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    Ipswich Valentines Day
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    Valentines Day in Ipswich

    Valentine’s Day

    There are a number of theories about how far back Valentine’s Day can be traced. Some date back as far as ancient Rome when a pagan fertility festival called Lupercalia was celebrated on the 13th, 14th and 15th February.

    By 1601, St Valentine’s Day had become popular and was even mentioned by William Shakespeare in Hamlet. The passing of love notes became popular in England by the mid 18th century and this led on to Esther Howland of Worcester, Massachusetts starting to produce cards using paper lace.

    Hallmark Cards produced their first Valentine card in 1913 and have gone on to make this romantic event one of their flagship days on the year. Nowadays, it is estimated that over 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year worldwide.

    Red, pink and white are normally associated with Valentine’s Day but why?valentines roses, ipswich valentines day

    Red symbolises passion, love and desire. It is also the colour of blood so could be connected with St Valentine who went against the wishes of Emperor Claudius II in third century Rome by marrying young lovers in secret. Claudius had a decree that young single men were not to marry and their loyalty and commitment should be only to Rome. St Valentine refused renounce his faith and subsequently died a martyr. White symbolises purity and pink is a combination of red and white. Pink is also generally perceived as a very soft, feminine colour.

    Chocolates and flowers

    According to some scientists, chocolate is an aphrodisiac but it is also meant to symbolise affection, attraction, love, sensuality and luxury. Although Cadburys don’t claim it officially, it has been said that they cemented their connection with Valentine’s Day in the 1800s when ricy started to sell chocolates in heart shaped boxes that he designed himself.

    Floriography is the practice of sending flowers to express secret messages. This has been happening for centuries and different flowers have different meanings. In the past this meant that it was possible to have an entire conversation using only flowers. Red roses represent love and romance. The rose was associated with the goddesses of love by both the ancient Greeks and Romans.

    Valentine’s Day in Ipswich

    What better way to celebrate the most romantic day of the year than an enchanting meal at Isaacs? Our Catering Manager is always searching for the best ingredients from a range of local suppliers and our chefs have all helped to evolve our menu. We offer a choice of over 50 dishes including vegan, vegetarian and gluten free. Our service is second to none and we will ensure that you and your loved one feel special.

    You can enjoy a tasty meal in inspiring surroundings and then take a leisurely stroll along Ipswich’s historic waterfront. What more can you ask for?

    To add to this though we’ve got Mjsoul playing live at 3pm.  Also, a special Valentine’s desert will be on the specials board and other special offers on our sharer platters and a bottle of bubbly, that will be grand!

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    NEW YEARS EVE 2015

    Join us for the party to end 2015!
    Free Entry

    2015 has been a good year, come see it out @ Isaacs.

    Live DJ taking your requests

    Bar service until 1.30am!

    Extended food service until midnight!

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    Where Did Pizza Originate?

    We thought you might like to find out the history of the fabulous piece of  pizza available in Pizza Al Taglio

    ipswich pizzaAlthough pizza as we know it originated from Italy, its roots actually go back much further than that. Similar foods are known to have been made since the Neolithic age and there are many records throughout history of people adding various ingredients to bread to add flavour.

    Flatbreads were often used as an edible plate and some flatbreads have even survived to the modern day such as the naan in South Asia, the Greek pita and of course the focaccia from the Mediterranean.

    Possibly the closest relation to the modern pizza was made by the Ancient Greeks and it was a flatbread called plakous which had toppings such as herbs, onion and garlic. With this in mind, it comes as little surprise that Naples (known as the home of pizza) was founded in around 600 BC as a Greek settlement.

    Over the centuries Naples grew into a busy waterfront city and many of its population were poor. As they went about their day they needed a quick and inexpensive street food – pizza satisfied this need. These flatbreads, or pizzas, were eaten for any meal, often from street vendors rather than proper restaurants and many of the wealthy thought this was a disgusting thing to do.

