aboutsuffolk spring24

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about suffolk

Spring 2024

Issue Sixteen

Look no further than aboutsuffolk the local magazine that packs a Suffolk punch!

Pickmeup and take me home!



our spring issue of aboutsuffolk

Spring bursts forth; a triumph of frothy blossom and verdant greens, symbolising new beginnings, growth and renewal. There is eager anticipation of warmer evenings spent in the garden, possibly sipping a refreshing glass of L.A Brewery’s Citrus Hops whilst admiring the garden and working out where to put newly propagated seedlings or, inspired by the meditation garden as featured in this issue, where you will put the water feature. We also bring you forgotten stories from Lowestoft, meet a couple of finely tuned luthiers and are transported to distant lands at the magical Belle Grove Barns.

As always, we have a fabulous competition for you to enter, this time to win a river trip for you and your friends, worth £160, and we take a trip to the thriving market town of Beccles to enjoy a mooch around its independent shops and cafes. All in all, it’s another bumper issue and we hope you enjoy the read.

Kathy & Sarah


Kathy Churchill Sales

Sarah Clarke

Designer Lucy Hart

aboutmedia info@aboutmedia.co.uk 01728 666352 www.aboutmedia.co.uk

Silverlace Creative lucy@silverlacecreative.co.uk www.silverlacecreative.co.uk

a River Trip worth £160 Page 62

If you would like to sign up to the weekly aboutfram e-newsletter, please subscribe at www.aboutmedia.co.uk/aboutfram

about us

out & about who’s about about style about you about interiors about town about time about the land about design about gardens about food about taste round & about

6 Hidden truths

The discovery of a suitcase full of diaries tells the forgotten story of one Suffolk family’s evacuation from Lowestoft.

12 Out and about

A round up of local events.

16 Fashion fix

New styles for a new season.

20 Health & beauty

Immerse yourself in essential oils, tinctures, and some self-love.

24 Eastern promise

Be transported to the palaces of Rajasthan and marvel at the opulence of a magical home where even dragons come home to roost.

30 Get the look

Chic ideas for restyling your home.

34 about town

Taking a new angle on life, reaching a nautical milestone, bowing down for charity, and hitting the garden trail.

36 about time

We take time out in Beccles and explore all it has to offer.

06 24 20 62 36

42 The Beccles Edit

A selection of what’s in store for shoppers in Beccles.

44 Highly spirited

We fall under the spell of this beautifully restorative meditation garden.

52 In tune

We meet a couple of luthiers who are in perfect harmony.

58 Become a pro

Cut to the chase with our easy guide to propagation.

62 Competition Time

Your chance to win a private river trip for 12 people worth £160.

64 Culture shift

Why we are raising a glass to the delicate sparkling kombuchas of L.A Brewery.

70 about taste

Celebrating local produce, from field to plate, inland and on the coast.

72 Sea bass en croute

A fabulous centrepiece for a spring supper.

74 Shades of green

An easy circular walk from the square at Dennington with sweeping vistas, quiet lanes and two great pit stops.

79 Stockists

Where to buy all the lovely stuff!

out & about who’s about about style about you about interiors about town about time about the land about design about gardens about food about taste round & about

44 70 52 72 64

122-124 High Street, Aldeburgh, Suffolk IP15 5AB T: 01728 452431 / www.rileyandriley.co.uk

Headed up by gemmologist and jeweller Mark Riley, this totally independent jewellers is an enticing mix of the traditional and the eclectic. With a workshop on site, Mark makes some stunning pieces, including the famous and unique ‘Aldeburgh Pebbles®’ and the mink coloured diamond ring (pictured). Big range of wedding rings, gem rings, amber and silver, plus antique and period pieces. Full jewellery and watch repair service, including batteries and straps.

who’s about

Hidden truths

who’s about

The discovery of a dusty, long forgotten suitcase full of diaries dating back to 1942 prompted local author, Chrissy Smith , to write a novel about the story that unfolded within its pages, that of a young family evacuated during the war from the bomb cratered streets of Lowestoft to the leafy lanes of Laxfield.

The suitcase was hidden in the attic of Chrissy’s mother-in-law, Kath’s home. She had recently passed away and it was whilst they were clearing the house that the discovery was made. Once Chrissy realised what was inside the dusty little case, she offered to transcribe the diaries for the family. “They quickly became a window to another time, another world, and taught me how different life was back then. Kath’s stories about the war and the family’s evacuation became the inspiration for my latest book ‘The Lavender Diaries’, and although I have

changed the names of the main characters, much of it is a true account.” This is a story familiar to many who grew up in the shadow of war: one of hardship, rationing and loss, but it is also one of resilience, friendship, and determination.

Just after the outbreak of the Second World War, over 1.5 million people, many of them children, were evacuated from cities across the southeast of England as part of the government’s Operation Pied Piper. Lowestoft, the most easterly point in Britian,


who’s about

became an important naval base and the headquarters of the Royal Naval Patrol Service. Many local fishermen were recruited as part of the Royal Naval Reserves and their trawlers requisitioned and converted into mine sweepers and escort vessels. Because of its strategic importance, the town soon became a target for enemy bombing, and many families were forced to leave their homes and join the evacuation programme.

“Beaches were now strictly off limits; minefields were hurriedly laid in a desperate attempt to secure the coast.  Wire entanglements were constructed, dragon’s teeth installed, and antitank ditches were dug and from that moment on everyone was afraid of an imminent blitzkrieg invasion. By the end of June 1940 Lowestoft was effectively a ghost town!”

However, as Kath’s diaries revealed, her family did not have to go quite so far afield as Wales or the Midlands, instead they were offered a safe haven in the Suffolk countryside by relatives in Laxfield. Kath, known as Alice in the book, was only fourteen at the time and adapted quickly to moving schools and taking up with her country cousins. She also worked at the local grocery store, which is still there today (the Co-op), and her mother took in sewing to help make ends meet. Chrissy’s book centres on the family’s return to Lowestoft in 1946, and whilst transcribing the diaries, all written in Kath’s delicate, neat hand, she read accounts of the family hearing bombs dropping on Lowestoft and the distant cry of sirens drifting inland.


“When the family were finally settled back in Lowestoft, they could see for themselves the devastation that had been wrought upon the town. Ellen looked on in horror at the burnedout derelict shells of so many shops and houses, particularly the direct hit which had taken out half of the high street, and finding out that among those who’d perished were many people she’d known and grown up with.”

The family home in Lowestoft was only released from naval occupation in 1946, and it took many weeks of scrubbing and hard toil to finally make it a home again. With Kath’s father away working on housing and naval shipyards in Leeds, the lion’s share fell on her mother’s shoulders, but it would seem she was a woman of great resolve, rolling up her sleeves and getting on with the job at hand.

Chrissy’s story weaves a fascinating tale of those post-war years in Lowestoft: the humdrum of life in the working classes, the excitement of Kath’s first dance at ‘The Palais’, the secrets of the hidden POW in the family’s garden, the importance of community, and the resolve of those involved with restoring the town after the ravages of war. It is a touching story, a slice of Suffolk history told with real warmth and compassion. These forgotten diaries, bundles of Kath’s life carefully tied up with lace and tucked away in the recesses of the attic, have been dusted off and brought back to life and are a fitting tribute to a much-loved family member.

‘The Lavender Diaries’ by Chrissy Smith is available from Amazon and Kindle, Waterstones in Lowestoft and Beccles Books.

who’s about


18th-23rd June: Conflagration

An exhibition of painting and sound documenting by Jelly Green and Lily Hunter-Green. Snape Maltings

24th: SALT

Filled with sea shanties, dance and folk songs, SALT is a visceral tale of faith, jealousy and demonic passion. Southwold Arts Centre

25th-2nd June: Bread Week

Follow the cycle a loaf takes as it’s grown, milled, proved, baked and eaten at the museum!

