The Oyster Inn, Butley

The Oyster Inn Blog

The Oyster's new pearl - Village Shop Opening


This week was a busy one at the pub, as it saw the opening of our very own village shop in the Oyster's Barns! Selling basic items such as bread, toilet paper, cereal, and milk, we hope to make sure that the residents of Butley are never too far from some basic supplies.

Here's what our friends at Pub is the Hub had to say about it:

After an absence of over thirty years Butley village near Woodbridge in Suffolk is welcoming the launch of a new village shop at The Oyster Inn.

Butley Village Store will be open during pub hours, from 12 midday to 3pm and then from 5 to 11pm from Tuesday* to Friday and from 12 midday to 11pm at the weekends. It stocks convenience foods and produce from local suppliers – this excludes vegetables so as not to compete with local honesty box sales but does include baked goods from the award-winning Cake Shop Bakery in Woodbridge. At weekends the shop will be staffed during the busy lunchtime shifts, otherwise pub staff will manage the sales.

Parish Council Chairman, David McGinitty and WI chair, Audrey Boast were on hand to officially open the shop and celebrate the return of the village’s much-needed service. Also at the opening was Terry Stork the local advisor representing Pub is The Hub, the rural pub champions who had supported the development of the project from its inception last year.

Situated at the rear of the 400-year-old pub, Butley Village Store is the culmination of eighteen months’ worth of refurbishment and development by owners Judi and Andrew Newman following a four year period of closure. Alongside the shop, they have already opened a micro-brewery and a community cinema club.

Judi Newman said: “The development of the shop has been based on local demand and consultation. Many of our locals had said that they were very keen to see a shop in the village again – in fact it’s something that we mentioned in our blog on the day we took over the pub in June 2016. At the weekend, one lady told me that she had just done an eight-mile round trip to buy some cat food so hopefully she won’t have to do that again.”

You can read the full article at the Pub is the Hub's website.

The Oyster Inn gratefully acknowledges the financial support of Pub is the Hub, Prince's Countryside Fund and People's Postcode Lottery who helped make this project happen as part of their commitment to developing rural services.

The grand opening of the Village Shop. Photo credit: Pub is the Hub Some bread in the shop. Photo credit: Pub is the Hub

Photo credit: Pub is the Hub

EADT article on "Suffolk's Smallest Cinema"


Have you seen our new mini cinema yet? The East Anglian Daily Times came to visit, and thinks it may be “Suffolk’s smallest cinema”. At 21 seats, it certainly is a micro-cinema but the screen is big enough to enjoy the deserts of Lawrence of Arabia or the colours of La La Land. The seats are from the Science Museum in London, via eBay, and we even have popcorn for sale if you want the big cinema experience. Because of the licencing laws, we can’t advertise externally or online but please do pop into the pub to find out what the upcoming movies are going to be. The cinema is also available for private hire. So do come and enjoy the latest chapter of the Butley Oyster’s return to life.

You can read the full article on the EADT's website

Rob sitting in the cinema. Photo credit: EADT

Photo credit: EADT

Folk Night featured in the East Anglian Daily Times


Thank you to the East Anglian Daily Times for their feature today on our regular traditional folk nights! First Tuesday of every month - thank you to the amazing musicians who came this week.

Hannah sets up shop


Before our village general store opens in a few weeks' time in the Butley Oyster pub garden, we are excited to have a limited edition Pop Up Shop next weekend - local artist Hannah Berridge will be selling her hand painted ceramics for three days: Friday 23rd, Sat 24th and Sun 25th June. She sells a variety of beautiful ceramics, including mugs and jugs, and also takes orders for custom items, perfect for birthdays or other events. Hannah will be there 11am to 8pm each day so please come and say hello - and get a sneak preview of the inside of Butley's new shop-to-be!

You can find her website at

Music returns to the Oyster Inn


As we celebrate three months since the Butley Oyster re-opened, we would like to thank everyone in the village who has supported us and helped put the pub back on the map. As everyone knows, it is not easy to sustain rural pubs so we really appreciate everyone’s custom and positive encouragement. By the end of the July, the builders are on track to have finished the barns restoration work so we will be able to start bringing a village general store, a film club and a micro brewery to the village, as well as art gallery to help make the pub sustainable for the long-term. Rob and the staff are having fun choosing potential names for the future ale of the Butley Brewery Company so do let him know if you have any good suggestions too!

