EDitorial ± 12-Apr-2019

Light Lunches: Costa Coffee Drive Thru, Martlesham Heath

Not the first time that FindMyFriends has proved its worth. Reception at 1pm had been the agreement only for FMF to reveal that Parker the chauffeur was still Boyton bound at 12:55. Change of plan, I texted, suggesting I meet him at a new location. Hopped on my wheels, past Greggs on my right and M&S on my left, over the road and apply brakes. Bingo.

See, Costa,"the nation's favourite coffee shop" -- now owned by Coca-Cola, fact fans -- has now opened a swanky drive-thru (their spelling) about 400m from Adastral Park. Sure, there's another Costa store roughly 200m over there within Next but its second floor location makes ordering from your car more of a challenge. Already been here a day or so after its March opening with Kev for a perfectly pleasant panini, and again on a weekend with me mum and me son when chaos reigned with the hot drinks queue. Which brings us to today and the bearded one is waiting outside.

Easter hols, thought it would be choc-choc-chocka. Not so. Handful of tables are occupied. All is calm and light. Eyes are drawn to the drink plus main plus snack "lunch deal menu" for a relatively bargain £4.95. Full explanatory text so bear with:

Buy any Primo hot drink or over ice drink (excluding seasonal drinks) or any packaged drink, a Ham & Cheese toastie or Chicken & Bacon sandwich or Tomato and Basil Soup or Mozzarella & Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta Salad and either crisps, pop chips (excluding Pom-Bear and sweet potato crisps) or a piece of fruit for £4.95 between 11am-2pm in one of our participating UK stores from Thursday 7th March to Wednesday 1st May 2019 inclusive.

I found the chicken & bacon savoury, bag of upmarket Tyrells and confirmed with the patient young woman that I could have a flat white as the drink. Super. Andy, however, had picked up the ham toastie. Nope, said the woman. This is cheese-topped and not included. You want the basic ham & cheese, and off she went to find one. Chai latte too giving us a £9.90 lunch for two. Not half bad, Senor Costa. Shame it's a limited offering.

Ironically, when another woman brought us our sarnies, my chicken thing was very much cheese-topped and yet within the deal. Hats off to her for then fetching some cutlery and a glass of water. Good leaf on the flat white, and hot and strong. If you're an early bird, they're open from 5:30am. Beware how long you stay, though, if you're a motorist. People have already been in the local paper showing their £100 fines for staying more than two hours. As always, you're better off on a bike.

If it was a car -- Seat Arona.
If they were passing by -- Alberto Costa.

EDitorial ± 5-Apr-2019

Ipswich Lunches: St Elizabeth Hospice

Already April, clocks have sprung forward, and finally time for a collectable light lunch outing. Kev's ruled himself out -- that lad doesn't know when to stop -- hence that ex-Defiants pairing of Broom and Cassy for the passenger and driver seats respectively. Both of us been to the hub cash machine. On y va.

Lack of prep due to trip rustiness means we're fairly aimlessly heading into central Ipswich down that l-o-n-g Foxhall Road. Approaching the Bixley Road roundabout with Nosh over there, we both notice big changes to the old Heath Road Post Office. There are folk visibly sitting at tables. Andy executes a slick Starsky & Hutch 180 to take us into the handy bendy layby to park outsize the snazzy new St Elizabeth Hospice shop. Charity doings to the right, contemporary cafe to the left. That'll do nicely.

All very smart421 within with those big windows. Apparently only been open for a few weeks, their savoury selection (to be expanded) currently comprises prepack sarnies or sausage rolls. Pas de probleme. Tuna & cu plus pack of Corkers crisps and a jolting Fentimans mandarin and seville orange jigger make for a fine Friday mini-feast. Folk at the other tables clearly have similar ideas.

While Andy's sorting coffee and cake, excellent chance to run my literary eye over the floor-to-ceiling shelves of books. Again, I'm not the only one doing this. Chauffeur returns with a large milky coffee and a slab of top notch carrot cake. Being of sounder mental strength than myself, Andy's going without. I'm now pumped to bike back to work at speed if only we weren't in the car. Most enjoyable outskirts location in which to catch up.

If it was a car -- Bentley State Limousine.
If they were passing by -- Claire Foy.