EDitorial ± 24-May-2019

Woodbridge Lunches: Drift

That old Earth of ours has seen a dozen orbital periods (nine common years, three leap years) since the boy Andy proposed this whole light lunch shebang in 2007. We kicked off in ye olde Woodbridge, being ten minutes down the road from where we all worked, and quickly knocked off ten eateries in the first three months including Pickwicks (now the brilliant if hard to find Cooks Shed), Frangipani (now the Cumberland Fish Bar) and the Georgian Coffee House. Well, the Georgian era is over.

I'd stumbled across colourfully branded Drift a week earlier while coming out of the booky Emporium and had a rather good rocky road, hence today's meet-up. I'm first, place my order inside -- there's the conservatory -- and squeeze into an outside corner table. Sipping my cucumber and mint when Andy appears fresh from Aldeburgh. He's not sat down long when my grub appears, an offering from their "ultimate lunch" menu:

sausage pattie + smashed avocado + free-ranged fried egg + wild rocket served in our unique black brioche bun

Marmite in appearance -- I decide to love it -- due to that black-as-your-hat bun. But oh man, that combination of meat & egg & greens all within a dark crunch. Most original thing I've had to eat in a while, an opinion I happily share with the couple at the next table. Who, it transpires, are pleased to hear this being the happy owners of this establishment. They're less delighted to hear that Andy's still waiting for his savoury, the house Scotch egg, after ten minutes. Bad timing for the staff who didn't write it down. Oops.

Which is how we both received exemplary service for the rest of our time sat there in the shade, taking receipt of unending apologies backed up by free coffee and cake. Ain't no fun being on the other side of the counter. Who'd give you complimentary goodies if they mucked up your order? Drift would.

If it was a car -- Nissan 240SX.
If they were passing by -- Fran Healy.

EDitorial ± 14-May-2019

Light Lunches: Lighthouse Diner, Lowestoft

Week or so beforehand, I'd looked ahead, realised I was due a day's time off in the loo, and booked it off. Very deliberately didn't mention this fact to G. knowing that she'd be highly unlikely to secure that day off with so little notice. So it was that I awoke on 14-May-2019, to use my preferred date format, and rode out on my bright yellow bike for a day out in the sun. Happy 53rd birthday, me!

Up to station code IPS, lugged bike up and over the bridge and straight on to the 09:17. Through Woodbridge, Melton, "Wickham Market" (actually Campsea Ashe) and Saxmundham, then I'm off at Darsham on the stroke of 10am. Why? 'Cos the Darsham Hamper is dead and, after a hairy mile bike ride up the A12, I'm having birthday breakfast at its replacement, the Two Magpies Bakery. Excellent coffee and the best almond croissant I've ever had.

Hour later I've reboarded Greater Anglia's finest to pass through Halesworth, request stop Brampton and Beccles. Decided somewhere along the line to keep fit and get off one stop earlier, thus disembarked at Oulton Broad South. Brief tour of Nicholas Everitt park, bought a used paperback at the library, then cycled via Pakefield and over Lowestoft's mighty bascule bridge to reach unlovely Whapload Road (tyres, used cars, repeat). Why again? 'Cos it's home to the highly rated Lighthouse Diner, "the most easterly diner in the UK", a surely unique claim.

Slightly concerned that it's now 1:45pm and they're due to shut at 2pm but that's all fine. Order at the hatch -- double egg, double bacon, chips and beans -- and took my numbered slip. Bunch of customers inside ignoring the waiting-room style telly ("and now here on BBC1, Doctors"). My number's up, in a good way, so gave a few squirts of genuine HP and took my large plate of carbo goodies to the sun-drenched seating area outside. With a health giving bottle of mango iced tea to wash it down, all good, all very good indeed. No wonder they've nabbed a Trip Advisor certificate of excellence. And once you're sufficiently stuffed, work off some of those surplus calories with a stroll along the sea wall check out the Euroscope at Ness Point. There, you're truly east of Ipswich.

If it was a car -- used Kia Picanto from M&R Car Sales.
If they were passing by -- Laurie Sivell.

EDitorial ± 3-May-2019

Felixstowe Light Lunches: The Mad House

Fairly indifferent Friday, fahrenheit-wise, before the old SE beeped to inform me of an incoming stanza of free verse from Andy:

I'm parked outside your building no rush just call me when you're leaving I'm in the blue panda

Now he may have been up all night out of his head in his Boyton garret hoping that the man from Porlock didn't call, or he might just have dashed that off in the car. Note how he intially conforms to the haiku syllabic structure and then subverts it. Either way, that's top work, and I write as a published poet, ahem-hem.

Into the Fiat Lux and here's a Batey-esque couple of Cassys, both Mr and Mrs. More the merrier as we pootle down to the 'Stowe. Ever so slightly past the library to be dropped off outside Unit 4. American Diner? Nope. Steak 'n' Grill? Nope. Welcome to The Mad House, an Alice in Wonderland themed eatery opened by Amber and Hannah in March 2019. Nearly all tables occupied, pleasingly, apart from a four-person sized space on the couch in the corner. And here's Kev wearing a Cheshire Cat smile on his day off.

Extensive menu is an exercise in combination theory with so many possible permutations of outers and inners. Can't get chilli in a baguette, alas. Mid-sized all day breakfast for me, ta very much. Smiling young lady checks if I'd like that "with meat". Oh, yes. See, they offer all manner of vegetarian and vegan and gluten-free options here, which is no bad thing. Wall behind our sofa has whatever the collective noun is for many clocks. You could entertain the kids all day simply playing I-Spy in here.

Food takes a fair while -- the price of being freshly made and with the shop pretty much full -- but is vg when it comes. Mrs Cassy's veg bacon strip is everything it promised to be. Only me working today and my time's up, so have to make do with an excellent and highly calorific Bournville dream shake. And yes, I'll have the cream on top. You don't have to be mad to go there but it helps.

If it was a car -- Ford Falcon XB GT.
If they were passing by -- Mia Wasikowska.