Monday, 20 June 2011

Fooding In the Rain...

This weekend was the only weekend that I could get away with Mister Flay for a few months, so we decided to head to Suffolk on a Food Tour and try out some destinations whilst camping in a BEAUTIFUL Orchard in the middle of the Countryside. 
What we hadn't expected was that we would get soaked through to the bone on both the Friday night whilst pitching our canvas home... Stressful!... And again whilst walking along the coast on the Saturday! Never mind, we were able to laugh it off most of the time... Including the moment that we stood on Southwold Beach and realised that the rolling black clouds were heading straight for us, and at the very same time got caught up in a huge black thunder and rain storm. Soaked through. Again. Hehe.
What made up for this disastrous weather was the lovely food that we got to sample on our travels, and this more than made up for it.
On Saturday we drove to a very damp yet quiet Aldeburgh and enjoyed a wander around the town, even spotting some fantastic beach art, where a man had made a very impressive ship out of rocks and stones from the beach. We were in awe!... beats our usual messy sand art every time! Hehe.

After tweeting last week with the lovely Sarah of Brays Cottage, we couldn't resist popping in to the superb Lawsons Delicatessen to pick up some of her delicious Pork Pies... they are AMAZING if you haven't been lucky enough to try them. They are Really meaty, with a really buttery pie crust... No rubbish in these beasty snacks. The best pork pie I have genuinely ever tasted. I can see why people in my life are raving about them.
Whilst at Lawsons, we also picked up some more of our favourite Artisan Smokehouse smoked Italian Olive Oil, that we had originally found at MsMarmiteLovers Underground Night Market, and needed to stock up on this smoky oil, of which we have been enjoying with a locally sourced Cranberry Balsamic Vinegar for our dipping breads at picnics.
We could have spent a fortune in here... No wait, we did!... hehe. We also picked up some locally produced Dingley Dell bacon for our camping breakfast on Sunday morning (Which went fantastically with the freshly laid eggs from our campsite, courtesy of our ever so friendly, biker-cum-campsite hosts Graham & Sandie at Bailiffs Cottage).
All this food purchasing had racked up an appetite and after spending way too long in Lawsons, we headed to the recently taken over Cragg Sisters Tearooms, which was a tiny cottage Tea Rooms, complete with Rose Garden at the end of the main shopping strip in the main part of town.
The service was so friendly, and we just couldn't help but indulge in a shared Cream Tea, which offered 2 huge and freshly baked scones, with Clotted Cream & Raspberry Jam. Light, fluffy and delicious. Mister Flay enjoyed a pot of Darjeeling and I sipped on a fragrant Earl Grey Tea. This all came to £8, and we thought it was
FANTASTIC Value for Money. And we did leave a tip, we were very impressed with the service. DO take cash with you if you go though... They don't accept card payments.
We even got chatting a couple of fellow campers on the table next to us who had also had a lucky find with their camp site.
We were obviously not the only ones braving it this weekend!
We also took a detour towards Southwold for a few hours over the weekend too, incorporating a trip down to a very quiet and black sky over the beach and harbour.
We picked up a Crab for my dad to keep him happy for fathers day, and after a disastrous walk along the beach (We got sheet rain, Thunder AND Lightening- Rubbish!)... we headed to Tilly's Tearooms, with a very cute 1920's spin on Afternoon Tea.
It had a very black and white interior and it had a really cute touch to each table in the form of a book next to the sugar bowl. We had a scout around the tables and noted "The Jungle Book", A book on Afternoon Tea, and various Beatrix Potter stories dotted around. I really liked this little touch to the tables.
We opted for a  mixed tier of Sandwiches, Hot Sausage rolls, Warm Cheese Scones with butter melted on top (Never had these before and they were divine!) and Mini Fruit scones (Which disappointingly had double cream dolloped on top...Hmmm) and a slice of Coffee & Walnut Cake which Mister Flay happily polished off when I was stuffed to the brim : )
