Kate spoke to broadcaster and cultural commentator, Emma Freud OBE who normally spends four months of the year living in the Suffolk village where she was brought up. Here is a snapshot of Emma’s favourite things to see, do and visit in Suffolk.
PINNEYS SMOKEHOUSE IN ORFORD
In the teeny tiny village of Orford there is an artisan Bakery, an Oysterage and TWO great Smokehouses. It’s like an unexpected foodie nirvana. You can watch the owner of Pinney’s Smokehouse put salmon, kippers, garlic, cods roe, trout, mackerel, oysters, chicken and ham hocks into his tar blackened, ancient, crumbly, bugger-health-and-safety, real, oakwood-smokey smokehouse just behind Butley’s Oysterage.
My favourite cafe in Britain. A tiny kiosk on the prom at Southwold making perfect Bacon Butties, Fishfinger Rolls and mugs (love a mug, hate a cup) of tea. My beach hut (‘Bernard’ – our family’s pride and joy) is next door to Suzi’s and if I order at the kiosk, she delivers it to me on a tray – making my Bernard a beach hut with room service. Classy.
THE ANCHOR IN WALBERSWICK
I could eat here every night of the week, and quite often, I do. Home baked bread, beautiful beer, big log fire, food very fresh, very local, very seasonal and served by the loveliest staff. The pub is right by the sea, the fish is right off the boats, and they let our dog sit on the bench by the fire, but don’t tell anyone.
In winter, you sometimes see a mass gathering of thousands of starlings dancing in a cloud in the sky over the estuary in Blythburgh. From a distance, they look like a plague of black locusts, or a frantic tornado, or, as my daughter thought when she first saw them, some fairies (she was 15). It’s a natural phenomenon that defies logic, and takes your breath away. I stood under it once, and got pooed on, but it was so beautiful to see them up close that I didn’t even mind.
THE ELECTRIC PICTURE PALACE
Literally the smallest and most perfectly formed cinema in Britain. Converted from a tiny stable, it’s a miniature classic 50’s movie palace. The full, old fashioned movie experience in full perfection. Just 50 velvetty red seats (plus an extra 8 on the miniature balcony), a Commissionaire in a full-length cape and hat greeting the audience at every show, a local dolly in a betty boop outfit serving tea from a pot and illegal sherry, God Save The Queen played at the end of every film. And whatever the movie, they always have an interval (for more sherry) during which the trapdoor on the stage opens, and an organ rises up from the pit beneath, with a local resident playing seaside tunes. I’m not even making this up.
THE HALESWORTH TOY SHOP
The greatest Toy Shop in the world. An independently owned child-haven in the paved high street of this lovely market town. A shop so thoughtful that they remember the toys my kids like, and tweet me when they get new ones in. #legolove
THE UNDER THE PIER SHOW
The best arcade of all time ever since someone invented electricity. It’s the lovechild of a local weirdogenius (that IS a word) called Tim Hunkin and is situated half way down The Southwold Pier. The little wooden hut is filled with the strangest, quirkiest, sweetest, oddest, professorbrainstormest slot machines you have never imagined.
Thanks Emma! Great contributions about the lovey county of Suffolk.