The Food Museum, Stowmarket

25th-2nd June: Kids Rule!

Step into a medieval world and embark on an adventure filled with knights, castles, and thrilling activities. Framlingham Castle

25th: Star Inn Beer Festival

Traditional beers, ciders and perries at this fabulous old pub. The Star Inn, Wenhaston

25th-26th: Beer & Music Festival

Local beers and ciders along with some great local musicians. Laxfield Low House


Beccles Food & Drink Festival

Over 60 stalls selling the finest local produce, street food and drink, plus live music and entertainment

28th: Amazing animals

Life-sized crocodiles, sloths, reindeer, dinosaurs, penguins, orangutans and more burst onto the stage at Thorington Theatre


1st-2nd: Open Studio

Visit Mabel & Co, Sudbourne Printmakers, Blue Bird Pottery and Steven Wills Ceramics. Sudbourne Park

1st-9th: Summer Showcase

17 Suffolk artists & artisans showcase their work at Holton Lodge Barn Gallery (IP19 8PN) - 11 to 5 daily

2nd: Wakefire

FolkEast presents a midsummer folk music celebration. Aldeburgh Jubilee Hall

6th-15th: Mid-Century Pop-up

No1 East Lane brings 20th Century Modern Design to New Street Market, Woodbridge

7th-23rd: Aldeburgh Festival

Bringing together new commissions, world-premieres and international stars from the world of music. Snape Maltings

15th: RNLI Fundraiser with Honey & The Bear (Band)

To celebrate 200 years of the RNLI enjoy live music, bar, BBQ and prize draw at the Lifeboat Station from 6pm. Aldeburgh Beach.

out & about

19th-25th: Abstract Art

An exhibition from local artist, Ruth Lyne. The Craft House, Woodbridge

20th: Solstice Sunrise Gathering Gather by The Scallop on Aldeburgh beach to greet sunrise and enjoy breakfast from The Suffolk. 4.15am

21st: Elephant

Dark family secrets, lies and supernatural powers converge in a family home perched on the eroding Norfolk cliffs. Southwold Arts Centre

21st: Stories & Sea Shanties

Mike Warner and The Silver Darlings bring tales and songs of the sea to Thorington Theatre

22nd-23rd: First Light Festival

Music, dance, theatre, science, wellbeing, comedy, sports and community activities on Lowestoft beach

27th-3rd July: Sam Purcell

An exhibition of still life using a visual vocabulary to balance colour, form and composition with pattern, decoration and texture. Aldeburgh Gallery

27th-3rd July: Naturama

An exhibition by three up-andcoming young artists, Jemma Churchill, Harriet Memory and Tilly Baily. Art Space Gallery, Woodbridge


4th-10th: Julie Collins

An exhibition of work from contemporary artist and writer, Julie Collins, Aldeburgh Gallery

5th-7th: Maverick Festival

Americana music festival, serving up roots music from both sides of the Atlantic. Easton Farm Park

6th: Pax Festival

A one-day festival of live music, poetry, art and performance at Thorington Theatre


Exhibition by Ann Shrager

A colourful exhibition of quintessential scenes from across England and India. Thompson’s Gallery, Aldeburgh


Antiques & Collectibles Fair

Stalls selling vintage treasures and antique finds. Castle Community Rooms, Framlingham

24th-24th Aug: Theatre in the Forest

A magical outdoor performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Sutton Hoo

26th: The Marriage of Figaro Immerse yourself in this enthralling blend of music, drama and comedy. Thorington Theatre.


2nd-4th: SketchFest

3 days of sketching the maritime heritage & wildlife of the River Deben at Woodbridge

13 out & about


4. Maxi dress
Second Female @ O&C Butcher £162
5. Striped shopper Ichi @ Fleur £34.99 6. S&M Phoebe blouse Anna £79
about style 16
7. New arrivals Moose
1. Spring style Ruby Tyger Top £44 / Denim trousers £35 Scarf £17.50 / Bag £30 2. Ruffle blouse Traffic People @ Collen and Clare £75
1 2 4 5 6 7
3. Arizona Birkenstocks Ives Footwear




17 Stockists on page 80 about style
Daisy earrings Ruby and the Angel £21.99 9. Block printed shirt New Street Market 10. Colourful bangles Boho & Blyth 11. Cotton gown collated £40 12. Blue light glasses Barner @ Focus Organic
8 9 10 11 12 13
13. Linen blouse Orlando’s Aldeburgh

Straight to the point

This Complete Pulse Point Oil Set from Norfolk Natural Living is the ultimate wellbeing experience. Each of the seven different Pulse Point Oils has its own unique synergistic blend of essential oils that can help with a range of well-being needs, such as sleep, energy levels, concentration, and relaxation, making it the perfect gift for someone needing a little extra encouragement with self-wellbeing. Norfolk Natural Living has recently opened two new shops across the border in Woodbridge and Southwold. Both offer a range of their amazing fragrances, home scents, bath & body, and wellbeing products which are all handmade in their microperfumery in Norfolk and are natural, vegan, and never tested on animals. www.norfolknaturalliving.com

Awaken your senses

Do you want to explore relationships and things in your life that are challenging you?

Do you need help discovering your purpose or finding meaning?

Do you want a safe space online or in person where you can talk things through and feel empowered to make changes?

Do you want to feel greater ease and happiness in life?

If any of these apply to you, then make an appointment with Lucy of Conscious Living with Lucy who focuses on supporting women’s wellbeing and spirituality through Soul Life Coaching, Energy Healing Reiki and her Conscious Living Blog. She runs clinics at both Ned Wombwell in Melton and Vida Haus in Pettistree. www.consciouslivingwithlucy.com M: 07938 819938

about you

Pure selfindulgence

Newly opened in Woodbridge, Market Hill Apothecary is a delightful holistic lifestyle shop and treatment room selling a range of products to help you find your inner calm! As well as a carefully curated selection of candles, incense, clothing, and beautiful gifts, it also stocks the sustainable brand, Wilder Botanics, whose fabulous products are created from 100% organic, wild-crafted herbal ingredients. These Hangover Drops - a tincture of milk thistle, burdock root and oat flowering tops designed to cleanse and detoxify the whole body and calm the nervous system – caught our eye. Perfect for the morning after the night before!

No 10 Market Hill, Woodbridge. Instagram @markethillapothecary10

Fully immersive experience

Tucked away in a quiet village just outside Southwold, Toad Hall Lodges runs weekend retreats offering everything from breathwork and coldwater immersion, to flower arranging workshops, cooking classes, and hiking weekends. They also offer a range of experiences, including wine tasting and private yoga classes, and, for those wanting to fully immerse themselves, The Woodfired Sauna and Ice Bath

Experience is a refreshing way to recharge your batteries and awaken your senses.

Hot & Cold Water Therapy Retreat: 18th-20th October www.toadhall.life / Instagram @toadhalllodges

21 about you

about interiors

Eastern promise

Down a quiet country lane near Halesworth is a magical destination where five barns will transport you to the palaces of Rajasthan: full of opulence, rich textiles, gilded mirrors, bejewelled bathrooms and ornately carved doorways. Belle Grove Barns is a masterpiece of architectural ingenuity, and I am instantly beguiled.

