Saxmundham Experienced restaurateur Jonny Nicholson and his partner Natalie Ager are delighted to announce the imminent re-opening of The Bell at Saxmundham or The Bell At Sax’ as it will be known.
Moving away from its previous hotel and gastropub incarnations, Jonny and Natalie are transforming The Bell At Sax’ into a friendly neighbourhood restaurant-with-rooms with great food and simple comfortable accommodation. The new sage green and cream colour scheme, relaxed unpretentious atmosphere and laid- back dining are symbolic of their desire to be a cosy bolthole for the town as well as the many visitors to this part of coastal East Suffolk.
Moving down the coast, having run the famous Southwold Pier for a couple of years as General Manager, Jonny has spent his whole career running and owning award-winning hotels and restaurants both in his native East Anglia and Central London. Natalie was born in Namibia, moving here ten years ago and they first worked together in Chelsea and joined Jonny up in ‘Chelsea-on-Sea’ as Chef-Manager of The Clockhouse Café on The Pier.
“Good food at a good price is what we want The Bell at Sax’ to be known for and we’re creating the kind of place we look for, a welcoming restaurant where you can relax, whatever the occasion, and not break the bank” and in these recessionary times, it will be a ‘flexible friend’ “somewhere to celebrate with family and friends and equally a midweek supper joint for a light bite-to-eat to escape the washing-up at home”. Much of Jonny’s seasonal menu and blackboard specials will change daily as the great local produce and new ingredients arrive through The Bell’s kitchen door. “Our cooking might be described as ‘Modern British’, but put more simply, it will be the food we like to eat”. This will typically include such delights as smoked haddock & creamy leek chowder, crispy salt and pepper sprats with spicy mayonnaise or honey mustard-glazed Blythburgh Pork ribs with house ‘slaw to start; main course of Suffolk hotpot of slow-braised local lamb shank and root vegetables, Red Poll rump steak burger with hand-cut chips and chipotle relish, or whole grilled Lowestoft plaice, crushed new potatoes, seasonal greens and caper & lemon butter; whilst pudding lovers will be spoilt with lemon curd meringue roulade with candied citrus caramel; baked apple & plum crumble with real custard and vanilla pod ice- cream or salted caramel ice cream and honeycomb sundae with dark chocolate brownie. With starters from £4.50, mains from £8.25 and desserts at £5, it really will be swish dining at not-so-swish prices.
Jonny and Natalie look forward to welcoming old friends and new faces from the first week of December when they throw open the early Victorian front door of this iconic Victorian townhouse at the centre of Saxmundham’s High Street.
Previously Jonny owned two well- known award-winning Suffolk restaurants The George at Cavendish and Carlton Manor near Oulton Broad and his past career highlights include Executive Chef at both Congham Hall in West Norfolk and for Sir Terence Conran at Bluebird on London’s Kings Road. He even survived the rigours of being Sous Chef for the world-renowned Marco Pierre White at his first restaurant, Harveys in Wandsworth SW17. With a background like that and multiple awards under his belt alongside his commitment to the wonderful local produce from artisan producer friends up and down the Suffolk coast, awards and plaudits are sure to follow, but Jonny is adamant “we will be cooking for our customers, not the restaurant guides, but of course we hope they also like what we’re doing”.
To make a booking, call 01728 602331 or visit their website at www.thebellatsax.co.uk where you can reserve a table or bedroom online.