We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Beer, beach and boules. What else do you need?” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Dolphin Inn

Best prices for -
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
The Dolphin Inn
Ranked #1 of 1 Thorpeness B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Guildford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Beer, beach and boules. What else do you need?”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 August 2014

As we all know, parenthood is a constant stream of sunny days, smiles and small boys behaving perfectly (ahem). We also know that, if young children are not fed in time, a small thermonuclear explosion occurs. I was therefore extremely grateful to discover The Dolphin starts serving food at 6pm. Hardly unique, but unusual, in these parts and I was therefore tempted to give some extra points for that alone. Fortunately I don’t have to hang this entire review on the time they turn the oven on as the food and service earned those all by themselves.

Unfortunately all the tables inside were reserved. This was a bit of a pain, but suggests those in the know make the appropriate arrangements to ensure they get their dinner! Fortunately it was of the few evenings during our week when it was okay to sit in the large garden, where we watched various groups play boules in the two courts provided – very civilised.

Most importantly, the bar. I was delighted to spot several local brews from Adnams (Broadside, Ghostship, Spindrift), Aspall cider and St Peter’s. I can’t vouch for all of them, but the Ghostship and the Broadside were excellent. One slight problem with the bar was the rather odd aroma, which was either the toilets or disinfectant from a rather overenthusiastic cleaner.

The children’s menu options differed from what the boys had decided (prior to looking at the menu, obviously) that they wanted. The staff were great in swapping options around to keep them happy, resulting in clean plates, happy kids and relaxed parents. The vegetarian option was a mushroom, spinach and goats cheese crumble. The filling was delicious, but the crumble could have done with being cooked a little more, leading one of our party to suggest it was “a bit like sand”. A shame really as it would otherwise have been an excellent dish. The meaty dishes (sausages: kids, what can I say?) were extremely good and the nosy glances at other tables (and their empty plates) suggested other diners were equally appreciative.

Puddings, included in the price of the children’s menu and around £5 otherwise, are proper hearty fare. The chocolate brownie was destroyed in seconds and the apple and berry crumble was excellent. Sadly these days, home-made custard is far from guaranteed and so its presence at The Dolphin merits a mention.

I would have been sorely disappointed to have had to slate The Dolphin as the East Anglian coast, and Thorpeness in particular, is one of my favourite parts of the country. If you’re looking for a proper seaside trip, you could do much worse. Full marks.

Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
Thank Pineside
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
David J, Owner at The Dolphin Inn, responded to this review, 29 January 2015
Thank you for all your lovely comments, I’m very glad to hear you made the most of our garden and enjoyed the boules, we have two pitches and have boules sets available even for the little ones. We pride ourselves on our great selection of local ales and a good wine list, it is so good to hear they are being appreciated. All our menus are seasonal; we also have a popular Pre Fixe Menu available all year, and an ever changing specials board. We appreciate that young and old alike may want something a little different and we will always do our best to cater for individual needs. The summer season is one of our busiest times so please be sure to book in advance to avoid disappointment however we will always try our best to fit you in. Please take a look at our website for further details and we look forward to seeing you and your family again soon.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

222 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    136
    62
    9
    6
    9
See reviews for
49
98
6
6
Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (30)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Suffolk, UK
Level Contributor
40 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 August 2014

Having lived in Suffolk for just under 10 years, we had never been to Thorpeness, so decided to go and take a look and have lunch there for an anniversary meal. The weather was rather wet so we arrived early which presented no problem. A table was found quickly, the staff were friendly and efficient and we had a delicious meal from the set menu. Such a lovely atmosphere with family groups, couples, friends all enjoying themselves. We will definitely go again.

Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Sailing-Kate
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Liverpool
Level Contributor
58 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 August 2014 via mobile

We ended up here by mistake as the pub we were going to stopped serving food at 8. We rang & they fitted us in. The staff were wonderful, very friendly, helpful and the service was excellent.

We had parma ham & potted shrimps for starters, someone moaned on here about not liking food served on wood but if the food is good I don't know what difference it makes. We both had sea bass which was beautiful followed by elderflower flower cheesecake which was also fantastic. The meal really was faultless as were the staff.