Belle Grove is home to Jo Jordan, who, along with her late husband Nick Fisher, was inspired to build this truly unique home after inheriting a cold, damp Victorian farmhouse from his parents in 2005. Their vision was to knock this down and create a dream home that played to their sense of fun and adventure – together they ran Trans African overland trips for thirty years but that, as Jo is to repeat often during my visit, ‘is another story’ – and so when I spy the main house, with its curves and turrets and an enormous dragon clinging to the towering chimney stack,

there is no doubt in my mind that they have achieved this, and more! It is incredible and wondrous, and I cannot wait to find out what is behind the intricately carved wooden doors whose ornate motifs and time-honoured craftsmanship tell stories of a bygone era.

Stepping inside Belle Grove, or ‘The Dragon House’ as it is affectionately known locally, feels like a journey in time, across the continents via the tribe lands of West Africa to the fortresses of Jaipur and blue-washed houses of Jodhpur. A central

about interiors

about interiors

staircase winds its way around the huge trunk of a dead elm that Nick dragged out of a ditch one day, walls showcase African masks and naive paintings, and the beamed ceiling sports a mural of intertwining flowers. In the kitchen the sweeping curvature of the window affords expansive views over the garden, and as we settle on the sofa, Jo tells me how it all came about. “Just after we inherited the farm, we came across a photo in an architectural magazine that we had picked up at a car boot sale. It was a sketch of a very unorthodox Russian house, all curved sweeping roofs, eyelid windows, a cupola-topped tower and a soaring chimney topped by some kind of mythical creature. Nick looked at me and said, ‘we could build this’, and so we did.” They enlisted the help of professional model-maker, Nigel Purdy, and together

crafted an incredibly detailed scale model of their new home which was finally passed by the planning department in 2006. Alongside plans for the house, Jo and Nick were also in the process of building a number of holiday-lets that would provide them with an income and had shipped over a number of containers from India, Bali and Malaysia, full of antiquities, timbers and textiles that they planned to use for the construction and decor. Using the footprint of the old farm buildings, Nick and a brilliantly talented team of Polish builders set about designing accommodation that was both practical but also full of their outlandish sense of fun.

Each one is slightly different, but all whisper tales of distant lands and exotic adventures and they are 5 Star Gold rated.


The interior design is a seamless blend of well-planned architecture and traditional eastern aesthetics, creating spaces that are both opulent and inviting. Handembroidered tapestries adorn the walls, their vibrant colours and intricate patterns adding a touch of exoticism to the room, and overhead, chandeliers crafted from repurposed vintage lanterns cast a warm, flickering light. The bedrooms are sanctuaries of comfort and elegance, each one enhanced with antique furnishings and doors salvaged from old havelis in Jaipur, whilst in the bathrooms the beautiful green lustre of Indian granite adds a feel of luxury, and large mirrors reflect the iridescence of the mosaic tiling. Each barn has its own private garden, dotted with artefacts, stone carvings and even large wooden tigers, a powerful deity in Hindu mythology, and

guests are welcome to explore the grounds which include two large ponds, a hand-built summerhouse, and a delightful orchard where you can tuck yourself away on a well-positioned bench with a book and a glass of rosé.

But perhaps the true beauty of Belle Grove lies not in its magnificent architecture or exquisite furnishings, but in the stories it tells and the memories it holds. Each piece, whether it be a hand-carved door or a vintage lantern, carries with it a connection to a distant land, and in bringing them all together in Suffolk, Jo and Nick have created a home where the past is cherished, the present is celebrated, and the spirit of adventure is very much alive.


about interiors

Get the look

30 about interiors
1. Midi locker Mustard Made @ Vanil £319 2. Honesty wall light The Merchant’s Table £710 3. Vintage treasures Swan House and Garden 4. Spring greens James and Joanna Design 5. Art Décor Concept tile Just Tiles 6. Block printed tablecloth Constance & Denny £75 7. Luxury stationery
3 1 5 2 4 6 7
Lucy Berridge

8. Handprinted wash bag Maud & Vera


9. Beautiful blinds

Norwich Sunblinds

10. Agricultural planters the barn.co

11. Whispering nude East of Eden


12. Silver grey bedlinen Snape Maltings


13. Inspirational gifts Thrive @ Helmingham Hall

14. Fiscardo drinks tray Woodbridge Kitchen Company


31 Stockists on page 79 about interiors
9 11 10 12 13 14 8

about interiors

Rooms with a view

How long has Rooms with a View been in business and how did it come about?

Earlier this spring we caught up with George Perry to get his take on the family business, Rooms with a View, recently relocated to Stuston, near Diss.

Although I have been involved in the business for 12 years, Rooms with a View has been running for almost 25 years. It started out with my mum, Debbie, sewing curtains for customers on our dining room table. She always had a keen eye for interiors and worked her socks off to turn this into an income! Word spread and eventually she opened a small retail shop in Diss. We then expanded into a larger shop and when the shop next door became available, knocking through. Last year I decided to relocate the store

and take on our biggest expansion yet, moving to a much larger showroom space, out of town and just over the border into Suffolk.

Where do you think the skill lies in becoming a successful interior designer?

There are many skills, but I would say the most important one is having the ability to listen to your client and being able to communicate your ideas well. It’s also important to respect the building and create a thoughtful, considered interior that will stand the test of time.

Everyone has different tastes and styles, and our role is to understand and interpret them in order to


create something beautiful that will work with the character of the property. It would be extremely uninspiring and very sad if everybody had the same look from the same “recipe sheet”.

Where do you take inspiration from for your designs?

I am so lucky to have an amazing team of designers and colour consultants, all in house. We bounce ideas off each other for inspiration as well as drawing on our huge library of fabric books and paint colours. Although, of course, this means we can never actually settle on our own home interior design as we just keep seeing so many gorgeous options!

How have trends changed over the years and is there one design or style that remains a firm favourite with your clients?

Trends always come and go. We notice this more with paint colours than fabrics but we try not to become slaves to them. When I first opened, we sold more Farrows Cream than any colour, this then transitioned to Greys, but now, thankfully in my opinion, everyone is starting to add more colour back into their homes again!

Our goal is to sit in between country & contemporary.

Contemporary but not modern and sleek. Timeless but not old fashioned.

What’s the most unusual design you’ve had to put together for a customer?

Last year, we were extremely fortunate to put a design together for a dream house, nestled into a large wild meadow overlooking the river Waveney. It was a stunning clad, angled house, beautifully crafted and sitting so well within its surroundings. While our design was not particularly unusual, we were conscious of the need to work with the landscape and lines of the house to maintain harmony between the two.

You’ve recently moved out of Diss and across the border to Suffolk. Why so?

In Diss, we were a showroom crammed inside a shop and we had really run out of space! Now we are in Stuston, with free parking, and we have a showroom that really does our business justice. Our clients love it as there is plenty of room to spread out our ideas for their project, and it’s the perfect space in which to showcase our

beautiful hand-built sofas. Moreover, we now stock lots of paints as well as a brand new “state of the art” Farrow and Ball mixing machine.

How do you spend time when you’re not busy running the business?

I have two dogs, Monty the Sheepadoodle, and Dylan the Labradoodle and we love to go on long walks. But currently the majority of my time is spent renovating my house. Two years ago, my fiancé and I bought a home which needed a lot of TLC. After a full renovation we have also added an extension. We hope to move in very soon, and then the fun can start with designing our own interiors!

Rooms with a View

Place Farm, Old Bury Road Stuston, Suffolk. IP21 4AD


Mon to Friday 9am to 5pm and Saturday 9am to 4pm


Follow on Instagram @roomswithaview about interiors

For details of all available courses visit www.eastanglianschool.com about town

A nautical milestone

This year, the East Anglian Sea School is celebrating 50 years of sail training. Founded in 1973 by Bill and Pat Smith when the Royal Yachting Association first introduced the sail-training schemes, it is believed to be the longest running Yachtmaster approved training centre in the world. Based at Levington, they offer a wide range of dinghy, yacht, motor yacht and powerboat courses suitable for everyone from 8-year-old novices to experienced salty seadogs, as well as organising mile-building adventures, Holland Hops, Round Britain Cruises, and the chance to experience yacht racing and hone tactical sailing skills.

