L’Escargot Sur-Mer seaside pop up to relaunch permanently as The Suffolk

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

L’Escargot Sur-Mer seaside pop to relaunch permanently as The Suffolk

Related tags: L’Escargot, The Suffolk, Restaurant, George Pell, Suffolk

L’Escargot Sur-Mer, the seaside offshoot of London institution L’Escargot that launched in Aldeburgh during he pandemic, is to reopen in August as a permanent venture called The Suffolk.

Following a refurbishment of the historic townhouse on Aldeburgh High Street that housed the L’Escargot Sur-Mer pop up, The Suffolk will launch with a 60-cover restaurant named Sur-Mer; a rooftop terrace overlooking the sea; a bar; two private dining rooms holding 12 and 24 seats, respectively; and six bedrooms, which will open in September.

The project is being led by George Pell, who was previously managing director of L’Escargot's restaurant in Soho and remains a partner in the business. 

Pell originally launched L’Escargot Sur-Mer in the summer of 2020 as a way of protecting staff jobs during the pandemic, and spoke at the time of wanting to turn it into a permanent venture.

“I’m incredibly excited to have the opportunity to bring the sense of life and purpose back to this great building and make it, once again, the heartbeat of Aldeburgh,” he says.

“For me, this is the realisation of a childhood dream to have a restaurant beside the sea and the fact we’re opening in Aldeburgh is such a treat, there is truly nowhere else like it on the planet.”

Suffolk-born chef James Jay, who joined the team in March 2022 to run the Sur-Mer pop up at New Street Market in Woodbridge with Pell, will lead the kitchen, serving a seafood-focused menu that will champion local producers including Pinneys of Orford and Fen Farm Dairy.

As well as a selection of oysters from the British Isles, dishes will include the likes of lobster bisque with crab toast; razor clams with avruga and sorrel; barbecued monkfish tail with samphire butter; and whipped Baron Bigod served with game chips and onions.

The bar and rooftop terrace with sea views will have smaller plates designed for sharing including herring rollmops, lobster sliders, Emmett’s black ham and Baron Bigod croquettes, and a selection of grilled flatbreads with toppings like brown shrimp and cod’s roe; mussel and anchovy with seaweed butter; and dry-aged Suffolk gold with scallions.

There will also be a separate Sunday lunch menu featuring sharing dishes like lobster wellington; slow-roasted Gressingham duck with plum sauce; and Sutton Hoo chicken stuffed with morels.

The wine list will feature mainly French wines starting at £24 for a bottle and £6 for a glass, while the cocktail menu will serve a handful of classical favourites including The Suffolk’s Coastal Martini in partnership with local distillery Fishers.

“The Suffolk will be a place for the locals to enjoy - to treat as their own; to read the paper and have a glass of wine in but it should also be special enough to make people want to travel to enjoy a long leisurely lunch with a lobster and chips,” continues Pell. 

“The team and I can’t wait to welcome our first guests in August.”

Related topics: Openings, Restaurant

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