Top 5 Suffolk riverside lunch spots to enjoy with Viking Mariners

With so many fantastic places to eat, Suffolk’s vast portfolio of restaurants often places it atop the lists of many foodies. Here, you can find mouthwatering local produce by the plateful, so it’s no wonder why our restaurants are amongst the best a rural county can offer.

Visiting one of our county’s many eateries is an experience which pairs so well with our Suffolk boat trips. We offer exclusive use charters, which allow you and your family, friends or colleagues to charter one of our sailing yachts for the day. With the help of our experienced crew, you’ll be able to sail along the county’s tranquil waterways to a destination of your choice, experiencing Suffolk’s rustic beauty from the comfort of our stylish yachts.

This is the perfect activity for a birthday, anniversary or corporate event for up to 10 guests. Treat yourself and your party to a unique day trip, and top it off with a bite to eat at an authentic Suffolk restaurant before sailing back to the marina. However, it can be difficult to choose which restaurant to visit without having seen them all. To make it easier for you, we’ve put together our top five riverside lunch spots to enjoy on our exclusive use charters.


1. The Pier at Harwich

This culinary attraction overlooks Ha’Penny Pier, one of the UK’s last wooden, working piers. In fact, the entire area on which The Pier sits is drenched in history. Even the building itself is listed, dating back to 1860 when it was first opened as a hotel and pub by London businessman John Brice.

Today, you can enjoy a flavour experience in the contemporary-but-cosy surrounding of the first floor restaurant, whilst watching the activities of the harbour and working dock. Try the famous fish and chips, caught in the estuary just a stone’s throw away from the restaurant. The locally caught crab, meaty Norfolk mussels and well-seasoned Colchester rock oysters also come highly recommended by our crew.

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2. The Alma at Harwich

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Another historic eatery at the centre of Harwich life is The Alma, which is situated just a short walk from the quay. Serving the town since 1854, there are many clues to the pub’s 19th century heritage, including the visible timber framing that lines the interior.

The Alma receives fresh batches of locally caught fish and shellfish daily, including their must-have grilled Harwich lobster, which is sold by the weight. Check the chalkboard inside the pub for the day’s local seafood and game; we regret to say that you probably won’t be able to try everything on the menu (as much as you’ll probably want to) but you can always come again!

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3. The Butt & Oyster at Pin Mill

© Copyright Chris Allen and licensed for reuse under

The River Orwell’s most famous waterfront pub, The Butt & Oyster is incredibly easy to get to while on one of our yacht charters, as it’s just 90 minutes down river from the Ipswich marina where Viking Mariners is based. Mooring on a buoy, our crew make use of our tender to ‘taxi’ you the short distance to the shore, at which point you can simply walk a few steps to the pub.

The Butt & Oyster has kept much of its charm from its vast history, which records state spans over 500 years. It cosy, traditional interior is so alluring that it was even the subject of an Arthur Ransome book. Here, you can enjoy a range of cuisines, including a selection of dishes created using local ingredients like Suffolk pride sausages and Adnams ale battered cod.

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4. Ramsholt Arms

© Copyright John Sutton and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Situated on the banks of the River Deben, the Ramsholt Arms is idyllic in summer when the sun sets over the river and soaks the terrace in a warm Suffolk glow. It’s a spot frequented by many families, as kids love to bring a bucket and line for a spot of crabbing.

If you’ve eaten at the Michelin-recommended Ufford Crown, expect a similar standard of fare at this picturesque pub and dining room, as both businesses are owned by the same family. Being amidst the bountiful countryside, the restaurant benefits from a range of excellent game, as well as freshly caught seafood from the river. For lovers of fish and shellfish, the Ramsholt fish platter is a must-try.

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5. The Salthouse

A stylish hotspot on Ipswich waterfront, visitors to The Salthouse can soak in the luxurious, contemporary atmosphere, panoramic views of the marina and exciting culinary pursuits. The chef’s ethos is to use local ingredients and support small businesses, so patrons can expect to receive a taste of Suffolk in every bite.

Early risers can enjoy a morning sail with Viking Mariners followed by a late lunch or afternoon tea at The Salthouse, or if you decide to book an afternoon sail, convene at The Salthouse for dinner and maybe even a stay in one of the venue’s well appointed guest rooms.

Find out more here.

Book an exclusive use charter today

Whether you’re celebrating a milestone birthday, looking for a romantic day trip for an anniversary, arranging an exciting corporate day, or just looking to catch up with old friends, our yacht charters offer a unique perspective of Suffolk in an environment as relaxing or as thrilling as you desire. Call us today on 01394 421209 or use our contact page to secure your date.

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