more wintery foods on their menus – including beef bourguignon, fish pie and roasted lamb.

Marta Sais, duty manager at Arlingtons Brasserie in Museum Street, said the plunging temperatures had encouraged customers to shun lighter summer dishes.

“Normally we’d be selling lots of salads and tapas at this time of year,” she said.

“Instead, the beef bourguignon is flying out of here – we can’t make enough of it. The fish pie is really popular too.”

Despite having left the coldest May for a century behind us, the poor weather is still showing no sign of letting up.

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And with the next seven days looking particularly poor, Ipswich’s restaurants are preparing for yet another week of wintry orders.

Denis Commergnat, who works at Mariners Waterside Restaurant, says his restaurant provides a menu “according to the weather”.

He says his establishment, based on the Waterfront, has seen an increase in “foods sold in sauce”.

Bistro on the Quay, also on the Waterfront, has bucked the trend and removed most of the wintery options from their menu.

Head chef Anthony Brooks believes people have still got summer in mind – even if the climate has failed to live up to its billing.

Soup is one of the few winter dishes to have survived the cull and the head chef says that it is still selling well.

But Mr Brooks admitted that customers’ choices of which dessert to order often depended on the weather.

He said: “When it was sunny our strawberry dessert was selling very well. However today, when it hasn’t been so nice, the brownie dessert has been our bestseller.”

n How is the wet and cold weather affecting you? Write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or you can e-mail starnews@archant.co.uk