Now run by Bill’s granddaughter Amelia and joint Director Edd Harvey-Bates, they are looking forward to steering the school towards its next half century.

Gardener’s world

This year, St Elizabeth Hospice is celebrating 10 years of its Great Garden Trail Running until the end of September, they have over 30 delightful gardens for you to visit, from beautiful hidden gems to whole village open days. Spread right across Suffolk, you can marvel at the green-fingered expertise of passionate gardeners who have created a wildlife friendly oasis, award-winning woodland retreats, stunning herbaceous borders, formal cutting gardens and beds overflowing with all your cottage garden favourites.

Not to be missed is A Garden Love Affair, a talk by Kate Elliott, Head Gardener of Columbine Hall, who will be sharing her stories of working in the gardens for the past 27 years on the 16th August.

www.stelizabethhospice.org.uk/ great-garden-trail

A different angle

This spring marks a stand-out moment in Eastern Angles history as this much-loved theatre company launches a brand-new Engagement & Participation programme, with opportunities spanning across East Anglia and beyond. New Angles is Eastern Angles’ hub for nurturing new voices and creativity across the region, with projects aimed at writers, theatre makers, young people and anyone wanting to create. From their Ipswich base at the Eastern Angles Centre, they will run three Youth Theatres for ages 9-18, a writing club for anyone aged over 16, and the New Angles Third Act drama group for over 50s. In the muchloved Sir John Mills Theatre, a monthly

Bow Wow!

Play, Pizza & Pint night will showcase exciting new writing from emerging and established playwrights, giving audiences the chance to taste some of the newest theatre in the country.

This new engagement programme is available to everyone, from established thespians to those who have never performed but have always been drawn to “the smell of the greasepaint, the roar of the crowd”.

Full details can be found at www.easternangles.co.uk

The RSPCA is looking for 200 people and their dogs to join them on Sunday 23rd June for a fun but challenging yoga session including downward-facing dog (or puppy) yoga poses! This novel Down Dog 200 Challenge will be led by Kate Sheppard of Yoga Felixstowe and Katharine Lawrence of Ashtanga Yoga Ipswich – both experienced yoga teachers - who have crafted a varied and engaging session that will include a variety of sequences designed to provide an engaging workout for all experience levels! The event, which

takes place at The Corn Exchange in Ipswich, will end with a lovely relaxation session so you and your four-legged friends can enjoy a well-earned rest – dog treats optional!


35 about town

about time

about time in ... Beccles

Beccles sits inland on the Waveney river and is a historic market town dating back to Anglo Saxon times. These days, you’ll find a thriving, bustling town centre, full of an eclectic mix of independent shops, cafés and restaurants, with a weekly market. If you’re an aquaphile, Beccles is the place for you! At the southern point of the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads, there are plentiful ways to get out onto the water and discover the beautiful countryside surrounding it.


time for a coffee!

With more independent cafés that you can shake a stick at, getting your daily caffeine fix won’t be a problem. Twyfords Café and Baileys of Beccles set the trend back in the 1990s. The latter is now owned by Paul & Suzanne Buck and, as well as serving delicious coffee, has a fabulous deli counter and shelves stacked with store cupboard gems from around the world. We love the chilled vibe in Old School Coffee, just voted No 1 café in Suffolk on Tripadvisor, and where they serve a top-notch brew, the perfect accompaniment to one of their delicious brunches. Just outside the town is Urban Jungle, and a visit wholly recommended if you love plants as much as you love coffee, as it is home to hundreds of varieties of both outdoor and indoor plants, a café tucked away at its heart.

time for a browse!

There is nothing better than a gentle meander when it comes to shopping, and Beccles offers you just that. After wandering around the market square, be sure to take a stroll down its numerous ‘gates’ such as Smallgate and Hungate - the oldest streets in town - as there’s plenty more to see. From wet fish to wide-screen TVs, one-off garments to antique guns, it’s surprisingly diverse. The Open Garden, a newish arrival in town, is well worth a visit. It’s full of lovely things, all with a botanical theme, and you’ll be hard-pressed to leave empty-handed.

about time

time for a browse!

You’re sure to be drawn in by the window display at Waveney Enterprises Craft Shop. Housed in a Grade II listed building, students with learning disabilities are taught a wide range of crafting skills and the fruits of their labour are on sale in the shop. When it comes to something for dinner, Beccles still boasts a wet-fish shop, Fishmonger at No4, and three butchers, and you won’t be able to pass by Pavilion greengrocers without popping something in your shopping bag!

time for food and bed!

You can ‘go around the world’ on a plate in Beccles without leaving town. Book in for one of the global themed nights at Relish Café, a lovely discovery with a buzzing atmosphere, tucked away in Market Row. Tuck into a calzone pizza at Swan House –their dining room is wonderfully snug and cosy - or turn up the heat at Easy Tiger with a dish or two from their Asian inspired menu. Enjoy a balmy evening in the gorgeous garden at Graze @ The White Horse, dining out on whatever takes your fancy from the expansive cosmopolitan menu. If you’re tempted to stay over, Swan House has five stunning rooms to choose from, or you can wend your way down to the Waveney House Hotel, which sits right on the river - with lovely views over its banks from the restaurant – for a quiet night’s sleep in one of its beautifully appointed bedrooms.

about time

about time

make time for!

The big splash

With three outdoor heated pools, a trip to Beccles Lido is well worth it, whatever your age. The main pool has a decent ‘deep end’, a springboard and a slide for the more adventurous. There’s a toddler and a splash pool for the younger members of the family and a café on site too. Best to book in advance as hugely popular!

Hippersons is a beautiful boutique boatyard at Gillingham Dam, offering a myriad of ways for you to enjoy the Broads. You can stay overnight on one of their houseboats or just visit for the day, with a choice of hire from day-boats to canoe and kayak tours, or a pedal boat for two, all available to book in advance.

Whetting your appetite

Beccles Farmers’ Market has been running for over 20 years and meets twice a month, undercover at the Old Heliport, just outside Beccles. With over 30 stallholders from within a 30-mile radius, it is one of the biggest rural farmers’ markets in the country. Not to be missed if you’re in the area. For upcoming markets visit www.becclesfarmersmarket.co.uk

Free to attend, the Beccles Food and Drink Festival returns on Saturday, 25th May, with 60 stalls set to offer an incredible range of the finest artisan food and drink from the local area and beyond. Based around New Market, Sheepgate, and in and around St Michael’s Church, the festival runs from 10am till 4 pm and will also include world street food, music and children’s entertainment. www.becclesfoodfestival.co.uk

Walking the talk

Come face to face with some of the more colourful characters and stories to grace Beccles in an entertaining Living History tour of the town. It starts outside the Bear and Bells in Old Market at 7.30pm and lasts about 90 minutes - the next dates are May 18th, June 15th and July 20th. www.beccleshelpinghands.co.uk

A fitting tribute

Take your seats at Beccles Public Hall, a 200yr old historic building, for night out in the company of a tribute band, celebrating, amongst others, the likes of Lady Gaga, The Beatles, or The Carpenters. For the full programme of events, visit www.becclespublichall.com

The Beccles Edit

4. Stunning kitchen design Mulberry Kitchens 5. Handmade tiles Bert & May Clay Interiors 6. Freshwater pearl T-bar necklace Oliver and J £48 1. Barsham Brewery Ales Ale of a Time From £3.50 2. Aurora Elexus rug Beccles Home Interiors £80
4 5 1 6 about time 2 3
3. Cast iron roll top bath Beccles Tile and Bathroom Centre

7. Beautiful fresh flowers Beccles Flower Shed

8. Mix and match Vintage Mischief

9. All things botanical The Open Garden

10. Gift vouchers Old School Coffee From £5

11. Jersey jumpsuit Auburn Boutique £39

12. Houseplant heaven Urban Jungle

13. Tasty treats Baileys Delicatessen

14. Gorgeous interiors and fashion The Marmalade Tree

43 Stockists on page 80
8 9 12 10 about time 7 11 13 14
Highly spirited
about the land

Tucked away behind their thatched cottage near Earl Soham, Olga and Steve have created a very special garden that is a haven of tranquillity and beauty. Deeply attuned to the rhythms of nature, they have combined their shared passion for gardening and mindfulness to design a meditation garden, with careful planting that reflects the harmonious balance of the four elements of spirituality.