    Pizza from Procida Napoli a different waterfront but same great taste, ipswich pizza

    Pizza from Procida Napoli a different waterfront but same great taste.

    These pizzas were quite different from the ones we eat today – in fact the modern pizza’s main ingredient, tomatoes, appeared quite late on. In the early 1500s, tomatoes were just making their way across Europe but to begin with they were very unpopular and people were generally quite suspicious of them. Many people actually believed them to be poisonous!

    The poor people of Naples however started to use tomatoes on their pizzas and this was the birth of the pizza that we know and love today. The dish became more and more popular and word spread. Tourists visiting Naples started to venture into the poorer areas of the city to taste it.

    In the late part of the 19th century even the King and Queen of Italy wanted to try the local dish as tom basil, ipswich pizzathey had heard so much about it. While they were visiting Naples a pizza maker called Raffaele Esposito cooked three different varieties of pizza, one of which the Queen (Margherita of Savoy) enjoyed so much that she sent him a thank you note. The pizza in question was garnished with tomatoes (red), mozzarella (white) and basil (green) to represent the three colours on the Italian flag. Raffaele decided to dedicated the pizza to the Queen and called it ‘Pizza Margherita’ in her honour. The Margherita is still one of the most popular varieties of pizza today.

    One of the most popular ways to eat pizza in Italy is called pizza al taglio, literally translated as ‘by the cut’. It was invented in Rome and gradually became popular not only across Italy but worldwide. The pizza is baked in a large rectangular tray and sold by the slice.

    You can now find pizza al taglio right here in Ipswich at Isaac’s very own Pizza Al Taglio restaurant. When there are so many delicious varieties of pizza on our menu why should you have to choose only one? Visit our pizza restaurant and you can try a slice of as many different pizzas as you wish!

    At Isaacs our pizzas are freshly cooked and served the Italian way.

    Visit us for a taste of Italy on Ipswich’s vibrant Waterfront.

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    A Great Place to Eat in Ipswich – Isaacs

    Places to Eat in Ipswich

    There are now a huge number of places to eat in Ipswich, covering everything including cheap and cheerful, fast food, family restaurants, classic romantic restaurants and fashionable modern eateries, covering a great many different cuisines.

    Ipswich originally emerged as a busy trading town in around the 7th century, and with the development of Ipswich docks, thrived and prospered as a major trading hub. By the 1400s, the buildings that Isaacs is situated in now were being used for selling corn, wool and coal. Even back then there would have been plenty of places to eat in Ipswich for locals, as well as merchants and traders that were passing through.

    place to eat in ipswich, ipswich waterfrontFast forward around 600 years and Isaacs on the Quay is still one of the most popular places to eat in Ipswich. Our food is freshly prepared and our catering manager always searches for the very best ingredients from a range of local suppliers. The menu can take you from breakfast through lunch and onto dinner and there is a choice of over 50 dishes including vegan, vegetarian and gluten free. Our team of chefs work together to continually evolve the menu and create food inspired by locally sourced produce with some dishes incorporating our own ‘Briarbank Brewery Ales’.

    As well as serving an average of around 100 plates of food per day, we also host over 80 weddings per year and regular private parties. We are particularly proud of our service, and whether you are looking for a quick drink with a friend, a meal with the family, a business function or help to celebrate a special occasion, you will always be greeted with a friendly face and warm, welcoming service.

    Our historic building on the Ipswich Waterfront has kept many original features, and there are a number of pieces from our past on display throughout the building. This is combined with the sleek new look of the Waterfront which has developed considerably over the last few years.

    Isaacs on the Quay offers a vibrant atmosphere, which includes live music covering all genres of music and is a fantastic place to watch live sport, whether that is football, tennis, Formula One, or any other major sporting event.

    So, next time you are looking for a welcoming, friendly place to eat or drink in Ipswich that offers a fantastic range of food, freshly prepared from locally sourced ingredients, why not come along and give us a go?

