16 Oct 2011, 4:32pm
Suffolk:
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  • Lazy day in Southwold

    Southwold is one of our favourite local haunts, and today it was the pier that called us. The pier strikes a good balance between child-centric amusements and places for a wider clientele. The Clockhouse tea shop does an excellent tea and cakes; in my case coffee and cakes because I don’t do tea before 5pm…

    Southwold from the pier

    Looks like today is the last day of sunshine before a cold spell, just the sort of bright sunshine with the hint of a nip in the air that Southwold pier is made for. Lunch was local Blythburgh sausages for me, we had passed the pigs on the way up from Ipswich, and Mrs Ermine went for the more adventurous option. I was kind of relieved that you don’t get to eat the heads…

    Prawns and white wine

    The amusements are at the start of the pier and the rest of it is dedicated to a classier, if somewhat twee and rinky-dink retail therapy. There are the quirky madcap Tim Hunkin’s Under the Pier Show  amusements halfway along that seem to work for adults and school-age kids alike. Halfway along the pier his water clock draws a decent crowd on the hour and half hour, as the repressed British middle-class psyche gets to idulge in a little toilet humour while watching Hunkin’s figurines pissing in the pots to start the mechanical action ringing in the hours and half-hours.

    Crowd assembling to watch Tim Hunkin's water clock strike the hour

    We normally manage to get out of the crafts and knick-knack shop without getting tapped but today was our day to be big spenders and get a wine bottle stopper for £4.25. It’s a dirty job supporting the British economy but somebody has to do it 🙂

    Crafts and knick-knack shop at the end of the pier

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    5 Jul 2011, 1:00pm
    simple living Suffolk:
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  • A tranquil Suffolk weekend away

    This post is about something which is about as unfrugal as you can get, gratuitous travelling. Maybe it’s the mad dogs and Englishmen sort of thing and summer is breaking out…

    The county of Suffolk is charming and pretty, and DGF and I though we might try going away at home so to speak. A long time ago she had stayed in a B&B in Southwold and was surprised at the number of weekenders from London who were up there, and also how well they seemed to know the county. We were trying to work out why, and came to the conclusion Suffolk is is quite a rural and tranquil county reasonably close to London and easy to get to from there. The relative isolation in the bulge of East Anglia such that nobody goes through it to get anywhere else, there are no motorways in the county for instance.

    We haven’t been away for a fair old time, but the weather looked good and there’s no point in living in a beautiful county if you don’t make use of it every once in a while 🙂 So I thought I’d share some of the local treats.

    We started off near Aldeburgh on Friday night with some fish and chips from Aldeburgh Fish and Chips. This place has a seriously good rep, because the fish is fresh.

    Aldeburgh fish & chips, unfortunately eaten before I'd though to take a picture 🙂

    You do have to put up with a fair old queue, this next photo was taken on a chilly December day and there was still a long line.

    Aldeburgh Fish & Chips still has a queue on a cold December's day!

    Then if was off to find a suitable spot to eat next to the long shingle beach with the roar of the sea as a background. The beach at Aldeburgh is very long, and though of course at the town itself there will be enough other people, but it was easy enough to find seclusion here. We went a little way along the coast road north of the town towards Thorpeness, past the Maggi Hambling shell sculpture to more isolated parts of the beach.

    Our fish was very fine indeed. If you’re into self-catering instead and want really fresh fish then Aldeburgh beach is a good place to get it at one of the local fish stalls selling fresh fish just in

    Fresh fish stall selling locally landed fish at Aldeburgh

     

    Aldeburgh Beach

    This area is a nature reserve and as the dawn broke there was birdsong against the crashing of the waves, including this flock of linnets that appeared in the gorse bushes on the landward side of the road.

    [audio:http://simple-living-in-suffolk.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/110702-0714_linnet_aldeburgh_USER0005_hpf100.mp3|titles=Suffolk linnets]

    Dawn breaking over the Aldeburgh coastline

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