Born in Estonia, gardener-florist Olga spent halcyon summers staying with her aunt in the countryside, helping to tend the vegetable patch, planting out seedlings, gathering sun-kissed tomatoes and picking fresh beans for supper. “I have always felt an affinity with plants and used to pour over my aunt’s gardening books, memorising all of the plants and their Latin names.” It was the start of a lifelong passion, and after coming to London to study Art and Interior Design, she soon found herself involved with a community garden in Peckham, growing her own vegetables and experimenting with

herbal tinctures and remedies. In 2018, whilst on an exploratory factory visit in Indonesia for range of collectible toys she was designing, Olga met Steve who was working as the company accountant. Romance blossomed, and when Steve returned to the UK and eventually settled back home in Suffolk, Olga came too.

Steve had already begun to establish a six-bed rotating vegetable patch in one corner of the garden, growing a mix of beetroot, carrots, brassicas, legumes, sweetcorn, and squashes, but the rest was

about the land

about the land

just a bumpy patch of grass. Inspired by his time living in Asia, he decided to design a meditation garden, dividing the garden into four sections to represent the elements: Earth, Water, Fire, and Air, with eight paths that radiate out from a huge standing stone at the centre. These dissect the garden into eight triangular beds, two for each element. The constellations of the night sky are mirrored by hard landscaping, slate stepping stones representing The Milky Way, and smaller standing stones denoting the most important stars.

In the early evening light, Olga talks me through the planting scheme which has been carefully put together to ensure colour and interest throughout the season, not just for them but also for their busy bees whose hives are tucked away with the free-range

hens. In the Water garden, succulents such as agave and beautiful spiralling aloe polyphylla are interspersed with patches of egg-yolk crocus, the dainty, but wonderfully fragrant edgeworthia chrysantha, and clumps of eremurus, aptly known as desert candles as they will produce towering spires of yellow flowers in the summer. Putting on a show in the Fire section is the vibrant red Rococo tulip and the crimson Shining Parrot tulip, and later in the season, the rich foliage of the banana plant will bring the warmth and vitality of the tropics.

The Earth section, represented by a blue and black planting scheme, is the most established and the beds bustle with hellebores, aconites, cornflowers, delphiniums, and geranium Rozanne, all held in check by rosemary hedging and shaded


by the waxy blue foliage of a eucalyptus tree. In contrast, a white planting scheme has been used for the element of Air, and although not in flower yet, it promises clouds of gypsophila, dancing Gaura, white veronica, asters, and agapanthus. A gnarly clouded olive tree takes centre stage, whilst a statue of the Hindu god Ganesh offers his wisdom and protection.

Olga has a particular passion for tulips, especially rare historic tulips such as the exquisite Tulip Absalon, and throughout the garden they punctuate the landscape like jewels, their vibrant colours a testament to her dedication to beauty and diversity - over the past five years she has planted thousands of bulbs. The patio is scattered with large pots overflowing with their verdant foliage, putting on the most

stunning display of pinks, purples, peach, cream and apricot, and to the front of the cottage she has also planted a magical tulip meadow.

Olga and Steve have transformed the garden, painting their blank canvas with a myriad of colours and designing an organic planting scheme that harnesses the restorative power of nature. In the future, Olga plans to run floral and gardening workshops and they would like to open the meditation garden so that it can continue to weave its spell, offering solace and inspiration to all who seek refuge within its embrace.

Follow Olga and Steve’s journey on Instagram @homesteadsuffolk and Olga @olgaskavos.botaanika

about the land

In tune about design

It’s not everyday you get to meet one luthier, let alone two, so I was delighted to be invited to the Suffolk workshop of Tony and Iris Carr, where they practise the ancient art of violin making and have gained world renown for the skilled restoration of some of Europe’s rarest antique instruments.

The word luthier comes from the French word for “lute”, and originally the term was used for makers of lutes but is now used to describe makers of most bowed and plucked stringed instruments, such as members of the violin family, including violas, cellos, and double basses. Tony and Iris met in 1994 at the Newark School of Violin Making, which was founded in 1972 and continues to have an excellent international reputation, training successful makers from throughout the world. Iris had arrived there fresh from her homeland Germany, embarking on the course with only an inkling of a plan, but her

passion for this delicate art was instant. “I just loved the intricacy of the work and immediately knew that this was the right path for me.” Tony, who grew up in Hadleigh, had become a joiner’s apprentice after leaving school, but the childhood memory of a visit to a local luthier with his cello had stuck with him, and so, intrigued to know more, he also enrolled.

After graduating, Iris was offered an incredible opportunity to work at Charles Beare’s shop in London, an international violin dealer whose reputation was

about design

renowned worldwide. Here, under the tutelage of four seasoned restorers, her skills flourished, and she shifted her focus exclusively to restoration, coaxing life back into antique and weathered violins, including a few rare Stradivaris and Guarneris, the most revered violin makers of all time. After eight years, and with Tony wanting to set up his own joinery business, the couple and their young family moved back to Suffolk and Iris set up on her own, building on her reputation as one of the go-to luthiers for violin restoration work, including neck grafts and detailed retouching, thanks to her eye for texture and colour.

Meanwhile, Tony set up Deben Joinery, which is now one of Suffolk’s leading bespoke manufacturers, offering beautiful

timber joinery from windows and doors to one-of-a-kind pieces of furniture. Their son, Dylan, who recently qualified as an apprentice, has joined the team, and so Tony has taken a step back and returned to his love of violins. In their joint workshop, his desk is strewn with the tools of his trade: aluminium templates, tiny brass thumb planes for shaping, chisels of all shapes and sizes and specialist carving gouges.

“Typically, the front of a violin is made from spruce, whilst maple is used for the back, ribs and neck, and ebony for the fingerboard, tailpiece, pegs, and chinrest. You follow a set pattern, and I am currently making a model called ‘The Messiah’, which is based on an original Stradivarius that is currently in the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. It is detailed, intricate work which requires precision and about design


patience, but the beauty of the end result is incredibly rewarding.”

Over at Iris’s workstation, she shows me a cello that she is currently working on. “The most important thing when approaching a restoration is to try and preserve as much of the original wood and varnish as you can. The methods and materials are quite simple, but the skill comes in making the repair as invisible as possible.” It is this expert eye for detail that has led to Iris becoming a much sought-after luthier and why she is regularly commissioned by leading violin dealers to work on rare and valuable instruments – the cello, she whispers, is worth a small fortune! She is also in demand as a teacher, running courses for professionals and violin schools across Europe, Japan and the US, and during

Covid set up a series of well-produced online classes covering topics such as neck grafts, retouching, crack repair, and the intricacies of bass bar fitting.

