Travel - Norfolk/Suffolk {Part Two}

August 03, 2017

Part Two of our stay at Ivywood Cottage and exploring Norfolk/Suffolk. You can see Part One here...

We were lucky with mainly sunny weather but one afternoon was forecast to rain a lot so we decided to have a wander around Norwich. I'd never been before but Ben used to visit for work quite often. On the way we stopped off at Beccles, a market town at the start of the Norfolk Broads to go for a walk whilst it was dry. {side note, Ben never used to be that bothered about walks but then I got him into looking at his step count on his iPhone and now he's obsessed with getting 10k+ a day! He's v competitive and now will willingly ask me to go for walks just to get extra steps!}

I did a quick google of walking routes before we got there and we followed these trails. It was stunning, just the kind of thing we were after with a mix of rivers, boats and fields. {with no cows, always a plus!} 

England, we love you.

The blackberries are really early this year, we picked a big handful at the end of our walk.

From there we went into Norwich. I'd always wanted to visit, thinking it would be like St Albans where we live - a really old historic pretty town. But I thought it was a little overrated? Parts were nice. I mean the other parts weren't not nice but it's not my favourite place. 

We had some lunch and then found this church being used as an antiques shop, such an amazing place. We couldn't resist buying a couple of bits for our new snug room.

We found some pretty streets and then decided to go back to the cosy cottage before the rain came down. We got into the car literally seconds before the heavens opened. Don't you just love it when you time things perfectly?! We would have got soaked!

I have this thing with ivy walls...

and old citroen 2cv cars and pink buildings covered in Wisteria.

We spent the afternoon at the cottage before going for a very special dinner at The Fox & Goose a few villages across. The cottage had this on their list of restaurants to visit for 'the best food in Suffolk' so I called the day earlier to book us in. Luckily because it was a Thursday night there was space. 

The restaurant is in Fressingfield, a gorgeous Suffolk village that we had a wander around before going in for food.

Quintessentially British with thatched cottages, the famous Suffolk pink paint, hollyhocks and a church sitting on the hill.

From the front of the restaurant you don't really expect that much. But from walking around the back, we were in love with the centuries old building. That brick and those beams!

We opted for the tasting menu as recommended but there was so much on the a la carte that we were tempted with too. The Fox & Goose has won lots of awards for over twenty years! 

The food was insane. The best we'd eaten for a very long time and it went onto our mental list as a dinner to remember. 

We had eight courses {!}, from compressed watermelon with feta, olives and pine nuts to tandoori prawns with crab, scotch eggs, hake, lamb, a cheese board to share and then two dessert plates! 

I think it would be worth going back to Suffolk for dinner there sometime for the food alone!

Raspberry, honeycomb and white chocolate gets me everysingletime.

We came out to a beautiful sunset. It reminded me of about six years earlier of a trip Ben and I had taken to Suffolk, driving along lanes after dinner watching the sunset. I've remembered it ever since so it felt extra special to have the same kind of thing again. 

I was like 'stop the car'!! 

Our last day was perhaps my very favourite. We said goodbye to Ivywood cottage and left fairly early to drive to Orford. 

We'd heard unmissable things about Pump Street Bakery so knew that we had to try it. We went for breakfast as they opened at 9am, sharing pastries sat outside.

It was a little pricey but then the good bakeries always are. And the croissants we had were exceptionally good. Next time I think we'll eat in properly with their brunch menu. Their chocolate is v famous but I just didn't want to pay £6 for a bar?! 

We walked down to Orford Quay and decided that the village has to be one of the prettiest in England?! We hadn't heard of it until we were recommend the bakery but it's worth visiting this village for the houses alone.

Hollyhocks and wisteria! Swooon.

From there we went to Southwold {stopping in quickly on the way at Snape Maltings which I thought was really overrated?! Is it just me?}. Southwold though is under-rated. We remembered that we loved it from the last time we stayed but it's got even better since then. I think it's rare for a seaside town to keep her charm, so many of them seem to go into decline or go a little tacky. 

But Southwold, to me, is one of the very best in England.

There's a really great high street with so many independent stores, delis and bakeries.

It's topped with bunting and pretty buildings. My kinda town.

We didn't do much shopping, instead walking towards the beach and along to the harbour to pick up some lunch.

Beach hut love! They were the cutest.

The harbour is a fair walk from the main town and we were soo windswept by the time we got there. I love the walk though, you've got the sea one side of you and fields/marsh the other.

I love this scene with the river and the cows grazing.

We picked up a couple of crabs for lunch from the Sole Bay Fish Company and then got the ferry over to Walberswick. We were undecided whether to cross over or not, thinking that surely it couldn't be nicer than Southwold and the sandy beach?! But Laura from the cottage had told us it's her favourite and the fishmongers said it's worth going over. So we did, and we LOVED it.

In fact, it was a highlight of the trip. A fun little ferry crossing by a local legend, lunch sat on a green overlooking the adorable seaside village and then a wander around oogling at the houses and front gardens before a walk along the beautiful beach.

What more could you want on a summers day?! And yep we repeated the exact same lunch from Holkham beach!

The beach reminded me of something out of America. England, you say?! 

I adore those little rustic wooden fences. Do they have a proper name?

I'm dreaming of going back there already.

Alas, we decided that we'd better head home so took the ferry back across and then walked back to Southwold across the meadows. 

Stopping for an ice cream at the new gelato parlour! 

For a quick getaway we had such an amazing couple of days. And it's only a couple of hours drive from us so you don't feel like it's a real trek getting there or back. Suffolk/Norfolk we love you.

R <3 xx 

You can find more of our English staycations here.

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  1. All looks wonderful, if we go can you sort the weather please?! !


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