• Old Hall Cafe

Chef's Summer Special - John Baker from Old Hall Southwold

With summer on the way, thoughts turn to delicious fresh produce grown and made on The Suffolk Coast. We spoke to John Baker, Head Chef at Old Hall Southwold to find out his favourite Summer Special.

What local produce do you love working with?

Aside from the beautiful vegetables that are available to us seasonally in East Anglia, one of the champions of our breakfast and brunch menus is Blythburgh pork. Free range and reared just down the road from Old Hall Cafe, we can see for ourselves how important the welfare of the pigs is to the farmers, and the quality of the meat reflects this. The Blythburgh pork sausages on our menu are amongst the best I’ve ever tasted!

Where do you get your inspiration?

Sometimes all I do is look out of the window! In autumn, I arrive to work in front of the Old Hall Pumpkin Patch which is a sea of orange, yellow and silver. Before the families arrive to start picking, I head out into the patch and select a variety for the kitchen team to start creating with. The squash and pumpkins go from farm to fork in the space of an hour and taste incredible!

Old Hall Southwold - Pumpkin Patch

What cooking techniques bring out the best in seasonal ingredients?

Less is more! If you’re buying with the seasons, the ingredients will be at their best so minimal intervention and let nature do the talking!

What tips do you have for home chefs?

Once a week, cook a recipe you’ve never tried before or use an ingredient you’ve never worked with. It may not always work out (we know this from experience!) but it could be a game changer!

Spiced asparagus, pea and red pepper fritters with tomato salsa (Vegan and Gluten Free)

Pea and Asparagus Fritters

Serves 4


200g Gram Flour 

2 tsp ground cumin

2 tsp ground coriander

2 tsp turmeric 

1 diced red pepper

1 bunch finely sliced British asparagus

1 tbsp chopped fresh mint

150g peas

Water to mix



400g of cherry tomatoes, diced

2 cloves of garlic crushed to a puree

1 handful of chopped fresh coriander

1 finely diced red onion

100ml white wine vinegar

1 tbsp mango chutney

Combine the flour and spices in a mixing bowl then slowly add water a tablespoon at a time, whisking until you have the consistency of double cream.

Add the vegetables and mint and stir to combine. Leave to chill whilst you make the salsa by combining all of the ingredients in a bowl. Set aside in the fridge.

Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a shallow frying pan (cook the fritters in batches so you don't overcrowd the pan) and on a medium to high heat, using a spoon, drop the batter mixture into the pan creating rounds of around 6cm diameter.  Cook until golden brown before flipping over and repeating.

Drizzle the cold salsa over the warm fritters and enjoy a light lunch, or serve with a warmed pitta bread and a dollop of vegan yoghurt for a more substantial meal.

Things to see and do

Southwold Maize Maze

Southwold Maize Maze

A great day out for the whole family, Southwold Maize Maze has lots to do! With 2 mazes to explore, jumping pillows, fast double zip line, ride on tractors, nest swing, climbing towers, slides, sandpits and more!

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Old Hall Cafe & Walks

Old Hall Cafe & Walks

Serving a delicious selection of locally sourced, freshly prepared home-cooked food to enjoy whilst taking in the spectacular views of the River Blyth.

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Wheelchair Accessible