EDitorial ± 22-Nov-2012
Light Lunches: Harvest Moon Cafe, Capel St Mary
With that Andy out for a meeting in Landmark House -- invisible from Asda, unignorable from Bramford -- 'twas time to track down a venue west of Ipswich. Look west, as they don't say round here. Nearest we've been is most likely Al's Cafe, still serving towers of toast in Whitton. Somewhere out of town? Somersham? Sproughton?
Ten minutes in the BlueMotion blurs us past the Toys 'R' Us roundabout and up the A12 to Coggeshall. Not really, that's miles away. Capel's far enough, though not the village but the Bypass Nurseries which sit alongside the A12. On the tip of the promontory sits the Harvest Moon Cafe, "a friendly, family-run restaurant"... which just so happens to occupy a defunct Little Chef building. They've done their best, however, to de-Chef the place, and it is kind of homely inside with watercolours and framed photos for sale, a tiny kids' corner, and lots of books. We'll return to the books.
Thursday, as becomes apparent from the piled Howgills of Yorkshires, is roast day (me and Andy, mid 40s, ahem, are kids in this room, and there are packets of Werthers for sale next to the till: unlike the Orwell Crossing, say, there ain't too many truckers here). Lightweight youngsters that we are, neither of us can do justice to the meat and two veg. So, for me, the jacket with coronation chicken -- very good, coleslaw included -- and for him, a humble sausage bap -- sadly those bangers aren't from Revetts in Wickham Market, as served in the Holeshot Bus Cafe. Local touch came in the form of a glass of James White bramley: ah.
One table at the rear is covered with second-hand books. Evidently, they raise £1000s each year for the Macmillan charity, which is great. Disregarding the educational (All About Your Gerbil), the trashy (multiple copies of the Da Vinci Code), and the factual (autobiographies of Jason Donovan, Frank Skinner and, er, Tony Cascarino), I picked up a 1975 copy of Eddie Braben's "The Best Of Morecambe And Wise", to whit:
[Vanessa] Have you got the scrolls?
[Eric] No, I always walk like this.
For pudds, there's a blackboard range of traditional favourites. What does the rice pudding come with? Can't read it. "1 left", said Andy. Instead, bring us cake. Mine's the luscious slab of lemon cake with some so-so coffee. Andy's choosing chocolate when he has an abrupt change of mind and spies something else: he'll have the flapjack in custard, if you please. That's a good idea, says the guy who brings it out. Apparently the custard was top notch.