Sur-Mer at The Suffolk

Silver Award

SquareMeal Review of Sur-Mer at The Suffolk

Silver Award

When we say Sur-Mer at The Suffolk is right on the Aldeburgh seafront, we’re not kidding. Just a stone's throw from the sea (granted, you might need a good arm at low tide), the restaurant serves up exactly what you want in this quaint little seaside town - boatloads of local fish and seafood, and some quality wines to wash it down with.

Much of Sur-Mer was still under scaffolding upon our visit, and though the bar and rooms are still being built, the restaurant is very much open. You wouldn’t know the rest of the site was under construction - the dining room’s herringbone parquet floors, open fire and plush banquette seating present a smart facade, with a grey blue palette that mirrors the North Sea beyond.

What better to start than a dozen fat, sweet Butley Creek oysters, followed by a deep auburn lobster bisque? The bisque arrived with a dainty life raft of toast and emulsified crab - we’d rather have had it on the side to avoid inevitable sog, but it was delicious nonetheless.

The procession of great seafood continued, with a barbecued monkfish tail - very good, though perhaps a little over-charred - and a huge, perfectly-cooked lobster doused in garlic butter. Sur-Mer also makes excellent use of the grill by offering whole cooked dayboat fish - today’s was a whole brill, roasted until the gelatinous flesh slid from the bones. At £75 for two (it could have fed three), it’s pretty good value.

The Suffolk offers plenty more for less fishy folk - the team works closely with nearby suppliers like Sutton Hoo, Gressingham and Dingley Dell, and the charcuterie we tried from the latter was superb.

Desserts are simple but extremely well done - tarte au citron was sharp and sweet, with thin crisp pastry and a crackle of bruleed sugar. As for drinks, there are neat cocktails, including a sea buckthorn martini that comes with a complimentary oyster, and a smartly-curated wine list where house bottles come in well under £30. All in, Aldeburgh has a real gem on its hands with Sur-Mer - we look forward to the bar and rooms being open for business.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £30 - £49
Cool, Cosy, Lively, Romantic
Other Awards
SquareMeal UK Top 100
Food Occasions
All day dining, Dinner, Lunch
Alfresco And Views
Beer garden, Great views, Outside seating, Rooftop, Terrace, Waterside
Special Features
Vegetarian options
Celebrations, Romantic


With a stunning location on the coast at Aldeburgh, Sur-Mer at The Suffolk must boast one of the most beautiful views of any restaurant in the country. Sure, you wouldn't want to jump in the sea on most days out here - not without a wet suit at least - but gazing out to the North Sea and watching the sun glisten off its surface is good enough for us. 

Sur-Mer was renovated in 2022, and today it's back open for business as a seafront restaurant with rooms, just minutes from the water's edge. Restaurateur George Pell - also the man who looks after gallic Soho institution L'Escargot - has brought the restaurant back to the present day, and instilled it with a new purpose. Food at The Suffolk celebrates the beauty of the local east coast, as well as the bounty of local produce available along its shores. The menu kicks off with a choice of oysters - Butley Creek, Maldon or Pembrokeshire - before offering up inventive bar snacks like monkfish nuggets with curried tartare, braised salsify with lardo, potato and celeriac rostis and a deep-fried oyster and caviar sandwich. 

There is also a selection of breads cooked over coals - mussel and anchovy with seaweed butter, for example - and that's all before you get to an a la carte of starters and mains. Small plates include lobster bisque with crab toast, dressed Suffolk crab with pickled cucumber and Aldeburgh asparagus and hollandaise, with mains featuring the likes of roasted langoustines with aioli, barbecue monkfish tail with samphire butter and crab linguine. There's also a daily special fish, cooked over coals and served with chips and hollandaise, and a selection of sides.

No meal in Suffolk would be complete without the option of a cheese board, and there are great desserts too, including a chocolate delice with salted caramel and hazelnut, and a classic tarte au citron.


Do I need to book?

Booking is advised, especially if you want a room after dinner!

Helpful? 0

Sur-Mer at The Suffolk is featured in


152 High Street, Aldeburgh, Suffolk, IP15 5AQ

Opening Times

Mon Closed
Tue 17:00-21:00
Wed 17:00-21:00
Thu 17:00-21:00
Fri 17:00-21:00
Sat Closed
Sun Closed
All day
Mon Closed
Tue Closed
Wed Closed
Thu Closed
Fri Closed
Sat 12:00-21:00
Sun 12:00-21:00


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4 Reviews 


21 July 2023  
Food & Drink 5
Service 0.5
Atmosphere 2
Value 3


22 January 2023  
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 4.5
Wonderful meal by the sea.

We started the evening in the cozy bar with some delicious, original bar snacks and a fantastic choice of drinks. The meal in the buzzy, main restaurant was delicious. The local oysters were well prepared and so tasty and followed by a great lobster and chips. Service was very friendly and efficient. A fun evening in a lovely restaurant in Aldeburgh with a great atmoshpere and fantastic food. We'll be back.


18 January 2023  
Food & Drink 4.5
Service 4.5
Atmosphere 5
Value 4.5

Fantastic addition to the Suffolk food scene. Wonderful imaginative menu with one of the best lobster and chips we've had. Lovely attentive service and a real buzzy atmosphere. They also have a bar area with some delicious tapas style dishes. 


11 January 2023  
Food & Drink 2.5
Service 2.5
Atmosphere 2.5
Value 1.5

Main menu offered only 5 choices of which three were fish, one was vension (called fallow) and one a cheese souffle. No pork - despite there being a dozen pig farms within a couple of miles of Aldeburgh.

My starter of Scallops cooked well but sauce too acidic. My main of Monkfish was far too salty. The waitress would "tell the chef" - but clearly did not.

Wine list is pretentious and ridiculously expensive - the majority of diners around us were buying by the glass.

My wife's souffle was very good although the crostini served with it were hard enough to break a tooth.

We visit Aldeburgh at least twice a year but will not return to The Suffolk.

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