This light-filled workshop is a place where old meets new, where echoes of Stradivari resonate with freshly plucked notes, and as Tony and Iris return to the work at hand, the air is thick with their combined knowledge and skill. They have a deep respect for the craftmanship that brought them together, and whether it is making violins for a new generation of musicians, or preserving invaluable instruments from the past, this is a couple in total harmony.

www.iriscarrrestorations.com www.debenjoinery.com

about design
about gardens Become a Pro!

Plant propagation is the process of creating new plants – for free! The most common method is by taking a cutting from a mature, healthy plant and putting it into soil so that it grows a new root system. Spring is the best time to take cuttings of your softwood herbaceous plants such as clematis, verbena, lavender and penstemon, as well as slightly woodier shrubs such as hydrangeas, fuchsia and chrysanthemums.

Fill several 6-inch containers with a good quality potting compost, this will usually have some perlite mixed in, but if not make sure you add a handful as this is important for drainage. Choose a healthy-looking plant and look for new, vigorous side shoots or tip growth and prune off a 3- to 4-inch piece, just below a leaf node - if you are gathering several cuttings, after pruning, seal immediately in a polythene bag. When ready, remove all the lower leaves and then dip the end into some root hormone. Use a pencil to make a hole in the soil on the edge of the pot and plant your stem. Gently push the soil

down around it so it is secure and water.

Transfer your cuttings to a greenhouse or you can also create the ideal conditions by pushing some thin canes into the pot and covering your cuttings with a clear polythene bag. Hold this in place with an elastic band and place in a warm place, out of direct sunlight. Open the bag every few days to check for mould or wilted cuttings - the fresh air will also help to prevent mildew from forming in this humid atmosphere.

After a week or two, if the plants look healthy, peel back the bag and move them into a bright, warm spot such as a sunny windowsill and water regularly. You can check for rooting by giving them a gentle tug - if they resist being pulled out, roots have begun to form. Once the roots start poking out of the bottom, they are ready to be potted on and then gradually hardened off before transplanting outside to fill your borders with swathes of your very own homegrown plants.

about gardens

about gardens

Heady days

May is always such a delight in the garden. Beds bursts forth and fill with coloureverything, everywhere, and all at once. The bobbing bonnets of aquilegia knock heads with gangly alliums, showy wallflowers show off, the bees go wild for Cerinthe, and early flowering honeysuckle and nightscented stocks scent the air. It is also tulip season, and these joyous flowers can be enjoyed in all their verdant glory - whether planted in swathes or just dotted through the borders, they never fail to raise a smile.

As we head into early summer, the velvety petals of roses unfurl to reveal shades of crimson, apricot and creamy white. In the herbaceous border, tall spires of delphiniums and lupins reach skyward, their majestic blooms forming a backdrop of azure and indigo against the lush greenery. African

Tales from the potting shed

daisies turn to face the sun and clusters of Astrantias open to reveal their pretty pincushion flowers in shades of silver, shellpink, rose and deep plum. Take it all in: butterflies shimmering in the sunlight, the twittering of newly launched fledglings, and the pure beauty of a summer’s afternoon.

July brings exuberance and a heady fullness with its mix of phlox, hollyhocks, echinacea, geranium, day-lilies and penstemon. Whilst many roses may still be in bloom, get ready to be dazzled by the first dahlias with their riotous orange, red, yellow and pink balls of gorgeousness. Evenings are spent watering and deadheading, adorning the house with pretty posies, and in the vegetable patch, picking plump tomatoes and tender peas, ripe for the supper table.

60 May
in climbers
out summer bedding No
May! June Lift tulip bulbs
veg Prune spring flowering shrubs
July Deadhead
Cut back
Top up bird baths


Win a River Trip worth up to £160 departing from Snape, Orford or Woodbridge

We are delighted to have teamed up with Suffolk River Trips to offer you the chance to win a private river trip, worth up to £160.

Departing from Snape, Orford or Woodbridge, a private trip for up to 12 people on one of Suffolk River Trips lovely boats is a glorious way in which to spend some time in nature with family and friends. Trips last 45 mins to 1 hour, and depending on which trip you choose, you’re sure to learn more about an area abundant and rich with wildlife and history. www.suffolkrivertrips.com

For your chance of winning a private trip for up to 12 people, please answer the following question correctly:

Q: How long does the trip last?

Send your answer to prize@ aboutfram.com quoting Boat Trip in the subject header.

The competition closes at 23.59 hours on 30th June.

62 UpRiverPrivateTrip Dogto12guests friendly
Terms and conditions Entrants must be aged 18 or over. The prize is non-transferable and there is no cash alternative. Voucher must be redeemed by 31st October 2024 and booking will be subject to availability. By entering this competition, you give your consent for your email address to be added to our aboutfram database. Your email address will not be shared with any other companies apart from Suffolk River Trips. Please indicate in your email if you do not wish to give your consent to be contacted by either aboutmedia or Suffolk River Trips and we will delete your email address from our records. The winner will be randomly selected from all entries submitted.
63 T: 01502 725713 • E: info@sailloftsouthwold.uk 53 Ferry Rd, Southwold IP18 6HQ The best value, relaxed family restaurant in Southwold is back! After several months of closure owing to flood damage, we are so excited to see all our regulars back and welcome newcomers – we love what we do! Located at Southwold Seafront • Best views in Southwold Upgraded dining experience and improved menu • Daily fish specials Exciting seasonal specials • Fresh Lowestoft lobster & crab Locally produced meat, including Suffolk Wagyu Local ales, good choice of lagers, fine wines & seasonal cocktails Why not stay over? Our five comfy letting rooms are very popular, so book in advance if you fancy it. Book online at www.sailloftsouthwold.uk Group bookings of 40+ considered.
Culture shift about food

Suffolk-based L.A Brewery is revolutionising the way we think about drink, its naturally non-alcoholic range of deliciously refreshing kombuchas offering a satisfying hit of flavour that tastes great and makes you feel great too. We find out more over a refreshing tipple with founder, Louise Avery.

Louise had always been captivated by the idea of starting something of her own; a venture that resonated with her values and passions. However, amidst the hustle and bustle of London, where she had spent most of her working life, those dreams often seemed distant, drowned out by the noise of the city. It wasn’t until she decided to quit her job in management and retreat to the Isle of Mull, seeking solace and a fresh perspective, that the seeds of her entrepreneurial journey began to sprout. Louise was born on Mull and the rugged

beauty of the island allowed her to slowly reconnect with her roots and rekindle her love of nature. “Foraging the hedgerows for wild raspberries, taking long bracing walks, and connecting with the seasons and the land really helped me to stop and take the time to think about what I wanted to do next.”

It was whilst on a trip to the States that Louise stumbled upon what was soon to become her newfound love, kombucha. Thought to have originated in China, it is a

about food

naturally sparkling fermented tea drink, made from adding a specific culture of bacteria and yeast to green and black tea sweetened with sugar. It is also very good for you, full of gut-friendly live bacteria and polyphenols that are also antioxidants. “I just loved its sweet and sour taste and as soon as I got back, I looked up how to make it at home. I bought a SCOBY, which is an acronym for ‘Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast’, and started experimenting with different types of tea, adding layers of seasonal flavour with gorse flowers, bog myrtle and lavender.”

The results were well received and when Louise returned to London two years later, she continued tinkering with the fermentation techniques and flavours, converting a corner of her kitchen in

Hackney into a makeshift brewing lab. “I was working as a waitress and the restaurant owner kindly allowed me to offer my kombucha to the diners. I can remember hiding behind the bar that first day, terrified of their reaction!” Thankfully it was a big hit and became a permanent fixture on the menu and Louise soon found herself taking orders from other restaurants in Hackney and Islington, jumping on her bicycle on a Monday morning, laden down with bottles of her limited edition kombucha drinks.

