Part 2: I’ve got to know Suffolk a bit better and traded in my car for a new set of badass country wheels. Soon to be appearing on Pimp My Ride.
I’ve also picked up some of the local lingo (a bit like how the BFG talks):
Yer = you
Dag = early morning or evening mist
Sharpin = shopping
“Urrr yer ready fur sharpin in tha dag?”
Remember remember the 5th of November – it’s almost tiiiiime! Fireworks at Heveningham Hall are bombastic. They start gathering wood ready for the biggest baddest bonfire months in advance and the firework display is nothing short of spectacular.
There’s lots to do, live bands, RIDES, shopping and plenty of food stands (and mulled wine). Last year caused uproar when cars got stuck in the mud meant others were gridlocked in queues miles down the road missing out on the action; so get there early!
Apparently the John Lewis Christmas ad is set to air next week.. AKA it’s finally acceptable to crack open the sloe gin!
Friday Street Farm Shop, IP17 1JX
It’s a challenge in itself to avoid passing a farm shop in Suffolk, and who doesn’t love a good mooch. After much research, I found this is one of the best.
Lovely muddy miss-shaped vegetables and fresh handpicked fruit aplenty, with handy recipe ideas for inspiration. Amazing bakery selection, ROWS of sweets, ready prepared home-cooked meals (my saviour), lots of yummy jams, meats and everything else you’d expect.
It has a cafe too (yet to be tried & tested), a quirky furniture shop next door and PYO fields in the summer.
The Sibton White Horse (IP17 2JJ) is one of the locals. It has a big flowery garden with a giant vegetable patch, BBQ/bar and plays host to regular bands and mini festivals in the summer. All in all, a very nice drinking spot. (Look out for the interesting plague dedicated to their deceased dog by the bar…)
Latitude festival (Henham Park, NR34 8AN)
So, I wish I could say I was cool enough to know all about this festival before going, but the only thing I was expecting were pink sheep and cider. That kind of sums it up; it’s a hippy magnet for all nature-lovers, alternative thespians, poetry people, trendy families, vegans, randoms and anyone else. Meaning the dress code = the wackier the better.
I had a power nap in the comedy tent to the dulcet tones of James Acaster, a tarot card reading (my dream of living with 5 cats MAY someday come true), wrote a story in a shed, had a cup of tea in an Indian themed tent, got a temporary tattoo, wore a silver wig, danced to a Radio 4 (snorrre) performer, jumped around on a sofa in the woods, made a mud cake, pretended I knew who the headliner acts were, watched some cabaret and topped the night off with some noodles.
It’s fairly random but you can’t be bored spending time there! There’s so much ground to explore with love letters and scarfs hanging from trees, actors hidden in trees, mini-villages set up among the trees, plenty of tree huggers (if you hadn’t already guessed). Canoeing in the lake, countless stages and tents, hairdressers, a ferris wheel, ALL the food you could ever fancy, beds to take a nap in (disguised as an interative art thing)…
Snape Maltings, IP17 1SR – Formerly a large brewery (what isn’t a brewery in the countryside!?) is a sweet spot for a bit of everything, shop around for furniture, food, clothes, presents, children’s toys, crafty things, art, antiques, see a concert, take a boat trip along the River Alde, whip out your fishing rod, partake in a workshop… Especially keep an eye out for their regular food events, I found some amazing marmite flavoured chocolates, mmm!
Aldeburgh is a quaint town on the doorstep of a pebbley beach. The perfect spot for Winter walks and to escape from everything digital (zero signal – not an ideal meeting place!)
Try one of the tree ‘famous’ fish and chips spots (The Aldeburgh Fish & Chip Shop, The Golden Galleon, and The Upper Deck) or pop in to any of the smoked fish sheds on the beach. Visit the Martello Tower and hop along to the annual carnival in August.
Aaaand finally, being a serial-planner, I already have Framlingham Country Show (around April) penciled in the diary for 2017. If you want a reason why… Just LOOK at that terrific bunting!