EDitorial ± 4-Dec-2010

Light Lunches: Mistley Quay Cafe

Tip of the top hat to the top notch two wheelers of Sudbury Cycle Club for their terrific list of cafe stops. It is, like my 11-16 school, comprehensive. Shame that most of 'em fall outside our official light lunch range, but a good excuse to pick off the odd one on a solo excursion, so...

Past Bourne Bridge shack, TV's Jimmy's Farm and through Manningtree: the only way is Essex. False start on Mistley high street. Redirected past the iconic Mistley Towers (hello, Adam!), and keep your eyes peeled for the swan. Reparked in the slush on the slope and spotted two signs: "Fresh Coffee" and "Open". I'm there.

Up the stairs, through the workshop, into the cafe, and it's warm & welcoming as they promised. Like Orford, we're able to take the best seats in the house. If it wasn't already dark, we'd have a fine view over the waters towards the bombed-in-1940 Bijou barge. Lots of lovely specials to be had -- hearty beef stew, haddock and bacon risotto -- but mind on the job, we are here for death. Oops, cake. Paddling pool hot chocs for the girlies, depth charged with marshmallows. Mine's the cream tea: v. good scone with lashings of jam and cream, plus an above average straight coffee. Elsewhere on the table, verdict is in on the carrot cake: "yummy".

Not too big, not too small, cakes on view and art on the wall. All that and today's papers (inc. Times and 20p "i") contribute towards that atmosphere which says "let's have another cup of tea" and linger a while longer. Tucked away gem, well worth a trip out.

If it was a car -- DUKW.
If they were passing by -- Ben Ainslie.