Having outgrown the kitchen table, Louise was looking to expand, and after being introduced to William Kendall, Suffolk farmer and founder of Cawston Press by her friend, the chef Thomasina Miers, she was invited to the Aldeburgh Food & Drink Festival as a new producer. Her drinks went

about food

down so well that William offered to invest, and thus, in 2017 she founded L.A Brewery, setting up a micro-brewery on Bentwaters Park. “It was a big step up, but we have been delighted with the popularity of the drinks and as well as being stocked locally, including Friday Street, Suffolk Food Hall and Snape Maltings, we are now represented by some of the bigger companies, such as Ocado, Nandos, Natural Trust and even The Wine Society.”

There has been a real shift in our drinking culture recently, especially amongst the younger generations, and kombucha is the satisfying substitute for alcoholic tipples that has been missing from drinks menus for years. The Sparkling English Blush and Rose are perfect alternatives to a glass of fizz at a summer picnic, and Citrus Hops,

with its notes of lime, tropical fruits and flowers, has a refreshing hoppy finish and is one of their top-sellers. On the website you will also find some fabulous cocktail recipes, from Bellinis and Sours to Mojitos and Martinis, that are a must for summer parties.

Now living back in London, Louise continues to experiment with flavour, foraging the parks for elderflower and apple blossom, and is excited about the possibility of producing her own pét-nat, a low alcohol wine with a clean palette that is produced using wild yeast. I look forward that but for now, I am very happy with my glass of Aperol Sparkling Blush!


about food

Mon-Sat: 11:30am-3pm & 6pm-11pm Sun: 12noon-5pm

Family-run farm shop stocking a rich variety of produce, daily essentials, beautiful gi s and a healthy plant selection. Local meat • Charcuterie • Vegetables • Bread & Cakes Seasonal British Fish • Shellfish at A Passion for Seafood Sauces • Condiments • Oils • Preserves You can also enjoy a co ee or a sandwich in the café on site! Hasketon, Woodbridge IP13 6HN Open Mon - Sun | Pop in or order online @grangefarmshop /grangefarmshophasketon E Ú Tel: 01394 834007 1B Hamilton Rd, Felixstowe IP11 7AX


Stepping up to the plate in Stowmarket

After its inauguration this April, the Stowmarket Farmers’ Market is to continue, with stalls selling meat and fresh fruit and vegetables, including Little Pig Bakery, Field of Cheese and Walking Wok as well as locally made gin from Heart of Suffolk Distillery, who jointly organise the market with the town council.

Coming up: 18th May/15th June and then on the 3rd Saturday of the month.

The Stowmarket Food & Drink Festival takes place on the 7th July and the town centre will be packed with local and regional traders as well as street food, pop-up bars and sweet treats – don’t miss watching chefs prepare mouth-watering dishes with seasonal ingredients at the Kitchen Theatre.

Newly opened at the John Peel Centre is 11 Market Place, which, in partnership with the Chocolate Tiger Coffee Company, is the place to head to for a great coffee, cup of tea or hot chocolate, along with a great bake, local beer or a glass of wine. Open 8.30am - 2.30pm Monday to Saturday www.johnpeelcentre.com

Ding Dong!

The Bell Hotel in Saxmundham has come up with a great idea for Suffolk folk, whereby they can enjoy a 10% discount on dining at the Heath Restaurant within the hotel, whether it be a small bite, lunch, dinner or afternoon tea, and with their new spring menus now ready to savour, what better time to apply. To enjoy the discount, you’ll just need to register online before collecting your card at the hotel, along with photograph ID and proof of address. Just fill out to fill up! www.thebellhotelsaxmundham.co.uk

70 about

On the right tack

After devastating flood damage last October, the Sail Loft in Southwold is finally reopening this May, with a fully revamped restaurant & kitchen, and storm resilience in place for any future crazy weather attacks.

And that’s not all: owner/chef Jonny Nicholson is thrilled to have a new restaurant team and new head chef, Luke, working alongside him on the pass. Together, they have devised a menu which has retained some customer favourites such as the Suffolk Wagyu gourmet burgers, Fish & Chips and Moules Mariniere, but with some new additions too, and in Jonny’s words, will be “even better than before”! Best get on down before the season kicks off…

Roast for 30 years!

Started by Charles and Belinda Nash back in 1994 when a ‘free range chicken’ was a long-forgotten concept, Sutton Hoo Chicken can now be found in butchers’ counters across East Anglia, the Southeast and London. It is a familiar sight too on the menus of many an esteemed restaurant, and at Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Club, where it has been the chook of choice for the official caterers for ten years.

From day one, Charles and Belinda were driven by their passion for animal welfare, coupled with the desire to produce a chicken which actually tasted of chicken. Their huge gamble worked: the business has grown from strength to strength and, despite Charles’s untimely passing at the early age of 48, Belinda has continued his dream alongside Charles’s godson, Will Waterer, and more latterly with her daughter Josie.

Thirty years on and Sutton Hoo is still producing chicken which has been given the time and space to mature slowly, resulting in a healthy, happy bird, and a chicken with exceptional flavour. We say A Roast to that!

71 about taste

Sea bass en croute

Spring marks the beginning of the sea bass season on the East coast and you can find deliciously fresh fillets in fishmongers, from top to bottom of Suffolk, ready to make this simple, yet stunning centrepiece for the table.



4 large sea bass fillets

– skin removed

800gms -1kg puff pastry

3 egg yolks

2 celery stalks

1 medium leek

– white part only

Large bunch of tarragon

Small bunch of parsley

Small bunch of chives

1 tbs fennel seeds

Heat the oven to 180C (160C fan oven).

Gently pat dry both sides of each fillet with kitchen towel. Thinly slice the celery and leek, finely chop the parsley, chives and tarragon, and mix with the fennel seeds.

Divide the pastry in four and roll it out to no more than 5mm thickness. Cut out four ‘pastry fish’ just larger than your sea bass and place a fillet on two of them. Season well, then spread half the herby mixture on top of each and place the remaining fillets on top, like a sandwich.

Brush the pastry edges with the egg yolk, cover with the second ‘pastry fish’ and seal all-round the edges.

Carefully score a fish head and gills onto the pastry lid, taking care not to break the pastry, brush with egg yolk and bake for c. 20 mins or until the pastry is nicely browned.

Serve with homemade or top-quality shop-bought hollandaise, a fresh tomato salad, hot buttered new potatoes, and a crisp glass of Sparkling English Rose from L.A Brewery. (Serves 8)

72 about taste
Freehold Pub • Honest Delicious Food • Stunning Bar Picturesque Riverside Gardens • Six Cosy Bedrooms T: 01728 723760 | www.chequerskb.co.uk ‘Best Destination Pub’ Finalist 2024

round & about

Shades of green

The walk this issue is a lovely easy stroll around the village of Dennington, taking in wide open vistas, blossom laden hedgerows and leafy lanes. It is the perfect antidote to a busy day couped up in the office or as a refreshing morning stomp to blow away the cobwebs before settling at your desk. With Jemma, my eldest, in tow, we decide on early evening and the promise of a rewarding pint of Aspalls at The Dennington Queen at the end.

We park in the square and start at the main entrance of the church, skirting left along the edge of the graveyard to the kissing gate in the corner. The lime trees hum with bees, and we are delighted to stumble across a family of ducks who are also out for an evening stroll, the chattering ducklings

waddling along behind in organised chaos. The gate takes you across the back of the Dennington Queen, and its sunny terrace and fabulous raspberry pink pizza oven look far too tempting! Resolute, we avert our gaze and follow the path that leads between two high hedges, and we can just see the tops of the playground’s climbing frame on the other side. It’s not long before we emerge into a pretty meadow that is aglow with buttercups and swaying cow parsley.

