EDitorial ± 30-Aug-2019

Light Lunches: Felixstowe Round-Up

The tortuous toil of last week behind me, very much time to take some TOIL. A solid half-a-day would allow me and time-on-his-hands Andy to perhaps venture further afield. Needham Market? Stowmarket? Southwold, even? Pushed some virtual pencils around a.m. then headed hubwards to meet around half-twelve. I've got a bike, he's got a bike. Wot no motorised transport.

Right, said I. Let us coast to the nearest coast at Felixstowe and work our way through the new places. Much like Aldeburgh last year, we'll see how many we can tick off in one afternoon. First, though, gotta pedal there.

Hello to the heart-bothering Holeshot, salutations to the steady Stables and -- after a lengthy diversion down an official Quiet Lane from Waldringfield to Newbourne -- a nod to nifty Nourish. Spotted a sign to the sumptuous Smokehouse, over the A12 bridge to emerge near the Sausage Shop, my local (Ipswich, Suffolk) merguez supplier, and carried on through the Trimleys. Said a brief prayer to the abiding Angel, a what's-up to the chill Cuppa and, wiping our brows, arrived.

— The Wool Baa —

Next to the Co-op on Hamilton Road lives the slightly recessed The Wool Baa. Cute sheep logo, shop is piled high with Wendolene's favourite material -- we love a knit and a natter -- plus they also sell drinks and many kinds of cakes. Popular, too. Given our mission, I assumed we'd simply sup but no, Andy had his eye on the coffee & walnut.

So we sat outside, enjoying some shade and two cherry cans (one Pepsi, one Tango) while I made a reasonable stab at dividing a monster slice of vg cake. Happy to take on some calories that we'd expended on the journey. And who's this to meet us but the third amigo, young Kev, still very much on his staycation hols.

— Spud Hut —

Unlocked, wheeled and walked down and over the road for actual lunch at the Spud Hut. Sure, there are salads, but we're obliged to try a baked potato. Fan of the handwritten menus on large brown paper rolls. Andy opted for the Thai treat. Dahl's all done, alas, so was offered healthy alternative in the vegan chilli. Just a black coffee for Kev, note.

Mother and daughter business offer food that's homemade and healthy. We can now vouch for that. Good value at around a fiver each. Perhaps not the cleverest culinary choice while (again) sitting outside with the temperature in the mid to high 20s. Stuffed full of goodness with a spud-you-like.

— The Greenhouse Cafe —

Half a mile of welcome cycling along York Road and Ranelagh Road brought us to Orwell Road. At Number 5 back in the day with its odd internal roof was Comptons. Then with its loss-leading cakes came Lillie's. As of late 2018 it's the The Greenhouse Cafe. Not vegan, note, since that word is too loaded, this place is "plant-based".

Andy just happened to know the smiling lady behind the counter, a former work colleague. Business is good, apparently, and no wonder with their innovative (and stylishly handwritten) menu that includes nossage rolls and celeriac salami. Once more we had to limit ourselves to liquid: fruits of the forest smoothie for him and a zingy kombucha tea for me. Once more Andy suggested some accompanying sweetness, a delicate slice of apple tart. With cream, naturally. Made mental note to return to better sample the food.

— Gulliver's Wife —

With the afternoon sun wearing off, thought we may have left it too late to turn our trio of visits into a quartet. Most chairs inside had been stacked by the time we hit Undercliff Road West. However, the charming French lady was sweet enough to serve us a hot coffee on the new decking area. For once, Andy declined a bun.

Previously the Corner House Cafe, the new owners are still making changes both inside and out. While he runs Gulliver's chippy in Trimley St Mary, she now runs Gulliver's Wife offering well-cooked straight-up food. Today's special was ham hock with fried egg and Savoy cabbage. That sounded good, especially with her previous experience as a chef at some high-end local restaurants. Maison Bleue, anyone?

Four caffs done, decent of Kev to offer the pair of us further refreshments in his own back garden, an unexpected oasis of sun-drenched calm. Really didn't need that small plate of sweet Greek treats. Andy helped himself before disappearing to try and catch a ferry back to Bawdsey. That left me and Kev to battle it out over the boules. Modesty prevents me for telling you the result but, for the return bike ride through Levington, I was smiling in the sun.