EDitorial ± 3-Jul-2021

Light Lunches: Juniper Barn, Rendham

Bliss of a recent sun-soaked week in Cornwall was tempered by two calls from Middler: one at the start of the week to say that our poor old cat was on her last legs, and one at the end of the week to tell us that she'd just returned from A&E having come off her bike. Surely things would improve for her with a weekend away in Bristol? Yes, up to the point a friend texted to say she'd had a positive Covid test, thus requiring Middler to immediately self isolate and cancel her long-awaited driving test. Some girls don't have all the luck.

Elsewhere (and with Middler now less bruised, germ-free and returned to John Lewis), time for me to tear myself away from the televised footy -- big Euros 2020/21 quarter-final this evening -- and to take G. out to lunch. I had just the place in mind and directed she-at-the-wheel off the A12, through Hacheston and Parham and onto some twisty turny new Suffolk roads. That B1119 switches back multiple times and past the Sweffling White Horse before leading us over a bridge into Rendham, home of the Juniper Barn. Parking outside as per the Smokehouse at Falkenham. Box of secondhand books sat outside, a civilised sign.

Trusty masks on for the short guided trip to our prebooked table. Beams ran overhead: my wife, who knows about these things, pronouced this barn-of-a-place as "some sort of agricultural building". A teenage boy brought us the specials board -- couple of quiche, lentil & coconut bowl, soups, etc. -- and took our order. G. went for the Scotch egg: "Sorry," he said, "but I've just had the last one for lunch. But the fishcakes are good!" Fishcakes it was, for her, and the shakshuka for me. Packed with peppers, it very much did the job. Pleasing soft drinks too with the San Pellegrino range and some Breckland posh pop.

High-class grub aside, the JB all-stars offer fresh local produce and "a range of essential food" in what's effectively the village shop at the end nearest the entrance. Artwork on the walls (I spy a hare) is for sale, as is a selection of new books, and G. bought some eco shampoo plus half a dozen eggs and a cucumber. Seating outside, too: shame about today's drizzle and not being up to sampling the tempting cakes. More than made do with his-and-hers flat whites. Still not entirely sure where Rendham is but took us ten minutes to reach Framlingham. If you're in that vicinity, buy brunch at the barn.

If it was a car -- Jowett Jupiter.
If they were passing by -- Jules Hudson.