Fat Cat                                                                 Dove Street Inn                                                           The Greyhound    


When visiting Ipswich, the Fat Cat, 288 Spring Road, IP4 5NL (01473 726524), not to be confused with the Fat Cat in Sheffield, and definitely not to be confused with the one in Norwich, is a bit of a must. It is a Victorian building, with wooden floors and panelling. There is a large bar space, but also areas to get away from the general hubbub. As you would expect, there is a great selection of real ales served straight from the cask, gravity fed, indeed, up to 20 available, wines and fruit wines, Belgian and other continental beers, decent cooked and cold meals Monday to Saturday, and snacks on Sundays; but not a place to visit if you have children under 16 or a dog, as these are not allowed entrance, I believe. However, it is very welcoming to people visiting from outside Ipswich and going to the football.


Another recommended pub is the Dove Street Inn, 76 St Helen's Street, IP4 2LA (01473 211270), another unpretentious place. There are wooden floors again, and 3 separate rooms, including a small front bar, a larger oak-beamed, low ceilinged, main bar, and a newer conservatory, and a heated outside area. There are regular Adnams and Crouch Vale beers, plus guest beers, among the 10 available, served into lined oversized pint glasses from hand pumps and on gravity, the usual Belgian and other bottled and continental beers, Gales fruit wines, and home-made hot meals, eg beef and ale stew, chilli, veggie chilli, curry, veggie curry and hot pies, plus cold snacks. I have heard nothing but praise for this pub and I am assured it is a 15 minute walk to the football ground from here.  The Dove Street Inn will be holding a beer festival 22-27 May 2013, see their website for details. 


I have also been recommended The Greyhound, 9 Henley Rd, IP1 3SE (01473 752862), which also serves home-made bar food, 12 to 2 and 5 to 9 (the pub is open at 11.00), with Sunday breakfast 10 to 11.30am. There is a broad section of society frequenting the Greyhound, all ages and sexes (OK, both) are in evidence, and friendly to football fans too, so a friendly and safe environment. There is a small snug and a larger bright lounge, and, of course, good quality beverages on sale, including Adnams ales and a decent wine list.  The Greyhound is the reigning Adnams Pub of the Year.    


                          The Brewery Tap                                                          The Arboretum                  

The Brewery Tap, situated in an old brewer’s house at Cliff Quay, IP3 0AT (01473 225501), has a large main bar, with more private smaller spaces too, and a grand view over the River Orwell from a large bay window.  The Tap opens at 11.00, and has an extensive menu, with food served lunchtimes and evenings.  The regular ales are served from Cliff Quay Brewery, next door, and guest ales are usually sourced from local breweries too.  The Orwell Oyster, Stout & Black Pudding Festival is being held very soon, the weekend of 9th and 10th February 2013! 


CAMRA’s Good Beer Guide also suggests The Arboretum, 43 High Street, IP1 3QL (01473 222177), a small, single bar pub that opens at 11.00, serving food lunchtimes and evenings, indeed, it has a separate restaurant area/function room.  The Arboretum has regularly changing ales from local brewers, including St Peter’s and Green Jack, and a good selection of local bottled beers, eg from St Peter’s Brewery, and wines.


Finally, I recently met someone who lives in Ipswich who suggested the St Jude's Brewery Tavern, 69 St Matthew's Street, IP1 3EW (01473 413334), which has a VictorianGothicambience, including old church pews used as seating.  It opens from 12.00 to midnight from Thursday to Saturday, and on midweek football match days from 16.00, although, as it has only recently reopened, they are reported to be planning to be open full time as soon as possible; any updates and photographs would be appreciated.