The maybush (waldringfield)
review date: june 2015
When you’re looking for consistently good, welcoming pubs with a family friendly air Deben Inns has a line-up of venues that are difficult to beat. This month Lesley Rawlinson makes the most of the riverside views at The Maybush at Waldringfield
I could sit by the waterside all day; there’s always something to watch but with the easy pace and the peacefulness of it all you just can’t help but feel relaxed. The gentle lapping of the water, an occasional passing craft, plus of course the abundant wildlife of the Deben - it can keep me entertained for hours. Even in the height of summer, when the sun drenched terrace in front of The Maybush is heaving with happy holiday makers, the tranquillity of the river still prevails.
With the university term over and a rare couple of days for our family where we were all under one roof, it was a chance for us all to get together for lunch. We took one look at the weather forecast and headed straight to Waldringfield for a riverside walk before settling at a sunny table on the Maybush riverside patio. It’s always been a favourite spot for our ‘children’ too. As youngsters they could play on the small beach while staying safely within sight whereas now they also appreciate just what a beautiful spot it is.
It’s not just the location that makes the pub a family favourite; the menu has always appealed as well. Like the other Deben Inns venues the base menu is filled with classic choices that suit the location, but then with lots of seasonal choices alongside on the specials boards. At the Maybush homage is paid to the water with plenty of fish and other seafood on offer. Traditional fish and chips along with scampi, sea bass, tiger prawns and salmon are all offered as main courses on the daily menu. Add to that the chance to share a pint of prawns, a cold seafood board or even start with an appetizer of crispy whitebait or a crayfish salad and you’re getting my drift – and that’s before the ‘specials’ are even considered.
With exam frazzled brains aplenty indecision was rife and so we decided to go for the Mediterranean approach and pool our starter choices in a bit of a table top picnic. We ordered a sharing nacho platter (complete with fresh chillies, mature cheese, sour cream and guacolmole), some deep fried brie and a couple of portions of crispy whitebait and we were five very happy munchers. I should mention too at this point that there’s a good selection of beers on offer including my favourite summer tipple Adnams Spindrift – a cold blonde beer with citrusy flavours it’s a great fellow for this kind of feast.
Deciding on the next course was much easier. As well as the good selection of fish dishes the Maybush menu includes various steaks and burgers as well as main dishes like chilli con carne, lasagne, lamb shank and barbecue chicken. I was tempted by wild mushroom linguine but with an ‘end of term – who’s counting the calories’ mind-set I plumped for the chargrilled tandoori chicken burger with applewood smoked cheese, crispy bacon and curry mayo for my chips – heaven. Be warned it’s a generous portion – but I made it through, with a little assistance from across the table! Other choices from our party included the rioja and balsamic braised lamb shank, the barbecue chicken – oven baked with cheese and bacon topping New York style – and the classic 8 ounce burger served with Stokes tomato chutney. But it was my daughter’s choice of a pint of prawns with brown bread and salad that summed up the mood for me; a chance to just pick through the plum pink prawns and munch away while we watched the watery world go by.
I was way beyond the thought of a dessert by this stage but our half-starved students couldn’t resist white chocolate cheesecake and cherry Bakewell tart – both served with a choice of cream or icecream. Had I been partaking lemon mousse with homemade shortbread would probably have been my choice – that or summer berry roulade – a treat (or two) for another day I’m sure.
And I know that there will be plenty of the ‘other days’. Dining out with your family – whatever it’s make up of ages and tastes – can sometimes be challenging and what I love about visiting one of the Deben Inns group of pubs is that I know exactly what to expect. The surrounding are bright, fresh and comfortable, the quality and choice of dishes is consistently good and represents good value for money with starters ranging from £4.25, mains from £10.95 to £13.95 (except steaks) and most desserts £5.45. Everyone’s happy – even dad, after all he’s paying!