As Jem and I walk, I am reminded of how lovely it is to just have the time to chat. Getting out in the fresh air, shoulder to shoulder is often the best way to catch up, and after talk of work, travels and summer plans, we are soon deep into the important stuff – who is dating who in ‘Made in


Chelsea’! We are now out in more open farmland and its good to see a row of newly planted trees lining the footpath, future proofing the views for generations to come. We cross a small footbridge and head up a slight incline to a small lane. Directly opposite, a footpath sign points us in the right direction and we walk single file along the headland towards a gap in the hedge. Here the path opens out and, keeping the hedge to our left, carry straight on.

The May blossom is spectacular this year and the hedgerows are weighed down by a blanket of white and pink. The sun is beginning to slide to the west and the air is full of birdsong; it is time to take a moment and breathe it all in. It also gives me a chance to use my bird App, Merlin,

sounding out the full-throated robin and the cheerful trill of a wren. It’s a little early, but I also keep an ear out for nightingale, the soprano of birds, just in case. At the corner of the field, we come to a pond and the path is slightly hidden in the undergrowth to the left. It brings us to a wheat field on the other side and we turn right, only to then cross back left again after 50m – it would seem most folk just carry on walking around the same field. A little further on and the path heads diagonally across open farmland, but the path has been sprayed so its yellow trail is easy to follow.

At the end of the field, we hit a grass track that leads to a small lane. We turn left and walk along the lane, just spotting the distant tower of Dennington Church to our

& about

right and enjoy the expansive views which are a lush tapestry of different shades of green. The lane comes out on a sharp bend in the road between Framlingham and Dennington, so we turn left and then almost immediately right, down the driveway to Framlingham Hall, a Grade II listed farmhouse whose ornate chimneys can be seen above the trees. We carry on past the farm buildings, following the track as it bends to the left and then come across another beautiful house, Dairy Farm. We stay on the track past the duck pond and nod our greetings to a couple of gents who are sat out by the water enjoying the evening sun, their black labs obediently laying at their feet.

Another footpath sign shows the way home, and we turn left and then zig zag back across the fields – right, left, right - towards the black barns of Glebe Farm.

As we come to the road, we turn left over a small bridge and follow the path which skirts the newly constructed playschool, Little Oaks, and brings us to the allotments. A little tot, busy watering her patch, brings a smile of reminiscence, and Jem and I applaud the beauty of the neatly planted rows, weed free beds, and a general feeling of wellbeing and wholesomeness that an allotment nurtures. Now at the village green, The Neathouse makes for a great place to stop for breakfast, coffee or cake, but it’s now 7.30pm and the pub and that cold pint is calling.

76 round & about
78 Directory Services Gardening

Conscious Living with Lucy www.consciouslivingwithlucy.com @consciouslivingwithlucy

Market Hill Apothecary No 10 Market Hill Woodbridge. @markethillapothecary10

Norfolk Natural Living 82 High St, Southwold IP18 6DP 1B Thoroughfare, Woodbridge IP12 1AA www.norfolknaturalliving.com

Toad Hall Lodges

Mardle Rd, Wangford Beccles NR34 8AU www.toadhall.life @toadhalllodges

Interiors emporium

Constance & Denny www.constanceanddenny.com @constanceanddenny

East of Eden

The Old Barn

Fromus Square

Saxmundham IP17 1DG 59 High Street Southwold IP18 6DN www.east-of-eden.co.uk

James & Joanna 10 Market Place

Harleston @jamesandjoannadesign @10harleston

Just Tiles

Smithfield, Melton

Woodbridge IP12 1NH www.justtileswoodbridge.co.uk

Lucy Berridge Interiors www.lucyberridge.com @lucyberridge

Maud & Vera

WoodFarm Business Centre, Stonham Aspal IP6 9TH www.maudandvera.co.uk

Norwich Sunblinds 11-14 Haverscroft Ind Est, New Road, Attleborough, NR17 1YE www.norwichsunblinds.co.uk

Snape Maltings

Snape Bridge Snape IP17 1SP www.brittenpearsarts.org

Swan House & Garden 21 High St

Debenham IP14 6QL @swanmaisonetjardin


Friday Street Saxmundham IP17 1JX www.the-barn.co

The Merchant’s Table 10 Church Street

Woodbridge IP12 1DH www.themerchantstable.co.uk

Thrive Lifestyle Store

Helmingham Hall Gardens

Stowmarket IP14 6EF @thrivelifestylestore

Vanil 17 Church Street

Woodbridge IP12 1DS www.vanil.co.uk

Woodbridge Kitchen Company 7 Thoroughfare

Woodbridge IP12 1AA www.woodbridgekitchencompany. co.uk

79 Stockists about you


Fashion emporium


32 Church St

Woodbridge IP12 1DH www.shopatanna.com

Boho & Blyth

58 Thoroughfare

Halesworth IP19 8AR www.bohoandblyth.com


Guildhall, Market Hill

Framlingham IP13 9BD 174 High Street

Aldeburgh IP15 5AQ www.collatedonline.com

collen & clare

25 Market Place

Southwold IP18 6ED www.collenandclare.com


166 High Street

Aldeburgh IP15 5AQ www.fleuraldeburgh.co.uk

Focus Organic

14 Thoroughfare

Halesworth IP19 8AH www.focusorganic.co.uk

Ives Footwear

29 Thoroughfare

Woodbridge IP12 1AA www.ivesfootwear.co.uk


20A Market Hill

Woodbridge IP12 4LU @mooseonthehill

New Street Market

70 New St. Market

Woodbridge IP12 1DX www.newstreetmarket.com

O&C Butcher

129 - 131 High Street

Aldeburgh IP15 5AS www.ocbutcher.co.uk


120 High Street

Aldeburgh IP15 5AB www.orlandosaldeburgh.co.uk

Ruby and the Angel 66A High Street

Debenham IP14 6QP www.rubyandtheangel.co.uk

Ruby Tyger

No 1 The Mews Market Hill

Framlingham IP13 9AN @rubytyger.framlingham

The Beccles Edit

Ale of a Time

27 Blyburgate

Beccles NR34 9TB www.aleofatime.co.uk @aleofatime_beccles

Auburn Boutique

14 Blyburgate Beccles www.auburnboutiquebeccles.com

Baileys Delicatessen

2 Hungate

Beccles NR34 9TL www.baileysdelicatessen.co.uk

Beccles Flower Shed 14 Blyburgate

Beccles NR34 9TB www.becclesflowershed.co.uk @becclesflowershed

Beccles Home Interiors

Unit 7, Gosford Road Beccles NR34 9QP www.beccleshomeinteriors.co.uk

Beccles Tile and Bathroom Centre Unit 5 – 6 Gosford Road Beccles NR34 9QP www.becclestilecentre.co.uk

Clay Interiors

Hall Farm, London Rd

Weston NR34 8TT www.claysinteriors.co.uk

Mulberry Kitchen Studios

31 Newgate

Beccles NR34 9QB www.mulberrykitchens.com

Old School Coffee

33a Newgate

Beccles NR34 9QB @oldschoolcoffeeltd

Oliver and J Jeweller

26A Blyburgate

Beccles NR34 9TB www.oliverandj.co.uk

The Marmalade Tree 13 Blyburgate

Beccles NR34 9TA FB /themarmaladetree

The Open Garden 2 Blyburgate

Beccles NR34 9TA www.theopengarden.co.uk @the.open.garden

Urban Jungle

London Road

Beccles NR34 8TT www.urbanjungle.uk.com

Vintage Mischief

The Old Dairy

Hungate Lane

Beccles NR34 9TN www.vintagemischief.com @vintagemischief

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