EDitorial ± 9-Jan-2014

Ipswich Lunches: The Mermaid

Ipswich meet agreed. Destination unspecified since, no matter how many places we tick off, always a handful remain. That, right there, is the Limitless Law of Light Lunches. On the TDL is a sandwich shop -- with seating, of course, a basic requirement -- near the Ramada Hotel. My two wheels beat his four wheels. Sign on the door reads "closed for good". It's the Bubble Tea Lounge all over again.

Recalculating light lunch route... Ranelagh Road, right at the lights and here, where those odd demo conservatories once stood, is a Brand New Pub. And you thought those things were all closing down? Judging by all those cars parked round the side, it's making quite a splash. Meet you at The Mermaid.

Top velo marks immediately for the covered cycle shed. Warm and welcoming and well spacious inside: this is far from a little Mermaid. Guy gives us the lowdown. Find a seat with a menu, note your table number then order at the bar. Simples. Despite the couples, ladies that lunch and oldies, tables are plentiful. Ditto the choice on the laminated Travelodgeseque menu, with grills, fish, main meals, whatever you want. Carvery closes shortly -- over there is Mr Carver, aka Mac The Knife -- which tempts Andy to go for the bap with choice of meats. His is served, rather weirdly, with a handful of roast potatoes plus a small gravy boat. Something to write home about if you have a pen handy. BBQ melt for me with chicken & bacon: no better than so-so though comes with a mug (?) of chunky chips.

Among the normal J2Os and fizzypop is a selection of non-alco cocktails. My virgin sunrise, steady, was a refreshing mix of orange, cranberry and grenadine. Slurpy goodness while surveying the mystery objects adorning ledges and walls and getting some free WiFi.

Andy, I know they sound highly tempting but you don't need those toffee waffles. Instead, let's share one of those desserts under the glass. Our monster slab of red velvet cake, complete with micro-pot of cream, does the job very nicely indeed. And the coffee's good too. Yep, maybe it's not the most authentic eatery, but prices, food and service are all more than reasonable.

If it was a car -- Chrysler LeBaron.
If they were passing by -- Tom Daley.