See Your Comments

Milsoms Hotel and Restaurant at Kesgrave Hall

When we bought our Christmas trees sort of around the corner in our area we were always wondering what kind of mansion that might be, back there behind the trees.

Now we know: It has become a Milsoms Hotel and Restaurant. Didn’t tell me anything at first except that you can eat and sleep there - until I was told that it is one of the poshest places around. Apparently there is a Milsoms at Colchester (next town) and it’s famous. Gosh, I don’t seem to have a lot of poshness in me, have some catching up to do in that respect.

However, hubby and I were invited to the one in Ipswich. And I have to say – this is a really interesting concept and you have to understand it otherwise the visit can go horribly wrong.

First of all, they don’t take bookings. So if you have plans for afterwards better show up for the earliest slot possible – but if everybody is thinking that way?... let’s just not go any deeper there.

Probably it’s a good thing that Ipswich is a rather dead area and nothing to do afterwards anyway. Thus it all seems to be about having a good time there… and to leave the money of course, although prices are not too bad for a posh place.

So you drive there, walking is not a good idea as the street doesn’t have any pavement to walk on, you get to a nice big car park and don’t find the stairs which lead down to the mansion – which is a beautiful house and the setting is just lovely. They have a big terrace to sit and it is all very open and welcoming – just that the silly stairs were hidden behind a car and either it wasn’t signposted or we were too stupid to see it.

Hence walking the long way round on the gravelled streets hopping and skipping along to get the stones out of the sandals we arrived with the last bit of poshness having vanished from at least my appearance. Detlef is much better in keeping his countenance.

Luckily our hosts were already there so we were guided through the further proceedings: Go to the bar, get a drink, sit in the lounge and have a chat. OK, I can do that. The place has an interesting style of decoration. Loads of leather and really big old looking sofas and arm chairs combined with contemporary tables and lights. Daring, but very nicely done.

The ambience is very warm and welcoming – until a short person tries to sit comfortably. The seats of the armchairs are about the length of two thighs and leaning on with the back was impossible except if I would have taken the calves up as well. Hmmm, as we already have established that I’m not really posh anyway I could have been sitting there with my feet sticking out and it might even have been ok.

Then we got called to the table – don’t wear bare back top if you want to lean on – or choose your chair carefully – about half of them are upholstered with reindeer skin, the rest of them is leather. I was dressed appropriately, however just thinking how well that would have gone down with my sun burn. So I shipped safely around that cliff.

Again we were lucky that we were invited so the procedure of ordering was quickly explained to us. Milsoms is organised like a pub. There is a nice little tile on the table telling you the table number, a pad, pencil and a pile of menus. You choose, write it down and they pick it up or you can bring it to the bar as well. Drinks are served at the table.

That gives a nice and relaxed atmosphere and people are actually dealing with the matter of choosing rather than chatting while the waiter is waiting impatiently. Just one tiny little hiccup: The menu is not as straight forward as a pub menu. It has some weird words in it which the English guests didn’t know either. And it doesn’t list the ingredients which may be of concern to people with dietary needs. Did you know that clam chowder is made with pork? Googelled it: Now I know.  Sometimes it’s made with wine, didn’t know that either. That is not really good if you have Muslim guests and if there is nobody coming taking orders who you could ask.

So most of us went for the obvious choices. I had a warm goats cheese as starter with beetroot. Well, I thought I’d put up with the beetroot as I usually don’t like it. However, that dish was lovely! The cheese was soft and creamy – goatie, yes – but without the slightest bit of a sting and I don’t know what they did to those beetroots – they must have been grown in heaven and not in earth. Altogether a tasty small bonne bouche for people who don’t want to be filled by the starters already. Just loved it!

The pasta starters were big portions and looked delicious as well. The others I didn’t track as I was happily occupied with my own dish.

Main dishes were delicious as well, although I wouldn’t lift mine into heaven. I had ordered organic chicken breast and got a leg. What I quite liked as the leg has more flavour anyway. However, if they take whole chickens apart and use the bits they probably should have it on the menu as part of chicken instead of breast. There is a choice of side order like mixed veg - nice but unspectacular, gem salad – well, it’s salad, or fries which looked nice as they were surely cut from a big potato. The people who had them liked them very much.

For desert I went for typically English, so I had the first bread and butter pudding of my life: Yummy!

When I asked the lady who picked up our pudding orders how often she has to come back because it was unreadable the response was: Very often!

Hmmm, we might be a bit too researchy, computerish, number spoiled – but why on earth don’t they number their dishes?

Altogether it was a lovely evening and the few quirky things add to the fun as one is never getting bored there. The ambience is lovely, the staff is very kind and skilled and there are loads of them.

The only thing that bothers me is the 'not booking table'. If I were to go with Detlef alone that might work, but I might be too German for that if I would have to entertain guests. In our case we knew that two of our guests had to leave for London that night and the gentleman next to me had a very subtle and sweet way of looking at his watch and keeping his calm.

So basically: ‘Yes, great place!’ with a teeny weeny ‘But’

visited on 07/05/08

See Your Comments

Articles on Lifestyle

Haldi KumKum

Live & Let Live
Why: "How 2 Kitchen"

Money, Money, ...

Motivation & Fun
Who's listening?
Eureka Moments
Inspiration vs. Motivation
The real Teese
Tummy & Co
Nine Words
Cycle of Life - Some Thoughts
Internet and Branding
Brilliant Business Women
The Typecast Trap
Garden without Fuss
Mills & Boon
About Veg
Pushing the Limits
About Criticism
Forum on RFOS
Bringing it together
...Bringing it together-Part 2

Time Management
Relationships: Cliché!?
Incredible List of Rules

The Invention of Lying

Nerds VS. Dilettantes
Knitting 21st Century Style
A Network Is A Home
Serious Game
Networking Strategy

Milsoms - Kesgrave Hall
Court Restaurant London

Techie Stuff
IL and the Internet


To Sumatra as Eco Tourist

Bad Nenndorf
Two Gals no Men: Wellbeing

A Posh Day Out!
A Market Day Out!

Fuerteventura 2009
Travel Diary
Travel Read

Fuerteventura 2008
Fuerte - The Island
Fuerte - Dirary & Club Life
Fuerte - Shopping
Fuerte - Jet Ski
Fuerte - What else?

Tuebingen 2008
A Day out in Town
The Gallery

Natural History Museum
What I Pack
Lowestoft Airfestival

Back to Top
Copyright 2007
Author: Rika