Over the weekend I went to Suffolk with my partner to visit his Mum and family. They live in a gorgeous little town called Needham Market. Not only is Needham pretty, tranquil, and the only place outside of Leeds that I have seen Green Party members walking around, but there are also some brilliant places to visit both in and around the area.
One place definitely worth paying a visit to is Alder Carr Farm, which has an amazing food shop, and also sells house plants and haberdashery for great prices. Also, you can see that the animals have freedom and are happy and well looked after, and especially the chickens, who are roaming around all over the fields. It is one of the few places outside of my own great aunts that I would totally trust buying eggs from. The last two times I have been to Alder Carr I have come back with a haul of goodies. See below.
After pottering to and back from Alder Carr, on a lovely little scenic walk I might add, we went to Bury St Edmunds, a bustling but still beautiful place with a lot of character. We stopped in to Paddy & Scott’s, a lovely little coffee house on Abbeygate Street.
Nestled in-between a Gregs and a Costa, it was great to find a coffee house with a warm personality and quirky decor. I especially enjoyed the coat hangers made from books and the words ‘Call of Nature’ painted on the wall in large letter with an arrow indicating the location of the loos. If you’re ever in Bury and are craving a luxury coffee and relaxing ambiance, I totally recommend Paddy & Scott’s.
We also went to The Nutshell, reportedly the smallest pub in the UK. I can totally believe it; at six occupants the pub started to feel crowded. I glanced upwards to see currency from all over the world tacked to the ceiling, along with a collection of oddities including a human tibia bone and a mummified cat with mouse. If you’re craving something a bit more macabre than your typical Bury cafe, this is a must for you.
The next day we went to Aldeburgh, a seaside town with a fantastic shingle beach and lots of stuff going on.
I found my personal highlight walking along the beach getting my feet poked with jagged stones. The Benjamin Britten sculpture, a huge stainless steel scallop resting on the horizon, was given to Suffolk Coastal by artist Maggi Hambling in 2003. The phrase “I hear those voices that will not be drowned” (from opera Peter Grimes) is pierced through the steel, to be read against the sky. In the 50s, Britten often visited this beach for peace and inspiration.
We walked around town for a bit; the smell of fresh fish was pungent but comforting, and I was reminded of my childhood holidays on the Isle of Wight. There seemed to be some kind of vintage car festival going on and further along a lot of small children were sailing their nautical creations in a boating pool. This was actually the first time I had ever seen a boating pool in real life, I didn’t know that they were still a thing. It was pretty adorable and it made me happy that kids will always enjoy doing things like racing paper boats.
We also got the best chips I had ever tasted (minus fish for veggie reasons), and I was consistently fighting the urge to go into every ice-cream parlour and cute looking cafe we went past.
The rest of the weekend was filled with fantastic food, more family, Linkee, trivia, and a lot of Rick Stein DVDs. It was utterly fantastic. Here is a picture of some deserts that I modified. We had nine different kind of cream to go with them. Because what’s the point of overindulgence if you don’t go all the way.
The small, picturesque places we visited were perfect for a family day out. If you’re looking for a wild time, look away, but if you’re looking for some piece of mind and good ice-cream, get yourself to Ipswich this summer.