We have enjoyed welcoming traditional folk nights back to the pub recently, and everyone is welcome for traditional song and music on the first Tuesday evening of every month. Events coming up include:

July’s monthly folk night will start with the Pretty Grim Morris Dancers performing in the beer garden, followed by some traditional folk and song inside the pub.

16th July 2017, from 8.45pm - STEVE BOYCE
Popular on the local pub scene, singer-songwriter Steve Boyce has been rocking for 40 years and is known to many for his mix of rock and acoustic music.

21st July 2017, from 8.45pm – FLAMING CHEEK
Featuring one of the Oyster’s previous landlords, Flaming Cheek performs covers from pop to rock – always popular and great to have Laura back in the pub for the evening.


Introducing the Oyster Film Club


As you may be aware, behind the hoardings at the pub we have been hard at work completing a games/cinema room. We are pleased to say that progress has been good, and we should be in a position in the next month or so to take the hoarding down in the pub’s garden and to launch the Oyster Inn Cinema. At 21 seats, this will certainly be one of the smallest cinemas in the country.

There are of course lots of cinemas in Ipswich and the surrounding area, all of which will have much larger screens andy amazing surround sound. So whilst we may show the latest blockbuster from time to time (we are already excited about this Christmas’s new Star Wars film), for the most part we expect that the Oyster Inn cinema will show a more diverse range of films, with a focus on films that have had a limited or no release in the local area. Our hope is simply that the cinema will be a venue for people who love movies to watch films with others who share their passion.

Licensing laws around showing films are complicated. The good news is that for most films this means that entrance will likely be free. Given this, it would be great if anyone watching a movie had a meal at the pub before the film. The bad news is that we are not allowed to advertise films outside of the pub. So to find out what is coming up, you will need to pop into the pub to find out. We will try and arrange for the programme to be planned as far in advance as possible. As the cinema is so small, booking priority will be given to anyone who wants to join the Oyster Inn’s film club. If you would like to join our film club, please click here and send us your contact details. After that, it is recommended that you do book in advance if a film catches your eye, as at 21 seats it is possible that we might be full from time to time.

For those of you who love film as much as we do, why not get more involved and help us design an interesting programme. If you would like to be involved, please join us in the pub on the evening of Sunday 4 June at 7.30 to brainstorm the sort of films that we should be showing and when is the best time to show them. And of course, to choose the all important opening film. If you can’t make the 4 June, please click here to express your interest in being involved. And even if you don’t want to be actively involved, we will always be interested to hear any ideas you may have for films that you want to be shown.

Lastly, the room will be available for hire once it is opened. So if you would like to book it for a meeting or as a private dining room, or hire the cinema for a party for you or for a children's party, please contact us. And please put the word out there that the room is available for hire. It all goes to helping sure that the Oyster Inn keeps its doors open for years to come.

All the best

Tracy, Judi, Rob and Andrew

We are now open!


Since our purchase of the old inn last year, we have worked hard to restore it, partly in order to bring life back to the small community of Butley. It has taken a while, but as of Sunday, we are happy to announce that we are now open! We hope you like what we've done to the place - we've had to replace much more than what we initially thought, but we think it's worth it (just see our gallery)! As the opening went so smoothly, we are now open daily. See you there!

Village Shop and Micro Brewery Plans Approved


As we fast approach the end of the building works ready for opening, we are celebrating the good news that planning permission has been granted for our outside barns to be converted, so Butley will once again have a village shop! Suffolk Coastal District Council has confirmed that we can renovate the barns to create a micro brewery, a games room for the pub, an art gallery and a much-needed village shop. Work will straight away, and hopefully the shop will be up and running in time for the summer holidays. We are really excited about this, as is Rob who has already been on his brewing course in readiness of creating some delicious Butley Ale. We have been told that the pub used to brew in the barns a long time ago so Rob will be continuing an old tradition.

