Monday, April 15, 2024

The Two Julians

We straddle the Waveney so you don't have to.

The Two Julians
BungayTwo Julians

Bungay Pub Day – Three Tuns

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The fourth pub of our day out was the Three Tuns, a substantial building which was formerly a hotel and coaching inn. CAMRA note that there has been a hospitality venue here since 1540, although a new building was required after the 1688 fire.

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As an aside, I’d suggest that this was a sub-optimal night for Bungay.

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I’m not sure what I expected, but I really rather liked the grand room when we entered the pub. The service was immediate and helpful, with two real ales available. I went for the Trawlerboys from Green Jack which wasn’t quite at its best, but not in such a state I needed to return it. I was pleased that the pub accepted cards, as indeed did all of the town’s pubs, which made matters easier since neither of us had any cash.

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For those who like to watch television, there is a little arrangement of sofas in front of one.

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Not an ideal photo due to the lighting, but this is the main bar area. This was one of those pubs where everyone seemed to know each other, or at least other than these two strangers from Norwich, but there was nothing unwelcoming at any time.

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The pool room.

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The other side of the building, which is apparently one of the most haunted in the town. For a long time there were medieval banquets held in the cellar, but the building was put up for sale for £375,000 in 2008 by Admiral Taverns who ended the leases of the banquet company and a fancy dress company. It was purchased in 2009 by Paul Trevitt, but he stepped back in 2020 and defined as pub as so dangerous that he needed a riot helmet. I mean, I have been in pubs like that in the past, but it’s not ideal is it?

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The external signage, which has been here for twenty years, harks back to a different time in the venue’s history. If there are now no lunches, morning coffees or medieval banquets it seems just a little out of place.

The on-line reviews for the pub are mixed, but with the pub owner saying that he felt the venue was dangerous, that certainly provides me with a different proposition in terms of writing positively about it. To be fair, he’s now apparently appointed a pub manager to bring the venue under control, but I can see the challenging edge that they have here. There’s no food offered but so much potential given the space that there is, although they have now launched karaoke on the weekends which seems brave to say the least.

Unfortunately, I imagine the interior would need an expensive restoration now and as it’s a listed building, that would be quite the project. And anyway, the ghosts might not like it. Although if there is some modernisation, the owner had better not make the mistake of a previous owner who was fined £8,000 in 2008 for removing bits of masonry from the cellar. He said that he hadn’t realised that the building was listed. The court weren’t impressed.

I enjoyed this pub though, it’s got a long heritage, there’s a strong community feel and the prices are towards the lower end of the scale. I’m surprised that the owner hasn’t made more use of the sizeable building that he has available, but maybe there’s a long-term plan or perhaps it’s just nicely ticking over. It’s quite a way from the coaching inn that it once was, but it’s still open which is more than can be said for plenty of other pubs in the town.