    We are busy working on our latest food option, the Isaacs Pizza Bar & Grill, which will open in August. Offering pizza by the slice and a range of grilled, quality fast food, we aim to offer the people of Ipswich another fantastic choice when considering where to dine in the town.

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    Family Fun Day

    We have teamed-up with Kimmys Mobile Petting Zoo for a Family Fun Day on Tuesday, August 25.

    Come and see a selection of animals, including small mammals, reptiles, bugs, plus a jungle display and crafts area.

    isaacs, ipswich fun dayPlease note that we expect this event to be exceptionally popular. We are charging a nominal £1 fee per person for a ticket, which entitles the bearer to entry during an assigned time window.

    Some tickets may be available on the day, but due to our firm commitment to the welfare of the animals, we are selling tickets for assigned time slots only, and once we are sold out, no additional tickets will be available for sale, nor can tickets for one time slot be used for another time slot.

    Tickets are available from the Isaacs Coffee Tavern, which is open from 0730-2200, seven days a week. If you require any additional information, please call the Events team on 01473 284000 or e-mail

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    Somersby Sundays at Isaacs!

    A Perfect Sunday in the Summer @ Isaacs

    3 great Somersby flavours! 3 pound a bottle! 3 o’clock live music!

    3 is the magic number, during our Somersby Sundays, with our new range of Somersby bottled ciders – available in 3 delicious flavours – only £3 each on Sundays!

    This great offer is available from this Sunday until the end of September, and is the perfect accompaniment to the great Isaacs Sunday afternoon atmosphere, with live music at 3pm every Sunday!

    Please drink responsibly. Isaacs is a family venue.

    drinkaware, Somersby ciders

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    National Vegetarian Week at Isaacs

    We are very proud to support national vegetarian week at Isaacs

    Here at Isaacs, we like to cater for everyone, including our many vegetarian customers!

    Over the past year, we have made concerted efforts to give the people of Ipswich some great veggie options, and for National Vegetarian Week, we are going the extra mile, with a week of vegetarian specials!

    You do not need to be a veggie to enjoy these flavoursome dishes – they are delicious in their own right!

    So, here is what you have to look forward to from Monday, May 18 – Sunday, May 24:

    Monday 18thnational vegetarian week, ipswich vegetarian food
    Mushroom Stroganoff
    Roasted Vegetable Panini

    Tuesday 19th
    Baked Aubergine with couscous, tomato and basil
    Quorn Caesar Salad

    Wednesday 20th
    Broccoli and Stilton Quiche
    Loaded Cheese Potato Skins

    Thursday 21st
    Caramelised Onion & Goats Cheese Filo Tart
    Tomato, Courgette and Halloumi filled Pitta Bread

    Friday 22nd
    Battered Quorn Sausages, served with chunky chips
    Roasted Vegetable Paella

    Saturday 23rd
    Homemade Vegetable Burger in a lightly toasted brioche
    Roasted Pepper Omelette

    Sunday 24th
    Vegetable Suet Pudding, served with roast potatoes, honey roast parsnips and savoy cabbage

    We hope you have your eye on a dish or two! Be sure to also take a look at our complete menu!

    family friendly restaurant
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    Isaacs a family friendly venue

    What makes a family friendly restaurant?

    Eating out is one of life’s many pleasures and it is great for children to be able to be involved from a young age.  Socialising with friends and family over food is a lovely way to celebrate a special occasion or even just to spend some quality time together.

    However, choosing the right venue when children are involved is not always easy and eating out with children can become an ordeal.  There are a number of things to consider and sometimes it is the little things that can make a big difference.

    The Menu

    This is a big deciding factor when choosing somewhere to eat with children.  Firstly, the menu should be available online as it is always a good idea to check the menu before taking children to a new place.  The kids’ menu should include some healthy options but needs to be tasty and appealing to the younger guests as well as the parents.


    As we are all aware, children can be very fussy creatures or have odd preferences!  A good, child friendly restaurant will be happy to swap or slightly amend items on the menu if requested.  For example, swapping mash for chips, not putting gravy on a roast or maybe serving the pasta sauce on the side of the pasta instead of all over it.

