Back in October we had two weeks holiday in Suffolk. We thought that the weather might be pretty grim but as it happened other than a couple of days, we had two weeks of glorious sunshine and lots of lovely beach walks as well as days out. We spent the first week in a converted boathouse next to a Martello tower just by the beach at Shingle Street. Here's the view from our front door!
Apart from a few fishermen we had the beach to ourselves.
Other great places for walking in the area are Rendlesham Forest the home of famous UFO sightings and the extremely atmospheric Orford Ness an ex-military testing site. It's on a shingle spit that you have to take a boat to reach. You're allowed to walk round but have to stick to designated paths as there is environmentally rare vegetation and also the possibility of unexploded things!
There were no shops or pubs where we were staying so we did a lot of self catering. We even took the Vitamix and pizza stone with us. The nearest town was Woodbridge and we managed to get everything we needed from the Budgens there and the fantastic Poppy's Pantry wholefoods store on a little industrial estate just outside of Woodbridge. Seriously, this place had everything a vegan could need with lots of staples and no shortage of treats. We had a day out in Colchester where Matt lived for a few years.
Whilst in Colchester we visited Firstsite Gallery and also The Minories gallery which is next door. Thanks to the Vegan Colchester blog we found out that the Minories has a fantastic garden cafe that caters well for vegans. We shared this platter of dips and veggies and a bowl of sweet potato wedges.
The cafe has a changing selection of vegan cakes and the day we were there we managed to snag these delicious cupcakes made by local company PS It's Vegan.
We had another day out in Ipswich. We ate lunch at veggie establishment The Museum Street Cafe. They had a good selection of vegan options with an old school wholefoods style offer. This veggie bake was really delicious and hit the spot on one of the cooler days of the holiday.
Dessert was a simple yet tasty ooey, gooey ginger sponge cake. Sometimes simple is best!
Everywhere we went in the area we saw bread from Pump Street Bakery in Orford. They specialise in delicious sourdough breads and even make their own sourdough dark chocolate. When we heard there was a little cafe attached we popped down to check it out as well as to pick up some bread. They serve Monmouth coffee and offer soya milk so it was a latte for me whilst Matt went for fresh mint tea. The staff were really friendly and talked us through the bread range. I've never explored the world of baking bread but this holiday definitely made me more interested. Maybe it will be a New Year's resolution!
We headed for Snape Maltings one Sunday when we saw there was a vintage homewares fair. It was a really good fair and we managed to limit our purchases to a groovy 70's set of kitchen hooks which match our cookery book stand though we could have come away with much more!
There's lots of artisan shops and galleries as well as a concert hall at Snape Maltings. Suffolk is a seriously foodie place and it was good to see that there was usually something vegan on menus.
We spent the second week in Aldeburgh in a beautiful apartment in the top of a Victorian house. I'll leave you with a picture of the kitchen chandelier which I loved. I wouldn't fancy cleaning it though!