You could probably find somewhere cheaper to eat than The Dolphin but it is worth every penny for the quality of food & service that you get. Not to be missed!

  • Stayed August 2014
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Joanne16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Southwold, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 August 2014 via mobile

Went here for dinner with friends recently and had a fantastic meal. I've got two dogs and called in the afternoon asking if there was any part of the restaurant that dogs could go into. The staff were so helpful and said that the bar area could accommodate dogs, they therefore switched our reserved table into the bar area. When we arrived the staff were extremely attentive and friendly. It instantly relaxes you and we had a really great evening. Food was good, we all had something different and everyone was really impressed, clean plates all round! Will definitely be back.

  • Stayed July 2014
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank bythesea13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
53 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 August 2014

I remember on our last trip to Aldeburgh, walking from there to Thorpeness to stop for a drink but getting caught in an awful rainstorm. By the time we reached the pub we were drenched and instead of ordering a drink we ordered a taxi to take us back to get changed. Disaster. So on our next trip to Aldeburgh we decided to walk again to the pub as the weather was superb. After a 40 minute walk the pub was like an oasis! I ordered a cold pint and the missus ordered a Pimms and Lemonade!! The P&L was made to perfection and there were fresh snacking nuts to choose from. Not the sort you find in packets but the sort where you go into a deli and use a scoop to fill up a punnet! Great choice! Decor was superb with a great garden and surroundings. Next time we will probably have a pub lunch as I am sure it will be worth it. Even after a trek!!

Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Whatsallthatabout
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
south coast
Level Contributor
80 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 July 2014

We stayed here in June for a few nights. Nice room overlooking the garden, a quiet road and indeed no noise from the bars in the evening, either. Very pleasant staff and a good English breakfast, though no other choices offered, but good toast, fruit, etc. if too full! We ate in the restaurant a couple of nights and thought it very good value, with decent choices for all courses. The deconstructed crumble was SUPERB! We would stay here again.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank jamesgandolfini
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
120 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 July 2014

Lovely choice of salads here. A good choice for anyone . Like the idea of salads in a jar as it ensures they keep very cool.
We had these plus the cromer crab and the pork pie salads. I think the pork pie was the best as it came with slices of ham- a nice touch.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Rowan A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Thorpeness
1.9 mi away
The White Lion Hotel
The White Lion Hotel
#3 of 4 in Aldeburgh
4.5 of 5 bubbles 1,386 reviews
2.4 mi away
The Brudenell Hotel
The Brudenell Hotel
#2 of 4 in Aldeburgh
4.5 of 5 bubbles 953 reviews
0.3 mi away
The Thorpeness Hotel and Golf Club
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
1.9 mi away
Wentworth Hotel
Wentworth Hotel
#1 of 4 in Aldeburgh
4.5 of 5 bubbles 623 reviews
6.0 mi away
The Westleton Crown
The Westleton Crown
#1 of 1 in Westleton
4.0 of 5 bubbles 722 reviews
6.6 mi away
The Ship at Dunwich
The Ship at Dunwich
#1 of 1 in Dunwich
4.0 of 5 bubbles 644 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to The Dolphin Inn? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about The Dolphin Inn

Property: The Dolphin Inn
Address: Old Homes Road, Thorpeness IP16 4FE, England
Phone Number:
Region: United Kingdom > England > East Anglia > Suffolk > Thorpeness
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 B&Bs / Inns in Thorpeness
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:4 star — The Dolphin Inn 4*
Number of rooms: 3
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated in the unique seaside village of Thorpeness, the Dolphin Inn, a free house, has placed itself in the heart of the community. A short stroll takes you to miles of unspoilt Suffolk heritage coastline and we are a short distance from Minsmeare, a birding paradise hosting some of our rarest wildlife. The Dolphin has three well appointed four star bedrooms, a fantastic restaurant with an enthusiastic chef, a bar that dispensers a large variety of whiskeys, ales, has a superb wine list and boasts a large beer garden. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com so you can book your The Dolphin Inn reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
The Dolphin Hotel Thorpeness
The Dolphin Inn Thorpeness, Suffolk

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing