EDitorial ± 14-Sep-2013
Light Lunches: The Angel Coffee Shop, Needham Market
Where to treat Mater and Pater to a spot of light lunch? Tagging along too is the lil' sis' crew, making eight and a half of us: nephew's a wee lad. Don't want to turn up somewhere and have to wait around with no guarantee of a pew. Quite the dilemma of a Saturday morn. Where, oh where, will there be ample chairs?
No problem, says the nice lady on the end of the phone. Nine people for 1pm. See you then. Result. Inevitably I'm late -- not entirely my fault -- meaning parents, who I'm picking up, are late, but that's no problem. It's a reassuring start to lunchtime at The Angel Coffee House, about eight miles NNW of Ipswich (past Asda). If you can find a space, there's an hour's free parking right outside. I can't, which is how I met the guy from Colorado by the cashpoint, though that's a whole other story.
By the time I return from my distant "P" place, everyone's vanished. Upstairs, away from the other diners, our party of eight and a half has been allocated a long table, one that would be ideal for shove ha'penny, or shuffleboard as ATM Boulderman might know it. There is much musing over menus. A cherubic girl comes to take orders for drinks and is then sent away due to our indecision, which is final. There's nearly too much choice.
After gnashing and near-tears -- Needham and weep -- food is chosen. Catching up chat continues before our many plates present themselves: couple of kids' meals, a jacket spud, two cottage pies, etc, and what turn out to be some very good fish cakes with new pots and a top side salad. Competitively priced tastiness is all around.
Me offering to pay is an open invitation for the world and his brother-in-law to have a stab at dessert, from warming ginger sponge to sizeable knickerbocker glories. My scoops of pistachio -- pistachio, here in the UK! -- almost take me back to Badalucco. And having settled up with the still-smiling saintly ladies downstairs, there's barely a free table at 3pm as we waddle out of the door. They're obviously doing something right here at The Angel. About a mile down the road towards Stowmarket, the afternoon ends Badley at St Mary's.