The Bar at the Unruly Pig in Suffolk

How Britain’s Best Gastropub Creates Unique Cocktails

We chat to owner Brendan Padfield on creating a unique cocktail list, and how the Unruly Pig team created Britain's Best Gastropub.

It’s official. The Unruly Pig in Suffolk is Britain’s best gastropub.

Voted number one in the 50 Best Gastropubs awards earlier this year, this unique pub is known for its regularly updated specials menu which uses produce fresh from the coast and from local suppliers.

Looking over their menu we couldn’t help noticing some delicious sounding cocktails. So we thought it only right to chat to owner Brendan Padfield on what it’s like running the best place to eat in the UK, and how they create their exquisite drinks list.


Congratulations on the top spot in the Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropubs! Firstly, can you tell us a bit about the Unruly Pig?

It’s 16th century Suffolk coaching inn located 5 minutes from the historic market town of Woodbridge (and one minute from the National Trust’s Viking burial ground at Sutton Hoo).

It’s got beams, sloping ceilings , rugs, log burners and an eclectic collection of contemporary and pop art.

We serve “Britalian” food: fresh, seasonal, British food with a strong Italian influence. Great food , fab service and a relaxed vibe – that is what The Unruly Pig is all about!


Unruly Pig gastropub in Suffolk, voted Britain's Best Gastropub


We’ve seen the British culinary landscape come on leaps and bounds over the last decade and particularly with the advent of the Gastropub. How have things changed?

Massively . Gastropubs have changed the face of pub eating in the UK. They now deliver some of the best food that there is to be eaten in our country – the sheer number of Michelin starred pubs in the Estrella Damm UK Top 50 Gastropub list speaks volumes.

There’s nothing better really – high end quality food but in a relaxed and cosy setting where there is no standing upon ceremony.


The Bar at the Unruly Pig in Suffolk


Tell us a little about what’s on the drinks list at Britain’s Best Gastropub?

The drinks list is critical. Serving great food is not just enough.  Our customers want a holistic experience when dining out and fabulous cocktails are a prerequisite – particularly in the younger demographic.

The Unruly Pig is also all about delivering something different from the average high street pub or restaurant. So whilst we do offer some classic cocktails, we also deliver something different from the pack.

For example both our Tiramisu martini and our Earl Grey tea-ni ( Earl Grey unfused gin, egg white, citrus and sugar) are flying out of the cocktail station right now, as is our Basil Baby mocktail made with fresh basil, grape juice and soda.

As an alternative to pudding we also offer dessert cocktails such as our Bakewell Tart cocktail. The development of the drinks list is principally down to the Bar Manager but both me and the Restaurant Manager chip in.


Tiramasu Martini from The Unruly Pig
The Tiramasu Martini (c) The Unruly Pig


Do your team look to trends when developing the drinks such as no and low alcohol, the gin boom, or the rise in interest for premium tequila?

We have an eye to such trends but are fiercely proud not to always follow. As part of our ‘doing something different’ stance, we try to stay ahead of the curve and not follow the pack.


Quite right. With research showing that post-pandemic there is more consumer demand for premium drinks have you experienced this at your venue?

Definitely. For instance, our sales of fine wine and premium champagnes have gone through the roof!


A room inside the Unruly Pig


Have you seen any trends with the sorts of drinks that your customers are asking for?

Kombuchas and their like (healthy options ) are still very much in the ascendancy.


What’s your favourite place to eat and drink (apart from Unruly Pig of course!)

To eat: that’s easy. The River Café, a London icon that has held it’s Michelin star for so very long.

I love it’s informality and ambience and its focus on letting the ingredients speak for themselves.

To drink it’s either the bar at the Chiltern Firehouse or the Blue Bar at The Berkeley Hotel , both in London. The former for its energy and buzz late at night and the latter because its wow factor from the iconic design of David Collins


Want to Visit Britain’s Best Gastropub?

Find out more about The Unruly Pig over on their website.

Address: Orford Rd, Bromeswell, Woodbridge IP12 2PU

Phone: 01394 460310


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