My Sanctuary

The Maldon Grey Pub

I found my happy place.

That location where the good times flow, where you feel like you could happily spend all day.

Where your everyday worries melt into the background and instead, you can find where the phrase ‘chill out’ really began.

My happy place is The Maldon Grey pub in Sudbury.

And it was entirely by accident that I found it.

My house being in a permanent state of disrepair, I found myself in the weekend in my car, furiously shouting at my Sat-Nav as I tried to find an evasive furniture shop. For some reason, after multiple attempts, I was further away than when I started. Mainly because I tapped in the wrong postcode.

After admitting defeat, I drove past The Maldon Grey pub in Sudbury. I thought I’d reward myself with a drink and a bowl of chips after the frustrating hours in the car.

I’m so glad I did.

The first thing that hit me was the fresh smell. Pubs in Britain have a signature scent, but The Maldon Grey dazzled with a citrus freshness that put me at ease. No sticky carpets here. With the pandemic propelling hygiene to the forefront of everyone’s mind, seeing the pristine surfaces and the lemony goodness wafting into my nostrils, I felt compelled to stay awhile.

I took a corner seat and grabbed a menu. I expected to see the usual fare, but there’s a LOT to choose from in this establishment. A lovely lady called Beckie introduced herself and asked if I’d had a chance to look at the menu – I plumped for the Hunters Chicken on Beckie’s recommendation – and a cold draught of Fosters.

The pub wasn’t in the least territorial. No snarling eyes from the locals as you stumbled upon their secret location. I felt welcome from the moment I entered the pub.

And when the food arrived, I could have set up a sleeping bag and stayed the night. The Hunters chicken evaporated on my tongue and I hoovered up the crispy, light chips. Accompanied by the beer, this meal disappeared within minutes.

I ordered another drink, this time a soft drink as I was driving. The game was on a large screen and I set up camp for an hour or two. The service was quick and the atmosphere was embracing.

When you think of a country pub, it’s places like The Maldon Grey that pop in your head.

Warm, inviting staff. Food that will haunt you until you return. And above all, comfort. A place you could blissfully whizz away hours without realising.

If I wasn’t driving, I would’ve stayed until closing time. And with regular events sprinkled liberally into every week like pub quizzes and live music – I could see this being a regular respite from the daily grind. And I’m definitely bringing the family next time.

I left with shoulders lighter than they have been in a while. I went home and was able to write a chapter of my book in record time.

The Maldon Grey pub is more than a pub.

It’s a sanctuary.

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