All that changed with the arrival of Andrew Lane and Helen Norman last September. Adapting a guiding philosophy of “real ale, real food, real music” they’ve totally transformed the way the pub operates. On the physical side there was no need for anything other than a deep clean as it has always been a really attractive two-bar interior – a small lounge dominated by a huge fireplace and a proper traditional bare-boards public bar (there’s also a pool room at the back and, previously unknown to me, a large upstairs function room capable of holding up to a hundred people).

This was the couple’s first pub together though Helen previously had a pub in Sudbury and Andrew has plenty of bar experience. The fact that they’ve already more than doubled trade tells its own tale. Getting quality real ale in was a priority and the range has now settled down to Caledonian Deuchars IPA, Adnams Broadside and a changing guest from Punch’s finest cask selection (which offer a surprisingly good choice of beers from both regionals and micros – Beartown Bearskinful had just finished and Harviestoun Schiehallion was on its way). As a CAMRA member, Andrew is passionate about his real ales and he’s been told that his Broadside isn’t just the best outside Southwold but the best period! The Sun is Cask Marque accredited.

Food started at Christmas and uptake has been steady, except for Sunday lunch, which is so popular as to make booking essential. There are twelve regular main course and five or so daily special with very reasonable prices (mostly between £4.95 and £6.95). Sandwiches, jackets and starters are also on the menu. Food is served evenings only (except Sunday) and, indeed, the pub is closed altogether Monday to Thursday lunch times. There’s also no hot food on Sunday evenings but instead there’s Cheese Night – the pub provides a couple and customers bring the rest (eight had been on offer the previous Sunday).

Other regular events include Quiz Night (Thursday), Darts (Tuesday and Wednesday) and live music, once a month. In May The Sun held its first Beer and Music Festival in the functions room and when I visited plans were in place for the next one, on 29 August, with four bands, six beers, and a barbeque.