The outside of the Brandon House Hotel is a little overgrown, and the "U" in its sign hangs askew, but the imperfections only add to its charm.

The outside of the Brandon House Hotel is a little overgrown, and the "U" in its sign hangs askew, but the imperfections only add to its charm. (Charlie Reed / S&S)

BRANDON — The Brandon House Hotel is kinda quirky.

The property is a bit overgrown and the "u" in the sign above the entrance has lost its hold on the brick wall, hanging slightly off-kilter. Its clientele is a cast of characters and its staff is a chatty bunch. They’re all part of this little hotel’s charm.

From American military contract workers to other lodgers from around England and elsewhere in Europe, the hotel attracts guests who stay for months at a time. Needless to say, it’s more than a place to get a bite to eat or a pint to drink. It’s a place where stories are told and new friends are made.

"You run into some really interesting people around here," said Tom Whitcomb, a helicopter mechanic with Cygnus Inc., who is working at RAF Lakenheath and has been staying at the Brandon hotel since September.

On any given night at the pub, you can run into a number of traveling workers from all walks of life, though the establishment also draws its fair share of regulars, especially families who come for the Sunday carvery, he said.

"It’s a very friendly place. They really take care of you," said Whitcomb, whose permanent residence is near Fort Riley, Kan.

He said the hotel’s caretaker, a man who goes by the name of Lordie, is particularly helpful — and entertaining.

"I love that guy," Whitcomb said. "He’s the town clown. … But if you need something, he’s the man who can help."

If you go to the hotel, you’ll likely run into Lordie, who would not divulge his last name but said he was retirement age. If he doesn’t approach you as soon as you walk in the door, give him a minute; he’ll find you.

Other staff members are just as friendly, and said they try to keep the hotel as relaxed and as cozy as possible for their long-term guests.

As for the food and drink at the Brandon House Hotel, it’s not fine dining but it’s pretty good eats. And the prices aren’t bad either.

Whitcomb recommends the fish and chips (7.95 pounds) while another lodger suggested the Hawaiian steak, gammon served with pineapple and egg (7.95 pounds.)

Dinner menu items include crispy duck with onions and plum sauce (12.95 pounds) and lamb cutlets with garlic and mint (9.95 pounds.) The restaurant also offers several steak dinners (from 9.95 pounds to 15.50 pounds.)

But a trip to the Brandon House Hotel is less about the food and more about the people you may meet if you stop in.

Brandon House Hotel

Location: Brandon High Street, Suffolk, IP27 0AX

Phone: 01842 810171

Hours: Lunch is noon-2 p.m., dinner 6-9 p.m., Sunday carvery noon-3 p.m.


Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive a daily email of today's top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign Up Now