EDitorial ± 26-Feb-2020

Woodbridge Lunches: The Pavilion

Had I had my alert sounds enabled, I might have been woken by Andy's early morning 07:09 email inviting me and Kev to a trip out. As it was, the usual 07:29 alarm kicked in twenty minutes later and was duly snoozed. Zzz.

Come 12:30 and I'm observing his familiar pilgrim's path from Gainsborough to Waitrose to Adastral. Chilly cycle ride over to meet him then off once more to the veritable Bridge of Wood. Prime spot on Kingston Fields means a short stroll across the park and artificial cricket strip into the reopened and revitalised Pavilion. Can it be over 12 years since our last visit? Yes, it can.

Closed since summer 2019, it's now run by the Access Community Trust who also operate coffee shops at Lowestoft, Kessingland, Thetford and Great Yarmouth. Waiting for our grub, we remembered other social enterprise outings to Ipswich (St Lawrence and Town Hall), Poppy's Pantry at Melton, Cafe 66 at Kesgrave, and the Pear Tree Cafe at Sax. Bunch of other customers vg to see. Snug and warm with another big screen telly as per The Edge. Select menu of soups and sausage rolls, etc. Unusually we both ordered the breakfast bap with bacon and sausage. Didn't expect much, TBH, but wow, them was good rolls.

Really wasn't sure what was happening when the smiling counter lady undid both doors fully to let the wind blow through. Then watched as two people on mobility scooters exited. Duplicate desserts -- scone and a flat white -- but Andy had somehow landed a portion of cream. Don't ask, you don't get. News wise, he'd just received acknowledgement of his application to play the role of a 50+ Parkinson's person named Emil. Break a leg, boy!

Excellent service, pretty decent food, very reasonably priced. Maybe we'll gradually tick off the other ACT caffs eventually. Optimist that he remains, Andy had brought his TT bat for a quick knock on the outside ping-pong table. Sadly the wind had other ideas.

If it was a car -- Saab PhoeniX.
If they were passing by -- Derek Underwood.

EDitorial ± 19-Feb-2020

Woodbridge Lunches: Artizan

What with the shy and retired Andy's ActivIpswich activity, Wednesday has become the new Friday. Meet outside reception -- praise be to Apple's FindMyFriends -- and we're on the road in the sun. I'm sure that foreshadowing wind won't bother us.

Barely time to boil an egg before we're back in Woodbridge where it all started oh so long ago. As per last week, fortunate to find a free for half-an-hour slot, this time on St John's Street. Quick sunny stroll to the Thoroughfare where Andy turns left. Nope, right, I correct him, and we dive into Gobbitts Yard, home of the epicurean Cooks Shed. Here, relocated from Silent Street in Ipswich is the artisanal-new Artizan.

Same A1 breads, same top drawer desserts, and same Noel keeping it together. Doing well in the bountiful 'Bridge after trade dried up in the strapped 'Swich, his single table is already occupied. No matter: savouries ordered, we take the outside seating to be shortly joined by our finely presented plates. A leaf or two plus our shared pakora and samosa and Italian slice, all vegan, and with enough spicy taste to sustain us through a chill February lunchtime.

That said, we're awfully glad to get back inside where, with great timing, the family are now leaving. I've got a conference call at 2pm, alas, so gotta take away a hot chocolate each and leave it at that. Noel, though, invites us to try one of his handmade vegan chocolates. Oh my. And then sends us on our way with another free sample, again excellent. No wonder he's doing alright.

If it was a car -- BMW Art Car.
If they were passing by -- Fiona Melrose.

EDitorial ± 5-Feb-2020

Light Lunches: The Edge, Saxmundham

Both Rio (2016) and Russia (2018) have been and gone since we last set foot in "the well-built unsophisticated small market-town" of Saxmundham," as Norman Scarfe described it in his Shell Guide to Suffolk. Ex-eco warrior Andy, potential Parkinson's Ping-Pong pontiff, believes he's spotted some new, er, spots. Off we pop.

Solid 25 minutes travel time from Martlesham Heath to Seaxmund's estate, especially when pootling along at Fiat Panda black box approved speeds. "Pleasant to walk the length of the High Street," added Norman -- yep, the crinkle-crankle wall still stands -- and sharp left into Market Place. Easiest to head for the pay & display where we can nick a 30 minute place. That'll be plenty. Humbled to be standing within yards of where the rainbow-attired Michael Portillo strolled from the Saxmundham train on the telly-box recently.

Not Trinity's today but left to The Edge, name perhaps Springsteen inspired. Until recently a charity shop, it's now big on delicious fresh thick milkshakes, or so says their board. Dogs are welcome so in we go. I'm taken by the Excel-style board displaying the complex pricing structure of their snacks. Whether it's prawns, tuna, egg mayo, cheese, ham, beef, fried egg, bacon, sausages, corn beef, pulled pork, chicken tikka, Mexican chicken, coronation chicken or chicken & bacon, baps are £2.80, sandwiches are £3.00 and a baguette is £3.50. Some poor soul has had to write those prices for each of those fifteen fillings.

L-o-n-g wait for our two not-so-small breakfasts though worth it, both featuring freshly prepared mushroom, egg, bacon, sausage, black pudding, toast, beans, tomato and a cuppa. Time for other punters to appear and to admire the big screen telly news: David Cameron's bodyguard's left something he oughta not in a plane toilet. Passable Happy Shopper brown sauce -- would have preferred HP -- but The Edge is up there with the likes of Kenny's or the Rendezvous, both of which I've revisited in the last couple of months. Completely out of time to try a coffee and a slab of cake, and lucky to avoid a car park ticket.

If it was a car -- Ford Edge.
If they were passing by -- David Evans.