Monday, 20 December 2010

A Winter Trip To Orford

The tartist and I have just returned from yet another rather splendid few days away in Orford, a favourite nearby spot up in Suffolk. It's strange really as it is relatively close to home and very similar in it's landscape etc. but to us it seems quite far from our every day hustle & bustle. We stayed at the Crown & Castle which overlooks the old castle in Orford built by Henry 2nd in 1170'ish (the castle, not the hotel!). It is a great place for a few days unwinding with tastefully designed rooms plus an excellent 'unfussy' restaurant with a lovely menu on which there is always locally landed fish which suits us both really well.

Orford Castle through the bathroom window of our room.

Reed Beds at Snape

The bitterly cold weather, snow & ice was a feature of this particular visit and on a couple of days out I tentatively drove us on the icy road a few miles through Tunstall forest to Snape.
At Snape the old maltings have been converted into a concert hall and visitor centre with an art gallery, cafés and shops but one of the real beauties of Snape for me is the vast area of reed beds that surround the maltings. Despite the cold I went out walking with my camera (it really was too bitter for sketching this time) under very leaden skies between blizzards, meeting up later with the tartist for hot chocolate & cake. I'm pleased to say I have returned with some very interesting reference material of the snowy, muddy, windswept reeds.

On our way home we once again stopped off in Woodbridge and spent rather more than we ought to have on books in Browsers bookshop & café, where the coffee is pretty decent and the cakes are all homemade from recipes taken from books available for sale in the shop (a simple and brilliant marketing rouse on their part). As I've mentioned before in a previous post this part of Suffolk is really well worth a trip out even if it's just for the day. I can guarantee we'll be returning soon.

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