We love the Rural Coffee Caravan. For the past 14 years it has been touring villages across Suffolk offering tea, coffee and company to people living in rural isolation. The charity visits more than 70 villages, some where there is no where to meet anymore and where the more elderly villagers just find it hard to get out and about. As well as refreshments it offers an information service, a bit like a CAB on wheels. You can imagine how sad we all were to hear that the caravan has been stolen. Fundraising is well on the way to help with a replacement caravan. Here is the link if you are able to donate.
Actually it doesn't need to be ice cream weather to enjoy a visit to Hadley's Parlour in Lavenham. We went on rather a chilly day but enjoyed tasting a selection of the handmade icecreams that really do offer satisfying, smooth and creamy flavours using locally sourced Fen Farm milk and cream, Elmsett Game Farm eggs, Maldon sea salt and Pump Street chocolate, to name a few. You can get very good coffee and mini cakes as well, if you are greedy like me.
Some days just don't go very well for restaurants and Fornham Fine Foods was having a bad day when we went for lunch. We were surprised that fishcakes, one of the few hot things on the menu, was already off the menu by 12.30. We guessed that there was probably a 'chef problem' as everyone seemed to be waiting and the staff looked frazzled. But we ordered a steak sandwich and a smoked fish platter. It still hadn't arrived forty minutes later. Then when the fish arrived there was no steak sandwich because it hadn't been cooked yet - even though the menu said 'served pink'. The waitress eventually brought the steak, decided enough was enough and said there would be no charge for the meal. The food was very good in spite of the wait so we wanted to pay something, at least for the drinks, but she wouldn't let us. She didn't know we were food bloggers but she does know that messing your customers about while you decide who is going to be your chef isn't a very good idea.
I was working in Essex last week and discovered my B&B was B and no B so I had to go hunting for my breakfast. I headed for Dedham where I had heard there was a very good tea room which opens at 9am and served breakfast. Essex Rose Tea House is owned by Wilkin and Sons, famous for the Tiptree preserves.I ordered the Welsh Rarebit made with Tiptree mustard. Perfect, as was the service and the pot of tea.
There is floor to ceiling tea here at T2; different varieties and combinations including White, Black, Oolong, Tissanes, Floral and more. Tea paraphernalia like those specialist tea strainers and infusers that you can't find anywhere else that are essential for herb leaf tea, and lots of tea making for tasting - which when I got there was the perfect late morning pick-me-up (I tried French Earl Grey and Irish Breakfast). There is a Tea Society, a High Tea Society and a Secret Tea Society and a weird teapot that pours it out of the bottom...and they're from Australia, and have just arrived in the UK.
I took Johny Cakes out for a cup of tea today to one of my favourite, unconventional tea rooms in Norfolk. Caroline Dwen runs the quirky and tiny Rosy Lee's Tea Room in Loddon. Expect the warmest of welcomes, an enormous snack menu, local crab sandwiches and homemade cakes freshly baked by the W.I. Caroline suggested tea in the secret garden, across the road. Jack delivered the tea in a hamper basket. The pot of tea for two with two big slices of cake was £5.60.
In what appears to be one of the most expensive towns in the region we are looking for lunch. The Cafe CouCou has a window full of fab cakes and we can see some home-made quiches so we take a seat. After a bit of confused waitressing about whether the falafel had been made there or not, and if there was any leek and bacon quiche left or not, and if the pear and frangipani tart was still on the menu or not, we order the falafel which came with flat bread, tzaziki and lots and lots of leaves, and a goats cheese and beetroot flan with olives and lots and lots of leaves. Both were fresh, home-made and really nice. A more interesting choice of accompanying salads would have taken it to the £10 per dish level it was, and although slates to serve it on are clearly still fashionable in Essex, give me a plate that the food doesn't fall off and a well informed waitress every time.
We like Bungay. This pretty little town has some great independent shops and a market every Thursday.
This multi function and award winning community building has a cafe, with enthusiastic staff and lots of homemade cakes. They tried to persuade me to have a full English breakfast, but for the sake of my arteries I settled for a capuccino.
Go upstairs to find out about the Pulham Pigs.
Maria Crick has always wanted to run her own restaurant and now her dream has come true. The new Cafe del Mar in Bury St Edmunds offers a tapas/meze menu with 3 dishes for £10. At the moment it is BYO wine, allowing for a very affordable night out.