Great Bedfordian: Liz Blackford-Sutton

Great Bedfordian: Liz Blackford-Sutton at the Wellington Arms
Great Bedfordian: Liz Blackford-Sutton at the Wellington Arms

Each month, The Bedford Clanger asks someone we consider to be a Great Bedfordian to answer our ‘best of Bedford’ questions.

First up for January 2024 is Liz, custodian of the town’s best-loved award-winning pub and devotee of all things local…

Name: Elizabeth Blackford-Sutton

Occupation: Licensee and keeper of The Wellington Arms

Born here or ‘blow in’? I blew into Bedford when I was around 13 and probably won’t leave now.

Best breakfast? I love going out for breakfast/brunch and still haven’t tried all the breakfast spots (just saw the Longholme does what looks like an incredible brekkie so will be trying that this week). 

French toast at Vanilla Tree. Image: Vanilla Tree/Instagram

But recently Rooster’s, Vanilla Tree (French toast pictured) and Bridges Espresso Bar are my favorites. I could never just pick one…

Best boozer? Are you going to ask me to pick the best pub in Bedford? You know I am biased? But I do venture out sometimes, not necessarily classic boozers but Bedford has a lot of good watering holes.

I love the garden at The Ship (St Cuthberts), I love the gin selection at Herd, Charlie’s exceptionally wonderful Noble Rot and my pal Fin has just reopened The Three Cups, so will no doubt be heading there on a night off. Bedfordians don’t know how lucky they are to have such a variety of good places to drink.

Best coffee? Lucky for me, when I’m waiting on an early morning delivery and cant stray too far from my building, Number Seven has opened up at the bottom of Wellington Street so I just pop down there with my coffee mug, load up with a flat white and l’m back home in minutes.

Best gig in Bedford? Genuinely cannot answer that. Esquires brings so much to our town and I am an avid gig goer. This year? Maybe Bloodywood or Ghostdance. So far. This year.

Bedford EsquiresImaget: Neil McCarty

Ever read John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress? No. I have still not read Bunyan’s Pilgrims Progess, but I did start it once. Never got very far I’m ashamed to admit.

Ever eaten a Bedfordshire Clanger? The same with a clanger – honestly has never appealed to me. I like my pudding on a separate plate

An off-the-beaten-track gem that everyone should know about? Well, the best hidden gem has to be The Wellington Arms.

The Welly recently won CAMRA best pub in Bedfordshire….. although I often meet people who have still never heard of this pub, down our little back street.

Best Bedfordian? There’s definitely more than one.

It’s the advocates of the town, the small business owners – the folk who set up little independent businesses and keep the town alive, the restaurants, coffee shops, little indie shops selling trinkets and local art.

If you use and support these places, you get to know the people behind them and get to feel like you are a part of a community

Tom Grennan knows Bedford isn't sh*t.
Tom Grennan knows Bedford isn’t sh*t. Image: Bedford Esquires

Three words to describe Bedford? Bedford isn’t sh*t.

This article is featured in the January 2024 issue of the Bedford Clanger.
Available to pick up for free in indie shops, restaurants, cafes, pubs,
theatres, museums and more in Bedford.