EDitorial ± 30-Jun-2010

Ipswich Lunches: All Fired Up

Oh my goodness, it's hot, and we're now a goodly way through the cafes and tea shops of olde Ipswiche towne. Today's must-have: outside seating. Half-twelve, near Debenhams, meet you at All Fired Up, "your local ceramics cafe".

Been a while -- three years -- since the gang of three did a paint-a-plate place, the toastamatic Jars Of Clay, which is what confused Andy tends to call AFU anyway. Bike lashed to the rails of the criminally expensive M&S facing ladies-who-lunch NCP car park, I'm first to arrive. Half a dozen alfresco tables, parasol covers, nice, esp. when sipping fat Coke from a proper glass bottle. Shut your eyes and you could be anywhere. Ish. Though you could equally well stop by for a cuppa and a fag.

Savoury options are restricted but hit most bases, with made-to-order paninis and sandwiches. A-ha, I'm sorted -- what could be more cooling than a bowl of spicy chilli? White or brown bread? Brown. Toasted? Yes, I hear myself saying, my synapses jerking back to Jars Of Clay. That mince 'n' beans is quality, a million miles away from last week's outing to Ginsterville.

It's good here, and the cake selection keeps up the classiness. Slice of Victoria? Carrot cake? On another day, yes. Today's baking weather calls for the Bakewell. A fine choice, as is the mini macchiato. Together, they make one of those Steadman and Broadbent life-is-sweet moments.

Inside I flick through a copy of Vanilla, a glossy handbag magazine (fashion, shopping, eating out: I am so the target demographic) that coincidentally has a feature on AFU. Under new management, it says. Young Mr Grace would be proud.

If it was a car -- TVR Griffith.
If they were passing by -- Antony Gormley.