We opted for a pot of coffee for a change, and I also sampled the Strawberry Tea which was lovely, but didn't go too well with the savoury mouthfuls.
It was very expensive for what we got, at £10 per savoury and £10 per sweet, we enjoyed the surroundings and the 1920's background music, but pretty steep for what you actually got in the value for money stakes. But they did accept card payments, which was handy as we were cash spent!
We ended our weekend with a dry tent to pack away... thank goodness!
And after reading and hearing about my lovely friend Deepa and her raving review of The British Larder, near Woodbridge, we decided to hop in on the way back through on Sunday Lunchtime. We had forgotten it was fathers day, however, they seated us at the very last table available in the bar... LUCK was definitely in our favour for once!
The service was top notch from the very start to the very end. We had such a friendly and knowledgeable waiter and he made recommendation which got us salivating before we had even started.
We opted for some Deli sharing platters, and at £12 each these are a great way to try lots of local flavours and produce in a real fun way. The waiter was even honest with us and told us that the platters came with bread, so not to order it as a side unless we felt we wanted more...and it was plenty. So his honesty did not go unnoticed, as this has been where we have been stung at previous restaurants in the past. So we were very impressed at this.
I choose the Dingley Dell Pork tasting Board which offered A Chicken & Pork Terrine, Lentil & Ham Hock Salad, Celeriac Remoulade, a colourful shot of Pea & Ham soup, Fresh Pump Street Bakery Bread with salted butter, a delicious green salad and a warm and most addictive Scotch Egg with a soft boiled egg and the most tender meat I have ever tried, my favourite part of this platter.
Mister Flay chose the Farmhouse Ploughmans tasting board which offered the Dingley Dell Smoked Ham, Farmhouse Cheddar, a Soft Boiled Duck Egg, British Larder made pickles, Braised Red Cabbage, Devilled Sutton Hoo Chicken Livers and a warm Sausage Roll served with Mini gherkins and the green salad.
Once we had sampled everything at least twice over, we couldn't fit any more in, and we had to admit defeat, which was a shame, as I would have loved to have polished everything off!
However, when the waiter cleared our plates, he did somehow manage to gently persuade us to try the dessert menu, of which we are thankful we did!
We chose the famous Treacle Tart, served with Suffolk Meadow Vanilla Ice Cream which was just gorgeous and a real cleanser!
And I chose the Gin & Mulberry Bakewell, served with Home-made custard. WOW... Such a great dish, and a real inspiration for future tea party menus!
We managed to slowly walk around Woodbridge for a while afterwards, just to help the menu go down before travelling home again. We will most certainly be returning next year for a treat, safe in the knowledge that the menu will have changed by then, but knowing that it will taste fantastic and fresh regardless. A real must for any food lovers out there who enjoy great food, but don't feel comfortable dining in Michelin star establishments. We have never been made to feel so welcome.
A perfect and very satisfying weekend all round, regardless of the pesky rain! 


  1. What a weekend! The tea rooms look fab, and I am so glad you liked the British Larder. The pea and ham soup was one of the highlights for me, and of course the scotch egg.

    I want to go back!

  2. iT WAS JUST FANTASTIC! They were so friendly, and made us feel so welcome. The Scotch Egg was fab, as was the Gin & Mulberry Bakewell... Delicious.
    Cragg Sisters are most surely not one to miss! They are so much fun, especially if you get to sit in the sunny rose garden! x

  3. Oh that looks lovely! Was especially interested as am planning a visit to those parts in August. We're going to pop to Aldeburgh, so will definitely try out Lawsons and the tea rooms. And we already have our table booked at The British Larder. Can't wait! And thanks so much for doing the research for me!! :D

  4. Hehe you will have so much fun! The Cragg Sisters is a skip from Lawsons, so you will have fun for hours!...And if you head out of the garden and walk in a straight line, you head straight to the beach! It's gorgeous, we love it there! Have so much fun! xxx