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8 scenic dining spots in Suffolk & Cambs

Pop the cork! Here's to alfresco dining this summer in some of the best outside spaces in Suffolk & Cambs. From riverside gardens to seaside settings and city rooftops.

The sun is shining, the holidays are here – scenic dining places with a scene, we’re coming for you. We’ve been on a Muddy mission hunting out all the best places and handily Suffolk & Cambs has plenty of al fresco restaurants where the vistas as good as the food. Cheers!  

Six, Varsity Hotel, Cambridge 

Ok it gets a lot of press, but for good reason, it’s gorgeous. If you’ve yet to ascend to the top floor of the Varsity Hotel in the city centre, then it’s time to visit. Drink in the 360˚ city skyline views and house special Where’s My Yacht? (vodka, lime, honey, cucumber and sparkling Brut), then enjoy some chicken Milanese straight from the wood stone oven. Good food, tick. Great view, tick. Good times, tick.

Tipi By The Stream, Tuddenham Mill

Tuddenham Mill

Cocktails, seafood, gelato, oh my! Enjoy a feast in Tuddenham Mill’s open-sided summer tipi scenically set by a weeping willow and water – try saying that after a few Birds and the Bees (green tea, lemon, white rum and honey). Choose a seafood sharing plate with half lobster, whelks, sea trout, Orford oysters, Loch Fyne scallops and Staith smoked prawns for the win. Fizz also flows on the outside terrace where it’s best to book or you’ll be left gazing mournfully at the happy customers with perfect platters beneath white umbrellas.

Terrace at the Brudenell, Aldeburgh

Sunnies on, seafood out. You can see, hear and smell the sea lunching on the Brudenell Hotel’s terrace and the food matches the scene, with bites like devilled whitebait, crab risotto or Adnams battered fish and chunky chips on the menu. This is about as close as you’ll get to eating by the ocean without actually sitting in it (which you might well end up doing if this heat wave continues).

La Mimosa, Cambridge 

When we’re craving carbs with a side of calm, La Mimosa is a safe bet and it’s been around for 40 years so clearly others think the same. A family-run Italian eatery right by the River Cam, you tuck into pizza and pasta in the sunshine while watching the punts glide by. Does life get any better? Not really. 

The Millworks, Cambridge 

The Millworks is a slick bistro in a converted mill (it’s still got a working wheel history geeks) and has a terrace so picturesque it’s hard to leave, which is probably why it’s always so busy. Unfortunately you can’t book a table on the terrace, so it’s a case of turn up and hope/give other diners the daggers. However if things don’t go your way there’s always a handmade takeaway pizza option, which you can collect and eat in the meadow by the pond. 

The Kitchen @ Dedham

On the Suffolk/Essex border in the heart of Constable country, this converted boatyard by the River Stour is gorgeous – setting, food and atmos. Fuel up on a seabass fillet or rib eye steak at a table outside, then stroll down to the river where the restaurant hires out row boats for £20 an hour for up to five people – no need to book, just turn up and row, row, row your boat.

Oak Bistro, Cambridge

The walled garden of city centre The Oak Bistro is a little bit magical, plus it makes you feel you’re somewhere secret and in-the-know, which is always a good thing. Open for Sunday lunch too, but it’s not just roast on the menu – think marinated octopus starters and salmon en croute.  

The Three Hills, Bartlow 

In the tiny village of Bartlow, 25 mins south of Cambridge in a taxi  (you won’t want to drive as you’ll want to enjoy the amazing wine and beer selection at this pretty pub). The Three Hills has a large and rather gorgeous garden to while away an afternoon/evening/late night in. Pick a table on the covered patio or in the meadow and order – the vegan sharing plate is delish: black garlic hummus, broad bean falafel, vegan tatziki, roasted vegetables, mixed salad and breads.

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