Monday, 12 April 2010

On Walberswick

‘Do I really have to come?’ James didn’t want to go to Suffolk. Not one little bit. I wasn’t offended. He wasn’t baulking at the thought of spending a weekend alone with his mother while Adrian went out on a Food Safari. No, it was the thought of a day stuck in the car to get there, coming hard on the heels of our marathon trip back from North Wales.

When I was his age, a car journey was a novelty (cue the violins – I’ll spare you the ‘we lived in a cardboard box’ routine). I’d happily spend any length of time gazing out of the window, lost in my imaginings. But James is very different. I was an introspective child, happy with my own company – the kind of child who built ‘dens’ in the woods, up a tree, behind the sofa and spent hours just sitting in them. Not doing anything in particular, just being.  Now I see it in black and white, I have to confess I sound a little odd actually.

But James is all action, all outgoing, only truly happy in movement, with friends. I don't think he will never ever quite forgive us for not providing a sibling.

Salvation came in the shape of my pal Jules. ‘Stay with us,’ she said in a flash, quite regardless of the fact that she was already hosting her mother, sister, niece and nephew. He fell on her like a thirsty man on a pint of beer.  So Adrian and I went alone. Back to Walberswick, back to Southwold, back to my childhood.

My father loved this place, primarily because of the beer. They say you marry your husband and this case it’s true – Adrian says the word ‘Adnams’ as if it were a prayer. And while the brewery in Southwold is the cathedral of beer, The Anchor at Walberswick is its parish church.

Adrian has gone on about this place for so long I glaze over but now, by heck, I see the light.  Sophie and Mark Dorber have turned what I remember as a dreary Tudorbethan hotel into something quite quite sublime.

‘What’ll you have?’ asked the barman, Luke.
‘Er, nothing. I’m a bit delicate from the night before,’ I confessed.
‘You need a drink,’ he said firmly. ‘Gin and tonic?’
‘Now there’s a thought.’

He proffered a bottle I’d never seen before and I took a sip. Tanqueray Ten. Bliss. Three of those and I was a happier being.  A plate of tapas and some sublime scallops and I was floating in heaven.

By happy coincidence, Adrian’s piece about pubs and beer was in the Telegraph, with this place touted as one of his favourite British pubs.

After a breakfast of jalapeno pepper omelette, fresh apple juice and THE best coffee, possibly in the entire world, I have to agree with him.  And by heck that hurts.


Ladybird World Mother said...

Bloody love Walberswick... being an East Anglian girl, know that coast like the back of my hand. You have also potentially solved a problem for my family too. How about that??! We are all going to be staying in Aldeburgh for the weekend in May and need a venue for lunch on Saturday... do you think the Anchor can hold about 25 of us? Love the way blogging can actually help in Real Life!! xx

Exmoorjane said...

LWM: ABSOLUTELY they could handle 25 of you. They do a lot of fabby corporate stuff and so on, as well as being madly family-friendly. But book early as they get very busy. Oh, and go celeb-spotting too - lots of famous peeps hang out there!

Tattieweasle said...

Oh good grief! Hardly anyway from here! Love Walberswick and enjoy going crabbing there. Also had a whippet assignation there five years ago - result 5 puppies! Fond memories of sittng on a brick while the dogs did their thing holding my poor little Tattie...the4 things we owners have to do: actually sounds like a good blog post! So glad you had a great time!

Lindsay said...

We are going back in May to Husband's chilhood haunts of Aldeburgh, Iken etc.

Exmoorjane said...

Tattie: I kept saying to Adrian that I wish I'd remembered where you and SuffolkMum were... doh! Next time, we'll meet up eh?

Lindsay: Love Aldeburgh. Hope you have a fabulous time.

Rob-bear said...

My goodness. You had a grand time, and even agreed with Adrian. Quick; somebody, put a mark on the wall.

Although omlette with jalapeno pepper does sound a bit "over the top." Especially first thing in the morning.

Rob-bear said...

P.S.: "They say you marry your husband and this case it’s true." Um, it's always true, I think. But some women man, in fact, marry someone who is, metaphorically speaking, their father. Might this be true in your case? (But what do Bears really know?)

Lou Archer said...

sounds lush

Hot Cross Mum said...

It all sounds wonderfully beer-y! Just wanted to drop in to pass on my many congrats to you being runner-up in the Author Blog Awards category. Some achievement - wow. And remember, that those who don't win are usually the most successful (I base this theory on Jedward.) Well done again and cheers.

Exmoorjane said...

Rob - try the jalapeno omelette - seriously it is FANTASTIC

Lou - lush is the word!

Hot Cross Mum - LMAO - I am the Jedward of Blogging! My son will be SO impressed. Love your blog, btw

Lou Archer said...

I'm sure you've had dozens of awards/shout-outs/stalkers BUT I've nominated you for an award with it as you see fit. Thank you for your blog

The bike shed said...

I seem to have lost you off my blog list for a while - oh well, some stuff to catch up on.

I love 'returning'; the process of seeing things afresh and reassessing, reflecting. A lot of what I write about is on that theme.

And isn't it good to do it without the kids just for once.

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