    High Chairs and Booster Seats

    Depending on the age of your child, make sure the restaurant has either high chairs or booster seats available if you need them.  Very small children will often fidget or not stay seated if they are on an adult chair and they can’t reach the table properly.

    Filling the wait!

    Does the restaurant have something for the children to do while they wait, either at the start of the meal or in between courses?  Many places will have crayons and an activity sheet or a copy of the kids’ menu that they can colour in or decorate.  It also helps if you don’t have to wait too long for your food, so it may be a good idea to avoid peak times.


    Children can be very clumsy and accidents are inevitable.  If the restaurant you are going to only serves drinks in glasses, it may be advisable to take a plastic cup with a lid and straw for your child.

    Are Children Welcome?

    If the atmosphere and staff are not very child friendly, the children will soon pick up on this and be uncomfortable.  Make sure they are friendly, welcoming, make the children feel included and are happy to offer helpful suggestions.


    Baby changing facilities should be provided and should be clean and welcoming.  There have also been numerous debates on breast feeding in public places such as restaurants over the last couple of years.  If you are breast feeding, it may be worth checking with the restaurant beforehand to find out whether they can offer a quiet, comfy area away from the main restaurant.

    Isaacs on the Quay is a very friendly bar and restaurant.  Our menu includes a good selection for younger guests and we really work hard to make sure we stay family friendly. We are a safe venue, where the whole family is most welcome.

    Easter Eggs
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    Here comes Easter

    Easter is sneaking up!

    That’s right, the Easter period is only a few days away, so what is happening at Isaacs and The Briarbank Bar?

    Maundy Thursday is always a blast, as we stay open late and see in Good Friday with style. The Blarney Rovers are live on Good Friday at 3pm, followed by a crucial match for Ipswich – live on the big screen – at 5.15pm. It’s definitely going to be a good Friday, but if Town claim all three points, that’s a great Friday in our books.

    On Saturday, the Briarbank Bar’s beer festival (April 2 – April 6) takes centre stage, with Annika Rands performing live from 1.30pm, and then to take you into the evening and get everyone dancing, the brilliant Silbury Hill get underway at 5pm. DJ Luke Driver then takes over in the Isaacs Merchant Bar, playing your requests from 8pm until 1am.

    There is great live music at Isaacs on both Sunday and Monday at our traditional time of 3pm. On Sunday, independent pop band, Fagan, are live, whilst on Sunday, The Candy Girls join us for a fun, retro performance. Both of these acts are ideal for families, and children are very much welcome to enjoy themselves in our relaxed atmosphere.

    We will be serving our main menu and specials through until 10pm as always throughout Easter, so come and join us for a fun time as always! We open the bar for drinks from 1130am during the week, and at 11am at the weekend and on Bank Holidays.

    Our full calendar, including live sport, is available at

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    Dublin Porter at Isaacs

    Dublin Porter at Isaacs

    Dublin Porter at IsaacsWith a bold, modern take on the historic Guinness recipe, Dublin Porter will appeal to drinkers who are looking for something with enhanced refreshment and a sweeter taste. This new porter harkens back to the early days of Guinness, when in the late 18th century, ale was phased out by the company in favour of porter. This decision was made as a result of the high volume of dark beers being shipped in to Ireland from England.

    Ironically, porter was a style of beer invented in England earlier in the 18th century, earning its name due to its popularity with the porters working in London. During this period, the strongest beer in a brewery was known as stout, and the strongest versions of porter were called stout porter.

    As a throwback to its incredible legacy, Guinness has now opened an experimental brewery in Dublin, where a small team work on former recipes, albeit with a contemporary twist. From this brewery, Dublin Porter emerged, and is now available on draught at Isaacs on the Quay.

    For holders of the free Isaacs App, you can show your friendly server your Isaacs App Dublin Porter voucher, and until May 8th, you can take advantage of a rather generous 20% off a pint! Please drink responsibly.