The Lady Florence River Cruise Restaurant, operating from Orford, Suffolk, needs no introduction throughout East Anglia. She has become an institution in her 29 years of operation.

Eleven years ago, the small business took the giant step of becoming international, with a second boat, the Allen Gardiner, operating on Durban Harbour, South Africa.
Eleven years on again, the business has taken the colossal leap in consolidating both businesses back in Suffolk.
Allen Gardiner was loaded on an ocean freighter in Durban on Thursday 19th September and left Durban the following morning.
Despite walking away from a successful Allen Gardiner brand, established and built since 2002, the reversal of the 2002 decision is said to be ‘a daring but wise and logical one’.
It will result in a doubling of turnover and employment opportunities in Suffolk in the short term.
It is thanks to Foundation East that the project is financially viable. Moreover, the thousands of satisfied Lady Florence customers over the years will now have an opportunity to explore another, and totally different, river environment, with the same standard of cuisine and excellence to which they have become accustomed.
And it will open up opportunities for groups much larger than the licence for twelve on Lady Florence, and also the facility to operate after dark on the lighted buoyed channel of the River Orwell.
There are many stages to this project before the Allen Gardiner becomes operational on her maiden voyage on the River Orwell from Ipswich Marina, which should be in November, in time for Christmas celebrations.

The Allen Gardiner was lifted on to her £10,000 cradle in September. After delays with inclement weather whilst loading cargoes in Cape Town on the 6th, together with adverse seas along South Africa’s aptly-named Wild Coast, Allen Gardiner was loaded into the hold of MAC Lines Blue Master ll on Thursday 17th, ready for leaving Durban for Rotterdam the following morning.
For frequent updates and further information, please contact John Haresnape on 01394 421554 or email, see the website or follow them on facebook.