Pub Opening Plans

Inside the pub, landlords Rob and Tracy are now busy preparing and planning for the pub’s opening. Staff have been interviewed, Oyster Inn glasses have arrived, the bar is almost finished and the kitchen will be installed very shortly. So, the six million dollar question… when is the pub opening?? The plan is to have a soft opening from 19th March onwards, so you can come and see what we have done. We can’t wait to show you all! We will also have a preview tasting evening – sign up on the mailing list for more details. Tracy will be running the kitchen, preparing traditional home-style pub food that we all know and love. If you would like to book a table for Mother’s Day or over the Easter weekend, please send us an email on and help us celebrate our new venture for Butley.

The Butley Oyster gets a paint job!


Wow, it is amazing what can be achieved in a month. Every working day has seen a flurry of vans, skips, scaffolding, timbers, steel lintels, chimney pots, guttering and a lot of paintbrushes. The joiner has made beautiful new windows, and the builders have opened up the bar area to give the lovely old pub a bit more light and space. One treat has been the discovery of the original inglenook behind the plaster so we decided to clear the rumble and re-open it back up. The pub walls have been stripped of thick cement render and they are now almost ready for decorating again.

What’s next? The toilet block has been stripped out and reconfigured for accessibility, so that will start to look better soon. The roof is being repaired and we now have a design for a re-landscaped beer garden. Rob and Tracy are choosing the new pub kitchen and we have applied for a new Premises Licence, so we are on track for our Spring opening. Thoughts now start to turn to suppliers and menus, and we had our first wine tasting last week.

We hope you like the new masonry colour! It is a hint of the new Butley Oyster and we have had lots of positive feedback from people in the village who are so happy to see a fresh coat of paint. It should look even better when the new windows are installed, and the sign writer gets busy. Please do get in touch if you have any thoughts about what basics you would like to see in the village shop (planned for the back garden) or if you’d like to be added to the volunteer mailing list. We are always happy to hear what you think, or ideas you have – and please do like our Facebook page to see more about what’s going on.

Building work started!


Today was a big day for the Butley Oyster's renovation as we welcomed Stowe Construction on site as our Principal Contractor to get us ready for next Spring's opening. Andrew Stowe and his team will now be project managing the pub's structural work and refurbishment, and so things here at the pub are going to pick up pace as we approach our Spring 2017 opening. As you might have seen if you have been past recently, prep work has started on the external masonry and, inside, the walls have escaped from many decades of cement render and are now breathing once again. New windows are being built off-site (but very locally!) and the next steps are to install new lintels to replace the pure willpower that is currently supporting the pub!
We plan to have another volunteer day soon to start clearing the brambles in the field so we will keep you updated if you fancy a "green gym" day. Do get in touch if you are interested at We will try and make sure it is a dry day - but won't be able to guarantee that it will be warm! See you around and thank you very much for your interest in Butley's pub!

Thanks to everyone


What a difference a fortnight makes! Since getting the keys, we have filled three skips, discovered the beer garden beneath the weeds and started the long job of restoring the Butley Oyster back into a welcoming village pub. We have really enjoyed meeting lots of local people who have popped in to say hello, and we were very lucky to have the help of 12 volunteers from the village last weekend who came with their trowels and their tools to help. Thank you to everyone who has sent encouraging messages, and who have offered their support and assistance to get The Oyster Inn open again – it has shown us how much the pub was/is loved and how keen everyone is to see it flourish again! We will have more volunteer work party afternoons in due course – if you are interested in knowing the dates, please do sign up to our volunteer mailing list here.

The Restoration Begins!


At last, we have completed our purchase of the Butley Oyster and we got the keys on Friday. The pub is in desperate need of some TLC and so it was brilliant to start cutting back the overgrown beer garden and filling up the rubble bags ready for the builders to start. We are a local family who used to enjoy the Butley Oyster on our bike rides to Orford or when we were camping in Rendlesham Forest, so we were sad to see it closed for so long and decided to do something about it. We are not publicans but luckily we have found Rob and Tracy to run the pub, who are very experienced landlords. They will live upstairs, and together we are going to return the Butley Oyster back into a traditional village pub. We have lots of ideas but we would also love to hear from others who care about this special corner of East Suffolk. One suggestion has been to open a little village shop in one of the pub barns, so do let us know what you think and what it should stock! As always, you can contact us at

INDERWICK PUBS LIMITED, Company number 09986425

Registered office address: Delta Place, 27 Bath Road, Cheltenham, England, GL53 7TH

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